By Everett Berry, Editor
A significant debate has steadily developed for quite some time within the ranks of Christian scholarship. It pertains to how biblical scholars and theologians can find methodological harmony between the exegetical task of interpreting Scripture and the related theological endeavors to synthesize biblical teachings in systematic confessional form. There are numerous reasons why differences of opinion exist on this question. However, the growing impasse among some in recent decades has jumpstarted a conversation regarding an alternative strategy that has come to be known as the Theological Interpretation of Scripture (TIS). Though this movement is extremely diverse because it is being discussed by scholars all over the theological spectrum, many evangelicals are contributing to the conversation because they recognize the importance of both biblical studies and theological formulation. Consequently, the Fall 2017 edition of CTR is dedicated to this subject. Herein, readers can engage articles from several scholars who address various facets of this important issue. Continue reading
By Everett Berry, Editor
Since the Reformation, one of the most significant challenges that Baptists and all other Christian traditions have faced is determining the validity of ecumenical cooperation, and then if it is considered desirable, how exactly should it be done. How can believers link arms with fellow brethren from differing denominations in ways that do not compromise their own distinct theological convictions? Balancing these priorities can be quite taxing because Baptists (and other Protestants) are mindful of Jesus’ prayer for his followers to be one as he and his Father are one (Jn 17:22). Yet they also hear other New Testament writers emphasize the importance of doctrinal purity. Consequently, such concerns have led Baptists to propose a variety of answers with discussions still passionately continuing even today. This is why the Spring 2017 edition of CTR is dedicated to this subject. Herein, readers can engage articles from several Baptist scholars and leaders who address various facets of this important question. Continue reading
By Everett Berry, Editor
From time to time, CTR provides academic forums that are not devoted to one theme. The reason for this is so contributors can provide specialized essays on a broad spectrum of topics. This Fall 2016 edition serves as such a volume. Herein, readers can engage two articles pertaining to Old Testament (OT) studies and two related to issues in the New Testament (NT) as well as an individual essay devoted to some of the complexities of theological hermeneutics and another concerning archaeological endeavors at Qumran.
Our lead article is by co-written by Nicholas G. Piotrowski, who serves as Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Crossroads Bible College in Indianapolis, IN, and David S. Schrock, who is a teaching pastor at Occoquan Bible Church in Woodbridge, VA. They challenge trends in NT scholarship that reject readings of the gospels portraying Jesus as a priest. Their counter is that Matthew’s gospel clearly presents Jesus as one who restores people from ceremonial uncleanness because it is a precursor to his eschatological role as the priestly Messiah who will bring cleansing from sin for his people. Continue reading
The theme for our Spring 2016 edition of CTR pertains to studies on the Synoptic Gospels. Each article is written by a New Testament scholar who engages an assortment of exegetical and theological issues that are part of the vast spectrum of scholarship on Synoptic studies. We hope that this volume will be an aid to students of the New Testament as well as edify God’s people, the church.
Our lead article is by Nicholas Perrin who serves as the Franklin S. Dyrness Professor of Biblical Studies and Dean of the Graduate School at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL. Perrin tackles the textual debate in Mark 1:40-45 as to whether Jesus was moved by “anger” or “compassion” to heal a leper. He contends that lexical data in Mark’s gospel as well as the strong emphasis on Jesus’ ushering in a new Exodus helps substantiate the reading that Jesus performed this miracle out of compassion. Continue reading
The person of Christ is a mainstay doctrine at the very heart of the Christian faith. That is why there is never any shortage of research, debate, and dialogue about what Scripture says concerning Jesus of Nazareth. In fact, today there are lively and sometimes complex discussions about how Jesus understood his messianic role and identity; how the early church’s understanding of his divine status coincided with the undergirding foundation of Jewish monotheism; or how the teachings of Christ should be fleshed out in the life of the church in every generation. These are just a few of the subjects that scholars are engaging today. Consequently, we have decided to devote the Fall 2015 edition of CTR to issues in Christology. Each article is written by a theologian who engages various facets of this important doctrine and we pray that this volume will advance Christian scholarship as well as edify God’s people, the church. Continue reading
There continues to be no shortage of discussion among biblical scholars about the theology of Paul. Monographs, articles, and substantial volumes continue to be published as thinkers engage such important topics as Paul’s view of justification, the law, Israel, Christ, and eschatology. This is why the Spring 2015 edition of CTR is solely devoted to topics in Pauline Studies.
Our lead article is by Andrew D. Clarke who serves as Senior Lecturer in New Testament in the School of Divinity, History, and Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Clarke examines the nature of Paul’s apostolic authority as it initially functioned in his own ministry and how it is still expressed through his writings within the Christian canon. Continue reading
Occasionally CTR provides academic forums that are not devoted to a specific theme so contributors can provide specialized essays on a broad spectrum of topics. And this Fall 2014 edition serves as such a volume. Herein, readers can engage two articles pertaining to New Testament studies as well as individual essays devoted to Christian spirituality, the history of evangelicalism, philosophical theology, and systematic/historical theology.
Our lead article is by Nathan A. Finn who serves as Associate Professor of Historical Theology and Baptist Studies and is the director of the Center for Spiritual Formation and Evangelical Spirituality at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. Finn engages the various factors and complexities that are intrinsic to any attempt at constructing a robust taxonomy of spiritual disciplines within the context of the Baptist tradition. Continue reading
The subject of economics receives attention from a broad spectrum of voices including political journalists and specialized analysts as well as biblical scholars and theologians. The main reason for such an array of interested parties is because the topic touches upon so many issues related to the big contours of everyday life such as work, business, government, health care, and foreign relations. This being the case then, the Spring 2014 volume of CTR is primarily devoted to the subject of Christianity and Economics.
The first four articles are written by evangelicals who are participating in the conversation about what a Christian view of economics should look like. At some levels, their positions have some discernable continuity. But in other ways, some of their proposals are in conflict, thereby highlighting the diversity of thought that Christians exhibit when talking about how economic theory should be fleshed out in the context of biblical convictions. Continue reading
For centuries, the millennium that is mentioned in Revelation 20 has been a source of spirited discussion among Christians. So in recognition of the potential for robust scholarly engagement about such an important topic, on October 12, 2012, Criswell College hosted a conference on The Future Kingdom: Perspectives on the Millennial Reign of Christ.
The intent of this forum was to allow attendants to hear presentations from scholars who represented differing viewpoints on the theological spectrum of the millennial debate. In doing so, because the leadership of Criswell College is committed to the premillennial view of the return of Christ, three variations of premillennialism were represented by distinct advocates of traditional dispensational premillennialism, progressive dispensational premillennialism, and historic premillennialism. Likewise, the conference welcomed proponents of opposing viewpoints including amillennialism, postmillennialism, and even full preterism. Altogether the presentations were rich in content and elicited fruitful dialogue among the presenters and with the audience. Therefore, this edition of CTR intends to provide the material that was shared at the conference. Continue reading
Did Adam (and Eve) actually exist? Historically, the general confession among believers of all Christian traditions has been a resounding yes. Likewise, the faculty and administration here at Criswell College unequivocally affirm that Scripture teaches this truth. However in recent years certain advancements in scientific research have persuaded some evangelical scholars that this conviction needs to be revisited. As a result, there is now a growing polarization between evangelicals who believe in an historical Adam and a growing consortium that does not. Continue reading