Scholarly work is done in isolationreading books, sitting at a desk, working on a computer, thinking, writing, rewriting, and more reading. Whether working on a Ph.D. dissertation, an article, a book, or a conference presentation, we function alone. Few are those we can talk to about our work. It is so specialized that even within our broader field of New Testament, Old Testament, theology, or history sometimes few of our colleagues can relate to it or to our passion about it. In this way, we are like what is said about the entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley, as put in an Apple commercial a number of years ago, "Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes." In a recent Christianity Today ("Here's to the Misfits," May 2013, pp. 44-49) article Andy Crouch quotes Silicon Valley entrepreneur Kevin Adler, who develops this further, "As human beings we have a thirst for belonging. But Silicon Valley is renowned as a valley of misfits."
Not only are we often isolated within our institutions, like those of Silicon Valley, our ideas and research tend to challenge the conventional thinking and beliefs of others around us, which can further isolate us. Yet, we crave for community.
We are starved for a community where we are welcomed to share our most edgy work and feel appreciated for it. This is the very kind of community we have been developing among scholars, both developing and mature, within the Stone-Campbell Movement. In fact our most recent booklet is titled "Building a Scholars Community." We have been doing this through Stone-Campbell Journal, our growing SCJ Conference, and our online Stone-Campbell Scholars Community. Our 2014 SCJ Conference at Johnson University reached an astounding record attendance of 402! This includes 156 actively engaged Johnson students. It was such a joy to see so many interacting and enjoying the time together.
I hope each of you are finding a way to be actively creating relationships in our bustling community of misfits. Of course, attending and participating in the conference and online community are great ways to do this. Another is to interact intentionally with the authors of our published articles. We provide the author's emails with the articles to enable this. Why not decide to email one of the authors featured in this issue with collegial encouragement, questions, or comments about their article?
This issue features some excellent articles. Kerrie Handasyde provides a compelling article about the early history of the Stone-Campbell Movement in Australia. Keith Stanglin challenges the current debate regarding Calvinism among Southern Baptists. Ben Langford develops an interesting perspective on the Lord's Supper within our era of consumerism. Katy Valentine, from a paper presented at Editor's Preface Stone-Campbell Journal 17 (Spring, 2014) 12 the 2013 SCJ Conference, provides a revealing interpretation of 1 Cor 10:1-13. Glenn Pemberton tales a close look at eight psalms of lament to find a fresh path of relationship with God. Finally, James Gorman edits the reviews and comments from three veteran observers of the movement regarding the new volume, The Stone-Campbell Movement: A Global History (Chalice, 2013).
William R. Baker, Editor
In the early history of the pioneer congregation in Victoria, Australia, the austerity of primitivist British Churches of Christ under the control of elders was challenged by the theater of later nineteenth-century evangelism under the sway of American evangelists. This article seeks to understand how the early history of Churches of Christ has been written, taking into account the ecclesiological tensions around elders and evangelists. In the light of current expressions of the movements purpose, the article seeks to reframe the narrative into a history that speaks meaningfully into the present.
The recent document, A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of Gods Plan of Salvation, drafted by a number of Southern Baptist pastors, was an attempt to respond to the growing influence of Calvinism in the Southern Baptist Convention. The document, which strongly resists this "New Calvinism" claims to represent the majority opinion within the denomination. The present article responds to the document by raising some critical questions. First, whom does this document represent, and what is the significance of its claim to represent the majority? Second, is the traditional Baptist position on the security of the believer consistent with its anti-Calvinism? Third, can assurance of salvation be understood in a way that is consistent both with Scripture and with the concerns of this Baptist document? Finally, in light of this document and recent polls, what can be said about the avoidance and use of theological labels?
Consumer capitalism provides a narrative embodied in ritual practices -- liturgies -- that intends to shape human desire towards a telos of increasing consumption of goods and services: the good life. The Eucharist is an alternative liturgy, an embodied narrative that stands against the narrative of consumer capitalism and offers an alternative vision of the good life. It provides a narrative for desire's proper telos and shapes human desire towards God.
Paul recounts the Israelite experience in the wilderness in 1 Cor 10:1-13 as a warning against sexual misconduct, using vocabulary significant in Greek discourses promoting self-control over the passions. These discourses were widespread by the first century CE and familiar to both Paul and the Corinthians. He appeals to these discourses in his retelling of the Septuagint story to demonstrate to the Corinthians the consequences of losing self-control and giving in to the passions.
Eight psalms of lament accuse God of indefensible behavior, make no confession of culpability for his actions, and offer no expression of trust or praise. Yet rather than moving the reader away from God, these psalms actually provide a path back toward him and demonstrate the possibility of relationship with God despite difficult circumstances.
Editors D. Newell Williams, Douglas A. Foster, and Paul M. Blowers offer their second substantial contribution to Stone-Campbell historiography with The Stone-Campbell Movement: A Global History (Chalice, 2013), an unprecedented global survey. (1) A core of thirteen scholars collaboratively wrote this unique narrative that highlights groups of people (women, African Americans, global Christians, and others) often neglected in traditional histories. In this review essay, three Stone-Campbell Movement historians each review roughly one-third of the volume.
LIST OF BOOKS REVIEWED IN THIS ISSUE
Peter J. Leithart, Defending Constantine: The Twilight of an Empire and the Dawn of Christendom (Bob Rea, Lincoln Christian University)
Keith A. Francis and William Gibson, eds., The Oxford Handbook of the British Sermon 16891901 (Rob O'Lynn, Kentucky Christian University)
Walter D. Ray, Tasting Heaven on Earth: Worship in Sixth-Century Constantinople (Josh Kugler, Cincinnati Christian University)
Joseph F. Kelly, History and Heresy: How Historical Forces Can Create Doctrinal Conflicts (K. C. Richardson, Hope International University)
Everett Ferguson, The Early Church and Today, vol. 1, Ministry, Initiation, and Worship (Shaun C. Brown, Bristol, Tennessee)
Robin M. Jensen, Baptismal Imagery in Early Christianity: Ritual, Visual, and Theological Dimensions (Karen M. Lindsay, Northwest Christian University)
Paul Harvey, Through the Storm, through the Night: A History of African American Christianity (Wes Crawford, Tyler, Texas)
Paul M. Blowers, Drama of the Divine Economy: Creator and Creation in Early Christian Theology and Piety (Stephen Lawson, Saint Louis University)
Suzanne Heschel, The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany (David Adams, Harding University)
Thomas R. Schreiner, The King in His Beauty: A Biblical Theoloty of the Old and New Testaments (J. David Stark, Faulkner University)
Miguel A. de la Torre and Albert Hernandez, The Quest for the Historical Satan (David Russell Mosley, University of Nottingham)
Alister E. McGrath, Mere Apologetics: How to Help Seekers & Skeptics Find Faith (Andrew Ramey, Pekin, Illinois)
Jurgen Moltmann, Ethics of Hope (Robert C. Kurka, Lincoln Christian Seminary)
Gary Holloway and John York, Unfinished Reconciliation: Justice, Racism, and Churches of Christ (L. Thomas Smith, Jr., Johnson University)
Ian Paul and David Wenham, eds., Preaching the New Testament (Joseph C. Grana II, Hope International University)
Roland Hoksbergen, Serving God Globally: Finding Your Place in International Development (Monty Lynn, Abilene Christian University)
Nathan Faries, The "Inscrutably Chinese" Church: How Narratives and Nationalism Continue to Divide Christianity (Calvin (Wes) Harrison, Ohio Valley University)
David T. Bourgeois, Ministry in the Digital Age: Strategies and Best Practices for a Post-Website World (Rob O'Lynn, Kentucky Christian University)
Robert Kolb, Luther and the Stories of God: Biblical Narratives as a Foundation for Christian Living (Ross Knudsen, Boise Bible College)
C. Richard Wells and Ray Van Neste, eds., Forgotten Songs: Reclaiming the Psalms for Christian Worship (John C. Wakefield, Milligan College)
Dave Brunn, One Bible Many Versions: Are All Translations Created Equal? (Mark S. Krause, Nebraska Christian College)
Philip S. Esler, Sex, Wives, and Warriors: Reading Biblical Narrative with Its Ancient Audience (Jeff Miller, Milligan College)
Mark Chaves, American Religion: Contemporary Trends (Robin W. Underhill, University of Delaware)
Peter J. Leithart, Between Babel and Beast: America and Empires in Biblical Perspective (David Lertis Matson, Hope International University)
Rowan Williams, The Lion's World: A Journey into the Heart of Narnia (Carrie Birmingham, Pepperdine University)
Eddie Gibbs, The Rebirth of the Church: Applying Paul's Vision for Ministry in Our Own Post-Christian World (Chauncey A. Lattimer, Jr., Marinton, Illinois, and Darrow, Illinois)
Keith Bodner, Jeroboam's Royal Drama. (Jesse Long, Lubbock Christian University)
Eric A. Seibert, The Violence of Scripture: Overcoming the Old Testament's Troubling Legacy (John Nugent, Great Lakes Christian College)
John D. Wineland, Mark Ziese, and James Riley Estep, Jr., eds., My Father's World: Celebrating the Life of Reuben G. Bullard (Bob Smith, Mid-Atlantic Christian University)
Athalya Brenner and Gale A. Yee, eds., Exodus and Deuteronomy (Justin Singleton, God's Bible School and College)
Harold S. Kushner, The Book of Job: When Bad Things Happened to a Good Person (Chauncey A. Lattimer, Jr., Marinton, Illinois, and Darrow, Illinois)
Rolf A. Jacobson and Karl N. Jacobson, Invitation to the Psalms: A Reader's Guide for Discovery and Engagement (Glenn Pemberton, Abilene Christian University)
William Baird, History of New Testament Research: vol. 3, From C.H. Dodd to Hans Dieter Betz (John C. Poirier, Kingswell Theological Seminary)
Israel Kamudzandu, Abraham Our Father. Paul in Critical Contexts Series (Garrett Matthew East, Tabora. Tanzania)
David C. Parker, Textual Scholarship and the Making of the New Testament (Mark Alterman, Manhattan Christian College)
Charles E. Hill and Michael J. Kruger, eds., The Early Text of the New Testament (James A. Sedlacek, Cincinnati Christian Schools)
Jodi Magness, Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit: Jewish Daily Life in the Time of Jesus (Cheryl L. Eaton, Lincoln Christian Seminary, Covenant Theological Seminary)
Matthew L. Skinner, The Trial Narratives: Conflict, Power, and Identity in the New Testament (Alisha Paddock, Manhattan Christian College)
James D. G. Dunn, The Oral Gospel Tradition (Carl B. Bridges, Johnson University)
Michael Bird, Jesus Is the Christ: The Messianic Testimony of the Gospels (Frank E. Dicken, Lincoln Christian University)
Darrell L. Bock, A Theology of Luke and Acts: God's Promised Program, Realized for All Nations (James Mitchell, Freed-Hardeman University)
Craig S. Keener, Acts: An Exegetical Commentary (Judith Odor, Asbury Theological Seminary)
Robert Jewett, Romans: A Short Commentary (Judith Odor, Asbury Theological Seminary)
Chris Tilling, Paul's Divine Christology (Carl S. Sweatman, Johnson University)
Graham Tomlin, ed., Philippians, Colossians (Shawn C. Smith, Lincoln Christian University)
Garreth Lee Cockerill, The Epistle to the Hebrews (J. David Stark, Faulkner University)
Gregory Stevenson, A Slaughtered Lamb: Revelation and the Apocalyptic Response to Evil and Suffering (Fred Hansen, TCMI Institute)
SCJ 17.1 Quotables
Chosen by Amy Carman
"On the one hand, one might consider such language to be a helpful catharsis, vomiting out all the anger and disappointment. But if, as Israel claims, prayer is dialogic speech with an active listener, then this awful language is not about a cathartic binge but about communication and understanding. These psalms direct their words to the Lord, Israel's covenant partner, with the expectation that he will hear and respond."
Glenn Pemberton, "When God is the Problem: From Allegation to Apologia in the Psalms," (SCJ 17.1:68)
"The story of missional transformation needs to be head among the laity, and it needs to be promoted strongly across the Conference as well as locally, in order to overcome the persistent localized and disconnected view of history. Such a shared narrative will unite people beyond the local church and articulate the movement's historical and contemporary reasons for being."
Kerrie Handasyde, "Transforming History: The Origins of the Stone-Campbell Movement in Victoria, Australia," (SCJ 17.1:18)
"Inasmuch as there is ever-increasing contact between Baptist and Stone-Campbell churches, and in a day when the controversies of the former can quickly become the controversies of the latter, churches ignore these and other related issues to their own peril."
Keith D. Stanglin, "Southern Baptist Anti-Calvinism and Eternal Security: Some Critical Questions for Dialogue," (SCJ 17.1:21)
"The consequences of giving in to the desires resonated more strongly with the Corinthians than did an emphasis from the Septuagint on idolatrous worship, an incident that was probably not well-known in the community. Paul's use of the metaphor of self-control next to the Septuagint story shows that he encouraged the Corinthians to embrace self-control even at the expense of upward mobility."
Katy E. Valentine, "First Corinthians 10:1-13 in Light of the Rhetoric of Self-Control over the Desires," (SCJ 17.1:61)
"In the Eucharist, God takes the basic goods of bread and wine and transforms them towards his own ends. Gods end - the telos of the bread and wine - is God himself in Jesus Christ. In the practice of eating the bread and drinking wine, which has become the body and blood of Jesus, human desire is directed not towards the endless consumption of goods but towards the Bread of Life."
Ben Langford, Shaping Desire: Consumer Capitalism and the Eucharist," (SCJ 17.1:42)
"Herein lies what I suspect will be the enduring contribution of the Global History: not only that it included new information (though it does in these chapters and elsewhere) and thereby advances the historiography, but that it tells such varying micro-histories together. Surely the Global History will generate fresh exploration in as-yet uncharted territory, particularly outside North America. Beyond that, not only demonstrating that such exploration could be conceived as a joint effort across long-standing divisions, it shows how it might be pursued as witness to a unity transcending division."
McGarvey Ice, "Stone-Campbell Movement: A Global History - Reviews and Comments," (SCJ 17.1:82)