2012 Volume 39

Issue 01 -- Spring 2012

Editorial Introduction: The Macedonian Correspondence: pp. 3-4
Mikeal C. Parsons
Baylor University
Waco, TX 76798

Why Did Paul Preach “Christ Crucified” in Corinth? A New Answer to an Old Question from an Unexpected Place: pp. 5-13
Todd D. Still
Truett Seminary, Baylor University
Waco, TX 76798

Interpreters have answered the question posed in the title of this paper in sundry ways. Theological and rhetorical considerations notwithstanding, most scholars have suspected that congregational and autobiographical factors also shaped Paul's decision “to know nothing among [the Corinthians] except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor 2:2). This study posits that in addition to various forces at play in Corinth one should pay careful attention to a heretofore neglected influence, namely, Paul's proclamation and the reception thereof in Thessalonica, as evidenced by 1 (and 2) Thessalonians. It appears that Paul’s emphasis upon Christ’s parousia while in Thessalonica prompted some within that assembly to fixate upon the soon-to-come Day of the Lord. When in Corinth c. AD 50, Paul maintained consistent communication with the Thessalonians and was all too aware of the problems that preoccupation with the parousia was causing that church. Arguably, this is one reason why Paul determined to emphasize Christ’s cross over Christ's coming when preaching the gospel in Corinth. As it happens, Paul's proclamation in Corinth does not appear to have been as enthusiastically received as his preachment in Thessalonica. This may be attributable to any number of theological and contextual factors. Interestingly, the symbol of the cross remained a scandal for Christians long after believers readily embraced the word of the cross that Paul declared in Corinth (and elsewhere).

Figuring Joy: Gratitude as Medicine in 1 Thessalonians 2:1-20: pp. 15-23
Michael R. Whitenton
Baylor University
Waco, TX 76798

There has long existed a lacuna in rhetorical studies in Paul when one considers 1 Thessalonians; this gap is all the more pronounced when one enters the study of the emotions therein. Attempting to fill this lacuna, this article explores 1 Thess 2:1-20 from the perspective of psychagogy in the Greek tradition. Once viewed from this angle, Paul arises as a skilled rhetorician, both diagnosing a particular emotional need in his Macedonian audience, then meeting that need through figured speech. In this light, the specific function of the familial similes finds new significance vis-à-vis Paul’s pastoral care of the Macedonians.

Paul, Zechariah, and the Identity of the “Holy Ones” in 1 Thessalonians 3:13: Correcting an Un“Fee”sible Approach: pp. 25-38
Justin D. King
Baylor University
Waco, TX 76798

In his relatively recent NICNT volume on 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Gordon Fee calls for a moratorium regarding how to understand the identity of the “holy ones” in 1 Thess 3:13, where Paul appeals to Zech 14. Fee contends that Paul’s phrase “in the coming of our Lord Jesus with all of his holy ones” is to be understood as Jesus taking the place of Yahweh and coming to earth with all of his holy, heavenly, supernatural angels. Fee’s view is representative of the scholarly consensus on the identity of the “holy ones”, though a minority allows the phrase to refer both to divine angels and to earthly human beings at the same time. When pressed, however, Fee’s treatment of the phrase is proved to be premature, incomplete, and contestable on literally every front. But, while Fee is incorrect regarding the identity of the Pauline “holy ones,” the point is not simply that Fee is wrong; the additional point is that Fee stops reading far too soon. While I would argue that Paul’s treatment of Zech 14.5 is more or less accessible in 1 Thess 3.13 alone – and accessible in a way that is the complete opposite to Fee’s reading of the “holy ones” – I argue all the more that, when Zech 14.5 is allowed to resurface in 1 Thess 4.13-18, the contour and shape Paul gives to his source text becomes all the more clear. Indeed, in his appeal to Zechariah, Paul reshapes, reconfigures, redefines and refocuses his source text thoroughly, so that when he mentions the “holy ones” in 1 Thess 3.13, there is but a sole referent – the community of faithful, holy human beings.

Thessalonian Women: The Key to the 4:4 Conundrum: pp. 39-52
Lindsey M. Trozzo
Baylor University
Waco, TX 76798

“Thessalonian Women: the Key to the 4:4 Conundrum” offers a rhetorical audience-oriented approach to the interpretive issues in 1 Thessalonians 4:4. This article first engages a proposition suggesting that the Thessalonian Jesus-group was exclusively male. Next, the article illustrates how, even in more inclusive historical reconstructions, interpretations of 1 Thessalonians continue to be impaired by a stubbornly androcentric perspective. Since women were a part of the Thessalonian community, a new reading is offered, giving consideration to their presence in the audience. This inclusive approach, offered in response to the impaired readings of the text, sheds new light on the troublesome verse.

More Than Friends? The Literary Classification of Philippians Revisited: pp. 53-66
Todd D. Still
Truett Seminary,
Baylor University
Waco, TX 76798

Over the past twenty or so years it has become increasingly common for Pauline interpreters to describe Philippians as a ‘friendly letter’. Despite this development, a number of scholars have resisted jumping on this academic bandwagon. Given that it has been over a decade now since John Reumann reviewed the history of research and offered summative suggestions on the literary classification of Philippians, it is time to revisit this topic in light of ongoing scholarly dialog and debate. In this article I ask afresh whether or not Philippians is best regarded as a letter of friendship by noting various reasons given to support this view and by considering some of the literary, lexical, socio-cultural, and theological criticisms that can be leveled against this proposal. Over the course of this article it will become clear that while I am apprised and appreciative of much of the work that has sought to identify and interpret Philippians as a letter of friendship, I have yet to be persuaded by the arguments of these ‘friendship scholars’. In short, I view Philippians to be about far more than friendship even as I consider Paul and Philippian believers to be far more than friends.

The Reversal of Rhetoric in Philippians 3:1-11: pp. 67-77
Scott C. Ryan
Baylor University
Waco, TX 76798

This article offers a rhetorically sensitive reading of Phil 3:1-11, which reveals a series of reversals in the argument. Paul’s rhetoric is analyzed in two main sections. First, the apostle turns Jewish and Cynic terminology against his Jewish-Christian opponents in 3:2-3a in order to shame his adversaries and pique the listeners’ attention after the digressio at the end of chapter 2. Next, the article displays Paul’s construction of a self-encomium in 3:4-6, which follows the instructions for encomia as prescribed the Progymnasmata. In a dramatic rhetorical move, however, the apostle dismantles the encomium by insisting that his Jewish accolades are nothing more than “waste” (3:8) and offers an alternative means of rectification. By attending to these rhetorical elements in the argument we discover a Paul who is dynamic in his skill as a rhetorician and familiar with Greco-Roman rhetorical conventions.

Bishops, Elders, and Deacons in the Philippian Church: Evidence of Plurality from Paul and Polycarp: pp. 79-94
Andrew Selby
Baylor University
Waco, TX 76798

While some important modern theologians such as John Zizioulas and John Henry Newman like to based their cases for a three-fold order of church government on the texts of Ignatius of Antioch, these same theologians often lose sight of Polycarp’s Epistle to the Philippians. When read alongside Paul’s letter to the Philippians and when taking into account recent sociological study of ancient Philippi, it appears that a plurality of leadership existed there for a long time. Historical evidence for a “monarchical episcopacy” is problematized.

Issue 02 -- Summer 2012

Editorial Foreword: Nothing You Can Do Will Make You My Enemy: Will Davis Campbell at Home in the World: pp. 107-11
Judy Skeen
Belmont University
Nashville, TN 37212

Portraits of a Mature God: What Would a Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures Look Like if Ezra-Nehemiah was at the Center of the Discussion?: pp. 113-24
Mark McEntire
Belmont University
Nashville, TN 37212

One way of defining the contemporary task of a theology of the Hebrew Scriptures is to describe the nature of the divine character presented in these texts, including that character’s relationship to creation. A number of efforts in recent years fit within this definition, but one approach that has received too little attention is the consideration of God as a narrative character who grows and develops within the biblical story. One of the implications of such a development would be a more intense and deliberate examination of how the character of God is presented in the books that form the end of this story, namely Ezra and Nehemiah. This study will attempt to explore the implications of letting the books of Ezra and Nehemiah play a primary role in the development of a narrative theology, understood as a presentation of the character of God in the Hebrew canon.

I’s about God: pp. 125-33
Kyle Childress
Austin Heights Baptist Church
Nacogdoches, TX 75965

How might we grow Christians who cannot only discern what’s wrong in a world where abuse is covered up and violence is justified but also have the courage to live differently? In this lecture given at the Baptist Theological Seminary of Richmond, Virginia, on October 4, 2011, using the example of Will Campbell and a young person named Mollie, students, faculty, and visiting clergy were invited to see Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness as a way Jesus learned to define his ministry and discern when and how to say “yes” to God and say “no” to the Powers.

Visions of a Preacher Man: Will D. Campbell’s Use of Images in His Life, Thought, and Work: pp. 135-47
Stewart James Everett
Union Theological Seminary
New York, NY 10027

Writer, activist, and Baptist preacher Will D. Campbell has consistently used symbolic imagery to illustrate his convictions about issues ranging from civil rights, politics, and religion. With the aid of Jungian psychology, this essay argues for the use of such imagery as being a primary reason Campbell’s writing remains so powerful and enduring to his admirers and critics alike. To further demonstrate this point, its focus revolves around four specific images most associated with Campbell’s life and thought: boot-leg preacher, dragonfly, steeples, and redneck. In addition to exploring these images themselves, it also investigates the meaning each holds for Campbell through examination of his sermons, articles, speeches, and sermons.

Revisiting the “Woman’s Sphere”: Implicit and Explicit Feminism in Appalachian Churches: pp. 149-59
Bill J. Leonard
Wake Forest University Divinity School
Winston-Salem, NC 27109

In an essay which is both descriptive and declarative, Leonard proposes that women have always played vital roles in Appalachian churches and to this day represent the largest constituency in most Appalachian churches. Nonetheless, congregations, both Protestant and Catholic, mountain churches and denominational churches alike, have generally bowed to particular hermeneutical and cultural methods for defining the role of women in the church, the family and the larger society. By telling particular stories and spanning from the 18th to the 21st century here is a look at the long view and the near view of the “women’s sphere”.

The Gospel according to Will: p. 160
Kathryn Scheldt & Frye Gaillard
Published by Americana Street/Shellkat
Enterprises, BMI

The Gospel according to Will: pp. 161-72
Frye Gaillard
University of South Alabama
Mobile, AL 36688

Gaillard gathers the life and times of Will Campbell from the 1950’s to the 1990’s. In an essay that is part biography and part theology by stories that look back, straight on and forward through the eyes of Will Campbell, and those who walked with him during his years as bootleg preacher to Civil Rights workers, poor white southerners, African Americans, Ku Klux Klanners and those who became his neighbors and congregants near and far. With a journalist’s eye for moments and contexts, Gaillard offers the reader a visit with Campbell with an eye to the core of the gospel he lives.

Let Us Now Praise Peculiar People: pp. 173-80
Charles Marsh
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22904

By gathering part sermon, part historical collection, part front porch story, Charles Marsh opens the door to see Will Campbell as one in a line of people made strange by the grasp of the gospel on their lives. From Campbell’s early work in Mississippi to his more recent pastoral and prophetic presence in the hills of Tennessee, Marsh sketches a view of one man’s life in service to a radical call of reconciliation by God in Christ. Through this biographical summary he depicts the lives of people who have been shaped by the gospel to live in “peculiar” relationship to institutions and traditions. And through this he calls the reader to remember and to live more boldly in the shadow of this peculiarity.

Will Sings about Home: pp. 181-91
Tex Sample
Saint Paul School of Theology (retired)
Kansas City, MO 64127

In a lyrical exegesis Sample examines a collection of songs chosen and recorded by Will D. Campbell. Through exploration of the choices, lyrics and lifetime of work Sample weaves a look into the gospel as born into and lived through Campbell. Centering on a theme of home and searching for home in all its forms, Sample offers insights into the South, the gospel, country music and a lifetime of freedom fighting done by another name.

Bibliography of Will D. Campbell’s Writings: pp. 193-98

Issue 03 -- Fall 2012

Editorial Introduction: Evangelicals in the New South: pp. 201-203
Joe Coker
Baylor University
Waco, TX 76798

The Evangelical Ethos and the Spirit of Capitalism: pp. 205-217
John Hayes
Augusta State University
Augusta GA 30904

This essay uses Max Weber’s famous thesis about Protestantism and capitalism and a visit he made to North Carolina in 1904 as a frame to highlight dominant themes that were distinct to the evangelical culture of the New South era. It argues that the new evangelical themes of respectability and domesticity were ideally suited to the unfolding market revolution of the New South. Evangelical culture fostered capitalist development in the South, and the evangelical churches attracted increasing numbers of members because their refashioned culture was so timely and apropos.

Between Faith and Fistic Battles: Moralists, Enthusiasts, and the Idea of Jack Johnson in the New South: pp. 219-233
Arthur Remillard
St. Francis University
Loretto PA 15940

This article examines white southern responses to the rise of black pugilist Jack Johnson. Specifically, it centers on the tensions between evangelical moralists who wanted to prohibit prizefighting and boxing enthusiasts who had a profound bond to the sport and its white athletes. While these groups engaged prizefighting on different terms, both became part of national and international discourses on race, gender, sports, and nationality. Through the idea of Jack Johnson, then, the world came to the New South, and the New South went forth into the world.

“The Right-Minded Members of That Race”: Southern Religious Progressives Confront Race, 1880–1930: pp. 235-245
Paul Harvey
University of Colorado
Colorado Springs CO 80918

During the era of the New South, a rising middle-class, urban evangelicalism produced a growing number of progressive leaders. These southern progressives embraced scientific management and government intervention as tools for moral uplift and social reform in the region. The central social concern of the day was race, and evangelical progressives hoped that establishing a proper social order in the south was the key to a proper racial order, as well. They promoted causes such as child labor reform, prohibition, and education in the south, but their rhetoric became increasingly paternalistic and focused on white rule. By the early twentieth century, even the most progressive voices of white southern evangelicalism could be found abandoning hope for racial progress and instead idealizing the bygone days of the antebellum south and supporting the rising populist demand for segregation and disfranchisement.

Schooling the Negro to His Proper Subordination: White Protestants and Black Education in the New South: pp. 247-259
Fred Arthur Bailey
Abilene Christian University
Abilene TX 79699

As the nineteenth century merged into the twentieth, the New South’s white Protestant establishment perceived that the region faced a cultural crisis, a problem, “the Negro problem.” To them emancipation had severed the proper and paternalistic relationship between a superior white race and an inferior black race. Negroes, they charged, had confused liberty with license, had declined in morality, had forsaken their antebellum work ethic, and needed a revival of virtue that had once existed under the stringent discipline of slavery. Firm in their conviction, white religionists proposed and developed an educational structure designed to reorient the black race to what they believed was its proper subordination to the white overlords.

Evangelizing Klansmen, Nationalizing the South: Faith, Fraternity, and Lost Cause Religion in the 1920s Klan: pp. 261-273
Kelly J. Baker
University of Tennessee
Knoxville TN 37916

William Simmons recreated the Ku Klux Klan in the early twentieth century as both a memorial to the Reconstruction Klan (1865-1870) and a white Protestant fraternity. I examine how the second Klan nationalized a different vision of Lost Cause religion in its print and rituals by emphasizing southernness, white supremacy, and evangelicalism. The order created a vision of the South in which the trauma of the Civil War faded into the background as the Reconstruction Klan emerged as triumphant heroes, evangelicalism sanctified Klan rituals, and white supremacy remained intact.

Making “The Southern Religion”: Economics, Theology, Martial Patriotism, and Social Indifference—(and the Big Bang Theory of Modern American Politics): pp. 275-288.
Glenn Feldman
University of Alabama
Birmingham AL 35294

This essay theorizes that “The Southern Religion” is a particular and unique phenomenon that is as much economic and cultural as it is theological. It is separate and distinct from what some scholars have described as a fixation on the conversion of souls, the preponderance of Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian sects, or a civil religion associated with the “Lost Cause.” The present essay argues that the principal pillars of “The Southern Religion” are a hyper-libertarian brand of rightist economics, undiluted Calvinist theology, a reflexive and martial understanding of patriotism, and a consequent commitment to social responsibility that is Lilliputian relative to other parts of America. The essay argues that the roots of the religion came from the North, specifically New England, but that the South’s starkly different racial and historical experience, relative lack of ethnic, religious, reform, and economic diversity, and the cauldron of material and capital desperation bred by the destruction of a civil war fought on southern soil joined to forge a dominant conservative—even reactionary—religion that has distinguished a region. Today, the exportation by media revolution of this southern creed threatens to engulf one of America’s major political parties, turning the GOP into something truly extreme, and (with enough funding, marketing, and Religious-Right involvement) the nation as a whole.

Review Essay: The Ambiguous Character of Johannine Characterization: An Overview of Recent Contributions and a Proposal: pp. 289-98
Alicia D. Myers
United Theological Seminary
Dayton OH 45426

Issue 04 -- Winter 2012

Teaching into Not Knowing: A Pedagogical Inquiry into Transformative Learning: pp. 307-317
Judy Skeen
Belmont University
Nashville TN 37212

This adaptation of the 2012 NABPR presidential address addresses the life of educators who are also persons of faith. Taking the perspective that learning can be transformative when not knowing is as valued as knowing, the possibilities for education in faith and in biblical studies are paralleled. The role of certainty in American religious expression is called into question and the cultivation of curiosity and vulnerability are explored as routes to learning. An autobiographical portion of the address explores how in one educator’s experience of learning to communicate with horses without force there may be a model for loosening control in higher education, opening the door to walking with students as they bring their whole lives to the task of developing skills and honing research methods.

“They Walk in Wisdom or Folly”: The Intensification of Wisdom and Folly from the Book of Proverbs to the Dead Sea Scrolls: pp. 319-334
Ginny Brewer-Boydston
Baylor University
Waco TX 76798

Through a literary and theological approach, this paper demonstrates an intensification of the personifications of Wisdom and Folly in the Dead Sea Scrolls (4Q184, 4Q185, 4Q525, and 11QPsa) from their depiction in the book of Proverbs. The metaphors in the Dead Sea Scrolls are cosmic in scope. It is my contention that it is possibly this intensification, some of which is cosmic, that attracted the Qumran community to the texts or prompted the community to write them given that the two paths purported by Wisdom and Folly support the community’s theology of dualism delineated in the Two Spirits Treatise.

Narrative Therapy: Treating Audience Anxiety through Psychagogy in Luke: pp. 335-348
John A. Darr
Boston College
Chestnut Hill MA 02467

Recent scholarly analyses have demonstrated the value of applying Greco-Roman rhetorical and moral-philosophical categories to some of the so-called anxiety sayings of Jesus in Luke. This article builds on that prior work but calls for: (1) expanding the scope of inquiry from individual pericopae to much larger swathes of narrative within which anxiety sayings occur; (2) drawing on audience-oriented criticism for insights as to the dialogic nature of reading/hearing; and (3) bringing to bear the Greco-Roman rhetorical-therapeutic exercise called psychagogy. Applying these new interpretive “lenses” reveals how Luke, in a quest to form witnesses who are certain in their faith, goes about educating his reader concerning anxiety’s causes, consequences, and cure.

The Progymnasmata and Characterization in Luke’s Parables: The Parable of the Rich Fool as a Test Case: pp. 349-360
Josh Stigall
Briercrest College and Seminary
Caronport SK S0H 0S0

The goal of this paper is to explore the potential significance of reading the parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:13-21) in light of the progymnasmata. In particular, this paper is concerned with understanding the relationship between the progymnasmatists’ teaching on fable and the characterization of the individuals in the parable. We will see that not only is Luke’s construction of the parable remarkably similar to the teaching on fable in the progymnasmata, but that the characters in the parable are characterized through their speech in a manner consistent with the rhetorical figure prosopopoiia.

Argument and Persuasion in the Epistle to the Hebrews: pp. 361-377
James W. Thompson
Abilene Christian University
Abilene TX 79699

Although scholars’ numerous works have examined the style and arrangement of Hebrews, no one has examined the argumentative strategies of this homily. Beginning with the premises that he shares with the audience, the author persuades the audience with arguments that were commonplace in the Greco-Roman world. The frequent use of synkrisis, the argument from etymology, the appeal to heroes of the past, the use of maxims, and the appeal to the concepts of the necessary and the impossible were widely used by rhetoricians. The author of Hebrews not only demonstrates accepted rhetorical practice in the style and arrangement of the homily, but also in the mode of argumentation.

Eschatology for the Oppressed: Millenarianism and Liberation in the Eschatology of Jurgen Moltmann: pp. 379-393
Brandon Lee Morgan
Baylor University
Waco TX 76798

Both Richard Bauckham and Miroslav Volf have argued that Jürgen Moltmann’s millenarianism is either unnecessary or detrimental to his eschatology. This article explains the political lens of liberation in Moltmann’s millenarian eschatology in order to argue that his millenarianism is an essential element in his theological project. By dialectically holding together both history and eschatology, both the present and the future, Moltmann provides a substantial motivating factor for ethical and political change.