Paternoster Periodicals, c/- 8-9 Vanguard Court, Preston Farm, Stockton-on-Tees TS18 3TR UK
- Toward an Evangelical Ecclesiology by Timothy George
- Of Mirrors and Men – Surveying a Trajectory for ‘Moving Beyond’ from Scripture to Theology by Michael Borowski
- The Ecosapiential Theology of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job by Andrea L. Robinson
- Colin E. Gunton and Public Theologians: Toward a Trinitarian Public Theology by Naomi Noguchi Reese
- Addressing the Scars on the Face of Christendom: World Mission and Global Persecution in an Age of Changing Intra-Church Relations by Thomas K. Johnson
- Dying to Be the Church: 1 Corinthians 15 and Paul’s Shocking Revelation about Death and Resurrection by Rob A. Fringer
Editorial: Theology in Church and World
We launch this issue with an article by well known American theologian, Timothy George, which outlines the basis for developing an evangelical ecclesiology. From a wide background of involvement in inter-church discussions, he argues that the absence of a well-founded ecclesiology weakens evangelical identity and undermines the ability to participate in ecumenical relations.
We then go behind the scenes to the important question of moving from scripture to theology and welcome the Book Review Editor of this journal, Michael Borowski (Germany) as he outlines some recent expositions of this process. In what is essentially a prospectus for further research on this topic, we are given an insight into some important contributions from masters in the field as they propose foundations for ‘mere evangelical theology’.
Branching out further, we are next treated to an interesting creative example of this ‘moving beyond’ as Andrea Robinson (USA) shows the connectedness of all elements within God's created order as presented in biblical wisdom literature. Robinson explains that ‘ecosapiential theology’ is a much needed insight which includes caring stewardship of the environment, vigilant attention to the condition of nature, and redemptive activity in all aspects of creation.
We now turn to the arena of ‘public theology’, for a focus on theological reflection that impacts the world of everyday life. Naomi Reese (USA) examines the work of Colin Gunton. She concludes that his trinitarianly and eschatologically formulated views provide the resources necessary to move toward a more robust, holistic, and trinitarian public theology that takes into account the triune God in a way that other examples do not.
Our final two articles provide an outside and inside view of the church as it seeks to witness in a world of people, politics and nature. The first by Thomas K. Johnson (Czech Republic) laments that historic ‘scars’ on the church have limited its ability to impact the world in a positive way. However, he now happily believes that some recent developments have changed this, so there is now hope that the church may be able to demonstrate the love which defines it and so be in a position to advance its mission more effectively.
These issues call for a profound change in the inner life of the church. The Bible study article by Rob Fringer (Australia) points to the kind of dynamic to achieve this by looking at the ‘shocking revelation about death and resurrection’ in the famous chapter, 1 Corinthians 15. Fringer shows that this passage is ultimately about ‘how believers should embody Christ’s life, death and transformation in the present.’ Its plain message which has often been ‘downplayed and ignored’, is in fact a powerful ‘warning of the implication of following after a cost-less gospel’. He concludes with words that underline the entire contents of this issue, ‘[W]e do not want to be a divided and ineffective church!’
Thomas Schirrmacher, General Editor
David Parker, Executive Editor