Congratulations Dr. Amos Yong!

From the Regent University Website:

Divinity Professor Receives Prestigious Fellowship

Dr. Amos Yong, the J. Rodman Williams Professor of Theology in Regent University’s School of Divinity, was recently granted a Henry Luce III Fellowship in Theology. This prestigious award is only given to half a dozen scholars nationally each year.

Selected for his proposal to conduct creative and innovative theological research, Yong will take a year-long sabbatical from Regent to fulfill the fellowship, traveling to key sites of the World Assembly of God Fellowship regional offices for research and writing…..

[go here to read the rest!]

Established in 1993, the Henry Luce III Fellows in Theology supports the research of junior and senior scholars whose projects offer significant and innovative contributions to theological studies. The program is administered by the Association of Theological Schools, the accrediting agency for graduate theological education in the United States and Canada. Its 235 member institutions include Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant schools of theology, including freestanding seminaries and university-related divinity schools.

Learn more about the School of Divinity.

This is certainly a great honor!  So congratulations to Dr. Yong!  We look forward to your systematic theology!

on being a pastor/theologian

someone on the pentecostal theology worldwide facebook page is asking this question:

Is it possible for a pastor, who does not desire to be a professional/vocational theologian, to become a solid pastor/theologian without knowing the biblical languages? I wonder what people who work with the biblical languages regularly think about this?

many of the responses have been in the affirmative though there have been not a few “yes, but…” responses as in “yes, but you’ll always be lacking in your exegetical skills without having learned the bible languages….” etc.  One person did well to point out that even with knowledge of the Bible languages there is still ALOT of WEIRD and BAD theology going around in Pentecostal circles, and that by folks who supposedly have seminary degrees and training in the languages so it is important to note having training in the languages is not a cure all or safety net necessarily.  There is responsible exegesis too, but then one might want to know what that even means anymore.

But I wanted to share a couple responses I thought were pretty good.

One person emphasized the importance of reading:

Reading (and reading and reading) is always the main key of being a good theologian. If one is diligent and discipline enough to read everyday, one can become a better theologian than many seminary graduates.

I think this is the simple truth.  There is a prominent blogger who proves this point.  He is as good as if not better than a lot of seminary grads simply because he reads a lot and asks questions and talks it all out on his blog.

My friend Monte had this to say:

I believe we can, and should certainly strive to be “a solid pastor/theologian,” even if we do not for varied reasons possess a grasp of “biblical languages.” I say this even while I myself had been graced by God to acquire many years ago, two solid years of Greek grammar and syntax, and I can still read and consult my Greek New Testament.

The reason though why I hold this conviction is that over the years I have gone over to the position that most important is a good “theological reading” of the Bible, as a maturing “Catholic Christian,” and more specifically in this context— as a “Catholic Pentecostal.” I did not say “Roman Catholic;” I said “Catholic;” but also in becoming “Catholic,” it may perhaps help to sometimes give our ears and hearts to our Roman Catholic brethren.

So to become a “Catholic Pentecostal” means I inform my reading of the Bible with some broad consensual understandings of the Christian Story— which I simultaneously inform and integrate with a distinctive Pentecostal reading of Scripture; I find Kenneth Archer’s idea of Pentecostal “Central Narrative Convictions” helpful here.

I believe the Holy Spirit sends the Church to the ends of the earth with the Gospel so that in the process of discipling the nations— we raise up “Catholic” people. Even as the Spirit gives each of us a distinctive “tongue” and hence “voice” through the Pentecostal experience of Spirit baptism, the Spirit then enjoins us to share these “tongues,” “voices,” and “gifts” with those we reach and minister to, and we in turn receive “gifts” from them, affirm their “voices,” and worship God as we hear their “tongues.”

So in the process of opening ourselves to the global Church and to the outpouring of God’s Spirit on all flesh, we become Catholic Pentecostals— as the Spirit enriches us with the gifts and tongues and voices of all the world. Then the riches of all the world’s nations flow into God’s new Zion! (Rev 21:24, 26). I am here by the way, drawing on some thoughts gathered from Miroslav Volf’s “Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation.”

Ultimately however, what qualifies us as true “pastor-theologians” is that we have somehow at some point received in our bodies and spirits— a sharing in the sufferings of Jesus. That is why Martin Luther thus said a true “theologian” is one “who comprehends the . . . things of God seen through suffering and the cross.” Then we become true preachers of Christ only and Him crucified because we have received from God a true “theology of the cross” and not a false “theology of glory.”

There, in the crucible of mystic experience with Jesus our Healer, we together with the comfort of the Holy Spirit— forge a theology of moral and redemptive power for the healing of all nations. When this happens, we like Jacob, worship God in no other way than by leaning on our staff— because the Spirit had wounded our thigh; our strength had become touched and transformed by hand of God— which now makes us partakers in the wounds of God, that we may also rejoice as partakers of His glory.

I think his point about doing a “theological reading” of the Bible is a good point.  I happen to think good theology comes out of good practice of Inductive Bible Study and honest responsible handling of the languages, but even so, we must at some point go beyond that.  This can come through the discipline of reading theological works such as Brunner or Barth or even Torrance.  I know Vanhoozer has a work out on a theological reading of the New Testament and so on.   I even think Dave Black is doing some of this with the stuff he is doing lately such as with his book The Jesus Paradigm and so on.  Tim Gombis’s The Drama of Ephesians is another good example of this.  The think I like about Monte’s response is how he has taken and received from others and integrated it into his own theological background, into his Pentcostalism. I think that is something we should all do – learn and receive what we can from others and integrate into our own thinking and theological backgrounds.  It will make us better people.

If you think you’d like to be part of the pentecostal theology worldwide facebook page, let me know and I could add you.  but please know it is closed group.

Feel free to let me know what you think.

Blessings,

Philippians 1:29

reads:

ὅτι ὑμῖν ἐχαρίσθη τὸ ὑπὲρ Χριστοῦ, οὐ μόνον τὸ εἰς αὐτὸν πιστεύειν ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸὑπὲρ αὐτοῦ πάσχειν,

For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake…. (NASB)

questions:

yes or no?

and if so, how so?

what would suffering look like for those in affluent societies?

Thanks

congrats to Joel!

Joel Watts has received an offer for publication!

here is  the deal from his blog:

I have an offer for publication for my proposal of “Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark.” Once the contract is signed, I’ll let you know who and when, etc…

So…

This weekend, I will have removed most of my posts dealing with this subject.

I do recommend several books.

Anything by Adam Winn (he has two – get the second one if you can’t get both). Get the Lucan book by Shadi Bartsch. As much as I disagree with his conclusions,Dennis MacDonald is a must read on mimesis as well.

And then, save your money for mine.

Once this book is done, I hope to implore another publisher to allow me to write a book on Living Mark’s Gospel Today, in which Mark is presented as an active Gospel for today’s situations.

book deal of the day!

Eisenbrauns is having an 80% off sale on the 3rd Edition of The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church!   It is a pre-order so take advantage of it while you can!  This is a good resource and can be useful for all sorts of research or study and dare I say it? sermon prep!

consider too that it is $150 on Amazon!

here is a blurb: Uniquely authoritative and wide-ranging in its scope, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church is the indispensable one-volume reference work on all aspects of the Christian Church. It contains over 6,000 cross-referenced A-Z entries, and offers unrivalled coverage of all aspects of this vast and often complex subject, including theology, churches and denominations, patristic scholarship, the bible, the church calendar and its organization, popes, archbishops, saints, and mystics….

so it seems like a good book for learning a bit more of church history, no?

on maintaining relationships in the body

of Christ.  this photo has been going around Facebook:

It made me wonder, could you imagine the level of UNITY we could have in the greater Body of Christ we could have if we were to follow this simple principle, or even just the idea of seeking to save a relationship over and against having to be right (or more right than another) all the time??

Now, please know, for all intents purposes, I am referring to general situations within the bounds of Historic Orthodox Christianity.  BUT… I wonder too to what level of effectiveness could we reach as the Body of Christ if we sought relationships with one another over worrying about being right, and even how might this impact our ability to impact the world as witnesses to the Risen Christ by the unity we display?

Just imagine that.   What do you think?