If you have been to the new SCJ website you will see that our new marketing slogan is T3 "Thinking Things Through." We believe our mission is to provide students, ministers, teachers, and scholars resources to stimulate and at times challenge their thinking. Whether a person's chief area of interest is Stone-Campbell Restoration issues, philosophy, theology, preaching, church, missions, biblical culture, current culture, New Testament or Old Testament, each issue has a well-researched article from someone working in that field, or at least a book review on current reading in that area.
Coincidentally, it was pointed out to me at the 2007 SCJ Conference that a book with the exact same title, Thinking Things Through, was published in 1940 (St Louis: Bethany) by Alonzo Fortune, a Disciples of Christ pastor in Lexington, Kentucky, and a professor at The College of the Bible. He wrote this biographical tribute to the ideas of his friend and mentor, E.E. Snoddy, who taught philosophy at The College of the Bible and Transylvania College from 1914 to 1935. Fortune describes Snoddy (29-30): "He profited from others, hence he read widely; but he thought things through for himself. He was a progressive thinker. Instead of seeking to justify the status quo, he kept his mind open to the truth. . . . He refused to be labeled, and he was careful not to attach labels to his brethren. He realized many fine men were misunderstood and maligned because of false labels.
I don't know much else about Professor Snoddy. The book speaks of his trying to grapple with such things as evolution and the Bible as well as the challenge of atheism. However, I would like to thinkwith that kind of approachhe would have been a friend and supporter of SCJ. Today SCJ readers strive to think about the Bible and Christianity in relationship to ever-developing challenges related to the biblical and theological academy as well as the culture. We trust each issue, including this one, is an aid in your own efforts to continue to be "thinking things through."
SCJ has had the privilege of publishing numerous significant articles over our ten years (20 issues), but none is more significant to Stone-Campbell history than our headliner article in this issue. From this point onward, thanks to the careful work of David Matson (Hope International University), the Lunenberg Letter from the "Conscientious Women" sent to Alexander Campbell in 1837 will no longer be regarded as anonymous. Her story will be told; her name will be etched into history. Alexander Campbell's response to this letter from the lady who challenges him to denounce all who are unbaptized or baptized for the wrong reasons as outside of Christ will be put into full perspective.
This issue also includes another unique article, this one by Randy Todd, that reveals Alexander Campbell's not widely known views dating the beginning of the millennium. Brian Messner (Lincoln Christian College) adds to his detailed, historical investigations into Pontius Pilate from two previous articles in SCJ (1.2  201-212; and 3.2  195-208). Keith Stanglin (Harding University) challenges the theological foundation of George Barna's view of the church. Two recent graduates of Emmanuel Theological Seminary provide two more insightful articles. W.G. Hulbert ponders the discrepancies between the accounts of Manasseh in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles. Lastly, Alisha Paddock's winning entry in the 2007 SCJ Conference Student Paper Competition (Graduate) places Paul's familial language in the context of Graeco-Roman society.
In an effort to bring thoughtful ideas into ever wider arenas, this summer SCJ will be sponsoring two lectures and having a booth both at the North American Christian Convention in Cincinnati (July 1-4) and at the World Convention in Nashville (July 30August 3). At the NACC our guest lecturer will be Richard Hughes (Senior Fellow, Ernest L Boyer Center; Distinguished Professor of Religion; Messiah College) who will present "Converted Anew to Christ by Barton W. Stone." At the World Convention (July 30August 3, Nashville, TN) Douglas Foster (Graduate School of Theology; Abilene Christian University) will speak on " Thomas and Alexander Campbell: The Irish Years." David Matson will discuss the content of his article in this issue, "Who Wrote the Lunenburg Letter?" at both the WC and the NACC (though for the latter details are still awaiting confirmation).
William R. Baker, Editor
The "Lunenburg Letter" is arguably the most famous piece of correspondence in the history of the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement. With it the author unleashed a theological firestorm that would engulf Alexander Campbell in the flames of a baptismal controversy whose embers continue to smolder down to the present day. Who was the "conscientious sister" who lit the fuse? This article seeks to shine some light on a woman whose identity has been shrouded in mystery from the very beginninguntil now.
This study explores Alexander Campbells response to the bold claims of William Miller and other nineteenth-century prognosticators that the return of the Lord was imminent. Campbell criticized the audacious certainty of their predictions and challenged their interpretations of these prophecies. Nevertheless, he did publish his belief that significant prophetic events were likely to be fulfilled in 1847 and then in 1866. However, he interpreted these prophecies in light of his ongoing plea to restore the ancient order.
This study proposes that an increasingly common explanation for Pilate's actions in John 19, which directly links Pilate to the equestrian prefect Lucius Aelius Sejanus, is unnecessary. While Pilate's actions were likely influenced by Sejanus's fall in AD 31, no direct connection between Pilate and Sejanus needs to exist to understand John 19.
Barnas recent book, Revolution: Finding Vibrant Faith beyond the Walls of the Sanctuary, describes and defends the current movement taking place within the American church that involves Christians withdrawing from local congregations in order to dedicate themselves more fully to the life of sanctification. Although Barnas call to moral renewal is commendable, the intersection of separation with the motivation of greater holiness is the result of a misunderstanding of the nature of the church and, furthermore, is potentially detrimental to the unity of Christs body and a fruitful ecclesiology.
The differences between the account of Manasseh in 2 Kings and in 2 Chronicles
have led to a number of traditions and interpretations with regard to this
infamous king. Historically, many have held to a 2 Kings view of a wicked
king, while an equal number have held to a 2 Chronicles view of a repentant
king. This article will examine these varied traditions in not only the biblical
literature, but also the writings of the second temple period and rabbinic literature.
Siblingship is a common metaphor Paul uses in describing the family of God. As twenty-first-century readers of the NT, it is hard for us to understand firstcentury ideas. This paper investigates (1) the first-century Greco-Roman concept of siblings in actual families, (2) the ideal roles siblings should fulfill toward one another within Plutarchs treatise, Peri; Filadelfiva (Peri Philadelphia, Concerning Brotherly Love), and (3) Pauls use of the Greco- Roman concept of siblingship within his writings, specifically 1 Thessalonians and Romans.
Three generations since the split with the Disciples of Christ has seen scholarship in Christian Churches (independent) rebuild from its damaged status. With over 65 scholars in biblical, theological, and historical fields in this fellowship of churches, publications both academic and popular are beginning to appear, encouraged by such things as the Stone-Campbell Journal and the SCJ Conference. A solid path has been laid by scholars fully committed to Scripture, scholarship, and the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement to be followed by the growing number of younger scholars who are emerging.
Dayton Keesee. Churches of Christ During the Civil War
Randall Balmer. Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America: An Evangelical's Lament
Steven R. Harmon. Towards Baptist Catholicity: Essays on Tradition and the Baptist Vision
Roger Olson, Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities
Bryan A. Follis. Truth with Love: The Apologetics of Francis Schaeffer
Miroslav Volf, The End of Memory: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World
M. James Sawyer. The Survivor?s Guide to Theology
Dale Brown. The Book of Buechner: A Journey through His Writings
William D. Romanowski. Eyes Wide Open: Looking for God in Popular Culture
Jane Dammen McAuliffe, ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Quran
David E. Garland & Diana R. Garland. Flawed Families of the Bible: How God?s Grace Works Through Imperfect Relationships
Simon Chan. Liturgical Theology: The Church as Worshipping Community
Marva J. Dawn. The Sense of the Call: A Sabbath Way of Life for Those Who Serve God, the Church, and the World
Charles Denison. The Artist?s Way of Preaching
Robert Kysar and Joseph M. Webb. Preaching to Postmoderns: New Perspectives for Proclaiming the Message
Andy G. Olree. The Choice Principle: The Biblical Case for Legal Toleration
Robert B. Chisholm, Jr. Interpreting the Historical Books: An Exegetical Handbook
William D. Mounce, ed. Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words
George Athas, The Tel Dan Inscription: A Reappraisal and a New Interpretation
Christopher J. H. Wright. Knowing the Holy Spirit through the Old Testament
Kenton L. Sparks. Ancient Texts for the Study of the Hebrew Bible: A Guide to the Background Literature
Ralph K. Hawkins. While I Was Praying; Finding Insights about God in Old Testament Prayers
Clyde M. Woods and Justin M. Rogers. Leviticus-Numbers
David Toshio Tsumura. The First Book of Samuel
Stanley Porter, ed. Hearing the Old Testament in the New Testament
Walter Brueggemann. The Theology of the Book of Jeremiah
Ron E. Heine. Reading the Old Testament with the Ancient Church: Exploring the Formation of Early Christian Thought
Darrell L. Bock and Buist M. Fanning, eds. Interpreting the New Testament Text: Introduction to the Art and Science of Exegesis
Leen Ritmeyer. The Quest: Revealing the Temple Mount in Jerusalem
James Bielby and Paul R. Eddy, eds. The Nature of the Atonement: Four Views
Tim Perry. Mary for Evangelicals: Toward an Understanding of the Mother of Our Lord
Thomas R. Schreiner & Shawn D. Wright, editors. Believer?s Baptism: Sign of the New Covenant in Christ
N.T. Wright. Judas and the Gospel of Jesus: Have We Missed the Truth about Christianity?
Stanley E. Porter and Gordon L. Heath. The Lost Gospel of Judas: Separating Fact from Fiction
Charles H. Talbert. Reading the Sermon on the Mount: Character Formation and Ethical Decision Making in Matthew 5-7
Francisco Lozada, Jr., and Tom Thatcher, eds. New Currents through John: A Global Perspective
Dale C. Allison. Resurrecting Jesus: The Earliest Christian Tradition and its Interpreters
Mikael C. Parsons. Body and Character in Luke and Acts: The Subversion of Physiognomy in Early Christianity
Gordon D. Fee. Pauline Christology: An Exegetical-Theological Study
Herbert W. Bateman IV, ed. Four Views on the Warning Passages in Hebrews
Philip H. Towner. The Letters to Timothy and Titus
James W. Thompson. Pastoral Ministry According to Paul: A Biblical Vision
Quotables for this issue were chosen by Stephen Paul, Graduate Student, Emmanuel School of Religion
"Campbell believed that the candidate's limited knowledge of the meaning and purpose of baptism did not negate the effects of baptism.&qu
"Based on this correspondence, one wonders whether Campbell himself even knew the identity of the sister of Lunenburg."
"Any claim that Campbell believed Christ would literally and physically return to earth in 1866 is a misunderstanding or misrepresentation, even if unintentional."
"Though Campbell did not expect the literal return of Christ in 1843 or 1847 or even 1866, he expected something."
"Pilate does not need to be connected directly to Sejanus for his actions to be understood."
"The John 19:12 threat coupled with the crowd pressure found in the synoptic accounts of Jesus' trial help us to understand why, from a Roman perspective, Pilate executed Jesus when he so clearly wanted to set Jesus free."
"There is nothing in Barna's call to spiritual and moral renewal that has not already been said in a clearer and more powerful way by the historic church."
"Barna leaves no meaningful place for the assembling' of believers for the stated aims of praising God, breaking bread, and preaching the word."
"The Deuteronomist is determined to remind the children of Israel why they are in exile, and it seems that there is no room for Manasseh's repentance in that agenda."
"Perhaps we should bear in mind, however, that unlike the exiled people to whom the Deuteronomist wrote, we may have a more complete picture of the life of Manasseh, and it's worth remembering both sides of the story."
"When reading the English text alternatives, we lose some of the family emphasis that Paul had originally intended in his writing."
"Believers are to practice filadelfiva by outdoing one another in giving honor, rather than receiving it, which went against the common cultural practices of the time."