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Volume 20 Issue 1

How SCJ Began

It started as a glimmer. I was a junior at Lincoln Christian College. By that point I had written enough papers expecting use of journals that I had begun to understand their value. But as I was looking at the rack of current periodicals one day, I noted how many of them were published by denominationally oriented seminaries: Southern Baptist Theological Journal,Ashland Theological Journal, Calvin Theological Journal, Harvard Theological Review, Grace Theological Journal, Princeton Theological Review, and on and on. I asked myself "Why don't we have one?" While the idea of doing something about it someday remained in the back of my mine, little did I know the opportunity would come my way to do something about filling this void some fifteen years later. Today, with this issue, is its twentieth birthday. Let me briefly tell you how SCJ came to be.

I went on from Lincoln to earn a M.A. in New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, then a pretty small seminary that was just at the cusp of its enrollment explosion. My initial goal was to go directly into a Ph.D. program from there, finish it, and teach. But when that could not happen right away, I decided the best thing to do was to continue at TEDS to earn an M.Div. As I look back on it, the opportunity to be exposed to a wider education that included Old Testament, theology, church history, and philosophy has been crucial to enable me to function as general editor of a journal for which I regularly read article submissions in all those areas and more.

My time at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, writing my Ph.D. thesis on the Epistle of James was the opposite. Rather than widening, it was burrowing down as deeply as possible into one research area. Reading hundreds of articles related to my topic though gave me the opportunity to evaluate the quality of articles and of journals. Writing a thesis that was held to a high standard of verifiable research helped me learn the value of communicating and documenting well. So, the rigor of earning a Ph.D. and being at Aberdeen with the top faculty and surrounded by high quality American, evangelical students there all prepared me to want to do something significant when I finished, as was true with nearly everyone who was at Aberdeen at the time. It seasoned me.

When I finished at Aberdeen I began teaching at Mid-South Christian College, and later for the biggest swath of my teaching career at Saint Louis Christian College (followed by Cincinnati Bible Seminary and now the Graduate School of Hope International University). At the beginning, in terms of scholarly work I focused on the opportunity my completed Ph.D. thesis gave me to get it published and to prepare and present papers about it at conferences like the Evangelical Theological Society, Institute of Biblical Research, and Society of Biblical Literature. Being at these conferences year after year presenting papers was important because I continued to be exposed to high quality academic papers. I also met people.

Two of the key people I met were Paul Pollard and Doug Foster. Both were Church of Christ (a cappella). Paul was a young NT professor at Harding University whom I met at an SBL regional meeting soon after returning from Scotland. Being at these academic conferences as a young scholar who knew very few people (especially at a regional meeting), I found myself working hard to meet people of like kind. I was very curious then about anyone with a Ph.D. who had in any way an association with the Restoration Movement (as we were still calling it back then). And I began to realize how many more there were in that stream than in mine—Christian church (independent). I was curious because I thought of Church of Christ (a cappella) as more conservative than "us," but as I was beginning to learn, conservative does not mean less academic. And they did not just have more Ph.D.s, they also had a good number of highly significant, seasoned scholars teaching at prestigious schools and were publishing highly regarded materials in their fields. Well, Paul and I had a friendly and informative lunch. But meeting and continuing to develop my relationship with Paul, I now realize that the first step had been taken toward starting a journal.

Doug Foster I met a few years later at the SBL annual meeting through Barry Blackburn, who went through the Ph.D. program at the University of Aberdeen th eexact same years I did. Barry has been Professor of NT with Atlanta Christian College for his entire teaching career and to my knowledge was the first person of Church of Christ heritage to be hired by a Christian church (independent) college. After some discussion with Doug, I quickly realized if I was to start a journal, I would want Doug as the history editor. I was beginning to realize too that a successful journal would need the involvement of and should serve all streams of the movement. Looking back now, I realize how crucial inviting scholars serving Churches of Christ schools to serve as editors has been toward the success of SCJ. Getting to know them and their schools has been one of the unexpected benefits for me over these years.

Jon Weatherly was the associate minister under Calvin Philips at the historic SouthSide Christian Church, Hammond, Indiana. This being my wife’s home church, John and I met there soon after Joni and I returned from Scotland. At the time he was also working on a master’s degree from TEDS. So, we had a kinship there that was the springboard of our early conversations. But when he heard that I had just come from being in Aberdeen for four years, he was stunned because he and his wife were holding a guarded secret. They were headed themselves the next summer to start his Ph.D. in NT! We kept in touch. He came back to teach at Cincinnati Bible College and Seminary (where, as dean, he would later invite me to teach). He was on my editors list.

Rich Knopp was Professor of Philosophy at Lincoln Christian College when we met. I first met him when he came with other professors from Lincoln to a mini-academic conference I started organizing my first year at Saint Louis Christian College. It was modelled after the Fellowship of Professors conference, affectionately called FOP, that had been occurring annually in the Spring for quite a while at Johnson Bible College. Organized by Jerry Mattingly, Professor of Archeology, and Bill Gwaltney, Professor of Bible, it brought together professors from schools like Atlanta Christian College, Milligan College, and David Lipscomb University to hear papers and to enjoy being together. It was such a delight to attend, I determined once I was at Saint Louis to start a "FOP West." Our first conference drew professors from Lincoln Christian College, Ozark Bible College, Manhattan Christian College, Cincinnati Christian College, and eventually even Dallas Christian College and Nebraska Christian College. Rich came that first year and most every year after, presenting papers many times. In him I saw a theology and philosophy editor.

Paul Kissling was invited to Saint Louis Christian College to interview for a potential Old Testament position—that was never filled. Paul and I had some stimulating discussions during the day or so of interviews. With a fresh Ph.D. from the University of Sheffield and Th.M. from TEDS I saw in him the last piece of the journal equation, an OT editor.

While I was at Saint Louis I heard that College Press had tried to put together a team to start a journal that did not materialize. Around the same time I heard that Restoration Quarterly, the respected journal based at Abilene Christian University and serving those in Churches of Christ, had talked about but was not ready to integrate their editorial team with Christian church (independent) scholars. These two factors made me start to think that maybe the time and circumstances were right for me to put something together. I decided to take advantage of the fact that one evening soon. In the fall of 1996, Chris DeWelt, President of College Press, had scheduled to see me in St. Louis about another matter. I don’t even remember anymore what the meeting was about. But as he was leaving, I asked him if College Press was still interested in publishing a journal.When he said yes, I replied, “I believe I can put together an editorial team to do this.”

And now twenty years later, here we are. This has become much more than I ever expected, an enterprise really. In 2005 we formed a non-profit, Stone-Campbell International, whose board includes people from all three streams of the movement. We have two assistant editors, an editorial board of eight and twenty-six consulting editors drawn from twenty-two different Stone-Campbell rooted colleges, seminaries, and universities associated with Christian churches (independent), Churches of Christ (acappella), or Disciples of Christ, and two universities unrelated to Stone-Campbell heritage. In twenty years, SCJ has published 240 articles and 3400 book reviews. We have worked hard with many young scholars in order to publish their very first article with SCJ. SCJ has spun off the annual SCJ Conference attended by over 200 professors, students, and ministers each year. We host an annual NACC lecture and an annual SBL reception. We provide schools a way to honor their outstanding academic graduates each Spring with an SCJ Promising Scholar Award. As part of the annual SCJ Conference we sponsor student paper contests with the winners receiving a $2500 scholarship to any of ten sponsoring graduate schools. We have created a scholars organization to anchor SCJ called the Stone-Campbell Scholars Community, in which membership provides access to SCJ archives of both articles and reviews. We publish the journal both in print and electronic forms.

I am pleased with what we have been able to achieve to support scholars and advance scholarship in the Stone-Campbell Movement. I think we have made a difference. If the first twenty years is any indication, there is much more to come.

This issue contains a bookend to SCJ 1.1 (Spring, 1998). To this current issue Gary Hall, Emeritus Professor of Old Testament at Lincoln Christian University, contributes an important article critiquing the use of Jeremiah 29 as support for urban missions. To our debut issue in Spring, 1998, Gary contributed one of the six articles. His article then was a defining work toward understanding Deuteronomy, the book Gary has devoted his lifetime to study. Gary also published an important article in Spring 2005 (5.1) evaluating the role of the OT in the early Stone-Campbell Movement. Gary’s career with Lincoln’s seminary demonstrates a steadfast commitment to balanced scholarship, classroom, and church. He was a constant presence at the FOP meetings at Saint Louis and the SCJ Conference, presenting a paper nearly every year. As a consulting editor for many years he not only has evaluated articles when asked but also for many years chose the OT books for review in SCJ and matched them with the reviewers. Now in retirement Gary well deserves this kind of tribute from SCJ.

The first three articles in this issue pick up and carry on our theme for the 2016 SCJ Conference, War and Peace. Doug Foster’s eye-opening article on the Civil War and how it impacted the Stone-Campbell Movement heads this issue. This is followed by historical accounts that document two different approaches to pacifism. Joshua Ward Jeffery follows the dialogue surrounding World War I within the Disciples of Christ and the federal surveillance and prosecution of four Disciples of Christ ministers in regard to their objections to the war. Dale Jorgenson (a Church of Christ gentleman and subscriber now in his 90s) considers the positions of early Stone-Campbell Movement leaders on war in the first phase of his article, but readers will be drawn in by the detailed first-person account and thoughts regarding his own military service in the army during World War II as a pacifist and member of Churches of Christ. These three articles on the three major wars affecting America provide a really unique forum to encourage readers to think deeply about war and peace. These articles tailgate on SCJ Assistant Editor John Nugent’s article just one issue back (19.2) which asks readers to consider a biblical argument for pacifism.

Capping off these articles are two challenging NT articles. George Goldman provides a close examination of the origin and best understanding of the quotation of Amos 9:11-12 in Acts 15:16-18 and what difference it makes in understanding the passage. Ryan Shirck introduces a new way to understand Hebrews from a new application of time. Many of you have been faithful subscribers, participants, and financial contributors to SCJ and SCJ-related events for twenty years. Thanks to all of you.

William R. Baker, Editor

Abilene Christian University


More than a century and a half after the close of the American Civil War, its impact is still being felt in the nation and among its churches, and Stone-Campbell Movement churches are no exception. Sectionalization, a "Southern" ethos, antipathy toward extra-congregational structures, pacifism and separatism, white supremacy and segregation are among the ideologies that are its legacy.

University of Tennessee


This essay examines federal persecution and prosecution of Disciples of Christ ministers and members during World War I. It demonstrates the Disciples of Christ largely jettisoned pacifism during the Civil War but pockets of pacifism remained within the denomination. The balance of the essay examines government suppression of those pockets of war resistance and how pacifism with-in the Disciples of Christ became reinvigorated through persecution.

Kirksville, MO


Although early leaders in the Stone-Campbell Movement held strong pacifistic positions, the rise of Hitler and the start of World War II tested these views as never before. The author—a 95-year-old WWII veteran—provides a firsthand account of his experience as a student at Harding College in the 1940s and as a chaplain’s assistant in the Army Air Forces after being drafted in 1944. His recollections from that momentous time provide a unique insight into Stone-Campbell history, particularly the tensions caused by the clash between the strident nationalism of the early 1940s and traditional Stone-Campbell Movement values.

Lincoln Christian University


Many commentators point to Jeremiah 29 as an Old Testament blueprint for urban mission. But an examination of the passage in context demonstrates the need for deeper hermeneutical reflection concerning the application of this OT text to the church. It is only in viewing the results of an exegetical analysis through the christological lens of the NT that the passage can function analo- gously as a part of a larger biblical theology of mission.

Lipscomb University


Scholars have long debated the cause of the differences between Amos 9:11-12 and its quotation in Acts 15. Suggestions include mistranslations of a Hebrew Vorlage underlying the LXX, theological interpretation of the Hebrew text of the Masoretes by an LXX translator, or Luke’s fashioning a composite of similar OT prophecies. An examination of the original languages and consideration of the historical context of Gentile inclusion deliberated by the Jerusalem Council suggests the quotation may have been a re-reading of the prophecy influenced by community-based theological recontextualization.

Emmanuel Christian Seminary


The Epistle to the Hebrews has been subjected to manifold and sundry methodologies in an effort to understand it. To this end, this paper presents a novel approach: literary criticism by way of Bakhtin’s chronotope. By analyzing the author’s understanding and presentation of time through terminology and narrative, a new avenue of Hebrews studies becomes available, with many potential applications.

Download book reviews for this issue.


Alan Kreider, The Patient Ferment of the Early Church
(James Hansee, Cincinnati Christian University)

Peter Brown, Treasure in Heaven: The Holy Poor in Early Christianity
(Thomas J. Millay, Baylor University)

Kat Hill, Baptism, Brotherhood, and Belief in Reformation Germany: Anabaptism and Lutheranism, 1525–1585
(Bryan Givens, Pepperdine University)

Gary Holloway and Douglas A. Foster, Renewing God’s People: A Concise Global History of the Stone-Campbell Movement
(Clinton J. Holloway, Nashville, Tennessee)

W. Ross Hastings, Jonathan Edwards and the Life of God: Toward an Evangelical Theology of Participation
(Jordan Kellicut, Portage, Michigan)

Josh McMullen, Under the Big Top: Big Tent Revivalism and American Culture, 1885–1925
(Nathaniel Wiewora, Harding University)

Scott W. Sunquist, The Unexpected Christian Century: The Reversal and Transformation of Global Christianity, 1900–2000
(Scott D. Seay, Christian Theological Seminary

Andrew Louth, Modern Orthodox Thinkers: From the Philokalia to the Present Day
(Ronald E. Heine, Northwest Christian University)

Barry Hankins, Woodrow Wilson: Ruling Elder, Spiritual President
(Joshua Ward Jeffery, University of Tennessee)

Paul R. House. Bonhoeffer’s Seminary Vision: A Case for Costly Discipleship and Life Together
(David M. Thompson, University of Cambridge)

Christine Helmer, Theology and the End of Doctrine
(Wm. Curtis Holtzen, Hope International University)

Keith L. Johnson, Theology of Discipleship
(Shaun C. Brown, University of Toronto) J.

Ryan Lister, The Presence of God: Its Place in the Storyline of Scripture and the Story of Our Lives
(Judith A. Odor, Asbury Theological Seminary)

David VanDrunen. Divine Covenants and Moral Order: A Biblical Theology of Natural Law
(Joel Stephen Williams, Amridge University)

Ron Highfield, The Faithful Creator: Affirming Creation and Providence in an Age of Anxiety
(Shaun C. Brown, University of Toronto)

James L. Papandrea, The Earliest Christologies: Five Images of Christ in the Postapostolic Age
(David Kiger, Marquette University)

Michael E. Cafferky, Business Ethics in Biblical Perspective: A Comprehensive Introduction
(Joel Stephen Williams, Amridge University)

Rick Rusaw and Brian Mavis. The Neighboring Church
(Joe C. Grana, II, Hope International University)

Roland Boer, The Sacred Economy of Ancient Israel
(Gary Hall, Lincoln Christian Seminary)

John Goldingay, Do We Need the New Testament? Letting the Old Testament Speak for Itself
(John C. Nugent, Great Lakes Christian College)

John Goldingay, Do We Need the New Testament? Letting the Old Testament Speak for Itself
(Holly J. Carey, Point University)

David T. Lamb, Prostitutes and Polygamists: A Look at Love, Old Testament Style
(Ross Wissmann, Johnson University)

Mark R. Sneed, The Social World of the Sages: An Introduction to Israelite and Jewish Wisdom Literature
(Ralph P. Hawkins, Averett University)

James Nogalski, Interpreting Prophetic Literature: Historical and Exegetical Tools for Reading the Prophets
(Chad Summa, Central Christian College of the Bible)

John J. Collins, Apocalypse, Prophecy, and Pseudepigraphy: On Jewish Apocalyptic Literature
(Fred Hansen, TCMI Institute)

Jeffrey B. Gibson, The Disciples’ Prayer: The Prayer Jesus Taught in Its Historical Setting
(Les Hardin, Johnson University Florida)

Michael F. Bird, Craig A. Evans, Simon J. Gathercole, Charles E. Hill, and Chris Tilling, How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature
(Thomas Scott Caulley, Kentucky Christian University)

Edwin M. Yamauchi & Marvin R. Wilson, Dictionary of Daily Life in Biblical & Post-Biblical Antiquity
(Daryl Docterman, Cincinnati Christian University)

Katherine Bain, Women’s Socioeconomic Status and Religious Leadership in Asia Minor in the First Two Centuries C. E.
(Jeff Miller, Milligan College)

Gary M. Burge, A Week in the Life of a Roman Centurion
(Judith A. Odor, Asbury Theological Seminary)

Fredrick J. Long, Koinh; Grammatikh.v Koine Greek Grammar: A Beginning-Intermediate Greek Exegetical and Pragmatic Handbook; Workbook for Koine Greek Grammar: A Beginning-Intermediate Greek Exegetical and Pragmatic Handbook; Answer Key & Guide for the Workbook for Koine Greek Grammar: A Beginning-Intermediate Greek Exegetical and Pragmatic Handbook
(James E. Sedlacek, University of Manchester, U.K.)

David L. Mathewson and Elodie Ballantine Emig, Intermediate Greek Grammar: Syntax for Students of the New Testament
(James E. Sedlacek, University of Manchester, U.K.)

Francis G. H. Pang, Revisiting Aspect and Aktionsart: A Corpus Approach to Koine Greek Event Typology
(James E. Sedlacek, University of Manchester, U.K.)

Andreas J. Ko?stenberger and Alexander E. Stewart, The First Days of Jesus: The Story of the Incarnation
(Robert W. Smith, Mid-Atlantic Christian University)

David E. Garland. A Theology of Mark’s Gospel: Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God
(Matthew Crowe, Faulkner University)

Richard B. Hays. Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels
(Thomas J. Millay, Baylor University)

Karl Allen Kuhn, The Kingdom according to Luke and Acts: A Social, Literary, and Theological Introduction
(K.C. Richardson, Hope International University)

Craig S. Keener, Acts: An Exegetical Commentary
(David H. Warren, Selmont Church of Christ, Selma, Alabama)

J.B. Lightfoot, The Gospel of St John: A Newly Discovered Commentary
(David M. Thompson, University of Cambridge, U.K.)

Stanley E. Porter, John, His Gospel, and Jesus: In Pursuit of the Johannine Voice
(John Harrison, Oklahoma Christian University)

20.1 Quotables

SCJ 20.1 Quotables
Chosen by Bradley Steele
Abilene Christian University

Featured Quote:

"Doubtless, what our crews did save lives in the long run, but the ambiguous part of the question remains: can a Christian kill other human beings, created in the image of God, for even a life-saving cause?"

Dale A. Jorgenson, "Ambiguity over Pacifism in the Stone-Campbell Movement: Diary of an Army Air Force Chaplain's Assistant" (SCJ 20.1:47)

"The Civil War provided a renewed rationale for a minority pacifist and separationist stance already present in the movement."

Douglas A. Foster, "The Effect of the Civil War on the Stone-Campbell Movement" (SCJ 20.1:10)

Though these events surrounding the American Civil War have passed out of the consciousness of most members of Stone-Campbell churches, their consequences endure. (16)

Douglas A. Foster, "The Effect of the Civil War on the Stone-Campbell Movement" (SCJ 20.1:16)

"The sedition portions of the Espionage Act targeted American citizens—not foreigners—who expressed criticism of the nation's entry into the war."

Joshua Ward Jeffery, "'A Barbarous Method of Adjusting Differences': Federal Persecution of Conscientious Objectors among the Disciples during the Great War, 1917-1918" (SCJ 20.24)

"The war became a cultural turning point for the Disciples of Christ."

Joshua Ward Jeffery, "'A Barbarous Method of Adjusting Differences': Federal Persecution of Conscientious Objectors among the Disciples during the Great War, 1917-1918" (SCJ 20.33)

"I was poised, at ages seventeen and eighteen, between a high fidelity patriotism in my work and an apocalyptic and pacifistic worldview in my Bible classes. Ambiguity seemed to be the color of my world."

Dale A. Jorgenson, "Ambiguity over Pacifism in the Stone-Campbell Movement: Diary of an Army Air Force Chaplain’s Assistant" (SCJ 20.1:43)

"Given the context, 29:11 may be the most misused verse of the OT."

Gary Hall, "Jeremiah 29: A Theological Foundation for Urban Mission? A Case Study in Old Testament Hermeneutics" (SCJ 20.1:58)

"The existential appeal of this text and its seeming ringing endorsement of a theology of urban mission is clear, but without a coherent hermeneutic of the OT, its selection seems arbitrary." (60)

Gary Hall, "Jeremiah 29: A Theological Foundation for Urban Mission? A Case Study in Old Testament Hermeneutics" (SCJ 20.1:58)

"The use of divergent readings and translations was a common method of Jewish interpretation in NT times."

George Goldman II, "Using the Translation That Fits Your Point: The Use of the LXX in Acts 15:16-18" (SCJ 20.1:68)

"The role of experience is an unavoidable component of all interpretation."

George Goldman II, "Using the Translation That Fits Your Point: The Use of the LXX in Acts 15:16-18" (SCJ 20.1:70)

"These narratives possess a chronotope in which temporal relationships are pre- sented by the author and understood within the narrative."

Ryan Shirck, "'Time Did Not Fail Me': Analyzing the Epistle to the Hebrews through Its Use of Temporal Terminology" (SCJ 20.75)

"Knowing that time possesses a ????? (telos, "end" or "goal") demonstrates the need for human response."

Ryan Shirck, "'Time Did Not Fail Me:' Analyzing the Epistle to the Hebrews through Its Use of Temporal Terminology" (SCJ 20.76)

"In first-century Palestinian Judaism, a common belief was that ordinary space and time are transcended upon entry into the temple, that the sacred space serves as a microcosm for the larger universe."  

Ryan Shirck, "'Time Did Not Fail Me:' Analyzing the Epistle to the Hebrews through Its Use of Temporal Terminology" (SCJ 20.81)

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Volume 26 Issue 1

Current Issue:
VOLUME 26, No. 1
Spring 2023



William R. Baker
SCJ Editor 

James Sedlacek
Review Coordinator

Betsy Chastain
Conference Registration & Subscription Manager
(513) 284-5835

Joni Sullivan Baker
Director of Development and Communications

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Conference Paper Coordinator & Copyeditor
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