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Volume 7 Issue 1

Editor's Preface

They were contemporaries of one another but probably never met. One was a voice defining evangelicalism as it broke away from fundamentalism and rose to cultural prominence. The other was a voice articulating the values of the Lord's Supper and baptism theologically to those of the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement and beyond who would listen. Both embodied the meaning of "a gentleman and a scholar." Carl F.H. Henry, founding editor of Christianity Today (1956– 1968), highly esteemed author and lecturer, died on December 7, 2003. Robert O. Fife, Professor of History, Milligan College, adjunct and visiting professor at Emmanuel School of Religion, Johnson Bible College, Fuller Theological Seminary, and the Westwood Christian Foundation, died on November 2, 2003.

Carl Henry was visiting professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School my first semester, fall, 1974. His course on Contemporary Theology was so advanced I had to get his signature to get in, and he only signed my form because he figured if I was a student of Jim Strauss's at Lincoln Christian Seminary I would be o.k. Well, I barely survived the course, but I do remember his telling the well-rehearsed story of his encounter with Karl Barth. Henry, in a room full of religious leaders, after identifying himself as editor of Christianity Today, quizzed Barth about his unwillingness to affirm the historicity of Jesus' resurrection. Barth began, "Christianity Today or Christianity Yesterday?" Henry responded, "Yesterday, today, and forever." More recently, while reading the wonderful book by Sarah Sumner, Men and Women in the Church (InterVarsity, 2003), I was delighted to see the tall, gangly, old man depicted as mentoring and defending the young woman who was his graduate assistant in her struggle to understand God's call to be a theologian in an environment which was not altogether affirming. 

Robert Fife I heard lecture a few times and read his Teeth on Edge book. In his era, in which people in the Christian churches (independent) were highly suspicious of academic leaders, he was one of a handful to offer profound theological thinking regarding our bedrock practices of the Lord's Supper, baptism, and the church, that had impact. My only personal contact with him was at the Fellowship of Professors at Johnson Bible College in 2002. He handed me a check to subscribe to SCJ and bought a copy of the book I edited, Evangelicalism & the Stone-Campbell Movement (InterVarsity, 2002). When Ron Morgan, whose article "Leaning upon Jesus: Restoring Heart Language to the Lord's Supper" appeared in SCJ 6.2, asked me for anyone on "your side" of the movement who had written anything on the Lord's Supper, I was very pleased to refer him to Robert Fife, whom he cites on page 196. 

Speaking of distinguished scholars, I am pleased to welcome to SCJ an article by Tom Olbricht, Professor Emeritus, Pepperdine University. As I have become more and more acquainted with Church of Christ (a cappella) scholars, it is not hard to recognize just how revered he is by everyone. Olbricht's article is an excellent starting point for any study of the Holy Spirit in the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement. James Sennett's article on Harry Potter and fantasy literature was one of the highlights of the North American Christian Convention in Indianapolis (July 2003), and I am thrilled to be able to help distribute it more widely. John Poirier is yet a second graduate student (also outside the SCRM) to provide SCJ with a well-articulated response to what stands as the most discussed article so far published in SCJ, Phil Kenneson's "Can the Christian Faith Survive if Belief in Objective Truth is Abandoned? A Reply to John Castelein," (SCJ 2.1). Matson's article, originally delivered at the SCJ Conference in St. Louis (March 2003), is a sweeping panorama of the state of Johannine studies these days and offers intriguing ideas about Luke's possible use of John. Jesse Long's careful study of 2 Kings 3, a notoriously difficult passage, epitomizes the work of one of the best commentaries so far in the College Press NIV series, Long's 1 and 2 Kings.

William R. Baker, Editor

Pepperdine University


Views on the Holy Spirit in conversion and sanctification among the early Restoration leaders must be understood from the backdrop of Continental Reformed and American Awakening theology. Walter Scott and Alexander Campbell both believed, along with the Reformed theologians, that the Holy Spirit worked in conjunction with the Scriptures in sanctification. Scott believed that the Spirit only worked through the Scriptures in conversion. A few early Restorationists argued that the Spirit does not work separate and apart from the word, the major position in Churches of Christ in the 1940s.

Lincoln Christian College and Seminary


This article examines the three most popular Christian fantasy works of the twentieth century: Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, L’Engle’s Time Quartet, and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. It argues that it is the moral dimension that is of central importance in all three and that the Harry Potter series is comparable in terms of its moral message and use of fantasy elements. It concludes that Christians have much to learn and enjoy, and little to fear, from the Potter series.

Jewish Theological Seminary


According to some postmodernists, authorial intention has been a concern within biblical hermeneutics for only a short while. The history of hermeneutics, however, indicates otherwise: authorial intention has been a central hermeneutical concern throughout church history. This article looks at some of the main proponents of an intentionalist hermeneutic, both inside and outside the church. It also attempts to account for the present-day turn against the author.

Milligan College


Traditionally the Fourth Gospel is thought to offer little valuable or independent information about the earliest traditions about Jesus, primarily because of misconceptions or overstatements about John’s nature and its relationship to the Synoptic Gospels. However, in recent years John has been getting a fresh look as an early and independent narrative about Jesus. This essay examines modern approaches to the priority of John, a term which includes approaches that value John as a historical document and/or an independent witness to early Jesus traditions.

Lubbock Christian University


A literary reading of 2 Kings 3 suggests that what appears to be an unfulfilled prophecy of the prophet Elisha is better understood as “divine deception,” in the sense that the better-than-his-parents but unrepentant king Jehoram of Israel, through pretext, is enticed to go up to defeat against Moab. In opening up this problematic passage, literary analysis also exposes the inspired storyteller’s strategy for validating the word of Yahweh’s prophet and calls attention to his overall theological concerns, highlighting both the justice and mercy of Yahweh for the house of Ahab.

Download book reviews for this issue.

Lee SNYDER, The Book of Acts according to Alexander Campbell: A Historical and Rhetorical Commentary

BILLY W. JONES, Saint Louis Christian College

Joseph F. KELLY, The Problem of Evil in the Western Tradition: From the Book of Job to Modern Genetics

AJENNIFER J. THWEATT-BATES, Princeton Theological Seminary

George PATTISON, Kierkegaard: Religion and the Nineteenth-Century Crisis of Culture

CHRISTOPHER BEN SIMPSON, Institute of Philosophy, Katholeike Universiteit Leuven

Jack COTTRELL, The Faith Once for All: Bible Doctrine for Today

RON HIGHFIELD, Pepperdine University

John G. STACKHOUSE, Jr., ed., What Does It Mean to Be Saved?

ANDREW R. WOOD, Cincinnati Bible College & Seminary

Timothy GEORGE, Is the Father of Jesus the God of Muhammad?

DON TINGLE, Executive Director of Muslim Hope

Richard WINTER, Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment

GORDON VENTURELLA, Ozark Christian College

John R. BISAGNO, Principle Preaching: How to Create and Deliver Sermons for Life Application

CHUCK SACKETT, Lincoln Christian Seminary

Joseph M. WEBB and Robert KYSAR, Greek for Preachers

NEAL WINDHAM, Lincoln Christian College

Richard N. LONGENECKER, ed., Community Formation in the Early Church and in the Church Today

PHILIP THOMPSON, Harding University

Randall BALMER, Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism

TONY SPRINGER, Dallas Christian College

Bruce CORLEY, Steve W. LEMKE, and Grant LOVEJOY, eds., Biblical Hermeneutics: A Comprehensive Introduction to Interpreting Scripture.

BRUCE E. SHIELDS, Emmanuel School of Religion

D.A. CARSON, The Inclusive Language Debate: A Plea for Realism

Vern S. POYTHRESS and Wayne A. GRUDEM, The Gender-Neutral Controversy: Muting the Masculinity of God?s Words

Mark S. Krause, Puget Sound Christian College

Joachim BRAUN, Music in Ancient Israel/Palestine?Archaeological, Written, and Comparative Sources

JOHN WAKEFIELD, Milligan College

John KALTNER and Steven L. McKENZIE, eds., Beyond Babel: A Handbook for Biblical Hebrew and Related Languages

MARK W. HAMILTON, Abilene Christian University

J.G. McCONVILLE, Deuteronomy. Apollos Old Testament Commentary.

DOUGLAS REDFORD, Cincinnati Bible College and Seminary

Duane L. CHRISTENSEN, Deuteronomy 1:1?21:9. 2nd ed.; Deuteronomy 21:10?34:12 Word Biblical Commentary, 6A, 6B

GARY H. HALL, Lincoln Christian Seminary

John GOLDINGAY, Isaiah

JOHN T. WILLIS, Abilene Christian University

Tal ILAN, Integrating Women into Second Temple History

DAVID A. FIENSY, Kentucky Christian College

Jeremy CORLEY, Ben Sira?s Teaching on Friendship

WILLIAM R. BAKER, Cincinnati Bible Seminary

David CHERRY, ed., The Roman World: A Sourcebook

BRIAN E. MESSNER, Lincoln Christian College

Donald L. GRIGGS, The Bible from Scratch: The New Testament for Beginners

CHRIS KEITH, Cincinnati Bible Seminary

Christopher A. ROLLSTON, ed., The Gospels according to Michael Goulder: A North American Response

PATRICK E. SPENCER, University of Durham

Lauri THURÉN, Derhetorizing Paul: A Dynamic Perspective on Pauline Theology and the Law

BETH MCCABE, Cincinnati Bible Seminary

James R. BECK, The Psychology of Paul: A Fresh Look at His Life and Teaching

KEN CAMERON, Harding University

Grant R. OSBORNE, Revelation

GREGORY LINTON, Great Lakes Christian College

Colin J. HEMER, The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia in Their Local Setting

GREGORY LINTON, Great Lakes Christian College
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