TC ERT Jul 2009 Vol 33 No 3


Theme: Holistic Gospel


  • Editorial: Holistic Gospel
  • Holistic Gospel in a Developing Society: Biblical, Theological and Historical Backgrounds by James Nkansah-Obrempong
  • Holistic Gospel in a Developing Society: Some Biblical, Historical and Ethical Considerations by Justin Thacker
  • Holistic Mission Revisited: Theological Insights from Argentina by David A. Roldán
  • Evangelicals and Catholics Together? Issues and Prospects for Dialogue and Common Witness in Lowland Philippines by Timoteo Gener
  • Worship – the Source and Standard of Theology by Rolf Hille
  • The Predestination Principle: A Bible Study by John Boykin
  • Book Reviews:
    • Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism? by James K. A. Smith. Reviewed by Rob Haskell.
    • The Theology of John Wesley: Holy Love and the Shape of Grace by Kenneth J. Collins. Reviewed by Philip A. Gottschalk.
    • God’s Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe’s Religious Crisis by Philip Jenkins. Reviewed by George W. Harper, Evangelical Theological Seminary, Osijek, Croatia.
    • The Sacred Anointing: Preaching and the Spirit's Anointing in the Life and Thought of Martyn Lloyd-Jones by Anthony Sargent. Reviewed by Lynn Wales, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
    • Gems From Martyn Lloyd-Jones An Anthology of Quotations from “The Doctor” Foreword by Professor J.I. Packer. Reviewed by Lynn Wales, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
    • Re:Mission: Biblical Mission for a Post-Biblical Church by Andrew Perriman. Reviewed by Patrick Mitchel Irish Bible Institute Dublin Ireland
    • Body and Character in Luke and Acts. The Subversion of Physiognomy in Early Christianity by Mikeal C. Parsons Reviewed by Leonardo De Chirico, IFED, Padova, Italy.
    • An Introduction to the Desert Fathers by Jason Byassee. Reviewed by Christopher A. Hall, Eastern University, St. Davids, Pennsylvania, USA.
    • Francis Schaeffer and the Shaping of Evangelical America by Barry Hankins. Reviewed by David Parker, Editor, Evangelical Review of Theology
    • Reinventing English Evangelicalism, 1966-2001: a theological and sociological study by Rob Warner. Reviewed by David Parker. Editor, Evangelical Review of Theology
    • Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels by Kenneth E. Bailey. Reviewed by David Parker, Editor Evangelical Review of Theology
    • Ministry on my mind: John Newton on entering pastoral ministry transcribed by Marylynn Rouse. Reviewed by David Parker, Editor Evangelical Review of Theology
    • A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards by George M Marsden. Reviewed by David Parker, Editor, Evangelical Review of Theology
    • The Unique and Universal Christ: Jesus in a Pluralistic World by Michael Nazir-Ali. Reviewed by David Parker, Editor, Evangelical Review of Theology

Editorial: Holistic Gospel

Papers from our consultation in Bangkok, Thailand, held in October 2008 in conjunction with the Fellowship of Theological Institutes of Thailand, form the lead articles in this issue. The theme, ‘The holistic gospel in a developing society’, was treated from biblical, theological and historical perspectives by newly appointed TC Vice-Chairman, Dr James Nkansah (Kenya) and Chairman, Dr Justin Thacker (UK).Then TC member, David Roldán (Argentina,) contributed a short background paper giving insights from his own context. These papers give a valuable foundation for the words of the Consultation Statement: ‘In line with the evangelical tradition, which was reaffirmed at Lausanne 1974, we understand holistic mission to incorporate the proclamation and visible demonstration of the good news which is ours in Jesus Christ. Being disciples, the point of the call of the Great Commission means loving God and your neighbour in concrete ways.’

Timoteo Gener (The Philippines) presents a fascinating case study of another aspect of ‘holism’ as he examines evangelical and Roman Catholic relationships. This paper, which arises out of his personal experience and reflection, is a timely contribution as the World Evangelical Alliance commences another round of conversations with the Roman Catholic Church extending the previous decade of sessions (see ERT April 2005, 29:5,100-130). Gener is convinced that the most important aspect of such discussions ‘is Christ’s holistic vision for the church for the transformation of the world’. So ‘to be truly “Evangelical” is to be faithful and subservient to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his vision for the church in the world. And to seek unity... defines the nature of such discipleship in and for our time.’

We then turn in another direction as the long-time former chairman of the Theological Commission, Rolf Hille (Germany), discusses the significance of worship as ‘the source and standard of Theology’. He emphasizes that ‘Theology arose from the church assembled around God’s Word, that listens to God, speaks to him, and experiences his presence in her midst’. Since ‘The mystery of faith encountered in worship is celebrated with praise not just in the performance of the liturgy,... it should also be reflected upon, proclaimed, and understood anew’.

Our final paper is a Bible study from the United States which invites us to look at this message from St Paul in a new light: God ‘chose us in him [Christ] before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ’ (Eph. 1: 4-5). It is important not to misunderstand these profound and challenging words, but to allow the mighty acts of God in Christ to be realised in us for his glory.

David Parker, Editor