Commissions

TC ERT Oct 2009 Vol 33 No 4 (Index Issue)

10.01.09

Theme: Discerning the Obedience of Faith

Contents:

  • Editorial: Discerning the obedience of faith
  • The Truncated Gospel in Modern Evangelicalism: A Critique and Beginning Reconstruction by Samuel R. Schutz
  • Growing Disciples in the Rainforest: A Contextualized Confession for Pygmy Christians by Benno van den Toren
  • The Place of Church Planting in Mission: Towards a Theological Framework by Richard Yates Hibbert
  • Migration, Mission and the Multi-ethnic Church by Thorsten Prill
  • Bevans and Bediako: Reconsidering Text-Based Models of Contextual Theologising by Alan Thomson
  • Renewed Journey: A Study of Philippians 3:10-11 by John Lewis
  • Index to Volume 33
  • Book Reviews
    • Evangelical Identity and Contemporary Culture: A congregational study in innovation by Matthew Guest. Reviewed by David Parker
    • The God Who is Triune: Revisioning the Christian Doctrine of God by Allan Coppedge. Reviewed by David Bradnick
    • Nigeria’s Christian Revolution: The Civil War Revival and Its Pentecostal Progeny (1967-2006 by Richard Burgess. Reviewed by Bruce Dipple
    • The Work of the Spirit: Pneumatology and Pentecostalism edited by Michael Welker. Reviewed by Jacob D. Dodson
    • The Divine Spiration of Scripture: Challenging Evangelical Perspectives by A. T. B. McGowan. Reviewed by Carlos Bovell
    • What are we waiting for? Christian Hope and Contemporary Culture edited by Stephen Holmes and Russell Rook. Reviewed by Patrick Mitchel
    • The Spirit of Hinduism: A Christian Perspective on Hindu Life and Thought by David Burnett. Reviewed by Raymond J. Laird
    • The Expansion of Evangelicalism: The Age of Wilberforce, More, Chalmers and Moody by John Wolffe. Reviewed by Richard V. Pierard
    • The Suffering Body: Responding to the Persecution of Christians edited by Harold D Hunter and Cecil Robeck, Jnr. Reviewed by Bryan A Johnson
    • Transformation after Lausanne: Radical Evangelical Mission in Global-Local Perspective by Al Tizon. Reviewed by J. Daniel Salinas
    • Engaging Politics: The tensions of Christian Political Involvement by Nigel Oakley. Reviewed by James Nkansah-Obrempong

Editorial: Discerning the Obedience of Faith

This is my final issue as editor of this journal. I took up the role from the founding editor, Dr Bruce Nicholls, in 1999, having already been Book Editor for six years before that. It has been a privilege to edit ERT over these years as it has changed from largely a digest of selected pre-published articles for the benefit of the Majority World into a genuine ‘forum of global evangelical theology’. This transition reflects the increasing numbers of competent and committed evangelical theologians around the world, and more importantly, their maturity and strategic significance for the future. It has been my pleasure to work with established authors and especially with younger ones, seeking to ‘discern the obedience of faith’ (Rom. 1:5) for the mission and witness of the church in our rapidly changing world.

I have sought to reflect in ERT the diversity and global nature of the church and its theological work. These features are reflected in this issue as much as in any other as we present articles highlighting the importance of expressing the authentic message of the gospel in all its fullness and hope.

We start with Samuel Schutz’s call to avoid presenting a ‘truncated’ gospel, seemingly effective in securing results from evangelistic effort, but in fact, deficient in producing the kind of disciples that are intended by our Lord. In a remarkable parallel, Benno van den Toren reports on efforts to develop sound evangelistic and discipling practices among the Pygmy churches in Central Africa.

Richard Yates focuses on the importance of church planting in the evangelistic task (in contrast to a purely individualistic approach) and its role of creating ‘communities which display... [thel kingdom qualities of love and unity and thus point to God’. Thorsten Prill discusses an aspect of church planting which is of increasing relevance—the nature of churches in multi-cultural situations, whether they should be mono-ethnic or multi-ethnic. He argues strongly for the latter on biblical grounds. With the cultural context in mind, it is appropriate to investigate the issue of contextualization which Alan Thomson does by means of reviewing the influential ideas of Stephen Bevans in the light of ‘best practice’ i.e, ‘how contextual theologising could (at least theoretically) be done’, using the work of the late African theologian, Kwame Bediako as a foil.

To round out this issue, I am also pleased to present another in our important series of Bible study articles, designed to stimulate and feed church leaders and students from the Word. In the midst of an uncertain world, this message from Philippians ‘is a passionate plea for fullness of life in Jesus Christ’ which calls us ‘to trust in the only one who can truly hold us securely and who longs to touch the world through open hearts’.

David Parker, Editor