Volume 7 - Issue 2
Survey of 1980 journals
We are grateful to those who have contributed this survey of articles appearing between 1979 and 1981.
AJP Australasian Journal of Philosophy
BA Biblical Archaeologist
CSR Christian Scholar’s Review
EQ Evangelical Quarterly
ExpT Expository Times
IJPR International Journal for Philosophy of Religion
JEH Journal of Ecclesiastical History
JETS Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
NTS New Testament Studies
RS Religious Studies
SJT Scottish Journal of Theology
TynB Tyndale Bulletin
‘Prophecy, Inspiration and Sensus Plenior’ by W. S. LaSor, TynB 29 (1978), pp. 49–60 is in my view the most thought-provoking article by an evangelical OT scholar to have appeared in the last two years. He argues that the Christian reader must not simply rest content with establishing the original meaning of the text, or with its timeless spiritual sense, e.g. Abraham as a model for all believers. Scripture has also a fuller sense, the sensus plenior, which becomes discernible only with the passing of time. This fuller sense is a result of the divine authorship of Scripture. God’s perspective on history is longer than that of the human authors of the Bible. Thus while the prophets may have had a particular short-term fulfilment of their words in mind, God guided their utterances so that in the fullness of time they were more completely fulfilled. LaSor illustrates his thesis by discussing the interpretation of Genesis 3:15, Hosea 11:1 and Micah 5:2.
Under its new editor the Tyndale Bulletin has caught up on its backlog of issues. Most of these contain valuable articles on the OT, of which only the most notable can be mentioned here. J. Ruffle, ‘The Teaching of Amenemope and its Connection with the Book of Proverbs’, TynB 28 (1977), pp. 29–68 debunks the alleged dependence of Proverbs on the Egyptian work. K. A. Kitchen however exploits the parallels in form between Egyptian wisdom works and Proverbs to show the latter’s literary integrity (‘Proverbs and Wisdom Books of the Ancient Near East’, TynB 28 (1977), pp. 69–114).
J. P. Brennan, ‘Psalms 1–18: Some Hidden Harmonies’, Biblical Theology Bulletin 10 (1980), pp. 25–29, suggests the order of the psalms is not haphazard. Even more fascinating for the light it sheds on the methods of the biblical authors is A. G. Wright, ‘The Riddle of the Sphinx Revisited’, Catholic Biblical Quarterly 42 (1980), pp. 38–51. This builds on his 1968 article and shows that even the verse numbering in the book of Ecclesiastes is part of the literary structure.
Other recent studies defending the integrity of poetic books of the OT include W. H. Shea, ‘The Chiastic Structure of the Song of Songs’, Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 92 (1980), pp. 378–396 and Y. Hoffmann, ‘The Relation between the Prologue and the Speech-Cycles in Job’, Vetus Testamentum 31 (1981), pp. 160–170.
D. J. Wiseman defends the historicity of Jonah in ‘Jonah’s Nineveh’, TynB 30 (1979), pp. 29–52. He argues that early-eighth-century bc Assyria provides a plausible setting for the ministry of Jonah, and that there is no need to regard the book as a parable.
G. F. Hasel helpfully reviews the historical problems posed by Daniel in ‘The Book of Daniel: Evidences Relating to Persons and Chronology’, Andrews University Seminary Studies 19 (1981), pp. 37–49. He mentions a Babylonian text that may allude to Nebuchadnezzar’s illness (Dan. 4), and suggests that Cyazares II may still be the best candidate for Darius the Mede.
Finally the Biblical Archaeologist continues to publish interesting articles relating the OT to recent archaeological discovery. J. H. Charlesworth, ‘The Manuscripts of St Catherine’s Monastery’, BA 43 (1980), pp. 26–34 sums up what is known of recent discoveries in the Sinai monastery. J. R. Kautz, BA 44 (1981), pp. 27–35 argues that the presence of MB-LB settlements in Transjordan shows that the Israelite conquest could have taken place in the fifteenth century bc. W. C. van Hattem, ‘Once Again: Sodom and Gomorrah’, BA 44 (1981), pp. 87–92 would locate these cities on the south-eastern shores of the Dead Sea, not under its surface. A. S. Kaufman, ‘The Eastern Wall of the Second Temple’, BA 44 (1981), points to archaeological and literary evidence suggesting that the holy of holies in the second temple lay north of the present Dome of the Rock, and not directly over it, as is usually supposed.
Pride of place this year to Martin Hengel’s Manson Memorial Lecture, ‘The Expiatory Sacrifice of Christ’ (Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 62, pp. 454–475), a magisterial study of NT atonement theology building on the author’s already well-known work in this area, reaching the very ‘conservative’ conclusion that ‘the message of the death of the Messiah as an “atoning sacrifice” for our sins can be traced back to the original event which constituted the church’.
Two articles by Ralph P. Martin in ExpT 52, ‘NT Theology: Impasse and Exit’ (pp. 264–269) and ‘NT Theology: a Proposal’ (pp. 364–368), highlight the problem of finding an organizing principle for NT theology as presented in the last two centuries, and find the unity in the diversity in the theme of reconciliation.
Richard J. Bauckham, ‘The Delay of the Parousia’ (TynB 31, pp. 3–36) helpfully sets this perennial problem in its context by showing a tension between imminence and delay as a regular feature of Jewish as well as Christian apocalyptic. 2 Peter 3 and Revelation are specifically studied.
A similar problem is carefully analysed by Kent Brower, ‘Mark 9:1—Seeing the Kingdom in Power’ (Journal for the Study of the New Testament 6, pp. 17–41), surveying recent attempts to solve the problem of an apparently unfulfilled prediction, and concluding that the ‘coming of the kingdom of God with power’ refers primarily to the cross and its effects.
Other specific texts are helpfully dealt with by Gordon D. Fee, ‘Eidōlothyta once again: an Interpretation of 1 Corinthians 8–10’ (Biblica 61, pp. 172–197), setting the specific issue of temple meals (rather than market food) in the wider context of the Corinthian attitude to gnosis; by Peter Richardson, ‘Pauline Inconsistency: 1 Cor. 9:19–23 and Gal. 2:11–14’ (NTS 26, pp. 347–362), taking up his ‘accommodation ethics’ approach earlier set out in TynB 29; and by Peter H. Davids, ‘Theological Perspectives on the Epistle of James’ (JETS 23, pp. 97–103), a curtain-raiser to his forthcoming commentary on this theologically neglected book.
James D. G. Dunn and Graham H. Twelftree, ‘Demon-Possession and Exorcism in the NT’ (Churchman 94, pp. 210–225) refuse to demythologize the issue, and helpfully suggest how this NT material should affect modern practice.
A crusading article by E. Earle Ellis, ‘Dating the NT’ (NTS 26, pp. 487–502) attempts to prevent Robinson’s Redating the NT being swept under the scholarly carpet, while Arthur G. Patzia, ‘The Deutero-Pauline Hypothesis: an Attempt at Clarification’ (EQ 52, pp. 66–83) is sympathetic (though not uncritically so) to the idea of ‘Pauline’ letters being produced by Paul’s ‘disciples’, while recognizing that this remains a hypothesis which raises serious questions about motives, methods and literary conventions, as well as about the whole shape of the post-Pauline church.
Finally, for those who dare to enter the murky waters of Rabbinic studies, a valuable guide to recent work in this area by William Horbury in ExpT 91, pp. 233–240, combines acknowledged Rabbinic expertise with a helpfully NT orientation.
First we welcome a new journal, The Second Century, ‘a journal of Early Christian Studies’ edited from Abilene Christian University, Texas, by Everett Ferguson. Its first issue (spring 1981) discusses the delimitation of fields of studies: how valid are conventional divisions between NT and church history, between canon and early Christian literature? The Shroud of Turin remains fascinans, if scarcely of the status of mysterium. In ExpT 92 (1980), pp. 13–16, Dan Cohn-Sherbok argues that Jewish burial customs, supported by the Gospels, rule out the use of the Turin cloth to cover the body of Jesus. ‘The Shroud and the Cross’, Theology 84 (1981), pp. 266–274, by M. Hebblethwaite, assesses the Shroud’s importance to theology if authentic. It excludes certain interpretations of the crucifixion and the Crucified.
An article by C. W. Bynum, ‘Did the Twelfth Century Discover the Individual?’, JEH 31 (1980), pp. 1–17, with a comment by Colin Morris, bears upon a recent trend among mediaevalists to locate in the twelfth century many of the intellectual, cultural and religious developments traditionally discerned only in the fifteenth—humanism, a classical renaissance, discovery of nature and the individual. Bynum enters a corrective by stressing the communal dimension of the religious revival. ‘Crusading as an Act of Love’, by Jonathan Riley-Smith (History 65 (1980), pp. 177–192) seeks to place the crusades in the context of the same spiritual awakening in western Europe by showing how Christian love was presented as their motivation. Margaret Aston cannot conclusively answer her question ‘Lollard Women Priests?’ (JEH 31, 1980, pp. 441–461). The Lollards produced famous women preachers, promoted the religious and educational equality of women and at least discussed the possibility of women priests. The talk itself, even if only ‘plausible gossip’, is remarkable enough.
Protestant understandings of ‘covenant’ continue to provoke debate. Against the stream Michael McGiffert in JEH 32 (1981), pp. 167–184 argues that ‘William Tyndale’s Conception of Covenant’ was not contractual. His later English interpreters who who read him in this way may have grasped his letter but missed his spirit. The received opinion that all Germany was crying out for reform by 1500 is tested and found wanting by Richard Crofts’ simple study, ‘Books, Reform and the Reformation’ Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte 71 (1980), pp. 21–36. An analysis of publications in Germany between 1510 and 1520 reveals very few expressing a non-traditional outlook before 1517, and after 1517, when these become significant in number, they were largely Luther’s own writings. A distinguished Reformation historian, Robert M. Kingdon, in presidentially addressing the American Society of Church History (Church History 50, 1981, pp. 81–97), pleads for church historians to study institutions, not merely ideas.
J. I. Packer interprets ‘Puritanism as a Movement of Revival’ in EQ 52 (1980), pp. 2–16, while Ian A. Muirhead urges due regard to ‘The Revival as a Dimension of Scottish Church History’ in Records of the Scottish Church History Society 20 (1980), pp. 179–196. Revivalism is not an occasional aberration but a proper dimension of modern Scottish religion.
The Evangelical Review of Theology 4 (1980) reprints two studies worth noting here, A. F. Walls, ‘The Challenge of African Independent Churches’ (pp. 225–234—helpful in bibliography), and R. Frase, ‘Presbyterian Ministerial Preparation in Brazil’ (pp. 114–124). Frase shows how the Reformed insistence on a highly educated ministry prepared by formal seminary training cramped the development of the Brazilian church, while flexible Baptists and Pentecostalists responded to the challenge of expansion.
Two articles in JEH throw light on the divided decline of evangelicalism in nineteenth-century Britain. Timothy Stunt in ‘Geneva and British Evangelicals in the Early Nineteenth Century’ (32, 1981, pp. 35–46) identifies the impact of the Genevan ‘réveil’ associated with Robert Haldane and César Malan on the anti-dogmatic, millennarian, experiential wing of British evangelicalism. Their influence is seen especially in the radical ecclesiologies of leaders of Catholic Apostolics (Irvingites) and Plymouth Brethren. D. N. Hempton asks what happened to evangelicalism to transform it from ‘the enlightened and thoughtful respectability of the Clapham Sect’ into the narrow bigotry which sent many potential leaders of the next generation fleeing into Catholicism (Anglo or Roman), unitarianism or scepticism (‘Evangelicalism and Eschatology’, 31, 1980, pp. 179–194). He lays major blame on the growth of pre-millennialism, and endorses Sandeen’s (questionable) discovery of the roots of fundamentalism in early nineteenth-century millennarianism. H. C. G. Matthew charts a curiously parallel shift in ‘Edward Bouverie Pusey: from Scholar to Tractarian’, Journal of Theological Studiesn.s. 32 (1981), pp. 101–124. Pusey’s transformation in the 1830’s from a liberal Anglican interpreter of Germany’s critical theology into a dogmatic traditionalist not only led Anglo-Catholicism into an intellectual and theological dead end but also stunted the growth of academic biblical studies at Oxford.
DAVID F. WRIGHT
F. W. Dillistone writes about ‘Systematic Theology Today’ as he considers the classically Christian theology of Geoffrey Wainwright entitled ‘Doxology’ in Theology Today 37 (1980), pp. 306–314. To help us keep up with the major figures in theology there are two series now running which are worth noting. The Christian Centuryruns one every decade called ‘How my Mind has Changed’ and it has now reached over twenty entries by the summer of 1981 by such names as Berger, Ogden, Tracy, Pannenberg, and the like. Because the essays are written candidly and autobiographically, they allow the reader to get a vivid grasp of what is going on now. The Expository Times is running a series ‘Today’s Word for Today’ in which theologians like Jüngel and von Balthasar are explained by eminent critics like Macquarrie and Wainwright.
Avery Dulles discusses ‘The Symbolic Structure of Revelation’ in which he sees it as a complex of self-disclosure, historical acts, and verbal communication in Theological Studies 41 (1980), pp. 51–73. Raymond E. Brown continues to give us his ‘Biblical Reflections on Scripture as the Word of God’ in Theological Studies42 (1981), pp. 3–19. As a Catholic who believes his church’s stance on biblical authority, Brown says much that is equally relevant to conservative Protestants as well. Theology Today devoted an issue to the status of the Bible in the modern church which included an insightful discussion of Protestant and Catholic views of Scripture by Dulles and a fascinating defence of the validity of what is now called pre-critical biblical exegesis by David Steinmetz—37 (1980), 1.
Traditional theology denied the possibility of God suffering, but many today are raising it. Warren McWilliams looks at ‘Divine Suffering in Contemporary Theology’ in SJT 33 (1980), pp. 35–53. Regarding the person of Christ Brian Hebblethwaite continues to defend ‘The Propriety of the Doctrine of the Incarnation as a Way of Interpreting Christ’ from the standpoint of ‘critical orthodoxy’ in SJT 33 (1980), pp. 201–222. In Jesus, God became man without ceasing to be God. The sheer excellence of Catholic theology continues to be obvious in ‘Roman Catholic Christology: Two Recurring Themes’ by Brian O. McDermott in Theological Studies41 (1980), pp. 339–367. He surveys the approaches being taken by Rahner, Kasper, Sobrino, Küng et al. An intriguing article on ‘Pannenberg on the Resurrection and Historical Method’ in SJT 33 (1980), pp. 345–359 by G. E. Michalson Jr contends that Pannenberg is very vague about what the resurrection means and not very different in the last analysis from Bultmann’s resurrection as the faith of the disciples! He leads the reader to expect much more than he actually delivers.
Social ethicist Stephen Mott discusses ‘Biblical Faith and the Reality of Social Evil’ in CSR 9 (1980) pp. 225–240. Salvation is the theme to which Interpretation 35 (1981), 2 is dedicated and two fine articles discuss it in the context of current theology by Donald Bloesch and Carl Braaten. The subsequent issue of Interpretation was given over to prayer and has Roland Murphy examining prayer in the psalms, Krister Stendahl discussing Paul’s practice, and two articles on prayer in theology proper by David Willis and Don Saliers. The reader may be interested in the Catholic-Evangelical dialogue in North America and wish to follow aspects of it in the New Oxford Review. James Hitchcock writes regularly for it, and delivers stinging critiques of liberal theology which are informed and uncompromising: e.g. ‘Does Christianity Have a Future?’ (June 1980) and ‘The Treason of the Clergy Elite’ (July 1980). He argues that Christianity will not survive if we keep giving away important dimensions of it. Many will enjoy ‘Francis Schaeffer on Philosophy’ in CSR 10 (1981), pp. 238ff. by Ron Ruegseggar, who after a careful exposition concludes that Schaeffer regularly oversimplifies complex choices and tends to distort philosophical and cultural developments.
CLARK H. PINNOCK
The last two years have shown an upsurge of articles on the more classical issues of apologetics with virtually nothing of significance on historical apologetics. Reflecting this we shall divide our review into the following categories: apologetic systems, God, evil, and miracles.
Apologetic Systems. Mark Hanna’s recent book, Crucial Questions in Apologetics, wherein he sets forth a phenomenological approach to apologetics, sparked a provocative response from Gordon H. Clark, ‘Veridicalism Versus Presuppositionalism: A Review Article’ (JETS 24. 2, pp. 163–71). A discussion of the apostle John’s apologetic approach is given by Norman Geisler (‘Johannine Apologetics’, Bibliotheca Sacra136. 544, pp. 333–43). A central issue in the development of any apologetic system is the relationship between faith and reason. In ‘Rationality and Religious Belief’ (RS 15. 2, pp. 159–72) Louis R. Pojman argues against fideism and opts for a commensurabilist position on faith and reason. From an historical viewpoint, Robert H. Ayers shows that Calvin, following in the tradition of Augustine and Aquinas, also held to a commensurabilist position (‘Language, Logic and Reason in Calvin’s Institutes’, RS 16. 3, pp. 283–97). On the status and applicability of logic to Christianity and reality, an important interchange occurs between Norman Geisler and John V. Dahms in the JETS 21. 4 (Dec. 1978), pp. 369–80; 22.1 (Mar. 1979), pp. 55–65; 22.2 (June 1979), pp.133–59. Lastly, Arthur J. Moen in ‘Paradigms, Language Games, and Religious Belief’ (CSR 9. 1, pp. 17–29) argues against defending the rationality of religious belief by appealing to certain recent developments in the epistemology of science which he shows lead to epistemological relativism.
God. By far the majority of discussions have centred around the existence and nature of God. Concerning the existence of God, evangelical William L. Craig provides a good formulation of the cosmological argument in defence of creation ex nihilo in ‘Philosophical and Scientific Pointers to Creatio ex Nihilo’ (Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 32. 1 (Mar. 1980), pp. 5–13). Craig also defends the cosmological argument against Frank B. Dilley in The New Scholasticism 53. 3, pp. 388–92 and against Wallace Matson in the AJP57. 2, pp. 163–70. A new model form of the cosmological argument from God-as-conserver of all contingent things is set forth by Robert A. Oakes (‘A New Argument for the Existence of God’, The New Scholasticism 54. 2, pp. 213–23). In ‘An Argument for God’s Existence’ (IJPR 10. 2, pp. 101–115), David E. White sets forth another form of the cosmological argument which he thinks avoids the pitfalls of most other formulations. The ontological argument is still hotly debated. See Peter J. Lopston, ‘Anselm, Meinong, and the Ontological Argument’ (IJPR 11. 3, pp. 185–94) and Gary Bedell who supports, clarifies, and extends John Hick’s criticisms of Charles Hartshorne and Norman Malcolm in his article ‘The Many Faces of Necessity in the Many-Faced Argument’ (The New Scholasticism 53. 1, pp. 1–21). Two model restatements and defences of the ontological argument are given by Alan G. Nasser (RS 15. 3 (Sep. 1979), pp. 391–97) and Robert E. Maydole (American Philosophical Quarterly 17. 2 (Apr. 1980), pp. 135–42). On the teleological argument Gary Doore offers a Humean critique of Richard Swinburne’s formulation (‘The Argument from Design: Some Better Reasons for Agreeing with Hume’, RS 16. 2 (June 1980), pp. 145–61, and Richard E. Creel comes to the defence of Richard Taylor’s formulation (‘A Realistic Argument for Belief’, IJPR 10. 4, pp. 233–53).
Concerning the nature of God, a number of interesting articles appeared. Many deal with God’s omniscience and human freedom. Many argue that the two cannot be reconciled unless divine omniscience does not include knowledge of actual future events. See Stephen T. Davis’ ‘Divine Omniscience and Human Freedom’, RS 15. 4, (Sep. 1979), pp. 433–48. Ronald J. Teske argues against this line of reasoning in ‘Omniscience, Omnipotence, and Divine Transcendence’ (The New Scholasticism 53. 3, pp. 277–94), offering a different resolution without, he believes, denying either divine omniscience or human freedom. From the relationship between God’s sovereignty and human freedom a similar discussion appears in the CSR 9. 2 (1979), pp. 99–120 between Norman Geisler, Robert Wennberg, and Dewey J. Hoitenga, Jr. With the spread and influence of Process Theology, a very helpful article appeared by David L. Schindler which clearly sets forth the major metaphysical assumptions of and issues between neo-classical and classical theism (‘Whitehead’s Challenge to Thomism and God and Creation: The Metaphysical Issues’, International Philosophical Quarterly 19. 3, pp. 285–99). A very good article by Paul Helm (‘God and Spacelessness’, Philosophy 55. 212 (Apr. 1980), pp. 211–21) demonstrates that the denial of God’s timelessness necessitates a denial of God’s spacelessness which in turn leads to the conclusion that God is not a being than which a greater cannot be conceived, a conclusion he rejects. In ‘Divine Conservation and Spinozistic Pantheism’ (RS15. 3 (Sep. 1979), pp. 289–302), Philip L. Quinn rejects Robert A. Oakes’ contention that God’s conservation of the universe leads to pantheism. Oakes replies in RS 16. 3 (Sep. 1980), pp. 353–56. An interesting series on divine transcendence also appears in RS 15. 2 (June 1979), pp. 197–225. Concerning religious language, Edward H. Henderson takes D. Z. Phillips to task in ‘Theistic Reductionism and the Practice of Worship’ (IJPR10. 1, pp. 25–40) and Robin Attfield defends analogy against Humphrey Palmer in ‘Religious Symbols and the Voyage of Analogy’ (IJPR 11. 4, pp. 225–38).
Evil. There were many defences of God’s existence given the existence of evil. Two of the most helpful are Bruce R. Reinchenbach’s ‘The Inductive Argument from Evil’ (AJP 58. 4 (Dec. 1980), pp. 221–27) and R. M. Sainsbury’s ‘Benevolence and Evil’ (AJP 58. 2 (June 1980), pp. 128–34). Two very insightful defences of God’s nature and character in spite of evil are by Douglas Langston (‘The Argument From Evil: Reply to Professor Richman’, RS 16. 1 (Mar. 1980), pp. 103–113 and by R. W. K. Paterson (‘Evil, Omniscience and Omnipotence’, RS 15. 1 (Mar. 1979), pp. 1–23). Alvin Plantinga’s Free Will Defence continued to gain critics. See Nelson Pike (‘Plantinga on Free Will and Evil’, RS 15. 4 (Dec. 1979), pp. 449–73), and Hugh LaFollette (‘Plantinga on the Free Will Defence’ (IJPR 11. 2, pp. 123–32). A provocative article by Martin Davies attempts to show that even if causal determinism were true, the existence of evil would not thereby provide an argument against the existence of an all-good God (‘Determinism and Evil’, AJP 58. 2 (June 1980), pp. 116–27). Concerning the privation of evil, G. Stanley Kane (‘Evil and Privation’, IJPR 11. 1, pp. 43–58) shows many common objections against it to be misunderstandings and the result of fallacious reasoning. Unfortunately Kane’s arguments against it also show similar weaknesses.
Miracles. Answering those who argue that the very concept of miracles is incoherent, J. Kellenberger not only shows that it is coherent but shows that at least three concepts of miracle are coherent (Miracles’, IJPR10. 3, pp. 145–62). Grace M. Jantzen in ‘Hume on Miracles, History, and Politics’ (CSR 8. 4, pp. 318–25) argues that the occurrence of miracles are possible, taking on Anthony Flew and Terence Penelhum, and that miracles can be known to have occurred and thus do have apologetic value. In a later issue David Basinger replies to Jantzen and Jantzen in turn replies to Basinger (9. 4, pp. 348–53). The interchange is especially helpful.
NORMAN L. GEISLER