2019 Volume 46

Issue 01 -- Spring 2019


The Literary Function of ψευδοπροφήτης in Jeremiah LXX: pp. 3–17

Nicholas R. Werse
Baylor University
Waco TX 76798

The Jeremiah LXX selectively employs the term ψευδοπροφήτης in nine instances within the four conflict pericopes of Jer 33-36 (MT 26-29) and one oracle (6:13-15). Scholars struggle to explain the reason for this selective use in light of the vast number of instances in which the LXX presents a false prophet with the common term προφήτης. This article argues that by selectively employing ψευδοπροφήτης in these passages, the translator links the false prophets of the conflict pericopes (Jer 33-36 [MT 26-29]) with the condemnation of false prophets in Jer 6:13-15 for trivially responding to the destruction of the Lord’s people. This concern with the false prophets’ response unifies these five pericopes and distinguishes them from the broader condemnation of false prophets in Jeremiah LXX. This selective use of ψευδοπροφήτης fits within the broader theological concern of Jeremiah LXX over the destruction of Jerusalem.


The Use, Misuse, and Abuse of Archaeology in the Media: pp. 19–28

Tony W. Cartledge
Campbell University Divinity School
Buies Creek NC 27506

Media providers make use of archaeological finds for commercial, political, or religious purposes. Commercial users report or interpret finds in order to promote tourism at biblical/historical sites or to attract readers. These sometimes over-hype or misunderstand new finds but generally remain true to the archaeologists’ reports or interviews. Academic and some religious media tend to report stories responsibly. Unfortunately, many popular religion-based sites exaggerate and misuse archaeological finds, drawing unwarranted conclusions to promote Israeli nationalism and Zionist expansion into the West Bank, or to claim “proof” of biblical stories in support of fundamentalist Christian interpretations of scripture. This article reviews specific examples of such use in recent years and bemoans the rise of “fake news” in the reporting of archaeology.


Faith in the Commonplace: The Knight of Faith in Local Community: pp. 29–37

Casey Spinks
Beeson Divinity School
Birmingham AL 35229

Søren Kierkegaard is often misinterpreted as a proponent of alienating oneself from the community in order to become a true individual—an interpretation often arising from Fear and Trembling, which expounds Abraham’s transcendence of familial and ethical norms for the sake of faith. However, in this same work Kierkegaard first describes a different kind of ‘knight of faith’ who enjoys and invests in his community. Exposition of this sketch proves that Kierkegaard’s aim is not isolated faith but rather one in harmony with both the infinite and the finite. This harmony includes the community, and attention to it will therefore correct that popular and academic misinterpretation of Kierkegaard.


Capacitated for Living Baptismally: Martyrial Living, Liturgical Asceticism, and Quotidian Existence: pp. 39–54

Mark Medley
Baptist Seminary of Kentucky
Georgetown KY 40324

This paper argues that the rite of baptism capacitates Christians to live baptismally. It also contends that living baptismally should be interpreted in a martyrial key. In order to substantiate creative patterns between baptism and martyrdom for thinking about Christian life, the paper first turns to Rowan Williams’ understanding of baptism, martyrdom, and quotidian existence. To explore further these connections the paper engages David Fagerberg’s concept of liturgical asceticism. The paper’s final section considers how the ascetical practice of prosoche may be liturgically cultivated to capacitate Christians to live baptismally.


Rethinking the Grammar of the Atonement: Forgiveness, Judgment, and Apocalyptic Recapitulation: pp. 55–77

Richard D. Crane
Messiah College
Mechanicsburg PA 17055

This essay offers a constructive proposal holding together two classical atonement motifs too often pried apart: the cross as deliverance from enslaving powers and as (non-penal) sacrifice through which Christ bears our sins. These themes are held together by situating atonement theology within a broader apocalyptic soteriology. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s lived theology, which embodied a “grammar of atonement” to be found in patterns of enemy love, judgment, truth-telling, accountability, and resistance to evil, all of which were ordered toward the ends of justice and reconciliation, will offer a lens for appropriating scripture and insights from both Irenaeus and Anselm.


The Promise and Temptation of Covenant Ethics: pp. 79–94

Ryan Andrew Newson
Campbell University
Buies Creek NC 27506

This paper provides an appreciative critique of covenant ethics, which seeks to ameliorate social atomization by reclaiming the theological concept of covenant for public life. After agreeing that maintaining relationships of mutual reciprocity is vital in our context, in which exploitation and mutual distrust across ideological boundaries is rampant, I argue that it is important to keep the concept of covenant connected to Christian claims about God. Following Willie Jennings, I argue that retaining such theological specificity helps check the propensity among certain ethicists to engage others unreceptively and in the mode of an expert, rather than as a fellow learner.

Issue 02 -- Summer 2019


Editorial Introduction: pp. 121–33

Graham B. Walker
Mercer University
Atlanta GA 30341
With Richard Francis Wilson
Mercer University
Macon GA 31207

A Celebration of Theologically-Informed Preaching: pp. 135–62

Richard Francis Wilson
Mercer University
Macon GA 31207

The Festschrift opens with a literary symposium: “A Celebration of Theologically-Informed Preaching.” Frank Tupper is known as a challenging constructive theologian, a committed church person, and a challenging preacher whose sermons are steeped in theological focus and pastoral compassion. Six sermons are included, each written and delivered by Tupper students spanning his times at Southern Seminary and Wake Forest Divinity School (1972-2016), including M.Div. and Ph.D. students: John Carroll, Don Flowers, Gregory L. Hunt, Wm. Richard Kremer, Molly T. Marshall, and Richard Francis Wilson. The sermons reflect Tupper’s influential demands for theology that is home in the pulpit and extends to the daily experiences of people of faith. The introduction includes an invitation to others influenced by Tupper to contribute to an electronic collection of similar sermons.

Changing the Parameters of Providence: E. Frank Tupper and Susan Neiman on Evil and Suffering: pp. 163–77

Dan R. Stiver
Hardin-Simmons University
Abilene TX 79601

“God always does the most God can do,” is a recurring claim that runs throughout E. Frank Tupper’s two editions (1995 and 2013) of A Scandalous Providence. Dan Stiver explores the structure and development of Tupper’s theology as a unique contribution to contemporary theology that emerges from engagements with pastoral and philosophical theology. Stiver makes the case for Tupper’s understanding of providence as non-interventionist, yet a view of God as intimately engaged with creation as a participant with human suffering. He explicates the way Tupper understands divine self-limitation as a choice woven into creation that excludes episodic manipulations of so-called natural law and, then, makes room for divine compassion as model and source for human compassion. The essay concludes with comparison of Tupper’s theology of providence and the work of Susan Neiman, a contemporary philosopher who dismisses the possibility of a coherent sense of providence in the wakes of the rise of science and the moral failures of the last century, such as the holocaust and other campaigns of genocide. Stiver suggests that Tupper could be a viable conversation partner with the likes of Neiman because of his embrace of theistic ambiguity in the crucible of human suffering.

Theology at the Limits: Providence and the Place of Metaphysics in Schleiermacher’s Christian Faith: pp. 179–91

Corbin Boekhaus
Independent Scholar
Smyrna GA 30126

Against the backdrop of E. Frank Tupper’s A Scandalous Providence (1995 and 2013) constructive theology, Corbin Boekhaus revisits Friederich Schleiermacher’s The Christian Faith with attention to the method and scope of the issues of theodicy and providence in contemporary theology. He affirms the impetus of Schleiermacher’s central theme of Einfühlung, while parsing contemporary misunderstandings of feeling as mere emotional/psychological responses to experience. The essay deftly connects Tupper and Schleiermacher without locating them in the same rigid methodological framework. Taking Schleiermacher in his context, and Tupper in his, two centuries removed, Boekhaus defends the construction of each theologian as fruitful and provocative responses to the ever-changing theological contexts that appeal to the broad horizons of philosophical theology and the more-narrow horizons of pastoral/practical theology.

Engaging the Chaos . . . Together: pp. 193–205

Graham B. Walker
Mercer University
Atlanta GA 30341

Graham B. Walker introduces an oppositional starting point for the doctrine of providence. The first position assumes that God is located high above the world of chaos in the valley below. God intervenes as God deems appropriate. Questions of inordinate suffering challenge this starting point. A second notion begins in the chaotic valley below and asks: where God is in all of this? E. Frank Tupper begins in this valley and describes “the God of love (who) always does the most God can do.” In Tupper’s Scandalous Providence (2013) he identifies the ecological crisis as a significant factor in the chaos of human history. Walker amplifies Tupper’s concern by introducing ecologist Rob Nixon’s critique of the Western addiction to global consumption and Edward O. Wilson’s appeal for the religious community and the scientific community to work together for the love of the earth. Looking for theological responses that unite both science and faith with a love for God’s world Walker dialogues with Ian McFarland and Sallie McFague. Though McFarland and McFague start from divergent theological positions they arrive at a similar conclusion: the self-limitation of human acquisitive desire for the love of God’s world. 

A White Politics of Providence on this Bloody Little Planet: pp. 207–14

Keith A. Menhinick
Emory University
Atlanta GA 30322

Many conversations about race lead to white people asking, “What can I do,” which evades interrogation of white privilege at the habitual level and re-centers the white, agential subject. In A Scandalous Providence, E. Frank Tupper analyzes the lawyer who questions Jesus in the Gospel of Luke (“What must I do to inherit eternal life?”) as essentially asking the same question. Tupper’s reading of this story flows into a reformulation of providence, which stresses how a theology and politic fuse in the life of the Jesus-follower as new embodied habit orientations. Applied to habits of whiteness and privilege, Tupper’s theology relocates the problem of whiteness and reformulates the doctrine of providence in such a way that cultivates what can be called a white politics of providence—one entailing dialectic orientations of confrontation and compassion.

God, Faith, and Politics: Palestinian Christians: pp. 215–30

Paul Parker
Elmhurst College
Elmhurst IL 60126

E. Frank Tupper is influenced, at least, by Narrative Theology (see Hans Frei’s Eclipse of the Biblical Narrative and the works of Roland Mushat Frye, Frank Kermode and Robert Alter, and James McClendon). Paul Parker develops an essay around the narratives of Palestinian-Christians against the historical contexts of the confused politico-historical narrative of the establishment of contemporary Israel, with its attendant strife that emerges from efforts to secure an Israeli hegemony at the expense of Palestinian Muslims and Palestinian Christians in the region. The essay also develops Tupper’s sense of political theology—as articulated, especially in the 2013 revision of A Scandalous Providence—in conversation with the works of Naim Ateek and Mitri Raheb.