TC ERT Oct 2008 Vol 32 No 4



  • The Holy Spirit and Justification: A Pneumatological and Trinitarian Approach to Forensic Justification by Jeffrey Anderson
  • Breaking with Cyprian’s Paradigm: Evangelicals, Ecclesiological Apathy, and Changing Conceptions of Church Unity by George W. Harper
  • Real Presence, the Ontology of Worship, and the Renewal of Evangelical Doxological Imagination by John Jefferson Davis
  • Liberal Democracy and Christianity: The Church's Struggle to Make Public Claims in a Post-Teleological World by David Hoehner
  • Have Evangelicals Changed Their Minds about Karl Barth? A Review Essay with Reference to the Current Crisis in Evangelical Identity by James R. A. Merrick
  • Index of articles and reviews
  • Book Reviews:
    • Stanley H. Skreslet Picturing Christian Witness: New Testament Images of Disciples in Action (Eerdmans, 2006) Reviewed by Henry S. Baldwin
    • Simon J. Gathercole The Preexistent Son: Recovering the Christologies of Matthew, Mark and Luke (Eerdmans, 2006) Reviewed by Patrick Mitchel
    • Peter G. Riddell and Beverly Smith (editors) Angels and Demons: Perspectives and practice in diverse religious traditions (Apollos, 2007) Reviewed by James Nkansah-Obrempong
    • Craig Bartholomew, Scott Hahn, Robin Parry, Christopher Seitz, Al Wolters (editors) (Paternoster/Zondervan, 2006) Canon and Biblical Interpretation Reviewed by Leonardo De Chirico
    • Simon Chan Liturgical Theology: The Church as Worshiping Community (IVP Academic, 2006) Reviewed by W Travis McMaken
    • Carlos R Bovell Inerrancy and the Spiritual Formation of Younger Evangelicals (Wipf and Stock, 2007) Reviewed by David Parker
    • Simon Carey Holt God Next Door—Spirituality & Mission in the Neighbourhood (Acorn Press, 2007) Reviewed by Bryan A Johnson
    • Anthony C. Thiselton First Corinthians: A Short Exegetical and Pastoral Commentary (Eerdmans, 2006) Reviewed by David R. Denton

Editorial: Spirit, Cross and Church

We open this issue with a challenging question about the Trinity: if in the act of justification, the Father declares us righteous based the Son’s work, what is the role the Spirit? Based on the judgement that the typical reformed view of justification is ‘pneumatologically barren’, Jeffrey Anderson analyses various aspects of the question and finds a dynamic solution in the notion of ‘the Holy Spirit as the creative agent of God’s speech.’ He concludes, ‘The Father’s declaration that we are righteous is spoken by means of the Spirit and was secured by the resurrection of Christ from the dead. This, then, is Trinitarian justification.’

Then we move to important aspect of our church practice—unity. Protestants, and perhaps evangelicals in particular, have a propensity for holding strongly to certain convictions which often pushes the unity of Christian fellowship and structures to the limits. So George Harper has tackled this problem by reflecting on the importance that should be placed on ‘Cyprian’s paradigm’ of strict organizational unity. Advancing several arguments against the traditional view, he proposes that the evangelical practice of ecclesiology as a ‘secondary concern’ (which allows ‘room for a wide range’ of expressions of church) is entirely valid, and can serve ‘the health of the body of Christ and the advance of the gospel.’

Worship is another vital concern for Christians in which evangelicals have an interesting history. Recent experiences of the variety of types of worship have led John J. Davis to think about current trends towards ‘thinning’ and ‘flattening’ of worship. He uses the analogy of ‘the game’ and the sociology of knowledge with the aim of retrieving a ‘more robust doxological imagination’ through deepening the sense of transcendence in worship; the basis is that ‘the act of true New Testament worship “in the Spirit” involves a process of ontological transformation of the church.’

Our fourth paper is the final contribution from our 2007 consultation on evangelical political engagement. David Hoehner gives a succinct historical review of the emergence of liberal democracy and shows how Christians can engage most effectively with this system which, contrary to some thinking, does enable to church to be more authentic in its witness than was the case under ‘Christendom.’

Our final article is a review essay by James Merrick examining the way in which evangelical interest in Karl Barth has re-surfaced in the context of the widespread quest for ‘evangelical identity.’ Merrick thinks that the change of mind that is now evident has the possibility, especially in regard to Barth’s exegesis, of making a ‘profitable, stimulating, and, when appropriate, formative’ contribution to our theology. Any such activity is surely worth pursuing!

David Parker, Editor.