TC ERT Oct 2012 Vol 36 No 4


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

Theme: Spirit and Truth


  • The Spirit and the Cross: Insights from Barth and Möltmann by Ben Pugh
  • Process Theology: A Christian Option or a New Religion by Rob Haskell
  • Sabbath – A Biblical Understanding of Creation Care by Christopher Fung
  • TGender Diversity in Mission Work and Leadership by Leanne M. Dzubinski
  • Is Mission Diverse, or is it all just Money? by Jim Harries and Fred Lewis
  • Teaching Patristics for Muslim Students by Wendy Elgersma Helleman
  • Book Reviews
  • Annual Index Volume 36

Editorial: Spirit and Truth

We begin this final issue of the year with an article by Ben Pugh (UK) who is concerned about evangelical interpretations of the cross that are overly objective and technical. Using insights from some of the Neo-Orthodox classics, he shows the 'the Spirit is the facilitator of the Calvary event, he is given after completion of the work and he bears witness thereafter to that completed work.' Pugh is therefore hopeful that 'a cross-centred pneumatology' can bring a much needed 'balance to every aspect of church life.'

Moving to the level of theology proper, Robert Haskell (USA) challenges the claims of Process theology which has a view of God in which he is not all powerful and is dependent on the world for his own self-actualization. Haskell shows that this is neither in harmony with the Bible nor with the church's theological expositions throughout the centuries.

Moving on from these key doctrines, Christopher Fung (Hong Kong) with his own background in science, joins our pages again to propose a singular interpretation of the ministry and death of Jesus Christ in terms of the 'Sabbath' which has consequences for our responsibilities for the care of the created world. He concludes that when the Bible is read properly, 'a vivid earthly-yet-cosmic picture of [its] central character – Jesus Christ – naturally emerges with creation care at its core.'

These profound truths work themselves out in 'the obedience of faith' in many different ways, including the area of leadership and ministry, as Leanne Dzubinski (USA) shows in her article on gender diversity in missions. She argues that without the full inclusion of women, the work of evangelism is hindered and the gospel message is limited in its transformational effects. This means that it is imperative for mission organisations to recognize women as full partners in the work, and in so doing to find that they can make significant contributions to organisational leadership.

Continuing on the missions theme, Jim Harries and Fred Lewis (Kenya and USA) raise for consideration how the financial input of western mission activities often brings negative effects including division, corruption, dependency and worse. They frankly urge that persuasion and the power of God should be the currency that is used.

We conclude with an important article by Wendy Helleman (Canada) reporting on a program of tertiary education in Nigeria where Christian and Muslim students together study Patristics. The course is compulsory for all students at the University which is situated in a bi-religious area, and covers key aspects of the development of early Christianity which took place before the emergence of Islam. This is a challenging course which is proving useful in revealing 'a new role for the study of early Christianity, one that seeks to foster constructive discussion with Muslim colleagues and neighbours.' As such, it is well worth considering in a world where reconciliation based on truth is urgently needed.

Thomas Schirrmacher, General Editor
David Parker, Executive Editor