Thursday, 28 November 2013

Tyndale Bulletin 64, 2 (2013)

The latest issue of Tyndale Bulletin has arrived, containing the following collection of articles and dissertation summaries.


Christopher R. Lortie
These Are the Days of the Prophets: A Literary Analysis of Ezra 1–6
This study outlines a plot structure for Ezra 1–6 based upon the (’lh) imperative and (bnh) imperative given in the decree by Cyrus (Ezra 1:2-4) and argues that they provide a clear framework for the narrative. The Judaean people are able to accomplish the (’lh) imperative without conflict, but the (bnh) imperative is not completed as easily. The temple rebuilding project reaches a standstill in Ezra 4:24. At this point the prophets Haggai and Zechariah intervene and become the catalyst for the resolution of the (bnh) imperative and the narrative as a whole (5:1; 6:14). The narrative is structured to demonstrate that YHWH is the one who enables the temple rebuilding project to succeed through the action of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah over against the Persian kings.

William R. Osborne
The Early Messianic ‘Afterlife’ of the Tree Metaphor in Ezekiel 17:22-24
This article discusses the royal associations of tree imagery in the ancient Near East before examining four early messianic interpretations of the tree symbolism in Ezekiel 17:22-24, namely those of 4QEzekiela, the Septuagint, Targum Ezekiel, and The Shepherd of Hermas.

James Robson
Undercurrents in Jonah
On the surface, the book of Jonah is marked by a certain literary simplicity and apparent artlessness. This is evident in at least three ways: its style, with few adjectives, action-oriented narrative, repetition of words and phrases, sound-plays and personifications; its plot, with extreme scenarios and a binary view of the world; its structure, with significant substantial correspondence. Yet it is often in the very places of apparent artlessness that there are hidden depths. A survey of these undercurrents suggests that the book of Jonah is best understood as an engaging exploration of how credal confessions relate to the complexities of lived experience.

Trevor J. Burke
The Parable of the Prodigal Father: An Interpretative Key to the Third Gospel (Luke 15:11-32)
Agreement on a title for the parable in Luke 15:11-32 has proved problematic for interpreters: is this primarily a story about the ‘son’ or ‘sons’ or a ‘family’? While such descriptions are viable, they are insufficient and the view taken in this essay, along with that of an increasing number of scholars – not discounting the role of the two sons – is to approach the story from a paternal perspective. Moreover, this parable is about a ‘prodigal father’ for his extravagant generosity and liberality is highly unusual and unexpected. Such conduct, however, is no less a part of the evangelist’s wider agenda of ‘prodigality’ in the third Gospel, where the same munificence and largesse are characteristics consonant with those who belong in the kingdom of God. It is concluded that if the father is representative of God in his reckless beneficence then another legitimate designation for this narrative should be ‘The Parable of the Prodigal Father’.

Preston T. Massey
Gender Versus Marital Concerns: Does 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 Address the Issues of Male/Female or Husband/Wife?
This study proposes an alternative for interpreting the background to 1 Corinthians 11–14. The investigation will focus on the following three issues: 1) the issue of married women versus any woman; 2) the matter of a married woman’s talking in a public setting; and 3) the nature of the church as the family of God meeting in a house for public worship. The combination of these factors will lead to the conclusion that Paul is addressing marital issues.

Svetlana Khobnya
‘The Root’ in Paul’s Olive Tree Metaphor (Romans 11:16-24)
In Romans 11:16-24 Paul addresses the subject of the Jewish and Gentile inclusion in the people of God using the illustration of the olive tree. How this description fits Paul’s argument in Romans or what precisely Paul communicates by this comparison remains unclear. This essay suggests that Paul’s awareness of living in the time when scripture is being fulfilled in Christ determines how we should read the olive tree metaphor. It proposes that the olive tree and the whole process of its rejuvenation pictures the restoration of Israel and the addition of the Gentiles into God’s people on the basis of the fulfilment of God’s promises in Christ, the very root of the tree. In this light the olive tree metaphor becomes lucid and fits Paul’s overall discussion in Romans.

John VanMaaren
The Adam-Christ Typology in Paul and Its Development in the Early Church Fathers
This article examines the development of the Adam-Christ typology in the early church. It begins by outlining the characteristics of typology and considering Paul’s use of the Adam-Christ typology. It then looks at the Adam-Christ typology in Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Origen, Methodius, Augustine and Cyril of Alexandria. Each of these is compared with Paul. For Paul, it is Christ’s death and resurrection that correspond to Adam’s sin. The church fathers expand Paul’s typology and these expansions eventually come to overshadow the main point of correspondence for Paul, Christ’s death and resurrection.

Boris Paschke
Praying to the Holy Spirit in Early Christianity
This article studies praying to the Holy Spirit in early Christianity of the first three centuries AD. The relevant primary sources are presented and interpreted. While the New Testament remains silent on the topic, some early Christian texts from the Second and Third Centuries AD (i.e. writings of Tertullian and Origen as well as the Acts of John and Acts of Thomas) testify that the idea and practice of addressing the Holy Spirit in prayer (either alone or together with Jesus Christ) existed in early Christianity. However, the paucity of express early Christian quotations of or references to prayers to the Holy Spirit suggests that praying to the Holy Spirit was not widespread but rather remained an exception in early Christianity.

Dissertation Summaries

Joshua Harper
Responding to a Puzzled Scribe: The Barberini Version of Habakkuk 3 Analysed in the Light of the Other Greek Versions
This anonymous version of Habakkuk 3 cannot be identified with any of the other known Greek versions of Habakkuk or the Twelve Prophets. It is only found in six Septuagint manuscripts, and has come to be known as the Barberini version of Habakkuk 3 after one of the best witnesses, which was formerly in the library of the Barberini family in Rome. The goal of my thesis is to describe the Barberini version and the translator responsible for it – to give the who, what, where, when, why, and how of its creation in so far as this can be determined by comparing the Barberini Greek version with the other Greek and Hebrew versions of the chapter.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Lausanne Global Analysis 2, 5 (November 2013)

The latest issue of Lausanne Global Analysis, from The Lausanne Movement, is now available online.

In the issue overview, editor David Taylor says:

‘In this issue we address several topical themes. We analyse what has come out of the groundbreaking Asian Christian Leaders’ Forum held in Seoul in June, and we address Business as Mission (BAM), one of the key themes of the Global Leadership Forum held in Bangalore the week before. We also explore a topic related to BAM – that of Stewardship and Justice in the way we behave as consumers. We follow up our article in our March issue on the various ideological trends in China and Christian responses to them by anaylsing the results of a recent conference on the subject. Last, but by no means least, we examine the outlook – and many opportunities – for Christians in the Middle East amid the current turmoil and persecution.

The executive summary is available here, and the full issue is available here.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Credo Magazine 3, 4 (November 2013)

The current issue of Credo is out, this one devoted to ‘Biblical Theology’.

According to the editorial blurb:

‘When the sixteenth-century Reformation erupted, one of the alarming dangers that became blatantly obvious to reformers like Martin Luther was the pervasiveness of biblical illiteracy among the laity. It may be tempting to think that this problem has been solved almost five hundred years later. However, in our own day biblical illiteracy in the pew continues to present a challenge. Many Christians in our post-Christian context simply are not acquainted with the storyline of the Bible and God’s actions in redemptive history from Adam to the second Adam.

‘With this concern in mind, the current issue of Credo Magazine strives to take a step forward, in the right direction, by emphasizing the importance of “biblical theology.” Therefore, we have brought together some of the best and brightest minds to explain what biblical theology is, why it is so important, and how each and every Christian can become a biblical theologian.

‘Our hope in doing so is that every Christian will return to the text of Scripture with an unquenchable appetite to not only read the Bible, but comprehend God’s unfolding plan of salvation.’

The magazine is available to read here, from where also a 79.7 MB pdf of the whole issue can be downloaded.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Steve Turner on Pop Culture from a Christian Perspective

I was asked to write six brief book notes for the November 2013 edition of EG, published by LICC. I’ve been posting them individually here at various points over the last few weeks.

Steve Turner, Popcultured: Thinking Christianly about Style, Media and Entertainment (Nottingham: IVP, 2013).

A great reminder that the pervasiveness of pop culture provides a common language to connect with others. Broad in his coverage, Turner looks at cinema, journalism, celebrities, fashion, thrill-seeking, comedy, photography, advertising, technology, and photography, each chapter ending with questions for refection, recommendations for reading and suggestions for action. And all with the encouragement to consume discerningly, critique faithfully, and create wisely.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Christian History Magazine on Charles Darwin

The latest issue of Christian History Magazine is devoted to ‘Debating Darwin’.

According to its blurb...

‘In the 19th century, Christians responded to the challenges of Darwinian evolution in many and diverse ways – from hostility to reconciliation. Read about the reactions of theologians, scientists, pastors, authors, bishops, and politicians – and learn how Darwinism eventually became a symbol of warfare between science and Christianity in this issue of Christian History magazine.’

The whole magazine is available as a 4.3 MB pdf here.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Tim Keller on Church

I was asked to write six brief book notes for the November 2013 edition of EG, published by LICC. I’ve been posting them individually here over the last week or so. 

Timothy J. Keller, Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City (Grand Rapids: Zondervan 2012).

Tim Keller’s theological vision of a ‘center church’, articulated around three core commitments: gospel (proclaiming the gospel and its implications for the whole of life); city (exercising wisdom in how we contextualise the message, neither overadapting nor underadapting to culture); movement (the church engaging in mission as both institution and organism, rooted in tradition and reaching out through its members). The largest of Keller’s books published over the last few years, this one helpfully provides a comprehensive but eminently readable presentation of his insights.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Ethics in Brief Volume 19, Nos. 1 & 2 (2013)

Two issues from Volume 19 of Ethics in Brief, published by The Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics, are now available online:

By drawing on recent neurological research this article challenges some prevailing medical assumptions about the definition of death and explores some of the philosophical contours of the brain death debate.

Disability in the Christian Tradition: A Reader, edited by Brian Brock and John Swinton, is an indispensable contribution not only to the field of disability studies but also to any contemporary attempt at engaging in serious anthropological, theological, and ethical discourse. This article provides a summary sketch of the book tracing some of the issues it addresses.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Dean Flemming on Recovering the Full Mission of God

Dean Flemming, Recovering the Full Mission of God: A Biblical Perspective on Being, Doing and Telling (Downers Grove: IVP, 2013), 288pp., ISBN 9780830840267.

Having read several bits of his earlier work (on contextualisation, missional hermeneutics, and Philippians), I’ve had this book on my wish list since I first saw its advance notice.

It’s due out soon, but IVP have made available an excerpt here.

As the subtitle says, Flemming is here exploring the relationship between being, doing and telling in Christian mission (mostly in the New Testament, but with some scene-setting chapters on the Old Testament too).

Rather than making a contrast between word and deed – which is how this discussion is often framed – Flemming is careful to talk about the connection between telling and living the good news. ‘Living’ the gospel, he notes in the Introduction to the book, ‘is a shorthand way of talking about the nonverbal aspects of our mission’, which ‘can refer to both who we are as God’s missional people and the specific practices that flow out of that identity’ (14).

He presents the heart of his thesis this way:

‘To lay my cards on the table at the start, the New Testament reveals a seamless integration of speaking, practicing and embodying the good news. If you join me on this journey, we will discover in Scripture a magnificent marriage between telling and living the gospel, one that still challenges us to get caught up in the full mission of God.

‘At the same time, we should not expect that the various biblical writers show identical perspectives on these issues. As we reflect on the different materials in Scripture, we need to ask how each of them treats the connection between being, doing and saying. Do they stress one dimension more than the others? And if so, why? We will see that not all of the New Testament writers address the issue in the same way. Different circumstances demand different approaches for the church in mission’ (15).

Jason B. Hood on Imitating God

I was asked to write six brief book notes for the November 2013 edition of EG, published by LICC. I have been posting them individually here.

Jason B. Hood, Imitating God in Christ: Recapturing a Biblical Pattern (Downers Grove: IVP, 2013).

Jesus didn’t come to die and leave us as we are; as Augustine said, ‘Christ, the master of the mint, came along to stamp the coins afresh.’ Taking his cue from Paul’s desire to see a cross-shaped pattern replicated in the lives of believers, Hood provides an illuminating treatment of imitation as a crucial dimension of the Christian faith – one which informs our identity, shapes our disciple-making and mission, and prepares us for our destiny.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Centre for Public Christianity (November 2013)

Among other items, the latest newsletter from the Centre for Public Christianity contains a link to a wide-ranging three-part video interview (on ‘beauty, justice and the faith that enhances life’) with Tom Wright, and an audio interview with Michael Jensen on ‘the counter theologies of post-Christian society that today replace belief in God’.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Paul F. Goetting on the Vocation of All Believers

I was asked to write six brief book notes for the November 2013 edition of EG, published by LICC. I’ll post them individually here over the next week or so.

Paul F. Goetting, Members are Ministers: The Vocation of All Believers (Eugene: Cascade Books, 2012).

‘The people in the pew, pouring out of the church into their various vocations following public worship, should be seen as the front line of the church’s ministry and mission. Below them, lifting up and supporting them, there are the bishops and pastors and leaders of the congregation’. Such is the vision of this former Lutheran pastor, drawing on years of ministry and teaching. Combining theological insight, historical reflection and practical wisdom, this is a compelling case for ‘the vocation of all believers’.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Word & World 33, 4 (2013) on Bread

The latest issue of Word & World is devoted to ‘Bread’. The content (with main articles and abstracts as below) is available from here.


Frederick J. Gaiser
On Eating


Jeff Wild
Anniversary Bread

David Beckmann
Bread for the World: What Pastors and Christians Need to Know about Hunger Today
Worldwide, hunger is retreating. Still, a staggering number of people live in perpetual hunger. Jesus and the prophets call us to respond, and together we can make a difference. But concerted action is required. Donating one can of food at a time, be it ever so useful, will not be sufficient to meet the crisis.

Rebecca P. Judge and Charles Taliaferro
Companionable Bread
Do U.S. trade and agricultural policies promote “companionship” (the “sharing of bread”) with other nations and peoples, or are they ways to exercise control over the bread supply to the detriment of others? The question does not permit an easy answer, but even raising it is important in our consideration of our role in an imperfect world.

Peter Speiser
Farm, Bakery, Table: Reflections on a Path of Daily Bread around the Globe
Participating in the production of our “daily bread” – whether rice in Japan, baguettes in South Africa, or lavash in Armenia – produces not only social and economic insights but theological ones as well. God provides for our physical needs, and Jesus, as the “bread of life,” satisfies even more than the rumbling of our stomachs.

Walter Brueggemann
Food Fight
The “food fight” extends throughout the Bible – the struggle for food between those who have much and those who have little. The fight betrays two contrasting ideologies or theologies about food: the conviction that the world is a closed system of limited resources versus the view that the creation is a process open to the continued gifts of a God who is anything but parsimonious.

Pamela Fickenscher
From Catherine to Katniss: Disordered Eating, Resistance, and the Eucharist
In a culture of bread and circuses, when some are obsessed with food and bodies but seldom name God as the source of nourishment and growth, the Christian community has the opportunity to celebrate and proclaim Holy Communion – the “body of Christ” – in life-giving ways that resist the reduction of food and bodies to market consumption.

Susan E. Hylen
Seeing Jesus John’s Way: Manna from Heaven
By using manna as a metaphor for Jesus, John points backwards to understand Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection as part of the Jewish story that begins with the exodus; John also points forward to the Eucharist, allowing those who partake of Jesus as manna to walk as Israelites and disciples whom God feeds with the bread of life.

Bryce Johnson
The Bread of Life
A community bread oven can be a way to gather members of a congregation and the broader community. In the oven, people bake the “bread of life” – both for their own use and the Eucharist – and they become the body of Christ in a new way.

Frederick J. Gaiser
Which Bethlehem? A Tale of Two Cities
Two stories of Bethlehem (the “house of bread”), back to back in our present Bibles, contrast the ugly consequences of hospitality denied (the Outrage at Gibeah) and the delightful consequences of hospitality given (Ruth). The hospitality granted Ruth leads even to the messianic line of Jesus – a remarkable promise to us and a lesson for our own behavior.

Face to Face

Christian Scharen
Vocational Formation for Ministry: The Need for Contextual Reflection

Walter Sundberg
Vocational Formation for Ministry: The Need for the Classical Disciplines

Texts in Context

Shauna K. Hannan
When Scripture Speaks out of Both Sides of Its Mouth: Dueling Preachers on a Faithful Food Ethic
So which is it? Do we, with Scripture, enjoy the abundance God has provided? Or do we, with Scripture, practice care for those who suffer hunger? Before we get to a too-easy “both,” we should think more deeply and theologically about the implications of each.


ESV Gospel Transformation Bible

I was asked to write six brief book notes for the November 2013 edition of EG, published by LICC. I’ll post them individually here over the next week or so.

ESV Gospel Transformation Bible (Wheaton: Crossway, 2013).

Based on the English Standard Version, here is a study Bible unlike other study Bibles. The notes seek to show how the unified message of the Bible comes to its culmination in Christ, and help readers see how the transforming message of the gospel applies in their everyday lives. Reflecting wise biblical-theological scholarship, the publishers’ byline – ‘Christ in all of Scripture. Grace for all of life.’ – nicely sums it up.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Christian Reflection on Acedia

The latest issue of Christian Reflection, published by the Center for Christian Ethics at Baylor University, is now available, this one devoted to ‘Acedia’, or sloth. The whole issue is available as a pdf here, and an accompanying Study Guide is available here. The main articles, with their abstracts, are as follows:

Robert B. Kruschwitz
Despite its prevalence in our culture, acedia may be the least understood of the seven capital vices, or ‘deadly sins.’ Our contributors trace its symptoms through daily life and commend remedies for it from the Christian tradition.

Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung
Resistance to the Demands of Love
At its core, acedia is aversion to our relationship to God because of the transforming demands of his love. God wants to kick down the whole door to our hearts and flood us with his life; we want to keep the door partway shut so that a few lingering treasures remain untouched, hidden in the shadows.

Dennis Okholm
Staying Put to Get Somewhere
We believe the ‘grass is greener’ in another marriage or church or vocation or place, but often it is the same hue. What is worse, we remain the same. Conversion and growth happen when we remain, not when we run (which is precisely what the ancients associated with acedia – a cowardly running away).

Andrew A. Michel
In Pursuit of Sophia: On Pilgrimage with Depression and Acedia
All persons will face acedia in their lives; some also face clinical depression, and it seems that depression and acedia tend to occasion one another. Depression, with the disruption it causes life and its general effect on overall temperament, allows a foothold for acedia to thoroughly ensnare one’s life.

Amy Freeman
Remedies to Acedia in the Rhythm of Daily Life
The primary remedy for acedia is being faithful in the demands of daily life that God’s love calls us to face. When we perform them with the humility of prayer, even quotidian works can enkindle the fire of God’s love in us and thereby strengthen us against the temptations of this vice.

Heather Hughes
An Unconditional Surrender: Evelyn Waugh on Acedia
Evelyn Waugh’s The Sword of Honour Trilogy is an engaging modern narrative of acedia. This saga of sloth-filled English officer Guy Crouchback is enlightening – not only for its disturbing depiction of the damage this vice causes, but also for its potential remedy in virtue.

Heidi J. Hornik
Intimate Separation

Heidi J. Hornik
A Wearied Explorer

Burt L. Burleson
Worship Service

Burt L. Burleson
I Lift My Prayer to Thee

Other Voices 

Kyle Childress
Sloth: Who Cares?
As we refuse to be involved with hurting people or with God, our refusing eventually becomes habitual. It is a joyful thing to find true rest from having gotten what our hearts desire. But there is also a sad, tired rest of sloth that comes when desire dies.

Alvin Ung
Acedia in the Workplace
His desire to quit was so overwhelming that all he could do was to go to work, one day at a time, and pray for help. Unwittingly Alvin Ung was cultivating a rhythm of work and prayer. By not quitting, he was becoming a Christian mystic in the marketplace.

John Spano
The Capital Vices: Acedia’s ‘Deadly’ Cronies
The capital vice tradition – with its origins in the ancient Christian practices of self-examination, confession, mutual correction, and penance – identifies acedia and its cronies as barriers to love. The books reviewed here introduce the tradition and offer hope for healing through God’s grace.

Jonathan Sands Wise
Diagnosing Acedia and Its Spiritual Neighbors
We have a problem of acedia, these three authors agree. It is personal and communal, innate and institutional, as old as the desert and as new as the iPhone, hard to recognize in ourselves and yet impossible to miss in our culture as a whole. And most of all, it is deadly to our spiritual lives.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

John Frame (and Others) on Systematic Theology

This month sees the release of a full volume (over 1,200 pages) on systematic theology by John M. Frame – Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing, 2013).

A long excerpt (including table of contents, analytical outline, preface, and chapter 1) is available here.

With Michael Horton’s fairly recent contribution and Michael Bird’s Evangelical Theology (also out this month), alongside what promises to be a significant textbook, Exploring Christian Doctrine, from Tony Lane (also on the way in late November), this feels like a sudden embarrassment of riches.

D.A. Carson on Expository Preaching

The Gospel Coalition has reposted a brief piece from 1996 by D.A. Carson on ‘6 Reasons Not to Abandon Expository Preaching’. Here they are:

1. It is the method least likely to stray from Scripture.
2. It teaches people how to read their Bibles.
3. It gives confidence to the preacher and authorizes the sermon.
4. It meets the need for relevance without letting the clamor for relevance dictate the message.
5. It forces the preacher to handle the tough questions.
6. It enables the preacher to expound systematically the whole counsel of God.

See here for a brief expansion of each of the points.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

9Marks Journal 10, 6 (November-December 2013) on Evangelism (Part 2)

The latest issue of the 9Marks Journal, available here as a pdf, is part 2 of an exploration of evangelism.

In the Editorial, Jonathan Leeman writes:

‘We thought about cultivating a culture of evangelism in the last issue of the 9Marks Journal. In this issue, we want to get even more practical by thinking about how to evangelize in different contexts: in the workplace, in your church, in your neighborhood, in a cross-cultural setting, across economic boundaries, with internationals in your own city, and without an altar call (what?!). We also address an issue of growing concern for many Christians: how do you share the gospel with a gay friend?

‘Cultures and nations rise and fall. The world will treat us sometimes better, sometimes worse. But whether the social trend lines are moving up or down, we must not stop sharing the good news of the one king whose promises are all true and all good.’

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Currents in Biblical Research 12, 1 (October 2013)

The latest Currents in Biblical Research is now out; abstracts of the main articles are as below.

Heath A. Thomas
A Survey of Research on Lamentations (2002–2012)
The biblical book of Lamentations has received extensive scholarly attention in the past decade, research that moves beyond traditional historical-critical approaches. Although these traditional approaches have by no means been abandoned, new trends are nevertheless emerging. This article will survey the diverse field of research on Lamentations with particular focus given to feminist, psychological, theological, ecological, post-colonial and reception-historical approaches to Lamentations. The essay will, however, begin by presenting the rich work done on historical treatments of the book, as well as discussing the text and versions of Lamentations.

Conrad E. Ostwalt
The Bible, Religion, and Film in the Twenty-first Century
This article examines developments in the academic study of the relationship between the Bible, religion, and film since 2000. The author reflects upon the status of the ‘discipline’ of ‘religion and film’, asking whether or not this area of study has evolved into a full-fledged addition to the religious studies curriculum. In addition, the article offers a brief examination of some representative films that intersect with religion and the Bible, and reviews some of the representative scholarship in the field. The conclusion of the article is that interest in religion and film is strong, and that scholarship is ongoing and productive.

David I. Yoon
The Ideological Inception of Intertextuality and its Dissonance in Current Biblical Studies
Much confusion surrounds the term ‘intertextuality’, especially regarding its usage in biblical studies today. Though the origin of the technical usage of the term is casually noted by many authors, few seem to note its implications. This essay will retrace the postmodern origins of ‘intertextuality’, namely in Julia Kristeva, and show that its usage in biblical studies today is dissonant to its original intent. In the second part of this essay, I will focus on the work of Richard Hays, who is commonly understood to have first applied the term in biblical studies, in relation to the presence of the Old Testament in the New Testament. After my analysis, I propose an alternative that I consider to be a clearer option, so as not to confuse the current usage of the term with its original intent.

Timothy W. Reardon
Recent Trajectories and Themes in Lukan Soteriology
Lukan soteriology, although playing a central role in the theology of Luke–Acts, has traditionally been viewed as an incomplete concept. Although Luke–Acts presents the reality of salvation, most suppose that there is no substantial presentation of the means of salvation. However, there have been recent challenges to the traditional conceptions of Lukan soteriology. This has included attempts to identify a more holistic understanding of salvation, alternate concepts of atonement, and reformulations of salvation history in Luke–Acts. Beginning from Hans Conzelmann’s presentation of Lukan salvation-history based on the delay of the Parousia, which is foundational for the modern discussion, we will investigate the development of the concepts of Lukan soteriology such as salvation history, the scope of salvation, presentation of the atonement and theology of the cross, identifying issues of methodology, terminology and theology necessary for the further development of Lukan soteriology.

Seth M. Ehorn
The Use of Psalm 68(67).19 in Ephesians 4.8: A History of Research
Because Eph. 4.8 has an altered citation of Ps. 68(67).19, interpreters have developed polarizing opinions about the author’s sources and his citation techniques, ranging from the claim that the citation is aberrant or that it summarizes the whole psalm. In this study, it is suggested that such diverse opinions do not take account of ancient citation practices or Jewish exegetical procedures. The survey examines key interpreters and treatments in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, focusing on the question of the author’s Vorlage and the interpretive use of the psalm in Eph. 4.8. The survey shows that the prevalent view that Ephesians appropriates a (pre-)targumic or early Christian tradition has led to an under-appreciation of the christological significance of Eph. 4.8.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Colin Bell et al. on Religious Faiths and Sustainability

Colin Bell, Jonathan Chaplin, and Robert White (eds.), Living Lightly, Living Faithfully: Religious Faiths and the Future of Sustainability (Cambridge: The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion and the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics, 2013).

Jointly published by the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion and KLICE, the above book, based on the ‘Sustainability in Crisis’ conference of 2011, is available in print form at £7 or free as a PDF and on Kindle from here.

Here is some blurb:

Living Lightly, Living Faithfully explores the distinctive contributions that religions can make to confronting the challenges of sustainability. Originating from a conference at Cambridge University, it contains essays from a wide variety of authors representing diverse faith and secular positions, helping us chart a path towards a more sustainable future, and inspiring us to set out on it with renewed passion and hope.’

Friday, 1 November 2013

Mission Frontiers 35, 6 (November-December 2013)

The November-December 2013 issue of Mission Frontiers, published by the U.S. Center for World Mission, contains a number of articles on the topic of ‘Unleashing the Gospel through Storytelling’.

‘In this post-Gutenberg era stories and storytelling have taken center stage once again. Considering the fact that 75% of the Bible's literary form is story, followers of Christ everywhere should pay attention. Stories are not just for children and the illiterate. They speak to us all. They are a powerful tool that should be wielded as we seek to unleash the blessing of the gospel upon all nations.’

Individual articles can be accessed from here, and the whole issue (16.1 MB) can be downloaded as a pdf here.

Theos Report on Belief in Post-Religious Britain

The Spirit of Things Unseen: Belief in Post-Religious Britain (London: Theos, 2013).

The latest Theos report, The Spirit of Things Unseen, ‘is based on research, commissioned by CTVC and Theos and conducted by ComRes, which looks at the state of spiritual belief in “postreligious” Britain. It finds that spiritual beliefs, in particular the more esoteric ones, are no weaker today – and in some instances stronger – than they were in the past’.

More information is available here, and the full report is available for download here.