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Volume 6 Issue 2

Editor's Preface

Imagine a unity church movement that reunites after a hundred years of separation! This was the thrilling message of Richard Atchley, Preaching Minister, Richland Hills Church of Christ, Ft. Worth, Texas, to over 10,000 gathered this year at the North American Christian Convention in Indianapolis on Thursday night, July 10. His stirring two-minute presentation dreaming of a family reunion between the Churches of Christ (a cappella) and the Christian Churches (independent), openly seeking forgiveness for ugliness that has occurred over the years from his side of the movement, and committing himself to bring about sharing of ministers, speakers, mission efforts, and more, was an astonishing, historic moment for the future of the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement. As I sat there and heard this, he made me believe that we really are going to see this happen before our very eyes . . . soon. These are exciting days.

In the academic realm, people from both sides of the movement are becoming more and more comfortable working together on a number of important projects. Stone-Campbell Journal itself involves editors, article contributors, book reviewers, and avid subscribers from both sides. The College Press NIV Commentary series on the New Testament brought together scholars from both sides, as did the Evangelicals and the Stone-Campbell Movement (InterVarsity). College Press’s emerging Old Testament series and a one-volume Bible commentary being published by ACU Press include both. Eerdman’s Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement unites scholars from a cappella, independent, and the Disciples. These are good days to be a part of this movement. Let’s keep the ball rolling.

An upcoming event to spur this reuniting of our unity movement, hosted at Cincinnati Bible Seminary, is the third annual SCJ Conference, March 26-27, 2003 (8:30 AM, Fri–Noon, Sat). The theme: Celebrating 200 Years: From the Last Will to the First Encyclopedia, honors Barton W. Stone’s June 28, 1804, publication of “The Last Will and Testament,” considered the earliest document of the restoration movement, and the summer 2004 publication of the Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Journal 6 (Fall, 2003) 161–162 Editor’s Preface Stone-Campbell Movement by Eerdmans. Two of the editors of the Encyclopedia will make main session presentations. Doug Foster (an SCJ editor), Professor of Church History and Director of the Center for Restoration Studies, Abilene Christian University, will present “The Last Will and Testament: A Beacon for Unity and Identity.” Newell Williams, President, Brite Divinity School, will present “Barton W. Stone min 1804: From Port Tobacco to Cane Ridge.” Special guest speaker will be Randall Balmer, Professor of Religion, Barnard College, acclaimed specialist in American Christianity, who will present “Starting Over: The Stone-Campbell Movement and American Evangelicalism” and “Ties that Bind: Growing up in the Household of Faith.” Other related papers or papers on other topics are welcome as well as papers from students. Send the paper title to me by January 1, 2004, at scjeditor Information on registration and updates on the conference can be found at or by contacting Pam Ralls, conference registrar, at or 314-837-3283. Cost: $20 (subscribers); $30 (non-subscribers); $12 (students).

This issue features six excellent and diverse articles. John Mark Hicks (an SCJ editor) offers an enticing proposal for bridging the gap between Arminians and Calvinists regarding election and security. Ronald Morgan provides, surprisingly (in our 12th issue), our first article in SCJ on the Lord’s Supper. Ronnie van der Poll, who found SCJ on the Internet when doing research on Phil Kenneson’s challenging proposals regarding “truth” (See SCJ 1.1 and 2.1), presents a thoughtful reaction to Kenneson’s proposals based on a paper he did as a student at the European School of Evangelical Theology (Leuven, Belgium). Chris Simpson (See SCJ 3.1) investigates the hermeneutics of suspicion. Russ Dudrey (See SCJ 3.1) explores the oral intricacies of 1 John. Finally, Mark Hamilton offers preaching ministers an excellent guide for handling Exodus homiletically.

William R. Baker, Editor

Lipscomb University


When discussion between Arminians and Calvinists focuses on the economic revelation of redemption, the means of faith and the christocentric nature of salvation, their differences on election and security recede into a theoretical background as common ground emerges in theology and practice.

Abilene Christian University


While Churches of Christ (a cappella) have historically given prominence to the Lord’s Supper by observing it weekly, that observation has become ritualized and formulaic over time, often impeding the worshiper’s heartfelt “communion” with the Lord. With its analysis of contemporary worship in Churches of Christ (a cappella), biblical narratives of Jesus meals, and church history, this study reflects the recent scholarly interest in the Lord’s Supper among scholars of that tradition and urges church leaders to restore the affective, vertical dimension to Communion practice.

Leusden, Holland


As a reply to Philip D. Kenneson’s essay “There’s No Such Thing as Objective Truth, and It’s a Good Thing too,” 2 this article contends that Kenneson’s notion of plausibility is helpful in some ways, but by leaving the notion of objective truth behind, he separates two equally essential elements of the gospel. This undermines the core of the gospel. We are not “better off” 3 with the paradigm shift Kenneson proposes.

University of Iowa


In his book, Suspicion and Faith, Christian philosopher Merold Westphal presents the project of using the hermeneutics of suspicion— often used against Christianity by its enemies—as a kind of Lenten exercise for Christians to purify themselves. This article applies Merold Westphal’s philosophical terminology to the thought of twentieth-century theologians Reinhold Niebuhr (an American Protestant and the father of “Christian Realism”) and Gustavo Gutiérrez (a South American Catholic and the father of “Liberation Theology”). Each of these theologians present “suspicious interpretations” of particular manifestations of the Christian faith in service of the Christian faith. This article outlines both their criticisms of the church insofar as it is complicit with social injustice (using Westphal’s organizing categories) and their suggestions for “strategies of resistance.”

York College


Nonliterate people can remember large amounts of oral material if they are stated memorably. Characteristic oral devises—aphorisms, balanced structures, parallelisms, antitheses, alliterations, assonances, verbal jingles—help an auditory audience follow along. Designed for reading aloud publicly, 1 John is full of identifiable oral features. These illuminate its character, message, and structure.

Abilene Christian University


Preaching Exodus requires attention to its literary shape and texture and to its theological aims. The book’s integration of narrative, poetry, law, and cultic architectural description creates an imagined world into which the preacher seeks to draw an audience so they may experience afresh the God who called slaves from Egypt and continues to act as liberator. Exodus stands on its own within the Christian canon as a witness to the paradigmatic behaviors of God, and the preacher will seek both to elucidate the book on its own terms and to connect it to the rest of the Christian story.

Download book reviews for this issue.

Robert RICHARDSON, Principles of the Reformation. Introduced and edited by Carson E. Reed

MICHAEL BAIN, Atlanta Christian College

Tona J. HANGEN, Redeeming the Dial: Radio, Religion, and Popular Culture in America

RICHARD J. CHEROK, Cincinnati Bible College & Seminary

John R. POLKINGHORNE, Traffic in Truth: Exchanges between Science and Theology

JAMES F. SENNETT, Lincoln Christian College and Seminary

John W. RIGGS, Baptism in the Reformed Tradition: An Historical and Practical Theology

PETER RASOR, Louisville Bible College

John HARE, Why Bother Being Good?

MICHAEL J. SMITH, Dallas Christian College

Gregory A. BOYD, Satan and the Problem of Evil: Constructing a Trinitarian Warfare Theodicy

JAMES SENNETT, Lincoln Christian College

Veli-Matti KÄRKKÄINEN, Pneumatology: The Holy Spirit in Ecumenical, International, and Contextual Perspective

RIK VAN NIEUWENHOVE, School of Hebrew, Biblical and Theological Studies, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

Leonard SWEET, Brian D. MCLAREN, and Jerry HASELMAYER, A Is for Abductive: The Language of the Emerging Church

DAVID PADDICK, JR, Jackson Christian Church, Jackson, KY

Philip JENKINS, The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity

RUSS KUYKENDALL, Institute for Christian Studies Toronto, Canada

David A. ENYARTL, Creative Anticipation: Narrative Sermon Designs for Telling the Story

R. DAVID ROBERTS, Milligan College

Knofel STATON, The Biblical Liberation of Women for Leadership in the Church: As One Essential for the Spiritual Formation of the Church.


Darrell L. BOCK, ed., The Bible Knowledge Key Word Study: The Gospels

SCOTT STOCKING, Lincoln Christian College LincUp Program

Philip J. KING and Lawrence E. STAGER, Life in Biblical Israel

W. C. GWALTNEY, Milligan College

Mark S. SMITH, The Early History of God: Yahweh and Other Deities in Ancient Israel. 2nd ed.

CHRISTOPHER A. ROLLSTON, Emmanuel School of Religion

William DUMBRELL, The Faith of Israel: A Theological Survey of the Old Testament. 2nd ed.

DONALD SHACKELFORD, Harding University

Melissa MUNRO and Judith COUCHMAN, eds., Discipleship Journal?s Best Bible Study Methods

WILLIAM R. BAKER, Cincinnati Bible Seminary

John F. HAYWARD, Through the Rose Window: Art, Myth and the Religious Imagination.

J. LEE MAGNESS, Milligan College

R.T. FRANCE, The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary on the Greek Text. The New International Greek Testament Commentary

BARRY BLACKBURN, Atlanta Christian College

Robert H. GUNDRY, Jesus the Word according to John the Sectarian: A Paleofundamentalist Manifesto for Contemporary Evangelicalism, Especially Its Elites, in North America

BRIAN D. JOHNSON, Lincoln Christian College

David WENHAM, Paul and Jesus: The True Story

JACOB CHRISTIAN, Cincinnati Bible Seminary

David W. PAO, Acts and the Isaianic New Exodus

JON A. WEATHERLY, Cincinnati Bible College and Seminary

Gene L. GREEN, The Letters to the Thessalonians Pillar New Testament Commentary

JON A. WEATHERLY, Cincinnati Bible College and Seminary

Grant R. OSBORNE, Revelation. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

RICHARD E. OSTER, JR., Harding University Graduate School of Religion
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