1. Brian J. Tabb | Editorial: Wisdom and Hope in Difficult Days: Reading Revelation in 2022
General Editor Brian Tabb claims that Revelation offers God’s people discerning wisdom and dogged hope in difficult days. After reflecting on the need to hear and heed Revelation’s offer of true wisdom and lasting happiness, Tabb offers three pastoral appeals for wise, hopeful living.
2. Daniel Strange | Strange Times: Caring Because You Don’t
Contributing editor Dan Strange explains that Themelios has consistently sought to keep together the worlds of serious theological study and pastoral ministry, a confluence modeled by the late Melvin Tinker. Tinker modeled courageous encouragement and encouraging courage: he was care-ful because he couldn’t care-less, offering an example worthy of emulation.
The language of “genocide” as applied to the conquest of Canaan puts pastors, scholars, and apologists in a bind. After surveying four approaches, Miller advocates for careful avoidance of the term, starting with considering the specific hermeneutical, historiographical, theological, or ethical concern of a questioner or critic, rather than starting with questions of accuracy or precision.
4. Gary L. Shultz Jr. | The Spirit in Elisha’s Life: A Preview of Jesus Christ and the New Covenant
In the book of Kings, Elisha is the Spirit-empowered man of God who walks with God, represents God, and shows the way to covenant faithfulness through word and deed. Elisha therefore serves as a preview of knowing God in the new covenant through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Shultz shows how Elisha’s Spirit-empowered ministry points forward to the Spirit-empowered ministry of Jesus Christ, the inauguration of the new covenant, and what it means for Jesus’s followers to live in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
5. Michael B. Shepherd | Targums As Guides to Hebrew Syntax
The Targums were not translations for the Aramaic-speaking masses who were ignorant of Hebrew. Rather, they were translations/commentaries for bilingual (Hebrew-Aramaic) audiences. The Targums preserved an older understanding of the Hebrew text and guarded against innovations now attested in sources such as the Samaritan Pentateuch and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Shepherd explains that the Targums provided a guide to the reading of the Hebrew Bible in the period between the making of its purely consonantal text and the later written systems of vocalization and accentuation in the Masoretic Text.
6. Scott D. MacDonald | Does Acts 4:23–31 Support the Practice of Simultaneous Prayer?
Simultaneous prayer—the corporate practice of praying different prayers at the same time—is a worldwide phenomenon. One text frequently raised in support of the practice is Acts 4:23–31. MacDonald writes that Acts 4 does provide a model for prayer, but it does not explicitly support simultaneous prayer. While simultaneous prayer could possibly find support elsewhere in Scripture, Christian communities should aspire to reflect the apostolic example in Acts 4.
Orr explains that Paul speaks about two different types of work in Colossians—“work for the Lord” and “work for the kingdom”—and that this distinction provides a paradigm for thinking about the difference between “ministry” and “non-ministry” work. While Paul affirms the theological and eschatological value of all work that Christians do, he nevertheless distinguishes between different types of work in their relationship to the kingdom of God.
8. Geoffrey Butler | John Calvin’s Eucharistic Theology: A Pentecostal Analysis
John Calvin, known as the “Theologian of the Holy Spirit,” places a heavy emphasis on the Spirit’s activity in the Lord’s Supper. Pentecostal engagement with Calvin remains quite limited on this matter, despite their insistent desire to highlight the Holy Spirit’s work. Butler discusses what makes Calvin’s position unique and how his robustly doctrine of the Spirit position may help Pentecostals recover the sacramental roots of their own movement and contribute to the development of a truly Spirit-filled theology of the Eucharist.
Helseth explores Samuel Miller’s understanding of the epistemological capacity of the mind that has been regenerated by God’s Spirit and sanctified by God’s Word. He argues that Miller stood squarely in the epistemological mainstream of the Reformed wing of the Augustinian tradition, contrary to the consensus of critical opinion. Helseth offers a fresh perspective not just on Miller’s understanding of the relationship between piety and learning, but also on the understanding of enlightened education that likely animated the founding of Princeton Theological Seminary in 1812.
10. Obbie Tyler Todd | Southern Yankees: Southern Baptist Clergy in the Antebellum North (1812–1861)
Baptists provide an excellent window into the American identity during the antebellum period. No group illustrates the unity and disunity of the infant nation more than the Baptist ministers who left their homes in the South to fill pulpits in the North. The experiences of these “Southern Yankees” represent a denomination in turmoil and a nation on the verge of political, social, and theological crisis. Todd examines the variety of ways in which Southern Baptists transcended sectional divides in the antebellum period as well as the reasons that these pastorates either failed or were fraught with controversy due to slavery.
11. Jean Gomes | Reassessing Nicholas Wolterstorff’s Objections to Divine Simplicity
Gomes engages with Nicholas Wolterstorff’s objections to the doctrine of divine simplicity, particularly his claim that divine simplicity entails confusions for people attending worship. Gomes demonstrates that none of Wolterstorff’s arguments compels us to deny divine simplicity, not even his most significant liturgical critique.
12. Richard B. Gaffin Jr. and David B. Garner | The Divine and Adopted Son of God: A Response to Joshua Maurer and Ty Kieser
Gaffin and Garner respond to the recent article by Joshua Maurer and Ty Kieser, “Jesus, ‘Adopted Son of God?’ Romans 1:4, Orthodox Christology, and Concerns about a Contemporary Conclusion.” Gaffin and Garner offer several clarifications and corrections, particularly about their view regarding the adoption of the divine Son according to his human nature, an adoption essential for the perfecting of the Son in accomplishing the salvation applied to believers. They conclude with an important pastoral observation concerning the adoption of the Son for the adoption of believers.
Featured Book Reviews:
- Gary Edward Schnittjer, Old Testament Use of Old Testament: A Book-by-Book Guide. Reviewed by Jared Compton.
- Jonathan T. Pennington, Jesus the Great Philosopher: Rediscovering the Wisdom Needed for the Good Life. Reviewed by Alex Kirk.
- Thomas R. Schreiner, The Joy of Hearing: A Theology of the Book of Revelation. Reviewed by Brian Tabb.
- Kevin DeYoung, The Religious Formation of John Witherspoon: Calvinism, Evangelicalism, and the Scottish Enlightenment. Reviewed by Paul Helseth.
- Stephen J. Nicols, R. C. Sproul, A Life. Reviewed by Karin Spiecker Stetina.
- Karen Soole, Liberated: How the Bible Exalts and Dignifies Women. Reviewed by Wendy Lin.
- Rebecca McLaughlin, The Secular Creed: Engaging Five Contemporary Claims. Reviewed by Cyndi Logsdon.
- Matt Rhodes, No Shortcut to Success: A Manifesto for Modern Missions. Reviewed by C. J. Moore.
- George Yancey and Ashlee Quosigk, One Faith No Longer: The Transformation of Christianity in Red and Blue America. Reviewed by Bruce Riley Ashford.