TC ERT Jan 2012 Vol 36 No 1


Now available
Paternoster Periodicals, c/- AlphaGraphics, 6 Angel Row, Nottingham NG1 6HL, UK

Theme: Commending the Truth


  • Christian Higher Education in a Global Context by Nelly Garcia Muríllo
  • TNew Christian Universities and the Conversion of Cultures by Joel A. Carpenter
  • Leaders as Servants: a Resolution of the Tension by Derek Tidball
  • John Calvin on the Strength of our Weak Praying by Michael Parsons
  • Answering Contemporary Western Islamic Polemics by Anthony McRoy
  • The Bible: Is it a Fax from Heaven? by Vishal Mangalwadi

Editorial: Commending the Truth

We introduce a new volume of our journal with a stirring address by Nelly Garcia Murillo (Universidad de Costa Rica) on the challenge of globalisation and other complexities of the modern world to Christian higher education. Her question is: ‘How do we then orient Christian higher education in a way that organizes curriculum, methodology, and the school administration in such a way that the true objects of these educational concerns, the students themselves, are taken into consideration? … And if we cannot reach this goal, what is our role as Christian educators?’

This leads us to the our second article, by Joel Carpenter (USA), which focuses on one aspect of the ‘seismic’ re-location of Christianity to the South – ‘the unprecedented expansion of Christian higher education, worldwide, even in very poor nations.’ As he points out, this raises ‘intriguing questions about the relationship of gospel and culture in the new Christian heartlands where they are at work.’ The challenge here is ‘to restore wholeness by nurturing fully orbed communities of scholarship and learning.’

These educational opportunities call for many different types of skills and insights, including aspects of leadership and spirituality. Derek Tidball (UK) tackles the tension between leadership and servanthood, suggesting that the answer is to be found in the first century context where ‘Fathers were figures of authority and they gave direction to the families.’ In the Christian setting, ‘fathers were in charge’ but ‘because of Christ, simultaneously [they were] the family’s servant.’

Mike Parsons (UK) takes us to John Calvin’s teaching on prayer as one element in a spirituality that is always needed, but is especially vital in the present context. He shows that Calvin emphasized the importance of recognizing and acknowledging our weakness and poverty. This then leads on to showing that is ‘only by prayer to a God who has already proven himself in Christ to be faithful and capable can we truly seek to have any strength and influence.

On this basis we can turn to one specific part of the present context of witness. Anthony McRoy (UK) shows how evangelical Christians need to be much more aware of the early history of their faith than is commonly the case to deal with contemporary Muslim propagandists who are utilising modern attacks on Christianity and the Bible in their polemics against Christianity.

We conclude with an article reproduced by permission of the original publishers showing how an Indian philosopher and social reformer Vishal Mangalwadi views the importance of the Bible and its vital and creative influence on the west. We also carry a review of this innovative evangelical book with its powerful message in the hope that readers will be inspired by it to see how they can use the insights of Scripture, along with the other topics addressed in this issue of our journal, to commend the truth of the gospel in our present complex world.

This issue also features some review articles on important books which require extended treatment. We also review the publication from our own task force on Jewish evangelism which met in 2009.

Thomas Schirrmacher, General Editor
David Parker, Executive Editor