One of the delights of my role as SCJ editor is encouraging scholars to write. Young scholars emerging from immersion in their Ph.D. studies need to know that others want to read about their research in SCJ. Other scholars, buried in grading papers, active in institutional committees, with families in full bloom need sympathetic encouragement to write in their fields of expertise. SCJ is pleased to be the medium of the first publication of such people. Hopefully, this will build confidence to complete larger projects, like publishing theses and dissertations, editing symposia and reference works, and releasing books through major publishers. And when books begin to appear, SCJ makes it a priority to review them.
The annual SCJ Conference brings scholars together, young and old, to be energized in their academic pursuits, including their writing. To discover even one other person who understands one's narrow area of study and shares other interests can provide the boost to get back to work on that article or book idea.
But it also provides an opportunity to have a book published. Most are aware that many meetings between editors and potential authors take place during the Society of Biblical Literature and Evangelical Theological Society annual meetings. Now, something like this has happened via the SCJ Conference. One of our regular attendees, Les Hardin (Florida Christian College), talked about an idea with Jack Kragt, who was representing Kregel with their book display. This led Les to make a formal proposal to Kregel that was accepted. The book, The Spirituality of Jesus, was published in Fall, 2009, and Kregel even placed an ad for it on p. 234 of SCJ 12.2. A complementary notice about it also appeared in the November, 2009, issue of Christianity Today.
Such things give me great satisfaction. They signal the growth of our scholars to find publishers ready to publish their work. They signal the SCJ Conference accomplishing the type of goal that one associates with major academic conferences.
Our scholars are writing in more venues than ever before. The opportunities are there. Publishers have told me that they want to hear from potential authors from the heritage of the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement because they know we come from a strong, biblical foundation, and that people from our heritage are avid readers. So, if you are wondering if anyone would ever want to publish your work, be encouraged: they do. If you know scholars who are not finding time to write, encourage them, ask them to tell you about their ideas, tell them to submit their idea to me or to a book publisher. Publication does happen, but it requires dedication to the task of writing and confidence to connect with a willing publisher.
This issue of SCJ features the work of three young scholars and three veteran scholars. Ethelene Bruce White's novel article covers a revealing slice of Stone- Campbell history as she identifies the distinctive position of Alexander Campbell's sister, Jane, regarding slavery with that of her more famous brother. White, a student at Harding Graduate School of Religion received first-place in the 2009 SCJ Conference Student Paper Competition for this interesting article. Peter Cariaga, another student scholar, writes the first article ever on the specialty field of Stone-Campbell hymnology with an interesting article that examines Alexander Campbell's first hymnal. Gregory McKenzie, a recent graduate of Harding Graduate School of Religion and an active missionary in Peru, engages in a study of Barton Stone's Christology, always a challenging topic.
Veteran scholars fill out the rest of this issue. Hugh Henry and Dan Dyke engage in a fresh way with the issue of evolution, J.J.M. Roberts tackles Isaiah, which represents one of his 2009 SCJ Conference presentations, and David Fiensy, an SCJ Consulting Editor, deals with the matter of the influence of Jesus on Paul.
Readers will see that the review section features two reviews of the same book, the new book by Richard Hughes, Christian America and the Kingdom of God. Both Kathy Pulley (Missouri State University) and Ron Highfield, an SCJ editor (Pepperdine University) review this important book from a highly respected historian.
A note on our totally revamped website is in order. For two years we have anticipated having available all the SCJ articles and reviews in pdf format. This is now accomplished. Book reviews for each issue are available for free download (with registration), a complete index of articles can be downloaded, individual articles are available to print (for a cost), and electronic pricing schemes can now be chosen. Take a look. Use it for research and a teaching tool.
William R. Baker, Editor
Jane Campbell McKeever was an early leader in the American Restoration Movement through her founding of a college for women, similar to Bethany College for men established by her brother Alexander. Both siblings were highly intelligent, multitalented, deeply religious, and committed to family. There was, however, strong disagreement between them concerning slavery and its abolition. Overall, Jane and Alexander agreed on the evils of slavery as practiced in America, but they disagreed almost completely on what to do about them.
This study examines the first edition of Alexander Campbell's Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs and evaluates whether the hymnal served as a statement of faith, a "creed in metre," for Campbell's followers. The study investigates the origins of the various hymns, common themes among the hymns, the significance of selected composers, and the use of the hymnal among Campbell's churches. Special attention is also given to what the hymns and the hymn writers reveal about Campbell's theology.
For Barton W. Stone, agreement with the Bible's statements about Christ was the most that one could require of a believer's Christology. Any teaching beyond these statements, such as the doctrine of the Trinity, was at best an opinion and at worst a threat to the unity of the church. Stone desired to demonstrate the viability of unity among "Bible only" Christians, yet his literal-logical hermeneutic was at odds with the need for Christianity's essential confessions to have meaning beyond recitation of Bible words.
The three pillars of the naturalistic Theory of Evolutionabiogenesis, microevolution, and macroevolutionare reviewed in the context of mythology and of the modern scientific method. It is observed that three critical elements of a scientific theory are not met: predictability, reproducibility, and falsifiable testability. On the other hand, the theory conforms quite well to the characteristics of a myth. Right or wrong, naturalistic evolution in its current state seems more myth than science.
Richard J. Cherok, Debating for God: Alexander Campbell's Challenge to Skepticism in Antebellum America
Charles Simpson, Inside the Churches of Christ: The Reflection of a Former Pharisee on What Every Christian Should Know about the Nondenomenation Denomination
Lawrence A.Q. Burnley, The Cost of Unity: African-American Agency and Education in the Christian Church, 1865?1914
Richard S. Newman, Freedom's Prophet: Bishop Richard Allen, the AME Church, and the Black Founding Fathers
Herman J. Selderhuis, John Calvin: A Pilgrim's Life
Brian Stanley, The World Missionary Conference, Edinburgh 1910
Paul L. Maier, ed., Eusebius: The Church History, A New Translation with Commentary
S.J. McGrath, Heidegger: A (Very) Critical Introduction
James R. Peters, The Logic of the Heart: Augustine, Pascal, and the Rationality of Faith
Bruce A. Ware, Paul Helm, Roger E. Olson, and John Sanders, Perspectives on the Doctrine of God: 4 Views
Robert B. Stewart, ed., The Future of Atheism: Alister McGrath & Daniel Dennett in Dialogue
James W. Sire and Carl Peraino, Deepest Differences: A Christian-Atheist Dialogue
John Milbank, The Future of Love: Essays in Political Theology
John Howard Yoder, Christian Attitudes to War, Peace, and Revolution
Richard T. Hughes, Christian America and the Kingdom of God
Richard T. Hughes, Christian America and the Kingdom of God
Justo L. González and Catherine Gunsalus González, Heretics for Armchair Theologians
Rufus Burrow, Jr., Martin Luther King Jr. for Armchair Theologians
Harold Shank, Listening to His Heartbeat: What the Bible Says about the Heart of God
Anthony N.S. Lane, A Reader's Guide to Calvin's Institutes
Andrew R. Wheeler, Together in Prayer: Coming to God in Community
Todd D. Hunter, Christianity beyond Belief: Following Jesus for the Sake of Others
Mark Husbands and Jeffrey P. Greenman, eds., Ancient Faith for the Church's Future
Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods
Frank Viola and George Barna, Pagan Christianity: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices
Bonnie Thurston, For God Alone: A Primer on Prayer
Calvin Miller, The Path of Celtic Prayer: An Ancient Way to Everyday Joy
Scott T. Gibson, Should We Use Someone Else's Sermon? Preaching God in a Cut-and-Paste World
Audrey Borschel, Preaching Prophetically When the News Disturbs: Interpreting the Media
William Sloan Coffin, The Collected Sermons of William Sloan Coffin
Kent and Barbara Hughes, Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome
Mark A. Yarhouse and James N. Sells, Family Therapies: A Comprehensive Christian Appraisal
Gerd Theissen, The Bible and Contemporary Culture
Brendan Sweetman, Why Politics Needs Religion: The Place of Religious Arguments in the Public Square
Ronald B. Flowers, Melissa Rogers, and Steven K. Green, Religious Freedom and the Supreme Court
John Drane, After McDonaldization: Mission, Ministry, and Christian Discipleship in an Age of Uncertainty
James K.A. Smith, Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation
Juan Francisco Martinez, Walk with the People: Latino Ministry in the United States
Raouf Ghattas and Carol B. Ghattas, A Christian Guide to the Qur'an: Building Bridges in Muslim Evangelism
Daniel Treier, Introducing Theological Interpretation of Scripture
John N. Oswalt, The Bible among the Myths
Daniel I. Block, ed., Israel: Ancient Kingdom or Late Invention?
Peter C. Bouteneff, Beginnings: Ancient Christian Readings of the Biblical Creation Narratives
Thomas B. Dozeman and Konrad Schmid, eds., A Farewell to the Yahwist? The Composition of the Pentateuch in Recent European Interpretation
Bill T. Arnold, Genesis
Telford Work, Deuteronomy
Gerald H. Wilson, Job
Craig G. Bartholomew, Ecclesiastes
Tremper Longman III, Jeremiah, Lamentations
Philip Cary, Jonah
Michael H. Burer and Jeffrey E. Miller, A New Reader's Lexicon of the Greek New Testament
Everett Ferguson, Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries
F. LeRon Shults and Andrea Hollingsworth, The Holy Spirit
Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan, The First Paul: Reclaiming the Radical Visionary behind the Church's Conservative Icon
J.R. Daniel Kirk, Unlocking Romans: Resurrection and the Justification of God
Richard A. Horsley, Jesus in Context: Power, People, and Performance
Dale C. Allison, Jr., The Historical Christ and the Theological Jesus
Margaret Elizabeth Köstenberger, Jesus and the Feminists: Who Do They Say That He Is?
Raquel A. St. Clair, Call and Consequences: A Womanist Reading of Mark
Paul Barnett, Paul: Missionary of Jesus
Magnus Zetterholm, Approaches to Paul: A Student's Guide to Recent Scholarship
Gerald L. Bray, ed., Commentaries on Romans and 1-2 Corinthians: Ambrosiaster
Darian Lockett, Purity and Worldview in the Epistle of James
T. Scott Daniels, Seven Deadly Spirits: The Message of Revelation's Letters for Today's Church
Quotables for this issue were chosen by Adam L. Bean, Emmanuel School of Religion
"When one has made Yahweh one's object of fear, one can remain calm in the face of other fears . . . and live by God's standard of justice and righteousness."
Jane was described as "the rankest kind of an abolitionist and never hesitated to denounce slavery as an abomination."
"Although her area of influence was not as extensive as was Alexander's, Jane Campbell McKeever used her particular talents, resources, and circumstances to advance higher education for women, to promote freedom for slaves, and to lead others to the deliverance available in Jesus Christ"
"In addition to singing correct theology, Campbell wanted Christians to know the content of their songs and to engage their minds when they sang."
"While much study remains to be done on the whole line of Campbell hymnals, the first one represents Campbell's successful effort to provide a statement of faith, a "creed in metre" for the Christians in his care."
"Stone's staggering reply was that if Campbell called brother only those who pray to Jesus as God and "supremely" worship him, then Campbell should not call him brother"
"The solution to the vexing problem of how to decide on the meaning of our "bare minimum"whatever that may beis not to be found in claiming that "orthodox" confession is indisputable or obvious. That is precisely the lesson that Stone and Campbell's literal-logical Biblicism teaches."
"Microevolution is the strongest pillar of evolution, supported by everyone except the most fundamentalist Young Earth Creationists."
"Macroevolution is therefore an extension of microevolution. As noted above, microevolution is an established fact; the only question is its mechanism."
"In contrast to his political opponents, Isaiah maintained a consistent view throughout his long ministry. Peace, security, and well-being could not be obtained by the politics of fear, by ruthless and oppressive military preparations, or by cunning and dishonest military alliances."
"When one has made Yahweh one's object of fear, one can remain calm in the face of other fears and thus live out God's demands to give relief to the poor and needy, to live by God's standard of justice and righteousness."
"Paul as a Hellenized lone wolf going his own way in the early church is decreasingly the picture portrayed in the literature. Yet the disagreement about the presence of allusions to Jesus' logia continues."
"Another author [Cottrell] offers that it is misguided to assume that Jesus' teachings are important for Christians. But if Paul (not to mention the Gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John) placed such value on Jesus' ethical teaching, then perhaps this author's statement is, itself, misguided. Paul considered the ethical teachings of Jesus one of his main gifts to the church."