The Bible has long served as the standard for Christian practice, yet believers still disagree on how biblical passages should be interpreted and applied. Only when readers fully understand the constructs that inform their process of moving from Scripture to theology—and those of others—can Christians fully evaluate teachings that claim to be “biblical.” Here, scholars who affirm an inspired Bible, relevant and authoritative for every era, present models they consider most faithful to Scripture: - Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.: A Principlizing Model - Daniel M. Doriani: A Redemptive-Historical Model - Kevin J. Vanhoozer: A Drama-of-Redemption Model - William J. Webb: A Redemptive-Movement Model Each position also receives critiques from the proponents of the other views. Moreover, due to the far-reaching implications this topic holds for biblical studies, theology, and church teaching, this book includes three additional reflections by Christopher J. H. Wright, Mark L. Strauss, and Al Wolters on the theological and practical interpretation of biblical texts. Four Views on Moving beyond the Bible to Theology empowers readers to identify, evaluate, and refine their own approach to moving from the Bible to theology.
An Interpretation and Refinement of the Theological Apologetic of Cornelius Van Til
Author: B. A. Bosserman
Pubpsher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
The Trinity and the Vindication of Christian Paradox grapples with the question of how one may hold together the ideals of systematic theology, apologetic proof, and theological paradox by building on the insights of Cornelius Van Til. Van Til developed an apologetic where one presupposes that the triune God exists, and then proves this Christian presupposition by demonstrating that philosophies that deny it are self-defeating in the specific sense that they rely on principles that only the Trinity, as the ultimate harmony of unity and diversity, can furnish. A question raised by Van Til's trademark procedure is how he can evade the charge that the apparent contradictions of the Christian faith render it equally self-defeating as non-Christian alternatives. This text argues that for Van Til, Christian paradoxes can be differentiated from genuine contradictions by the way that their apparently opposing elements discernibly require one another, even as they present our minds with an irresolvable conflict. And yet, Van Til failed to sufficiently vindicate the central Christian paradox--the doctrine of the Trinity--along the lines required by his system. Hence, the present text offers a unique proof that God can only exist as the pinnacle of unity-in-diversity, and as the ground of a coherent Christian system, if He exists as three, and only three, divine Persons.
Release on 2011-12-16 | by Michael J. McClymond,Gerald R. McDermott
Author: Michael J. McClymond,Gerald R. McDermott
Pubpsher: Oxford University Press
Winner of the 2013 Christianity Today Book Award for Theology/Ethics Scholars and laypersons alike regard Jonathan Edwards (1703-58) as North America's greatest theologian. The Theology of Jonathan Edwards is the most comprehensive survey of his theology yet produced and the first study to make full use of the recently-completed seventy-three-volume online edition of the Works of Jonathan Edwards. The book's forty-five chapters examine all major aspects of Edwards's thought and include in-depth discussions of the extensive secondary literature on Edwards as well as Edwards's own writings. Its opening chapters set out Edwards's historical and personal theological contexts. The next thirty chapters connect Edwards's theological loci in the temporally-ordered way in which he conceptualized the theological enterprise-beginning with the triune God in eternity with his angels to the history of redemption as an expression of God's inner reality ad extra, and then back to God in eschatological glory. The authors analyze such themes as aesthetics, metaphysics, typology, history of redemption, revival, and true virtue. They also take up such rarely-explored topics as Edwards's missiology, treatment of heaven and angels, sacramental thought, public theology, and views of non-Christian religions. Running throughout the volume are what the authors identify as five basic theological constituents: trinitarian communication, creaturely participation, necessitarian dispositionalism, divine priority, and harmonious constitutionalism. Later chapters trace his influence on and connections with later theologies and philosophies in America and Europe. The result is a multi-layered analysis that treats Edwards as a theologian for the twenty-first-century global Christian community, and a bridge between the Christian West and East, Protestantism and Catholicism, conservatism and liberalism, and charismatic and non-charismatic churches.
In Quest of a Vital Protestant Center probes the relationship between Scripture and culture in twentieth-century US theology and biblical studies. It points to the necessity of turning to what Karl Barth has referred to as "the strange new world within the Bible" for any revitalization of mainline Protestantism in the tradition of the Protestant Reformers in critical dialogue with serious evangelical theology. The study includes a historical overview underlying what Demetrion refers to as the "fundamentalist/modernist great divide," which continues to resonate powerfully in contemporary US Protestant thought and culture. Demetrion offers an in-depth exploration of four representative twentieth-century Protestant theologians and biblical scholars, spanning from the conservative evangelical theology of J. I. Packer to the postliberal dialectical theology of Walter Brueggemann. The book includes a chapter on the neo-orthodox legacy as a mediating resource in bringing evangelical and postliberal theology into dialogue with the core issues of theology, biblical hermeneutics, and religious culture. Demetrion concludes with a critically empathetic review of the postliberal dialectical theology of Douglas J. Hall and the evangelical narrative theology of Richard Lints. In linking evangelical, postliberal, and neo-orthodox theology to a common search for a vital Protestant center, this book will facilitate fruitful dialogue among divergent schools of Protestant thought and culture.
With 16.3 million members and 44,000 churches, the Southern Baptist Convention is the largest Baptist group in the world, and the largest Protestant denomination in the United States. Unlike the so-called mainstream Protestant denominations, Southern Baptists have remained stubbornly conservative, refusing to adapt their beliefs and practices to modernity's individualist and populist values. Instead, they have held fast to traditional orthodoxy in such fundamental areas as biblical inspiration, creation, conversion, and miracles. Gregory Wills argues that Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has played a fundamental role in the persistence of conservatism, not entirely intentionally. Tracing the history of the seminary from the beginning to the present, Wills shows how its foundational commitment to preserving orthodoxy was implanted in denominational memory in ways that strengthened the denomination's conservatism and limited the seminary's ability to stray from it. In a set of circumstances in which the seminary played a central part, Southern Baptists' populist values bolstered traditional orthodoxy rather than diminishing it. In the end, says Wills, their populism privileged orthodoxy over individualism. The story of Southern Seminary is fundamental to understanding Southern Baptist controversy and identity. Wills's study sheds important new light on the denomination that has played - and continues to play - such a central role in our national history.