Spring 2022: A Tribute to Dr. Leroy Metts

Criswell College has been training believers for service in Christ’s kingdom since its inception in 1971. A large part of its success in this endeavor has been its faculty who have been committed to rigorous scholarship and gospel ministry. One of the best examples of such devotion has been Criswell’s own Professor of New Testament, Dr. Leroy Metts, who recently retired after teaching for over forty years. In honor of his service to multitudes of students, this volume of CTR is a tribute to his heritage. Each article is authored by either a colleague or former student who is now pursuing (or has pursued) further academic endeavors in biblical and theological studies.

Our lead article is by R. Alan Streett who serves as Senior Research Professor of Biblical Theology at Criswell College. His essay is a small taste of his larger work on baptism, entitled Caesar and Sacrament. He argues that the early Christian movement’s adaptation of baptism as a religious sacramentum was done to demonstrate allegiance to Jesus and his kingdom as well as disavow any loyalty to Roman imperial power.

Our second article is by John Mark Yeats who is Vice President of Student Services, Dean of Students, and Professor of Church History at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO. Yeats traces a trend in 19th century American religious thought that gradually rejected the belief in a literal devil. In doing so, Yeats also highlights related resistance to such a theological error that was mounted by orthodox leaders of that time.

The third article is written by Bobby Worthington who holds the W. A. Criswell-Jack Pogue Chair of Evangelism and is Associate Professor of Missions and Evangelism at Criswell College. Worthington discusses how Jesus’ Messianic mission relates to the mission of the church. He does so by examining the identity of “the poor” in Isaiah 61:1–2 and how Jesus’ understanding of this text relates to the Great Commission that is recorded in Matthew 28:18–20.

As Professor of Theology at Criswell College and senior editor of CTR, I have the honor of contributing the fourth article. My thesis is that the current emphasis on the concept of intertextuality in biblical studies can possibly help bridge the methodological gap between biblical scholars who emphasize the historical/cultural elements of interpreting Scripture and theologians who argue that the Bible must also be read canonically and confessionally.

The fifth entry is authored by James Knox, a Criswell graduate currently completing a Ph.D. in Old Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary and serving as assistant editor for CTR. Knox navigates the hermeneutical complexities regarding the identity of the “virgin” in the famous prophecy in
Isaiah 7:14 as well as its later reference in Matthew’s account of Christ’s birth. Knox proposes an alternative interpretation that challenges much of mainline scholarship on these passages.

Criswell alumnus Andrew C. Hébert, who recently completed his second doctorate and is the Lead Pastor of Paramount Baptist Church in Amarillo, TX, offers the sixth article. Hébert discusses various approaches that practitioners in homiletics advocate concerning the proper way to preach Christ from the Old Testament. He opts for what is called a “Christiconic” method and uses the book of Ruth to illustrate its effectiveness.

Our seventh article is written by Criswell graduate Michael Metts, who is finishing his doctorate in New Testament at the University of Aberdeen. Metts argues that recent research on the topic of 1st-century apocalypticism can help address some of the complexities that emerge in historical Jesus studies when discussing the original setting and theological nature of the Lord’s Supper.

Finally, our last article is by Criswell graduate Joshua Crutchfield who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY and is the Lead Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in New Caney, TX. Crutchfield examines historical and literary parallels
between the fall of Eli the priest and the demise of King Saul. He highlights their intertextual connections and how their failures are overcome by the later faithfulness of Christ.

Following these articles are sixteen book reviews which can inform readers about works that can improve their theological libraries. Also remember past issues of CTR can be accessed online at atla.com. Your local university or seminary can provide you with a password.

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