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In: Evangelical Quarterly: An International Review of Bible and Theology
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Abstract

Creatio ex nihilo is the dominant creation theory in the Christian tradition. Relational theologian Thomas Jay Oord proposes an alternative creation theory, in which God everlastingly creates from what he previously created. Key reasons why Oord argues creatio ex nihilo should be rejected are that it has Gnostic roots, is not explicitly taught in Scripture, and is illogical. This article critically assesses Oord’s arguments against creatio ex nihilo, contending that his conclusions are misguided due to a Biblicist tendency in his reading of the text and the inaccurate definition of creatio ex nihilo he argues against. With the biblical and historical data, a definition of creatio ex nihilo representative of the Christian tradition is articulated. This essay then demonstrates how creatio ex nihilo is superior to Oord’s alternative theory.

In: Evangelical Quarterly: An International Review of Bible and Theology
Author:

Abstract

Responding to John Piper’s book, Providence (2020), and building on the work of Howard Snyder, this article articulates a Wesleyan-Arminian theology of ‘prevenient grace’. Highlighting Philippians 2:12–13, prevenient grace is articulated as a theological concept, rooted in the Bible, clearly expressed in the writings of James Arminius and made more widely accessible by the teaching of John Wesley. The theology of prevenient grace has been debated through the centuries and continues to be a primary point of distinction between those who would align their thinking to John Calvin (and Calvinism), in opposition to those who align with the teachings of John Wesley (and Wesleyan/Arminianism). From the perspective of God’s providence, the article identifies the slight, yet profound, difference between irresistible and prevenient grace. It argues that the caricature of Arminius’s, and therefore, Wesley’s teaching as Pelagian is unfounded. It concludes with suggestions of how the theology of prevenient grace offers a helpful framework for pastoral care.

In: Evangelical Quarterly: An International Review of Bible and Theology

Abstract

The Synoptic tradition, 4 Ezra, and Similitudes of Enoch all feature the Son of Man as a human yet divine eschatological judge, which is an innovative reinterpretation of the Danielic Son of Man. The question then becomes, who began this innovation? Given the generally monotheistic milieu of first-century Palestinian Judaism, the Synoptic tradition is most likely the source of this innovation. Why, however, would the Jewish/Jewish-Christian authors of 4 Ezra and Similitudes have taken their cue from the Synoptics in regards to this innovation? This article conjectures the possibility that Jesus’s own designation of the fall of the Jerusalem Temple as the beginning of the eschatological schema, at the end of which the Son of Man comes as an eschatological judge, may have inspired the authors of 4 Ezra and Similitudes for such adaptation of the Son of Man in the aftermath of the fall of the Temple.

In: Evangelical Quarterly: An International Review of Bible and Theology
Author:

Abstract

This article explores the semantic value of ἀλήθεια in Ephesians with special attention given to its polyvalent nature and its potentiality for communicating the notion of ‘faithfulness’ rather than ‘truth’. First, an examination of instances of where ἀλήθεια indicates faithfulness in the LXX and the NT provides a broad hermeneutical viability for this enterprise. Second, a study of ἀλήθεια in Eph. 1:13; 4:21, 24, 25; 5:9; and 6:14 reveals a semantic shift in 5:9 and 6:14 wherein the author’s exhortation centers not on doctrinal truth, but embodying faithfulness as a child of the light and as a defense against the Devil’s schemes.

In: Evangelical Quarterly: An International Review of Bible and Theology

Abstract

This article explores the emergence of Protestantism in West Africa in the 17th century, using both primary and secondary sources. Its central argument is that the history of Protestantism in early modern Africa has mainly been examined within the paradigm of mission history, thus reducing the history of Protestantism to a history of Protestant missionary endeavors. By intersecting three complementary windows, – a Roman Catholic window, a chartered company window and a Euro-African window –, the article traces the wider history of Protestantism in early modern West Africa. It maps the impact of Protestantism on Roman Catholics in West Africa, sketches the significance of Protestantism for certain Euro-Africans, and shows that through a combination of dispersion, procreation and mission Protestantism became a reality in West Africa as early as the 17th century.

Open Access
In: Exchange
Author:

Abstract

Theology and philosophy are strange bedfellows: although they share many similar interests and constantly influence each other, their relationship is fraught with suspicion or even enmity. This problem is especially acute for those who want to harmonize their commitment to sola Scriptura with the use of philosophy in their theology. Drawing insights from Herman Bavinck’s Neo-Calvinist worldview, I argue that this apparent competition is mainly caused by the failure to recognize the organic unity between both disciplines. Without theology, all disciplines would be meaningless, but without philosophy, all disciplines would be unintelligible. Portraying the harmony between theology and philosophy depends on the success of locating the difference and relationship between the universality of theology and that of philosophy. Further, the organicity that suffuses all things and affirms the primacy of special revelation reflects the Neo-Calvinist belief in both sola scriptura and the sacredness of all vocations.

In: Journal of Chinese Theology