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Volume 17 Issue 2

As I sat there listening to a major address at the 2013 national ETS conference, the speaker began listing out various major segments of evangelical expression. And to my amazement, without even a stutter, he lists adherents of "the Stone-Campbell Movement." This would never have happened even ten years ago, but there it was, something I and others had been working toward for 25 years: recognition that we had shed our anonymity and had established ourselves as contributing scholars to a significant swath of Christianity. Congratulations goes out to many who have sacrificed time and money to be active in ETS in regularly presenting papers, being officers on regional boards, and building friendships.

Adding to my delight, two recent successive months of Christianity Today featured articles that are at the heart of the Stone-Campbell Movement. The July/August 2014 issue featured an article by Roger Olson on baptism entitled "Water Works: Why Baptism Is Essential to the Life Faith." The September issue featured an article by John Armstrong entitled "Feast of Love: At the Communion Tables, We Grasp the Grace of God—and Our Need for Each Other."

The article by Johnson gave credence to the trend many have noted that more and more churches of many stripes are moving to offering the Lord’s Supper—weekly. Christians—especially younger ones—are doing this from their study of Scripture and are discovering spiritual and theological value in the more regular focus on the cross and its meaning. The Olson article succinctly analyzes the history of baptism, the positions of Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli. As he notes the rise of credobaptists during the Great Awakenings and evangelistic campaigns in America, he includes Christians in the Stone- Campbell Movement as significant in this light. He ranks us as unusual credobapists who believe baptism is necessary for salvation. Of course, that view is up for discussion since Alexander Campbell’s Lunenburg Letter (See David Matson, "Who Wrote the Lunenburg Letter?" SCJ 11.1, 3-28) even among Baptists these days as will be seen in the article in this issue by John Mark Hicks. Olsen ends up arguing for a position very much like ours "But the vast majority of Christians throughout history, including credobaptists, have believed baptism is an essential part of becoming a member of Christ’s body, the church, and of being a disciple in the fullest sense" (65).

In addition to Hicks’ thoughtful article on the current state of baptism in discussion today, this issue features a fresh article from Mason Lee, winner of the 2014 Isaac Errett award presented at the SCJ Conference. His article on Campbell’s “Sermon on the Law” attempts to debunk the view that Campbell intended the sermon to spawn neglect of the OT as began to happen some years after the sermon was preached and continues in the Stone-Campbell Movement today in some quarters. This article pairs interestingly with Paul Kissling’s article from his 2013 SCJ Conference lecture focusing on Ezra-Nehemiah that also tangles with the issue of OT law. Besides the Lee article, two other articles come from rising young scholars who are currently in Ph.D. programs. Phil Towne contributes an article providing a much-needed heads up on the way the rise of Editor’s Preface Stone-Campbell Journal 17 (Spring, 2014) 161–162 technology is changing society and the church and how this will continue to prove a tricky aspect for Christianity’s maintaining or extending its place in the culture as technology continues to advance. Jon Carman provides a thorough look at Satan with strong exegetical analysis of Luke 10:17-24. Finally, Les Hardin provides a superb look at the hymns in Revelation.

The 14th annual SCJ Conference moves to Indiana for 2015, presented by Hope International University (Fullerton, CA) on April 10-11 (Friday, 8:00 AM-8:00 PM; Sat, 8:00 AM-1:00 PM). East 91st Christian Church, Indianapolis, has generously made their wonderful facilities available for the conference.

The theme is: New Testament Explorations: Septuagint, Acts, and Paul. Karen Jobes (Gerald F. Hawthorne Professor of New Testament, Wheaton College) will present two lectures: "Quoting God: The Greek Old Testament in New Testament Exegesis" and "A Biblical Theology of LXX Psalm 33 in 1 Peter." Carl Holladay (Charles Howard Candler Professor of New Testament Exegesis, Emory University) will present two lectures titled: "The Acts of the Apostles: New Studies." David Matson (Professor of New Testament, Hope International University) will present one lecture: "Divine Forgiveness in Paul? Further Thoughts on Justification by Faith."

Related papers or papers on other biblical, theological, or historical topics are sought for parallel sessions from experienced scholars as well as from student scholars. Send your paper title (no abstract needed) to Stewart Penwell, Conference Parallel Paper Coordinator, at by December 20, 2014.

Twelve study groups welcome inquiries: Christian Education (jestep@lincolnchristian. edu); Biblical Teaching on Women (; Ecclesiology and Social Ethics (; Old Testament Prophetic Tradition and Application (; Mark’s Gospel in Mediterranean Context (; Issues in the Stone-Campbell Movement (; History and Practice of Christian Worship (; Patristics (; Distance Learning (; Jewish Scripture as Christian Scripture (; including two new groups: Theological Reflection (; Contemporary Issues in Intercultural Studies ( Inquiries regarding study groups may be directed to the dean of the study groups: Jeff Miller ( Contact should be made by December 20, 2014.

For the second year, a pre-conference Thursday evening event invites all female scholars or aspiring ones from 8:00–10:00 PM to a special session. Watch website for details. Contact Heather Gorman ( if interested.

Student paper competitions will occur in three categories: Junior/Senior; M.A./ M.Div., and Restoration (Isaac Errett Award from the Disciples Historical Society). Contact Les Hardin ( immediately to indicate your interest and to obtain the competition rules (also available on the SCJ website). For the Isaac Errett competition, contact Rick Cherok ( Papers are due December 20, 2014.

Registration and Housing Information available by December 20, 2014, at stonecampbelljournal. com. Registration deadline: March 30, 2015.

Hope to see you there!

William R. Baker, Editor

Lipscomb University


Just as Zurich (Zwinglian) and Geneva (Calvin) found sacramental common ground in the Consensus Tigurinus that united Reformed theology in significant ways, there is a growing rapprochement between Baptists and Churches of Christ. The rise of Baptist sacramentalism and a return to Alexander Campbell’s baptismal theology among Churches of Christ point to areas of convergence between the two. As Baptists move away from radical Zwinglianism and Churches of Christ move away from baptismal positivism, they may find themselves converging in a way that resembles the 1549 Consensus.

Abilene Christian University


Historically, the “Sermon on the Law” has represented for many the totality of Alexander Campbell’s view of the OT. However, this article argues that the “Sermon on the Law” is not comprehensive of Campbell’s view of the OT but merely presents a single hermeneutical principle. By examining Campbell’s use of the OT in his other writings and his early development, this article contends that Campbell recognized the OT as part of inspired revelation useful for many aspects of the Christian life.

Hope International University


This article explores the changing nature of culture, in part due to an increase in technology usage, how this is affecting the church and the perception of spirituality, and puts forth the idea of "performed religion" as one potential way to re-envision the church.

Lincoln Christian Seminary


Scholarship from traditional historical-criticism to contemporary evangelicalism and the Stone-Campbell Movement regarding Ezra, his time, and the book in which he is portrayed as a key leader show a bias against him. Further reflections on the theology of Ezra-Nehemiah suggest its importance as a step along the way to the New Testament's already-but-not-yet theology of the kingdom. This theology shows the importance of Ezra-Nehemiah in the Bible's canonical macro-narrative.

Baylor University


Luke’s purposeful arrangement of material in 10:17-24 creates a juxtaposition between Jesus and Satan. An examination of the passage that takes into account the larger matrix of Satan or "Satan"-like traditions in Second Temple Judaism offers a better understanding of certain aspects of Luke’s Christology.

Johnson University Florida


The worshiping community can benefit from an examination of the rich theology of Revelation’s hymns, which display the strong influence of Israel’s Scriptures and often a satirical reflection of the imperial cult as well. Biblical in content, the hymns are directed at the throne of God and of the Lamb, telling the story of their victory and welcoming all who desire to attend the throne.

Download book reviews for this issue.


J. Caleb Clanton, The Philosophy of Religion of Alexander Campbell (B. Mark Fish, Dallas Christian College)

D. G. Hart, From Billy Graham to Sarah Palin: Evangelicals and the Betrayal of American Conservatism (Kathy J. Pulley, Missouri State University)

Martin M. Marty, Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Letters and Papers from Prison (Joseph M. Kauslick, Abilene Christian University)

Robert F. Rea, Why Church History Matters: An Invitation to Love and Learn from Our Past (Lee Blackburn, Milligan College)

Paul F. Bradshaw and Maxwell E. Johnson, The EucharisticLiturgies: Their Evolution and Interpretation (Wayne G. Mastin, Oklahoma Christian University)

Elesha J. Coffman, The Christian Century and the Rise of the Protestant Mainline (Garrett Matthew East, Tabora, Tanzania)

John Fea, Why Study History? Reflecting on the Importance of the Past (Gary Holloway, World Convention)

Dean Fleming, Recovering the Full Mission of God: A Biblical Perspective on Being, Doing and Telling (Carl B. Bridges, Johnson University)

Ron Highfield, God, Freedom and Human Dignity: Embracing a God-Centered Identity in a Me-Centered Culture (Steven D. Cone, Lincoln Christian University)

Matthew Levering, The Theology of Augustine: An Introductory Guide to His Most Important Works (Steven D. Cone, Lincoln Christian University)

Jane Barter Moulaison, Thinking Christ: Christology and Contemporary Ethics (Holly J. Carey, Point University)

Miroslav Volf, A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good (Joseph M. Kauslick, Abilene Christian University)

Veli Matti Kärkkäinen, Christ and Reconciliation: A Constructive Christian Theology for the Pluralistic World (Kelly R. Bailey, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)

L. Scott Kellum, Preaching the Farewell Discourse (Joseph C. Grana II, Hope International University)

Gregory S. Smith, The Testing of God's Sons (Bryan Blakemore, Taylorville Christian Church)

Bruce Ellis Benson, Liturgy as a Way of Life: Embodying the Arts in Christian Worship (Ken E. Read, Cincinnati Christian University)

David P. Setran and Chris A. Kiesling, Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood: A Practical Theology for College and Young Adult Ministry (Mike Cahill, Nebraska Christian College)

Paul C. Gutjahr, The Book of Mormon: A Biography (Brian D. Smith, Johnson University)

Don W. King, Plain to the Inward Eye: Selected Essays on C. S. Lewis (Shawn Grant, Johnson University Florida)

Michael A. G. Haykin and C. Jeffrey Robinson Sr., To the End of the Earth: Calvin's Missional Vision and Legacy (Steven C. Hunter, Bowling Green, Kentucky)

Gregory A. Thornbury, Recovering Classic Evangelicalism: Applying the Wisdom and Vision of Carl F. H. Henry (Robert C. Kurka, Lincoln Christian Seminary)

John H. Walton and D. Brent Sandy, The Lost World of Scripture: Ancient Literary Culture and Biblical Authority (Gary H. Hall, Lincoln Christian Seminary)

Craig L. Blomberg, Can We Still Believe the Bible? An Evangelical Engagement with Contemporary Questions (Les Hardin, Johnson University Florida)

Derek C. Schuurman, Shaping a Digital World: Faith, Culture and Computer Technology (Brian Baldwin, Kentucky Christian University)

Joel Baden, The Promise to the Patriarchs (Paavo Tucker, Asbury Theological Seminary)

Gordon Wenham, The Psalter Reclaimed: Praying and Praising with the Psalms (John Wakefield, Milligan College)

Dale Ralph Davis, The Message of Daniel: His Kingdom Cannot Fail (Joe M. Sprinkle, Crossroads College)

Kevin J. Youngblood, Jonah: God's Scandalous Mercy (Alan Cope, Lipscomb University)

Lamontte M. Luker, An Illustrated Guide to the Holy Land for Tou Groups, Students, and Pilgrims (Don Sanders, St. Charles, Missouri)

G. K. Beale, Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament: Exegesis and Interpretation (Gary H. Hall, Lincoln Christian Seminary)

Wilfrid J. Harrington, Jesus Our Brother: The Humanity of the Lord (Luke Ben Tallon, LeTourneau University)

Sandra Bingham, The Praetorian Guard: A History of Rome's Elite Special Forces (Jordan Cole Stanley, Emmanuel Christian Seminary)

Geza Vermes, The True Herod (Frank E. Dicken, Lincoln Christian Seminary)

Daniel B. Wallace, Brittany C. Burnette, and Terry Darby Moore, A Reader's Lexicon of the Apostolic Fathers (Taylor Ross, Duke Divinity School)

Wally V. Cirafesi, Verbal Aspect in the Synoptic Parallels: On the Method and Meaning of Divergent Tense-Form Usage in the Synoptic Passion Narratives (James E. Sedlacek, University of Manchester)

Jared C. Wilson, The Storytelling God: Seeing the Glory of Jesus in His Parables (J. David Stark, Faulkner University)

R. T. France, Luke (Mike Cahill, Nebraska Christian College)

Roger Stronstad, The Charismatic Theology of St. Luke: Trajectories from the Old Testament to Luke-Acts (Amy Smith Carman, Pepperdine University)

Charles L. Quarles, The Illustrated Life of Paul (Jared R. Wortman, Cambridge, Massachusetts)

Graham H. Tweftree, Paul and the Miraculous: A Historical Reconsruction (C. Michael Moss, Ohio Valley University)

Joseph A. Marchal, ed., Studying Paul's Letters: Contemporary Perspectives and Methods (James E. Sedlacek, University of Manchester)

Raymond F. Collins, Second Corinthians (Katy E. Valentine, Graduate Theological Union)

Stephen E. Fowl, Ephesians: A Commentary (Carl Toney, Hope International University)

Dale Allison, The Epistle of James (William R. Baker, Hope International University)

SCJ 17.2 Quotables

Chosen by Mason Lee
Abilene Christian University

Featured Quote:

Featured Quote: For Vicki: "Jesus is in a conflict with Satan that will ultimately mean the downfall of the Enemy." Jon Carman, "The Falling Star and the Rising Son: Luke 10:17-24 and Second Temple "Satan" Traditions," (SCJ 17.2:224)

Chosen by Mason Lee, Abilene Christian University

"Ultimately, what matters most for the present study is not when this fall is thought to happen, but what it signifies. Luke depicts Jesus as describing his visionary experience in connection to the disciples' exorcistic ministry. He has envisioned the downfall of Satan as a result of their work. What is more, because their work is an extension of his ministry, this further defines the ministry and character of Jesus. Jesus is in a conflict with Satan that will ultimately mean (or already has meant) the downfall of the Enemy and salvation from his power."

Jon Carman, "The Falling Star and the Rising Son: Luke 10:17-24 and Second Temple "Satan" Traditions," (SCJ 17.2:224)

So John will not permit the worship of heaven to descend into a fallen, class-driven, race-oriented, gender exclusive imitation. The worship John envisions (and the repentance that precedes it) is open and available to all. The worship of heaven is "a radical equalizer that breaks down all boundaries" and creates an egalitarian communitas of those gathered around the throne.

Les Hardin, "A Theology of the Hymns in Revelation," (SCJ 17.2:244)

I am convinced that the historic difference between Southern Baptists and Churches of Christ on baptism is the difference between radical Zwinglianism and a positivistic sacramentalism. I believe a new consensus is possible with the self-conscious adoption of something akin to a credobaptist Calvinian baptismal theology— which, in my estimation, is a biblical theology. Baptists and Churches of Christ have an opportunity to live in harmony, practice a shared biblical theology of baptism, and together promote the kingdom of God for the sake of the world.

John Mark Hicks "Consensus Tigurinus and a Baptismal Rapprochement between Baptists and Churches of Christ" (SCJ 17.2: 179)

One of the primary problems with anti-Ezraism is that it requires a rejection of the core theological affirmations of the Ezra-Nehemiah narrative. The book's new exodus/new entrance to the land theology is pervasive. It includes typological connections between the events, persons, and descriptive language found in Exodus through Joshua and the language used in Ezra-Nehemiah to describe the returnees' leaving exile and returning to Judah. This theology is so pervasive13 and so integrally connected to the rest of the theology of the canon that to reject it is to effectively decanonize Ezra-Nehemiah or at least push it to the outer edges of a canon that is interpreted through a heavy-handed canon within the canon. It also creates an unnecessary and unhelpful gap in the progress of revelation and in relating the theology of the Torah and the prophets to the NT within the biblical macro-narrative.

Paul J. Kissling, "The So-Called "Post-Exilic" Return: Already-But-Not-Yet In Ezra-Nehemiah, (SCJ 17.2: 211)

One rarely finds a single document that exhaustively represents a person's thought on any issue. This is particularly true in the case of sermons. Sermons, because of their context-specific nature, often speak more to the circumstances the speaker faced rather than a systematic treatment of a speaker's thought on the topic. As such, gaining an accurate understanding of Campbell's position towards the OT requires that people move beyond the "Sermon on the Law" to explore what Campbell said about the OT and how he used it—the role it played in his early formation, how it informed his reading of the NT, how it appeared in his sermons and lectures, and the kinds of hermeneutical measures he took (both explicitly and implicitly).

Mason Lee, "More Than the "Sermon on the Law": Alexander Campbell and the Old Testament," (SCJ 17.2: 193-194)

A "performed" Christianity is thus one that can be seen through the lived out nature of those who follow it. This will likely be quite varied and nonhierarchical and will likely involve changes to established church structures. As artists create and perform because they have something they believe and want to share, so Christians must reorient their lives around the living out of the gospel, not around the organization of the church as central.

Phil Towne, "Spirituality in an Age of Technology," (SCJ 17.2: 204)

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Volume 26 Issue 1

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