Commissions

TC ERT Apr 2016 Vol 40 No 2

16.03.2016

Now available
Paternoster Periodicals, c/- 8-9 Vanguard Court, Preston Farm, Stockton-on-Tees TS18 3TR UK
Email periodicals@alphagraphics.co.uk

Contents:

  1. Does Faith in Secularism Undermine Mission and Development in Africa? by Jim Harries
  2. Towards a biblical and pastoral approach to illness in an African context with particular reference to HIV AIDS by Keith Ferdinando
  3. An Exiled Community as a Missionary Community A Study based on 1 Peter 2:9, 10by Valdir R. Steuernagel
  4. Panel Discussion: A Panel Discussion of Renewing Christian Theology: Systematics for a Global Christianityby Amos Yong
  5. Book Reviews

Editorial: Renewal Theology

This is a special issue of Evangelical Review of Theology featuring a panel discussion of a new systematic theology for beginning students. It is by the prolific author, Amos Yong (Fuller Theological Seminary), whose work has appeared in this journal before, both in the form of articles by him and reviews of his books. This book is titled, Renewing Christian Theology: Systematics for a Global Christianity, a paperback (477 pages) published by Baylor University Press in 2014. Unusually for a book of this type, it includes 56 colour images which form an essential part of the presentation; there are other interesting features of the book brought out by the panel, not least of which is the way it starts its theological vision with eschatology!

Our feature consists of a group of papers which arise from a symposium held at Lee University in Cleveland TN in November 2015. They are introduced by Christopher A. Stephenson who sets the scene for the book and the comments. Then follow four reviews, which are rounded off by a response from Yong himself who reflects on some of the points raised by the articles, helping to explain his vision of a renewalist theology. A review of another of Yong’s recent books follows the panel presentation in our regular review section.

The articles which lead this issue cover some different topics. The first is by Jim Harries (Kenya) who returns to our pages discussing secularism in Africa and its impact on Christian mission and witness. Beginning with the proposal that secularist interventions presuppose certain moral standards to be extant and their rationality to be convincing and superior, he argues that the valuation of all people as fundamentally equal that is necessary for aid distribution that does not result in corruption, is a peculiarly Christian. He concludes that because rationality is a product of Christian faith, evangelism and discipleship can build sustainable development.

Then we welcome Keith Ferdinando with an article which discusses a pastoral approach to illness, also in an African context, focusing on understanding suffering in biblical terms. In particular, he sets out four ‘transforming perspectives’ about the cause of disease which helps our understanding of illness theologically. He concludes by showing how these principles, which are applicable in any situation, can be useful in handling the situation of HIV/AIDS. As he says, ‘underlying it all there must be an explicit recognition . . . of the unlimited and transforming grace of God as it is displayed on the cross. The violation of God’s law will may often be the cause of “evil and AIDS”, but it is his grace in Christ that provides the ultimate and uniquely complete response, as it does for all human sin and pain.’

Then we turn to a classic article by Valdir R. Steuernagel reprinted from our issue of January 1986 (Vol 10:1); this is a helpful study of 1 Peter 2:9-10 which reminds us of the missionary role of the church, important still three decades after it first appeared.

Thomas Schirrmacher, General Editor
David Parker, Executive Editor