The publication of this issue of SCJ coincides with two historic events for the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement, onethe publication of Thomas Campbell's Declaration and Address, twothe 100-year commemoration of this document with the Great Communion held at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh in 1909. What should we do about this? Hopefully, many from all three streamsDisciples of Christ, Churches of Christ (a cappella), and Christian Churches (independent)will have participated in the regional celebrations of the Great Communion on October 4th. Personally, I am going to the Great Communion being held in Pittsburgh and also one in Washington County, Pennsylvania, where the document was first published. But, beyond rehearsing the past, which has its measure of joy and assurance that we are part of a significant, Christian movement, what does any of this mean for our future?
Thomas Campbell had a vision of reformulating Christianity, at least Protestant Christianity, into some form of unified stance. He was convicted about this based on his correct understanding of Scripture that, as he says in his most memorable, "Prop. I" from the Address, "That the Church of Christ upon earth is essentially, intentionally, and constitutionally one." He was appalled at the animosity between denominations that he found in America and believed the many opportunities of this new nation included the opportunityeven the mandateto sweep away the past and try to start fresh like the earliest Christians. This would be no easy task, since so many human traditions regarding the interpretation of Scripture had arisen, many with the originally noble purposes of warding off heretical doctrine and questionable Christian cults. But he had a dream and a plan that he mapped out in the Declaration and Address.
Since then, much has happened, an initial swelling of numbers from the American "frontier" of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, a slow north/south division after the Civil War creating Churches of Christ (a cappella), an exodus from the Disciples of Christ by "independent" Christian churches in this century, and lately, since the 2006 North American Christian Convention, a concerted effort by at least some leaders of Christian churches (independent) and Churches of Christ (a cappella) to function as friends and coworkers in a growing number of ministry areas. But where do we go from here?
Our past can guide us but should not limit us. John Stackhouse, Jr., whose book Making the Best of It: Following Christ in the Real World (Oxford University Press, 2008) is reviewed later in this issue, gives the following insight that we should listen to: "The conclusions of one age become the tradition that guides the next, but they do not provide all that the next age needs in exactly the formulation it needs" (173). The best way, then, to carry Thomas Campbell's worthy dream forward is to reconsider its intentions in light of todayand tomorrowand reformulate it. Our world is far different than the world of 200 years agoor 100 years ago. And in that light, Doug Foster, has attempted to restate Campbell's propositions for today in a pamphlet SCJ has distributed at conferences all during this commemorative year.
However, more is needed. With local congregations removing references to their denominational ties as fast as they can, with Christian churches (independent) bursting their seams, and with streams of the movement in more of a cooperative spirit than ever, in many ways, we are in a stronger position to move toward Thomas Campbell's dream than even he was. But it needs to become our dream too. We need to see a unification of believersif not in formal unity, then at one in attitude, cooperation, and kinshipas something we strive for in our personal relationships with Christian friends, our congregation-to-congregation relationships across the spectrum of Christianity, and certainly in our uniting in efforts with the other streams of our Stone-Campbell heritage.
Those of us who embrace scholarship and are part of the SCJ scholars community can lead the way in all these effortsas we have been doingby modeling the unity of Christ's church to colleagues, students, and people in the church who look to us for leadership. We can determine to mine the principles of our Stone-Campbell heritage as a part of our research disciplines and articulate them afresh in light of the contemporary world and American culture. We need to act on our unique position to aid those in our churches, both those who care about our distinctive heritage and those who know nothing about it, to understand and enact its key principles in their lives by speaking and writing about these things whenever opportunity arises. SCJ and the SCJ Conference, to which all are invited to contribute in the years ahead, are open opportunities to do just that.
Regarding the 2010 conference, the ninth annual SCJ conference, hosted by Cincinnati Bible Seminary and Cincinnati Christian University, is April 9-10 (8:30 FridayNoon, Sat). The theme, Blending New and Old: Spirituality for the 21st Century, features Scot McKnight (Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University) who will present "Spirituality in a Postmodern Age" and "Spiritual Disciplines Today." Ron Heine (Professor of Bible and Christian Ministry, Northwest Christian College) will present "Spirituality in Origen." Fred Norris (Professor Emeritus of World Christianity, Emmanuel School of Religion) will present "Spirituality in Gregory of Naziazen." David Fleer (Professor of Bible and Communication and Special Assistant to the President, Lipscomb University) will present a sermon, "The Challenge of Spirituality for Academic Scholars." Related papers or papers on other biblical, theological, or historical topics are sought for parallel sessions, from experienced scholars as well as from student scholars. Send your paper title (no abstract needed) to William Baker, SCJ (firstname.lastname@example.org). Two continuing study groups welcome submissions: the Christian Education group (email@example.com) and the Biblical Teaching on Women group (firstname.lastname@example.org). Four new study groups welcome submissions: Contemporary Religious Movements (email@example.com); Old Testament Prophecy and Contemporary Application (firstname.lastname@example.org); Purity in Mark's Gospel (email@example.com); Reexamining Theology in the Restoration Movement (firstname.lastname@example.org). A formal student-paper competition is also being organized for two levels (junior/senior; M.A./M.Div.) on any themes with an additional special prize category for Stone-Campbell themes (Rick Cherok, email@example.com). Make all submission contacts by December 1, 2009. To Register: Go the SCJ web site (stone-campbelljournal.com) after January 1 or contact Susan Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This new issue of SCJ features two articles on Stone-Campbell heritage. In the first, Gary Holloway describes the impact of the Thomas Campbell's Declaration and Address over the past two hundred years among those in Churches of Christ (a cappella). In the second, Joe Sprinkle reexamines Alexander Campbell's position on the Law, a matter also addressed in SCJ 2.1 and 5.2. In addition, Carrie Birmingham presents a thoughtful explanation of how public school teachers who are Christian can bring their faith commitment into their vocation, Tremper Longman III provides his intriguing address from the 2009 SCJ Conference on how to read Ecclesiastes, Barry Blackburn offers insight in reading Mark, and Derek Cooper gives a helpful perspective on the impact of James among Puritans.
William R. Baker, Editor
Having examined references by members of Churches of Christ since 1906, three broad approaches to the primary themes of the Declaration and Address are identified. Some hold that the "Unity through Restoration" called for in the Declaration and Address has been fully achieved through Churches of Christ. Others believe that "Unity through Restoration" has not been fully accomplished, but is a noble goal. Many others in Churches of Christ in the last few decades say the Declaration and Address views freedom, not restoration, as the path toward Christian unity.
Alexander Campbell's "Sermon on the Law" was important in the rise of the
Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement and influenced some associated with
that movement to neglect the OT. This paper analyzes Campbell's approach to
the Mosaic regulations, pointing out strengths and weaknesses in his "dispensa-
tional" approach to the law. The inadequacy of Campbell's approach is shown by
examining cases in Romans, Corinthians, and the letters to Timothy where Paul
uses Mosaic laws to derive moral and religious principles for the Christian.
Proper understanding of Ecclesiastes begins with the recognition that there are
two voices in the book, the Teacher (1:1212:7) and the frame narrator (1:1-11;
12:8-14). The frame narrator examines and evaluates the thought of the Teacher
to give his son (12:12) a lesson on life. The Teacher expresses an "under the sun"
perspective. The frame narrator encourages his son toward an "above the sun"
perspective. Finally, Ecclesiastes is read in the light of the New Testament.
The soteriology of Mark's Gospel unfolds against the background of Jewish
apocalyptic, according to which Israel and even the nations require deliver-
ance from the present evil age and entry into the age to come. Jesus is God's
agent for effecting this salvation through a process that commences with Jesus'
earthly ministry and extends to his future coming as the Son of Man.
Throughout the history of the church, commentators on the epistle of James have
variously reconciled the author's view on the doctrine of justification with the
apostle Paul's. Certain interpreters in the sixteenth century such as Martin
Luther, however, opposed the reconciliation of James and Paul. Although post-
Reformation Protestants collectively adopted many of Luther's views, they did
not reject the authority of James as Luther had. This article argues that Puritan
commentators, though holding tenaciously to the doctrine of justification by
faith alone, defended the canonicity of James based primarily on their persis-
tent use of the analogy of faith.
Richard J. CHEROK, Debating for God: Alexander Campbell's Challenge to Skepticism in Antebellum America
Garth M. ROSELL, The Surprising Work of God: Harold John Ockenga, Billy Graham, and the Rebirth of Evangelicalism
Barry HANKINS, American Evangelicals: A Contemporary History of a Mainstream Religious Movement
Camille K. LEWIS, Romancing the Difference: Kenneth Burke, Bob Jones University, and the Rhetoric of Religious Fundamentalism. Studies in Rhetoric and Religion 4
Thomas S. KIDD, American Christians and Islam: Evangelical Culture and Muslims from the Colonial Period to the Age of Terrorism.
Antony FLEW and Roy Abraham VARGHESE, There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind
Thomas C. ODEN, How Africa Shaped the Christian Mind: Rediscovering the African Seedbed of Western Christianity
Jeff VINES, Dinner with Skeptics: Defending God in a World That Makes No Sense
Ron HIGHFIELD, Great Is the Lord: Theology for the Praise of God
Christopher J.H. WRIGHT, The God I Don't Understand: Reflections on Tough Questions of Faith
Anthony C. THISELTON, The Hermeneutics of Doctrine
Jason E. VICKERS, Invocation and Assent: The Making and Remaking of Trinitarian Theology
John G. STACKHOUSE, Jr, Making the Best of It: Following Christ in the Real World
David Lyle JEFFREY and C. Stephen EVANS, eds, The Bible and the University
Jeffrey B. SYMYNKYWICZ, The Gospel according to Bruce Springsteen: Rock and Redemption, from Asbury Park to Magic
Greg FORSTER, The Contested Public Square: The Crisis of Christianity and Politics
James R. ESTEP, Michael J. ANTHONY, and Gregg ALLISON, A Theology for Christian Education
Debra E. HARMON and Barbara J. RHODES, When the Minister Is a Woman
of Mid-America, Columbia, Missouri)
Gary V. NELSON, Borderland Churches: A Congregation's Introduction to Missional Living
James L. MAYS, Preaching and Teaching the Psalms
Stanley E. PORTER, ed, The Messiah in the Old and New Testaments
Bob EKBLAD, Reading the Bible with the Damned
Scot MCKNIGHT, The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible
Walter C. KAISER, Jr., Darrell L. BOCK, and Peter ENNS, Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament
James K. HOFFMEIER, The Archaeology of the Bible
Davis A. YOUNG and Ralph F. STEARLY, The Bible, Rocks, and Time
Carol M. BECHTEL, ed, Touching the Altar: The Old Testament and Christian Worship
M. Daniel CARROLL R. and Jacqueline E. LAPSLEY, eds, Character Ethics and the Old Testament: Moral Dimensions of Scripture
Mark D. FUTATO, Interpreting the Psalms: An Exegetical Handbook. Handbooks for Old Testament Exegesis
Constantine R. CAMPBELL, Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek
John H. ARMSTRONG, ed, Understanding Four Views on the Lord's Supper. Counterpoints: Church Life
Russell PREGEANT, Knowing Truth, Doing Good: Engaging New Testament Ethics
Rita N. BROCK and Rebecca A. PARKER, Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire
John PIPER, The Future of Justification: A Response to N.T. Wright
David Alan BLACK, ed, Perspectives on the Ending of Mark: 4 Views
Craig R. KOESTER, The Word of Life: A Theology of John's Gospel
Tom THATCHER, ed, Jesus, the Voice, and the Text: Beyond the Oral and the Written Gospel
David A. FIENSY, Jesus the Galilean: Soundings in a First Century Life
Charles B. PUSKAS and David CRUMP, An Introduction to the Gospels and Acts
Michael F. BIRD, Introducing Paul: The Man, His Mission and His Message
Yung Suk KIM, Christ's Body in Corinth: The Politics of a Metaphor
Ben WITHERINGTON III, 1 and 2 Thessalonians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary
Craig L. BLOMBERG and Mariam J. KAMELL, James. Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
Quotables for this issue where chosen by Jamey and Heather Gorman, Ph.D. Students at Baylor University
"Focusing on what the First Amendment prohibits should not prevent us from recognizing and maximizing the opportunities it provides."
"Beginning in the late 1960s, another interpretation of the Declaration and Address began to gain traction among Churches of Christ. It took both the restoration and unity themes of the document seriously but saw both not as accomplished works but as desirable aims."
"An increasingly popular view among the Church of Christ writers in the last few decades is that the Declaration and Address views freedom, not restoration, as the path toward Christian unity."
"Those who think Churches of Christ are the entire, united, true church see the Declaration and Address as a pattern for a restoration fully accomplished in Churches of Christ. Those who wish to be more open to other Christians see it as a call to both restoration and unity in our own time. Those who want to embrace the whole wide Christian world see it as an invitation to freedom."
"The essence of Campbell's sermon is that Christians are not under the Mosaic law but under the new covenant in Christ. This includes the Ten Commandments...Only those laws repromulgated by Christ apply to Christians."
"An approach that seeks the moral and spiritual principles of the law that transcend the covenants is one that can acknowledge Campbell's insights and at the same time correct Campbell's excesses concerning the Mosaic law."
"In Ecclesiastes, the theology of the book is to be derived from the frame narrator as he evaluates Qohelet's message to his son in the epilogue."
"In the end, though, Qohelet wants to do more than expose his son to 'under the sun' thinking. He wants to lead him to an 'above the sun' perspective."
"But if 'the present age' did not end precisely as 'the age to come' began to make itself felt, then one should expect that the salvific work of the Messiah might be multifaceted and executed in stages . This is precisely what we find in Mark's Gospel."
"Through Jesus, we have already tasted the powers of the age to come, and in eagerness and wonder we lean into the future and strain forward toward the new world that he has promised us."
"Puritan interpreters, though maintaining the centrality of the theological doctrine of justification by faith alone (sola fide), defended the canonicity of James based on their equally central hermeneutical doctrine of the analogy of faith (analogia fidei), which asserts that Scripture must conform to orthodox teaching."
"According to the Puritan exegetes, the errors of the early Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Arminians, and Socinians, was their failure to correctly identify the scope of the letters of these apostles, thereby hindering a proper reconciliation of Romans with James."