2006 Volume 33

Issue 01 -- Spring 2006

Introduction: In Honor of James Leo Garrett: pg. 3-6
William H. Brackney, Guest Editor
Baylor University
Waco, TX 76798

Karl Barth’s Conversation with the Fathers: A Paradigm for Ressourcement in Baptist and Evangelical Theology: pg. 7-24

Steve R. Harmon
Campbell University Divinity School
Buies Creek, NC 27506
This article explores Karl Barth’s interaction with the early church fathers as a possible paradigm for Baptist and evangelical theologians who are increasingly interested in retrieving the patristic theological tradition for contemporary constructive theology. After offering biographical evidence of Barth’s serious career-long interest in the church fathers as theological dialogue partners, the article sets forth a series of six observations on the overall shape of Barth's interaction with patristic authors and texts in the Church Dogmatics before concluding with several reflections on the possibilities for a Baptist and evangelical retrieval of patristic theology suggested by Barth’s patristic ressourcement.

James Leo Garrett Jr. and the Doctrine of Revelation: pg. 25-40

Bob E. Patterson
Baylor University
Waco, TX 76798
Professor James Leo Garrett Jr. in volume one of his Systematic Theology (1990) gives 139 pages to the subjects of general and special revelation, revelation and the world religions, biblical inspiration, interpretation, the canon, the dependability of the Bible, and authority in Christianity. Other Baptist writers are examining these same issues, but Professor Garrett's treatment can serve as a guide for the rest of us. His method is first to locate, interpret, and correlate all the pertinent Old and New Testament texts and the more significant statements from the patristic period to the modern age before constructing any formulation of his own. The purpose of this essay is to examine Professor Garrett's doctrine of revelation.

Baptists and the American Tradition of Religious Liberty: pg. 41-66
Derek H. Davis
Baylor University
Waco, TX 76798
Baptists in the United States have long stood for religious freedom. This article traces the distinctive contributions made to the American principle of religious freedom, beginning with Roger Williams in the seventeenth century and continuing down to the present day. In recent years the meaning of religious freedom has been a subject of considerable disagreement among Baptists. These differences, which reflect the larger culture war taking place across the nation, are seen in the positions taken by the leading Baptist public advocacy organizations, the Baptist Joint Committee and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Lordship of Christ, Biblical Authority, and Religious Liberty in Baptist World Congresses, 1905-1955: pg. 67-88
Charles W. Deweese
Baptist History and Heritage Society
Brentwood, TN 37024
This article attempts to capture three key emphases of Baptist World Congress addresses during the Baptist World Alliance's first half century. Prepared in honor of James Leo Garrett Jr., noted Southern Baptist historical theologian, who has served as a major participant in BWA commissions and congresses, this article also seeks to describe three concepts important to Garrett's life and writings. This article makes its case by presenting actual excerpts from numerous congress documents.

The Wider Ecumenism of Hans Küng: pg. 89-104

Paul F. Sands
Baylor University
Waco, TX 76798
Since the 1980s, ecumenical Catholic theologian Hans Küng has contributed a series of important studies in the theology of religions. Küng advocates a “wider ecumenism”-one that reaches beyond the community of Christian churches to include the world's great religions. His work is rooted in the three-fold conviction that religious pluralism is here to stay, that peace among the religions is crucial to world peace, and that all religions stand to gain from interreligious dialogue. In this paper, I focus on those aspects of Küng's ecumenical theology that touch directly on questions of salvation and theological norms.

Are Baptists Evangelicals?: The Question Revisited: pg. 105-22
William H. Brackney
Baylor University
Waco, TX 76798
I have rejoined the debate of 1983 that Professors Leo Garrett and Glenn Hinson engaged, “Are Southern Baptists Evangelicals?” With the passing of time and evident cultural changes, evangelicalism has grown and influenced the course of Christian work. I redefine the term, by separating an adjectival (evangelical) from a nominative (Evangelical) usage. I draw upon Baptist and Evangelical history to note commonalties and influences. Organized Evangelicals have no monopoly on evangelical tenets and must be more inclusive of all those rightly considered evangelical. A new consensus must emerge that recognizes the synergism of Baptists and evangelicals of several types.

The Scholarship of James Leo Garrett: A Bibliography: pg. 123
Benjamin B. Phillips
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Houston Campus
Houston, TX 77087

Issue 02 -- Summer 2006

Luke Among Baptists: pg. 137-54
Mikeal C. Parsons
Baylor University
Waco, TX 76798
This study represents an effort to determine specific ways in which Baptists have actually used the Bible in their confessions, sermons, and other documents. We believe that this study will illustrate the diversity of Baptist responses to the text of Scripture and the various hermeneutical approaches that have characterized Baptist groups and individuals from the sixteenth century to the present.

A New Womanhood: Vida Dutton Scudder: pg. 155-72
Elizabeth Hinston-Hasty
Bellarmine University
Louisville, KY 40205
This article seeks to expand our understanding of social gospeler’s attitudes toward women. Scholars often criticize Walter Rauschenbusch, the most widely recognized social gospel theologian, for upholding Victorian attitudes toward women. However, there are other social gospel leaders to whom we should look to fully understand social gospel attitudes toward women. The notion of new womanhood that emerged from Vida Dutton Scudder’s writings provides an alternate view. Scudder thought modern women should be educated, professional, and religious. New women should draw upon their own instincts to advance a new more cooperative social order.

Free and Faithful Witness: Karl Barth on Believer's Baptism and the Church's Relation to the State: pg. 173-86
Tracey Mark Stout
Bluefield College
Bluefield, VA 24605
This article is a study of Karl Barth's ecclesiology. John Howard Yoder argued that Barth developed a free church ecclesiology. To examine such a reading the article details Barth's understanding of the state as ordained by God to maintain order in a sinful world. Barth's view of the church as a free and voluntary community is then placed alongside his strong view of the state. The church must be free to offer witness to Christ to state and society, so its interests cannot be tied to the interests of the state. Barth's rejection of infant baptism is the result of this ecclesiology.

The Promise of Postfoundational Theology at the Religiously-Affiliated University: pg. 187-202

Steve Oldham
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
Belton, TX 76513
I will argue in this paper that John Henry Newman’s choice between an unchanging, timeless, authoritatively true theology and a shifting, uncertain, individualized theology, are not the only options available today. I will discuss four different theological approaches to test whether they fall victim to Newman's charge. To do so, I will suggest a taxonomy of theological approaches based on how they negotiate the problem of doctrinal change while at the same time noting how well they promote interdisciplinarity, and how adequately they maintain identity to their religious heritage.

Can Baptist Theology Sustain the Life of the Mind? The Quest for a Vital Baptist Academy: pg. 203-26
Douglas V. Henry
Baylor University
Waco, TX 76798
Though a vital theological tradition properly stands behind any Christian university, Baptist universities need a well-defined theology of higher education more than ever. In this article, a MacIntyrean argument for such a theology is offered, followed by discussion of the reasons why Baptists have failed to ground academic life in their own theological tradition. After delineating a theology of higher education informed by one strand of Baptist tradition, liberty, the article concludes by affirming Richard Hughes’ claim: “The Baptist tradition possesses some of the richest theological resources for sustaining the life of the mind that one can possibly imagine.”

Theological Education and the Task of Theology: pg. 227-40
Dean M. Martin
Baylor University
Waco, TX 76798
The aim of this article is to sketch the kind of activity in which the theologian properly engages. His/her task, it will be argued, is to describe the already established faith of the Christian church. In carrying out that responsibility the theologian’s work has a direct bearing upon the role of the pastor, especially in his/her role as preacher. Then, too, in related ways, the religious educator's labors are related to theological reflection about the central concepts of the faith passed down to succeeding generations. Finally, it is argued, theological skills are requisite for those serving on mission fields where a non-Christian heritage dominates and where the culture is very different from the missionary’s own. In the final analysis, it will be argued, more rather than fewer theological skills are called for in order properly to equip professional ministers of all kinds for the responsibilities that await them in the world. Indeed, the point will be that those ministers themselves are to assimilate theological skills-even become theologians-precisely in order to perform their many faceted tasks as ministers.

Issue 03 -- Fall 2006

Introduction: pg. 283-84
Fisher Humphreys
Beeson Divinity School
Birmingham, AL 35229

The Revelation of the Trinity: 285-304
Fisher Humphreys
Beeson Divinity School
Birmingham, AL 35229
The New Testament records a revelation of the Trinity that was given in four phases: A Trinitarian history gave rise to a Trinitarian faith, which in turn gave rise to a Trinitarian common life in the church, which in turn gave rise to the 120 passages in the New Testament in which the Father, Son, and Spirit are mentioned together. This historical-critical account of the 120 passages, all of which occur without any explanation or defense, is simultaneously an account of the biblical revelation of the Trinity and has multiple implications for the life and thought of the church today.

From Triadic Narrative to Narrating the Triune God: The Development of Patristic Trinitarian Theology: pg. 305-22
Steven R. Harmon
Campbell University Divinity School
Buies Creek, NC 27506
The development of patristic Trinitarian theology may be characterized as a movement from the rehearsal of a triadic narrative to the narration of a mature theological characterization of the Triune God that was not yet disconnected from the economy of salvation. This development may be appreciated by beginning with the early second-century correspondence of Ignatius of Antioch. The first major portion of the article explores Ignatius's reception of antecedent triadic traditions in order to supply the context for a survey of the major episodes in the early church's ongoing efforts to address the tensions and difficulties already inherent in the Ignatian correspondence and its triadic narration of the economy of salvation.

God in Three Persons: Baptist Unitarianism and the Trinity: pg. 323-44

Curtis W. Freeman
Duke University Divinity School
Durham, NC 27708
This article seeks to understand why most Baptists are Unitarians that simply have not yet gotten around to denying the Trinity. By examining the history of Baptist reflections on the Trinity from the seventeenth to the twentieth century the article displays that Baptists historically have not simply been indifferent Trinitarians, but instead have been implicit (and sometimes explicit) Unitarians. While liberals have seemed inclined to find Unitarianism of the First Person as more reasonable, evangelicals have been prone to regard Unitarianism of the Second Person as more relevant. Even more surprising is the fact that Baptists embraced Unitarianism less because of the challenges of rationalism and more out of their conviction of biblicism.

Only the Triune God Can Help: The Relation of the Trinity to Theodicy: pg. 345-59

Warren McWilliams
Oklahoma Baptist University
Shawnee, OK 74804
The purpose of this essay is to explore the relations between the problem of evil and suffering and the doctrine of the Trinity. The primary focus is on the implications of the Trinity for responding to the issue of evil and suffering, traditionally known as theodicy. The thesis is that an authentically Christian doctrine of God, one which accents God's triune nature, is essential to making an adequate response to theodicy. Critical interaction with Jürgen Moltmann's theology leads to some theological and practical conclusions

The Trinity and Non-Christian Religions: A Perspective That Makes Use of Paul Tillich as Resource: pg. 361-73
Robison B. James
University of Richmond and Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond
Richmond, VA 23227

Participating in the Trinity: pg. 375-91
Paul S. Fiddes
Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford
A survey of the theme of ‘participating in God’ in the Christian theological tradition shows some reservations about the idea. We can only get beyond the problems that earlier theologians recognized if we adopt a thoroughly trinitarian approach to participation. This means thinking of all created beings as sharing in the interweaving, mutual relations of the Trinity (perichoresis), though in different ways. In turn this means conceiving the triune ‘persons,’ in a participative way, as movements of relation rather than individual subjects. This approach acknowledges mystery in our knowledge of God, is the basis for a vision of the persuasive activity of God in the world, and should lead to an increase in empathy and compassion for others.

Issue 04 -- Winter 2006

Where is God? Divine Absence in Israelite Religion: pg 395-414
Joel Burnett
Baylor University
Waco, TX 76798
Attention to God’s apparent absence is nowhere more poignant in the Old Testament than in connection with the Babylonian destruction and exile. For some time now, scholarship on the Hebrew Bible has given attention to this side of the biblical portrayal of the divine. What is currently lacking is a thorough study that has divine absence as its focus, one that considers the literary and theological significance of this biblical theme as it appears throughout the Old Testament. I will address the concern for divine absence in Israelite religion and, where possible, situate it within its broader West Semitic cultural and religious context. My aim is to demonstrate that divine absence was a basic and thoroughgoing concern of Israelite religion, even before the national experience of the Babylonian exile and destruction of the temple.

“In the Beginning”: Post-Critical Reflections on Early Christian Textual Transmission and Modern Textual Transgression In Memoriam William R. Farmer: pg 415-34
Todd Penner
Austin College
Sherman, TX 75090
Beginning with a story about a personal encounter with William Farmer, and expanding beyond that to reflections on the method and premises articulated in David Peabody, Lamar Cope, and Allan J. McNicol, One Gospel from Two: Mark’s Use of Matthew and Luke (Valley Forge: Trinity Press International, 2002), I set forth some broad considerations regarding the modern conception of textual criticism, particularly as it relates to the various debates centering on the “Synoptic Problem.” Modern textual arguments reflect our own ideological and theological predilections, but we tend to speak about and conceive of our methods in a way that reinforces the notion that they provide us with “hard evidence” disconnected from our own personal investments.

Un-Doubting Thomas: Recognition Scenes in the Ancient World: pg 435-48

Stan Harstine
Friends University
Wichita, KS 67213

Tuning the Faith: The Cornelius Story in Resonance Perspective: pg 449-66

David Lertis Matson
Hope International University
Fullerton, CA 92831
Warren S. Brown
Fuller Theological Seminary
Pasadena, CA 91182
The story of Cornelius in the Book of Acts is important on a number of levels, not least of which is the way various sources of theological authority interact to bring about resolution of an issue of central concern to the early church: the admittance of Gentiles into the faith on the same basis as Jews. Unfortunately, the role that these sources play in arriving at this crucial decision often escapes the notice of commentators and theologians alike. This article seeks to identify what those sources are and demonstrate their congruence at key junctures in the narrative, using an auditory/acoustic metaphor recently developed as a way to consider the relationship between neuroscience and Christian faith. It is hoped that this integrative approach to the question of truth and its competing sources might provide a working model for the doing of theology today.

Seeing the Whole World: Intertextuality and the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21-22): pg 467-76

Ryan S. Schellenberg
Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary
Fresno, CA 93727
The Apocalypse of John offers its auditors a highly dualistic vision of the world, asserting that complicity with the Roman Empire and faithfulness to God are mutually exclusive. Nevertheless, John’s vision of the new Jerusalem establishes an imaginative world of wholeness and coherence wherein the false dichotomies that plague his auditors are resolved. An exploration of the intertexts with which his depiction of new Jerusalem is in dialogue provides a foundation for apprehending John's symbolic resolution of the ostensibly inherent tension between sexuality and purity, between the sacred and the mundane, between prosperity and justice, and between civilization and paradise.

Implications of Evolutionary Theories for Christian Teachings about War and Peace: pg 477-94

Paul Lewis
Mercer University
Macon, GA 31207

The Biblical Archaeology Movement: Building and Re-Building the Albright House--A Review Essay: pg 495-506
Frederick L. Downing
Valdosta State University
Valdosta, GA 31698