Commissions

ERT Jul 2019 Vol 49 No 3

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

Theme: A Global Forum

Contents:

  1. Editor's Introduction
  2. Image-Bearers for God: Does Biblical Language for Man Matter? by Stephen Noll
  3. Can Followers of Christ Have Sexual Identities? by Gregory Coles
  4. Designed for Flourishing by Joshua Steely
  5. The Emerging Church and Traditional Christian Understanding of Human Sexuality and the Family by Kristina Pickett
  6. The Rejection of God's Natural Moral Law: Losing the Soul of Western Civilization by Thomas K. Johnson
  7. Can Evangelicals Support Christian Zionism by Gerald R. McDermott
  8. Frangelism: Evangelizing by Storytelling by Johannes Reimer
  9. The Doxological Dimensions of Ethics by Thomas Schirrmacher
  10. Book Reviews

Editor's Introduction: On Sex

Oh, did I get your attention? Well, the topic of sex, particularly issues of sexual identity and expression, has gotten a lot of Christians’ attention recently. This themed issue on theological anthropology includes three strong papers on that topic.

But first, we are pleased to present an engaging essay by internationally prominent Anglican scholar Stephen Noll. In his typically witty but trenchant manner, he argues that switching to gender-inclusive language for people—not just for God—comes at a high theological price.

Next, Gregory Coles, author of Single, Gay, Christian, explains why affirming the sexual identity of gay, celibate believers is the right thing to do both biblically and pastorally. Baptist pastor Joshua Steely contributes an enlightening and well-argued defence of classical understandings of sexuality, grounded primarily in Genesis 1–2 but undergirded by broader biblical theology. Laywoman Kristina Pickett, who pursued a master’s degree in theological studies after raising her children and did so well that her professors urged her to start publishing, provides an impassioned examination of where the evangelical church is failing in its teachings on sexual fidelity and what to do about it, against the background of progressive inroads like the Emerging Church.

The other four essays in this issue, though not directly tied to the theme, are all significant and challenging. First, Gerald McDermott traces the history of Christian Zionism, pointing out that it dates back to the early church and is derived from plain interpretations of Scripture. Thomas K. Johnson pleads for a recovery of natural-law ethics as a way to build bridges to our neighbours who are not yet Christian believers and to restore the lost soul of Western civilization. Johannes Reimer succinctly presents a rationale and framework for every church and every individual Christian to engage in effective friendship evangelism. Thomas Schirrmacher’s survey of perspectives on Christian ethics demonstrates the inextricable link between ethics and pursuing the honour and glory of God.

The first book review is actually a ninth article, as Schirrmacher, along with expressing appreciation for the first volume of published documents from the seventeenth-century Synod of Dordt, gives a fascinating, detailed summary of the history of the Synod, which had enormous implications for the future of Calvinism.

Themes for the next two issues are ‘Engagement in the Public Space’ and ‘Theological Education’. See the call for papers on page 262.

I would love to hear your feedback or suggestions. Write to me at bruce. barron0@gmail.com. Happy reading!

Bruce Barron, Editor