Christian Conventional Wisdom Challenged in Spring 2022 Journal
Did Elijah really ascend to heaven in a whirlwind as told in 2 Kings 2?
Was Jesus always the “begotten” Son of God?
Do Christians and unbelievers view the world differently while agreeing on certain facts, or do we actually “know” the world differently?
Are there two acceptable ways of approaching history — world history (Weltgeschichte) and salvation history (Heilsgeschichte)?
What does the Bible mean when it says that an unchanging God repents?
These are some of the prominent points of Christian “conventional wisdom” taken on in the just-released Spring 2022 issue of BJU Seminary’s Journal of Biblical Theology & Worldview (JBTW), available to peruse at no cost.
Ken Casillas, JBTW editor and BJU professor specializing in Old Testament interpretation and pastoral ministries, stated, “The Spring 2022 issue of the Journal of Biblical Theology & Worldview is probably the most controversial we’ve ever published — because as theologians charged with ‘rightly dividing the word of truth,’ we can’t afford to stand pat on Christian conventional wisdom. Rather, our role is to continually advance each field of study or discipline through next-level scholarship to bring us closer to correct doctrine in every respect while leaving appropriate room for mystery and humility.”
The main articles in this month’s Journal, each of which carries forth this theme and purpose, are:
- “Did Elijah Really Ascend to Heaven in a Whirlwind?” by Ken Burkett, pastor of Greenville Bible Church in Greenville, Mississippi, and adjunct professor at Baptist Theological Seminary in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. Most scholars believe in the bodily assumption of Elijah to heaven, but does the Bible really teach that he ascended to heaven in the whirlwind? Getting the story right matters; a proper reading avoids theological problems (some regarding Christology), lends theological clarity, and demonstrates important hermeneutical lessons.
- “Bringing Many Sons to Glory: The Theological Intersection of Sonship and Resurrection in Redemption and Christology—Part 3” by Andrew T. Minnick, director of academics and enrollment at BJU Seminary and adjunct faculty for BJU’s School of Religion. The final article in a three-part series expands from Paul to other New Testament authors Minnick’s examination of the scriptural grounding for saying that the second Person of the Trinity is “begotten,” and how the term relates to His resurrection and preeminence — and consequently to believers’ own resurrection and sonship.
- “The Epistemological Problem of Common Ground Between Believer and Unbeliever in the Search for a Biblical Method of Apologetics” by Renton Rathbun, director of the Center for Biblical Worldview at BJU. When believers and unbelievers engage in debate, they are often, unknowingly, talking past each other. This article endeavors to explore the epistemological difference between believers’ and unbelievers’ mere common ascent to facts and the process of accounting for facts.
- “The Life of Christ As the Center of History in Jonathan Edwards’s History of the Work of Redemption” by Mark Sidwell, professor in BJU’s Division of History, Government, and Social Science. For Edwards, the key to understanding history is the life of Christ — not simply the fact of His incarnation, but the entire redemptive impact of His life of active obedience to the law and passive obedience through suffering and death, climaxing in His resurrection.
- “‘Greater Is He Than Man Can Know’: Divine Repentance and a Brief Inquiry into Anthropomorphism & Anthropopathism, Impassibility & Affectability” by Layton Talbert, professor of theology at BJU Seminary. Theologians should be less sanguine about their ability to explain, with dogmatic confidence, aspects of the character and being of God that are both experientially and revelationally beyond us. This essay is a call for more candor, modesty, and epistemic humility in our theological assertions about a Being infinitely beyond our experience and comprehension.
Book reviews covered in the issue include: ·
- The Trustworthiness of God’s Words: Why the Reliability of Every Word from God Matters by Layton Talbert — reviewed by Scott Aniol, executive vice president of G3 Ministries and professor of pastoral theology at Grace Bible Theological Seminary.
- Revelation (commentary) by Buist Fanning — reviewed by Brian Collins, biblical worldview lead specialist at BJU Press.
- The Path to Being a Pastor: A Guide for the Aspiring by Bobby Jamieson — reviewed by Thomas Overmiller, lead pastor of Brookdale Baptist Church in Moorhead, Minnesota.
- The Problem of the Old Testament: Hermeneutical, Schematic, and Theological Approaches by Duane Garrett — reviewed by Brian Trainer, associate professor for BJU’s School of Religion.
- In Quest of the Historical Adam: A Biblical and Scientific Exploration by William Lane Craig — reviewed by James H. Tuck (PhD, BJU Seminary, 2017).
- Fictions, Lies, and the Authority of Law by Steven D. Smith — reviewed by Mark Ward, editor of Bible Study Magazine.
About the Journal of Biblical Theology & Worldview
The Journal of Biblical Theology & Worldview advances BJU Seminary’s mission of equipping pastors, teachers and counselors to study, live and minister the Bible through uncompromised, next-level, peer-reviewed scholarship that is faithful to Scripture, consistent with our theological heritage, alert to current scholarship, and directed toward contemporary application. The Journal is published twice annually, in fall and spring issues. All issues can be accessed free of charge.
About BJU Seminary
BJU Seminary is a conservative graduate school of theology and ministry in Greenville, South Carolina. The Seminary features a world-class faculty of 25 full-time and adjunct professors recognized as specialists in fields ranging across theology, ministry, apologetics, counseling and missions — fulfilling a commitment to equip leaders to effectively proclaim the Word, serve the church and advance the Gospel.
The Seminary is pursuing a 500 x 5 x 5 strategic vision of putting 500 pastors on the path to the pulpit in the next 5 years — and every 5 years after that — through a 5P Plan of innovation and investment in the areas of program, partnerships, people, plant and profile.
BJU Seminary offers full-time, flexible graduate programs and certificates in areas including biblical counseling, theological studies, expository preaching, ministry studies, intercultural studies, biblical language and literature, Bible teaching, chaplaincy and master of divinity.
The Seminary places a premium on:
- Accessibility, with a complete range of offerings in full-time residence, in summer modules, via livestream and through BJU’s School for Continuing, Online and Professional Education (SCOPE), and
- Affordability, with among the lowest per-credit-hour costs of any conservative seminary and a wide array of financial assistance.