The new April 2020 issue of Themelios has 225 pages of editorials, articles, and book reviews. It is freely available in three formats: (1) PDF, (2) web version, and (3) Logos Bible Software.
- Brian J. Tabb | Editorial: Theological Reflections on the Pandemic. Tabb offers theological, historical, and pastoral reflections on disease and sickness in light of the current global pandemic. He argues that disease is a parable for human rebellion against God, that it shows and smashes cherished cultural idols, and that it also tests our faith, reveals our hope, and should move us to good works.
- Daniel Strange | Strange Times: ‘The Things We Think and Do Not Say: The Future of Our Business’. Strange reflects on the “business” of theological education. He highlights the subtle dangers of pride, flattery, and rivalry in theological scholarship, and he stresses the necessary link between Christian academic excellence and the ordinary business of evangelism and discipleship.
- Jonathan Leeman and Andrew David Naselli | Politics, Conscience, and the Church: Why Christians Passionately Disagree with One Another over Politics, Why They Must Agree to Disagree over Jagged-Line Political Issues, and How. Leeman and Naselli respond to the political tension that many evangelical churches feel by answering three questions: (1) Why do Christians passionately disagree with one another over politics? (2) Why must Christians agree to disagree over jagged-line political issues? How must Christians who disagree over jagged-line political issues agree to disagree? How must Christians who disagree over jagged-line political issues agree to disagree?
- Katherine Smith | Should the Local Church Resist Texts in Scripture that Clash with Western Culture? The Test Case of Leviticus 21:16–24. Smith argues that Leviticus 21 excludes the Aaronic priest with a permanent physical blemish from serving YHWH in his presence because he does not exemplify the condition of wholeness. Understanding the condition that leads to exclusion requires a holistic view of purity and impurity and, when we understand Leviticus 21 with this holistic perspective, the passage reflects a theological reality central to the person and work of Christ.
- Etienne Jodar | Leviticus 18:5 and the Law’s Call to Faith: A Positive Reassessment of Paul’s View of the Law. Jodar calls for a reassessment of the general understanding that the use of Leviticus 18:5 in Romans 10:5 and Galatians 3:12 reflects Paul’s negative view of the Mosaic law. He argues instead that the apostle employs Leviticus 18:5 to show that the law calls for faith.
- Daryn Graham | The Genesis of the Jerusalem Donation. Graham explains that Paul’s largest charity drive, the Jerusalem Donation, did not begin by his own initiative or with pressure from the Jerusalem church. Rather, this donation began with ordinary believers in Achaea, Macedonia and Galatia and reflected Christian solidarity, love between Gentile and Jewish believers, and genuine concern for other believers suffering from the effects of the famine.
- Jordan Atkinson | Paul’s Overlooked Allusion to Joel 2:9 in 1 Thessalonians 5:2. Atkinson argues that Paul compares the day of the Lord to a thief in the night in 1 Thessalonians 5:2 because of the influence of Joel 2:9. He departs from the scholarly consensus that the apostle here alludes to Jesus’s thief imagery for his second coming and concludes that Paul’s contextually faithful interpretation of Joel 2:9 is a model for how Christians should continue to interpret OT prophetic literature.
- Jared M. August | What Must She Do to Be Saved? A Theological Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:15. August asserts that in 1 Timothy 2:15, “the woman” refers to Eve and that “childbirth” is the birth of the Messiah. He concludes that a messianic reading of this passage is not only exegetically viable but also that it reflects Paul’s use of the Adam/Christ contrast.
- Dane Ortlund |On Words, Meaning, Inspiration, and Translation: A Brief Response to Bill Mounce. Ortlund responds to Bill Mounce’s recent Themelios essay, where he argues that functional equivalence translations such as the NIV more effectively carry over the meaning of the original text. Ortlund offers some clarifying remarks and reflects on three areas of disagreement: the usefulness of “literal” as a label, the relationship between words and meaning, and, most significantly, the nature of the divine inspiration of the Bible.
- The Southgate Fellowship | Affirmations and Denials Concerning World Mission. An international fellowship of theologians, missiologists, and reflective practitioners provides a biblical response to a host of missions, missiological, and theology of religions questions, reflected in 100 sets of affirmations and denials.
Includes these reviews and dozens more:
- Patrick Schreiner, Matthew, Disciple and Scribe. The First Gospel and Its Portrait of Jesus. Reviewed by Mark L. Strauss.
- Thomas S. Kidd, Who Is an Evangelical? The History of a Movement in Crisis. Reviewed by Jesse M. Payne.
- Kenneth J. Barnes, Redeeming Capitalism. Reviewed by John Anderson.
- John Dickson, Is Jesus History? Reviewed by Peter Kozushko.
- Joel Hollier, A Place at His Table: A Biblical Exploration of Faith, Sexuality, and the Kingdom of God. Reviewed by David Peterson.
- Grant Wacker, One Soul at a Time: The Story of Billy Graham. Reviewed by Karin Spiecker Stetina.