2003 Volume 30

Issue 01 -- Spring 2003

Southern Theologian in Crisis: Frank Stagg, Atonement, and the Post-War South: pg. 5-20
Mark Wilson
Auburn University
Auburn, Alabama 35849
In 1951, Frank Stagg, Professor of New Testament Interpretation at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, delivered an address on the atonement of Christ that challenged the prevailing doctrinal views of his southern constituency. This paper explores the controversial reception of his theological views by the editors of The Faith and Southern Baptists and links Stagg's understanding of atonement to his views on race relations in the 1950's. Formally charged with theology heresy by some students and seminary trustees in 1956, Stagg managed to escape conviction, continuing a long and distinguished career as a Southern Baptist theological education.

The Historical Jesus in the World of Eduard Schweizer: pg. 21-28
Edwin K. Broadhead
Berea College
Berea, Kentucky 40404
Eduard Schweizer, a student of Bultmann, continues to speak to the question of the historical Jesus. Schweizer's approach is dialogical and integrative.  For Schweizer interest in the earthly Jesus is stirred by the experience of the risen Lord, and the contours of the risen Christ are maintained by the story of his earthly ministry.  This duality shapes the development of Christological tradition, and it accounts for the unity of the New Testament canon. Various social and theological issues underlie Schweizer's description of the historical Jesus; chief among these is his engagement with the great teachers under whom he studied.

Postliberals, Truth, Ad Hock Apologetics, and (Something Like) General Revelation: pg. 29-54
Richard Crane
Messiah College
Grantham, Pennsylvania 17027
Following Karl Barth, postliberal theologians George Lindbeck and Hans Frei rejected the systematic apologetic enterprise of modern theology and proposed an alternative, ad hoc apologetic strategy for engaging the culture. Ad hoc apologetics depends upon the assumption that persons outside the Christian community are able to recognize truth in partial and fragmentary ways. Traditionally, this recognition has been articulated in terms of the category of general revelation. However, this concept is not easily accommodated by Lindbeck’s postliberal theological method. This article presents a pneumatological alternative to the traditional category of general revelation that is capable of providing a theological rationale for the confidence that ad hoc apologetics is a worthwhile endeavor.

Seizure by Divine Raptor: The Pathic Theology of Reinhard Hütter: pg. 55-70
Jeff B. Pool
Brite Divinity School
Fort Worth, Texas 76129
This essay critically reviews the book: Reinhard Hütter, Suffering Divine Things: Theology as Church Practice (trans. Doug Stott; Eerdmans, 2000). Following a summary of this book’s larger argument, the article identifies several significant weaknesses in the book: (1) the Eurocentric character of the book’s theological perspective; (2) the classical theistic doctrine of God that provides the basis of the book’s argument, as represented in the primary metaphor of God as divine raptor; (3) the largely deterministic theological anthropology that correlates to Hütter’s understanding of God; (4) the thoroughly anthropocentric character of the book's theological proposal; (5) the almost uncritical acceptance and use of ecclesiastical dogma as the basis for the book's theological program; and (6) the virtually sectarian andanti-cultural nature of Hütter’s understanding of theology as church practice.

An Evangelical Theology for a Postmodern Age: Stanley J. Grenz’s Current Theological Project: pg. 71-94
Mark S. Medley
Campbellsville University
Campbellsville, Kentucky 42718
Stanley J. Grenz is considered on of North America’s leading evangelical theologians. In recent years Grenz has turned his attention to the renewal of the center of evangelical theology in a postmodern situation. Such an effort by Grenz can be said to constitute his current theological project. This review essay attempts to analyze selected key aspects of his current project. In particular, the essay focuses on (1) Grenz’s call for renewing the center of evangelicalism, (2) his post-conservative, postfoundationalist theological method, (3) his vision of a postfoundationalist, evangelical theology as triniatarian, communal and eschatological, (4) how points 2 and 3 converge in The Social God and the Relational Self, and (5) his proposal for an evangelical ethics that is centered on the comprehensive ethic of love.

Reforming Evangelicalism: pg. 95-104
Roger Olson
George W. Truett Theological Seminary
Waco, Texas 76798
In this paper I would like to present a few ideas about evangelicalism and its reform. My thesis is that evangelicalism -- which I will do my best to delineate -- now stands in need of reform just as fundamentalism needed reform in the 1940’s and 1950’s. True reform in evangelical theology lies in striking the right balance and holding the right dialectical tension between unity and diversity, doctrine and experience, and tradition and innovation.

Issue 02 -- Summer 2003

Participating in the life of God: A Trinitarian Pneumatology: pg. 139-50
Molly T. Marshall
Central Baptist Theological Seminary
Kansas City, Kansas 66102
A renaissance is occurring in the study of Pneumatology. There is more to be done, however, especially in linking the constructive work in Trinitarian theology with a renewed theology of the Spirit of God, which is the focus of this paper. First, I will address the recovery of Pneumatology in contemporary constructive theology. Then I will review how the utilization of the ancient doctrine of perichoresis functions as the means for all creation to participate in the life of God. Finally, this paper will briefly suggest distinctive missions of the Spirit within the Trinitarian movement of God in which we are invited to participate, an area insufficiently developed in many treatments.

World, Winds, and Whirlwinds: The Voice of God Meets “The Vice of God”: pg. 151-60
J. Randall O’Brien
Baylor University
Waco, Texas 76798
In this world, cruel winds of suffering, evil, and death, like those in the Book of Job, routinely tear through the lives of the innocent. From Abel, whose name means “wind or breath,” symbolizing the fleeting nature of life, to Auschwitz, that name now synonymous with evil, unforgettable images of death lodge in our collective mind. The immediate past century bears the epithet, “Century of Death,” with forty million persons killed in war, while four times that number were annihilated in ethnic cleansing campaigns. It is in this context that we read the book of Job. In this article I hope to show that Job’s transformation to a theocentric worldview in response to the Yahweh speeches is key to understanding plot and sub-plot resolutions in the book.

From Death to Life: The Expanding Ruah in Ezekiel: pg. 161-72
Pamela E. Kinlaw
Wheeling Jesuit University
Wheeling, West Virginia 26003
The term Ruah in Ezekiel carries several connotations, such as “wind,” “spirit,” and “side,” that seem disparate when categorized as unrelated meanings. When the book is read with the term “expanding symbol” in mind, however, one can see that the implied reader is led to a development of the term Ruah throughout the book that brings the reader into the miraculous rhythm of God’s interaction with humans, a movement from exile to restoration, from death to life, and from absence to presence.

The Dispute Over Food Sacrificed to Idols (1 Cor 8:1-11:1): pg. 173-98
David E. Garland
George W. Truett Theological Seminary
Waco, Texas 76798
The thesis of this paper is that, contrary to a popular reading of 1 Cor 8:1-11:1, Paul forbade Christians from any association with any food overtly connected to idolatry. He understands the Christian confession of one God and one Lord to require exclusive loyalty so that even a token or make-believe show of fealty to an idol compromises the loyalty owed only to God and Christ. Some have regarded the chapters to be a patchwork of interpolations, while others misread Paul’s unequivocal rejection of anything explicitly connected to idols and assume that he made concessions and permitted supposedly innocuous, social dining in an idol’s shrine. Neither view is correct. Paul creatively adapts the foundational Jewish confession that God is one by adding “one Lord, Jesus Christ” (8:6). The upshot is that Christians may not consort with idols or even give the appearance that they do. Such restrictions were potentially onerous for converts since occasions for eating in connection with an idol or on the premises of an idol’s temple were numerous.

The Lord’s Table: Divine or Human Remembrance?: pg. 199-210
David B. Capes
Houston Baptist University
Houston TX 77074
In his classic book, The Eucharistic Words of Jesus, Joachim Jeremias argues that the dominical directive central to the Lord’s Supper, “Do this in remembrance of me” (1 Cor 11:24-25; Luke 22:19), interprets the Lord’s table as a liturgical act evoking God's remembrance of the covenant established in Jesus’ blood. Scholars have been divided on the issue. Many have opted for the more traditional idea that the actions and words are regularly repeated so that the ekklesia might remember Jesus’ redemptive act. Others have been more eclectic, saying the Lord’s Supper evokes both human and divine remembrance. In the following essay, I will argue in support of Jeremias’s contention based upon the form and content of recently published liturgical texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls (DDS). Central to these festival prayers is the invocation that calls upon God to remember his covenant and establish his people.  Unless the convictions expressed in these prayers are sectarian and not widely held, it is likely this mode of worship was available to fashion early Christian piety when it came to the celebration of the Lord’s table.

The Divine Fuge: Robert Jenson's Renewed Trinitarianism—A Review Essay: pg. 211-16
Stanley J. Grenz
Baylor University
Waco, Texas 76798
Historians routinely date the renewal of trinitarian theology to Karl Barth, who began his magisterial Church Dogmatics by treating God’s triunity as prolegomenon. Since Barth’s pioneering work, a host of others have taken up the task of explicating the doctrine. Although the list of contributors to the contemporary renaissance in trinitarian studies is legion and includes some of the most respected persons in the theological hall of fame, perhaps no one has offered a more thorough-going, challenging and far-reaching trinitarian theology than Robert Jenson, who, the opinion of Time magazine notwithstanding, may indeed be the most significant American theologian of our day. The goal of this review essay is to sketch in what sense Jenson’s trinitarian theology offers promise for theological reflection today.

Issue 03 -- Fall 2003

“Philo Has Not Been Used Half Enough”: The Significance of Philo of Alexandria for the Study of the New Testament: pg. 251-70
Gregory E. Sterling
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana 46556
Are the works of Philo important for our understanding of the New Testament and Christian origins? I suggest that they are. In fact, I think that the Philonic corpus is the single most important body of material from Second Temple Judaism for our understanding of the development of Christianity in the first and second centuries. Perhaps this will strike you as an extravagant claim in light of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Josephan corpus. I would not deny the importance of either of those corpuses for the study of the New Testament and Christian origins. I am convinced, however, that the Philonic corpus helps us to understand the dynamics of early Christianity more adequately than any other corpus. I do not want to suggest that Philo or his corpus was directly responsible for the development of Christian thought, but that his corpus is a window into the world of Second Temple Judaism in the Diaspora that formed the matrix for Christian theology.

Philo’s Use of Syncrisis: An Examination of Philonic Composition in the Light of the Progymnasmata: pg. 271-98
Michael Martin
Baylor University
Waco, Texas 76798
The aim of this study is to shed light on a rhetorical and compositional technique taught in the progymnasmata and used by Philo in his exegetical treatises, the technique of syncrisis. The study will proceed in three stages. In the first section, we will describe the technique of syncrisis as it is variously taught by the authors of the extant progymnasmata. Secondly, we will survey Philo’s use of syncrisis, showing how he crafts comparisons according to the canons preserved in these textbooks. In the final section of the study, we will examine Philo’s use of syncrisis in structuring discourse in De Abrahamo, De Virtutibus, and De Sacrificiis.

Philo’s De somniis in the Context of Ancient Dream Theories and Classifications: pg. 299-312
Derek S. Dodson
Baylor University
Waco, Texas 76798
The claim that Philo’s De somniis has affinities with the dream literature of antiquity is not new. The tendency of scholarship has been to identify the particular tradition on which Philo bases his dream classification, which is usually recognized as the Stoic tradition. Recently, however, Robert Berchman has given an interpretation of Philo’s dream theory in light of Artemidorus, the author of the second-century Oneirocritica. His interpretation, which will be considered in the second part of this article, is less than satisfactory; but an analysis of Philo’s De somniis in light of Artemidorus is beneficial. The purpose of this article is to (1) survey Greco-Roman dream theories and classifications and (2) to interpret Philo's De somniis in this context, particularly in light of Artemidorus.

Philo’s View of Homosexual Activity: pg. 313-24
J. Edward Ellis
Baylor University
Waco, Texas 76798
In this paper, I shall examine the view of Hellenistic Jew, Philo. I shall seek to answer two questions. First, I shall ask, “What sort(s) of homosexual activity does Philo address?” Second, I shall ask, “Why, in Philo's eyes, is homosexual activity wrong?” That is, if one asked Philo, “What is it about homosexual activity that makes it bad?” how might Philo respond? With regard to my first question, I conclude that Philo addresses male homosexual activity, both man-boy activity and man-man activity. With regard to my second question, I conclude that Philo believes male homosexual activity is wrong because it conflicts with nature in that (1) it involves an unnatural indulgence in pleasure, (2) it does not involve procreation, and (3) it places a male partner in the role of a female, thus demeaning and weakening that partner.

Enabling Charis: Transformation of the Convention of Reciprocity by Philo and in Ephesians: pg. 325-58
Jason Whitlark
Baylor University
Waco, Texas 76798
In this paper, I will show the connection between charis and reciprocity from representative texts that originated in the classical Greek period. Second, the Greco-Roman institution of benefaction, based upon reciprocity, will be characterized, paying special attention to the use of charis in that convention as well as to the expectations that the benefactor-beneficiary relationship engendered in the respective participants. I will next discuss the soteriological implications of reciprocity, arguing that reciprocity is a synergistic construct parallel to E. P. Sanders’ notion of covenantal nomism. Next, I will examine one representative from Hellenistic Judaism and one from Hellenistic Christianity, namely Philo and the letter to the Ephesians. Though my predominant concern will be with how the ancient auditor would have heard Eph 2:5, 8 and Paul’s declaration that Christians are saved by charis, both representatives will demonstrate that, while drawing upon some of the aspects of Greco-Roman benefaction and the language of charis associated with it, they, nevertheless, divest the relationship with God of reciprocity by replacing it with the notion of divine enablement and thereby found salvation on a different scheme than that of covenantal nomism.

Abraham’s Hospitality among Jewish and Early Christian Writers: A Tradition History of Gen 18:1-16 and Its Relevance for the Study of the New Testament: pg. 359-76
Andrew E. Arterbury
Baylor University
Waco, Texas 76798
In this article, I intend to chart the tradition history of Abraham’s hospitality as recorded in Gen 18:1-16 as a way of illuminating a handful of passages in the New Testament. Similar works exist that trace the history of the Abrahamic tradition but they do so from different perspectives. For instance, L. Thunberg primarily discusses how early Christian writers treated the identity of the three travelers who approach Abraham in Genesis 18, and J. A. Loader primarily discusses the various interpretations of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah among later exegetes. To my knowledge, however, no one has focused upon the evolution of Abraham's hospitality, which is first recorded in Genesis 18. I plan to do so in this article.

Issue 04 -- Winter 2003

“Let Love Clasp Grief Lest Both Be Drowned”: pg. 381-98
Samuel E. Balentine
Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond
Richmond, Virginia 23227
The Book of Job is about friendship. For all its heavy hitting on such important theological topics as innocent suffering and the justice or injustice of God, it is the theology of friendship that provides the frame for the book's central concerns. In between the beginning and ending of the book, the twists and turns of Job's painful journey tracks through the dialogues with various “friends”—Eliphas, Bildad, Zophar, Elihu, and God - who make their way to ash heap with words meant to make a difference in his situation. Indeed, of the forty-two chapters that comprise the Book of Job, no less than thirty-eight of them, roughly ninety percent of the entire story, are forged in the crucible of a lingering, but never articulated question: Who will be Job’s friend?

“After Three Days” in Mark 8:31; 9:31; and 10:34: Subordinating Jesus’ Resurrection in the Second Gospel: pg. 399-424
Mark Proctor
Houston Baptist University
Houston, Texas 77072
Comparing the wording of the passion predictions in Mark 8:31, 9:31, and 10:33 with the importance Paul and others attributed to the “third day” resurrection motif reveals a distinct peculiarity.  Whereas the primitive gospel claimed Jesus arose “on the third day,” Mark has his protagonist predict on three separate occasions that he would rise “after three days.”  Mark’s use of meta treis hemeras in 8:31, 9:31, and 10:33 constitutes his deliberate attempt to de-emphasize traditional teaching about the resurrection by (a) robbing Jesus’s passion predictions of their numerical precision as a means of (b) subordinating the resurrection to the account of Jesus’s death.

Reconfiguring the Rhetorical Study of Acts: Reflections on the Method in and the Learning of a Progymnastic Poetics: pg. 425-40
Todd Penner
Austin College
Sherman, Texas 75090
The study of Lukan rhetoric in Acts, like the study of genre and narrative techniques, has commonly focused on the learned "adult" world of antiquity (in this case the classical handbook tradition). Focusing on the recent work of David Moessner, the argument developed here is that scholars need to be more attuned to the broader socio-cultural context in and through which young students were shaped. Using as a model the Progymnasmata (the rhetorical training exercises), a progymnastic poetics is set forth that seeks to counteract some of the "adult" thinking regarding ancient writing practices, processes, and productions.

The Clue is in the Case: Distinguishing Adjectival and Adverbial Participles: pg. 441-54
Martin M. Culy
Briercrest Biblical Seminary
Caronport, SK S0H 0S0
Greek grammars invariably (and appropriately) focus on describing the various adverbial functions that the participle may have. Some, like D. B. Wallace’s recent work, go a step further and attempt to highlight clues within the syntax that point to a particular usage. In their rush to explain the various adverbial functions, however, Greek scholars have overlooked an important, simple rule for distinguishing adverbial participles from adjectival participles. As we will see, this oversight has led to a widespread tendency in standard grammars inadvertently to use texts with adjectival participles as examples of various sorts of adverbial participles. The rule recognizes a basic case constraint on Greek participles: Adverbial participles will always be nominative, except in genitive absolute constructions or when they modify an infinitive.Such a rule will not only significantly simplify the process of distinguishing between adverbial and adjectival participles—and so be welcomed by students laboring to master Greek syntax—but will also have an impact on how we translate clauses containing adjectival participles that have traditionally been viewed as adverbial.

Toward an Undomesticated Gospel: A Response to D. A. Carson: pg. 455-62
Stanley J. Grenz
Carey Theological College
Vancouver, BC V6T 1J
D. A. Carson has most forcefully expressed his worries about my theological proposal in his lengthy review of my book Renewing the Center, entitled “Domesticating the Gospel,” that was originally posted to the website of Modern Reformation and was subsequently published in the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology. Basically, he fears that I am “drifting toward” those who “squander their heritage” and “domesticate the gospel to the contemporary worldview.” As I understand the paltry level of scholarship that it evidences, the sympathy to postmodern impulses that lies behind it, and the proposal for evangelical theology that is sets forth. In the following paragraphs, I offer a brief response to his overarching fear by looking at these three aspects, while seeking to advance the theological conversation that I hoped to ignite in my book in the light of Carson’s review.

Revisiting the Wall of Separation: A Review Essay: pg. 463-70
Barry Hankins
Baylor University
Waco, Texas 76798
The books reviewed in this essay are part of a growing body of church-state scholarship that calls into question what had been until roughly twenty years ago the standard separationist interpretation of the First Amendment.  The most important is Philip Hamburger’s massive Separation of Church and State (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002).  Other books reviewed include Daniel Dreisbach, Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation Between Church and State (New York: New York University Press, 2002); Louis Fisher, Religious Liberty in America: Political Safeguards (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2002); Steven P. Brown, Trumping Religion: The New Christian Right, The Free Speech Clause, and the Courts (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2002); David Lowenthal, Present Dangers: Rediscovering the First Amendment (Dallas: Spence Publishing, 2002).