The Gospel Coalition

 

Volume 33, Issue 1

May 2008

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Columns

Editorial

D. A. Carson

Other changes, though relatively minor, are more substantive. The new Themelios aims to serve both theological/religious studies students and pastors. There will be no print version. Our hope is to become increasingly international in representation: take a look at the list of Book Review Editors and their addresses on the previous page.

Why Should Thoughtful Evangelicals Read the Medieval Mystics?

Carl Trueman

In a recent class on the medieval church, I did my traditional two hours on medieval mystics, covering such personages as Bonaventure, Meister Eckhart, Hildegard of Bingen, and Julian of Norwich. I also included Thomas Aquinas to make the point that mysticism, at least in a medieval context, does not exclude solid theological discussion, biblical exegesis, and propositional truth.

How a Mega-Church is Rediscovering the Gospel

Joe Coffey

Hudson Community Chapel is a suburban church in the Midwest that averages a little over three thousand people each weekend. We were ranked as one of the top one hundred fastest-growing churches in 2007. I think we have done some things well, and I don't think our growth was the result of preaching a prosperity gospel or appealing to the felt needs of people.

Articles

Blondel Remembered: His Philosophical Analysis of the "Quest for the Historical Jesus"

Paul Hartog

Readers of the Expository Times were recently encouraged to pull up a chair and eavesdrop as James Dunn and Robert Morgan dialogued concerning faith and history and the "quest for the historical Jesus." Although the discussion centered upon James Dunn's Jesus Remembered, both contributors acknowledged those who had plowed the same field before them.

Nonviolence in the Ancient Church and Christian Obedience

Kirk R. MacGregor

In the course of Christian history, nowhere has the tension between the teachings of Jesus and valid application of those teachings in postbiblical socio-cultural circumstances manifested itself more clearly than surrounding the issue of violence. Stemming from the sixteenth-century divide between pro-statist Magisterial and anti-statist Radical Reformers,1 most scholarship on this issue may straightforwardly be split between "hawks"and "doves,"with each side open to the charge of reading the sacred text through the respective lenses of either the Protestant appropriation of Augustinian just war theory or the Anabaptist denouncement of the post-Constantinian alliance between church and state.

Truthfulness in Usefulness: Stanley Fish and American Literary Pragmatism

Dane C. Ortlund

"For to freedom you yourselves were called, brothers; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another."—Gal 5:131 This paper explores the contemporary hermeneutical2 approach of literary pragmatism, analyzing both the benefits and the potential dangers therein, particularly with regard to interpreting the text of Scripture.

Mission: A Problem of Definition

Keith Ferdinando

It must by now be questionable whether the word "mission"retains any residual value for missiology. Humpty Dumpty's approach to language—"When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less" —perhaps reflects his creator's diagnosis of a degenerative disease that afflicts some words, a sort of linguistic entropy or inflation. If so, this pathological condition seems to have caught up with "mission,"and perhaps with terminal effect.

An Augustinian Mindset

Peter Sanlon

One of the most eminent spin doctors of the fourth century, Augustine bemoaned that he was merely a vendito verborum (a peddler of words). After he became a Christian he gave up what he perceived as arrogant rhetoric designed to impress, instead cultivating what he called sermo humilis (humble speech). The secular spin doctor became a Christian preacher.

Book Reviews