Semănătorul (The Sower)
The Journal of Ministry and Biblical Research
Emanuel University of Oradea, Romania
Volume 2, Number 2.
Articles published by the Faculty of Theology in Emanuel
University of Oradea, and International Contributors,
T. Desmond Alexander
The Exodus account of God’s rescue of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt describes the greatest salvific event found in the Old Testament. As a story that concludes with Yahweh dwelling among the Israelites, it highlights how people may come into a more intimate relationship with God. In this light of this, it is noteworthy that New Testament writers draw heavily on the book of Exodus to explain the soteriological significance of Jesus Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension. This article surveys the process of salvation that is described in the book of Exodus, focusing especially on Passover and the covenant ratified at Mount Sinai. This provides a foundation for exploring some of the ways in which New Testament writers address soteriological concepts that are centred on Jesus Christ.
KEY WORDS: Exodus, Passover, Covenant, Sanctification, Soteriology
Paul R. Williamson
This article examines the respective roles of Deborah and Barak in Judges 4 and 5. Traditionally Deborah has been counted as one of Israel’s ‘judges’ (i.e., divinely-appointed leaders who emancipated Israel from foreign oppression). Following Block, this discussion argues that a close reading of Judges suggests otherwise. Comparison between Deborah and other judges in the book demonstrates that Deborah’s role in the book of Judges was quite distinct; Deborah had a prophetic role as the person through whom God’s remedy to the current crisis was revealed. Barak functioned in the typical role of judge (military deliverer), but together he and Deborah provide an early biblical example of complementary leadership.
KEY WORDS: Deborah; Barak; Judge(s); Prophet(ess); Leadership
Dr Jim Davison
The work chosen for this article is Thomas Watson’s, The Christian on the Mount, for it encourages all believers to explore the neglected art and iscipline
of meditation on the Scriptures. From a focus upon delighting upon God’s word, Watson suggests that the believer’s affections will be drawn not only to embrace that word but a desire will be created in the heart to meditate upon it day and night; just as the psalmist did in Psalm 1. He explains that meditation goes beyond simply study of the Word, which brings understanding. Meditation is presented as a duty which should not be slighted. It should be deliberate, morning and evening and at the same time impromptu. The benefits and usefulness of meditation are explained and the necessity of meditation cannot be downplayed.
KEY WORDS: Transforming grace, the Word of God, study, the art of meditation, royal edit.
Pauline theology is to be found in the beliefs and doctrines expressed in the New Testament writings of Paul, the former Jewish Pharisee and later hristian
apostle. This article will attempt to assess the influences upon Paul or from where we can trace the roots of his theological thinking. Paul’s past and resent links with his Graeco-Roman environment, and his Jewish heritage are first discussed. But it is suggested that the real key to his theology is his xperience in meeting the risen Christ on the Damascus Road. Paul theology is rooted in a sudden conversion experience. Two passages of Scripture, Galatians 1v10-24 and 1 Timothy 1v 12-17 are expounded to reveal Paul’s radical new personal understanding and world view. Added to these influences was finally the rich heritage upon which he drew as he became part of the Christian community. He takes over this teaching on Christ’s person and saving work even though he supplemented it. We will suggest that Paul is more an interpreter of Christ in his theology, influenced by what he has found in Church tradition, but adding to it that extra dimension which came uniquely from his conversion and calling as an apostle.
KEY WORDS: Theology, Hellenistic environment, Jewish heritage, conversion, Christian tradition.
Protestantism influenced Eastern Europe through the Radical Reformation, through German Pietism and especially through a number of Neo-Protestant movements which taught the necessity of personal saving faith and stressed the importance of a holy and disciplined life. At the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century a number of Christian groups emerged in Romania. Among these were the Baptists, whose life and ministry was not easy in its history.
The fall of communism in 1989 gave a sudden freedom to all the evangelical churches which began to experience a revived activity. A new era for the ebirth and development of the Baptist faith and its Christian education began in Romania. This essay is aiming to explain how it all began and developed in an environment which was hostile in most of the situations.
KEY WORDS: Protestantism, Byzantine orthodoxy, Catholicism, Radical Reformation, conversion, Dacia, Latin, Slavs, Hungarians, Anabaptists, animism, fetishism, naturism, Communism, persecution, saving faith.
The question of the nature of man was of great interest to Augustine, given the philosophical and religious milieu in which he lived. His focused was on the concepts of free will and of the grace of God, and how the fall, salvation, and glorification impacted man’s capacity to choose freely and remain good. From his writings, especially in his controversy with Pelagius, we can understand that human nature must be understood along the four stages in redemptive history: creation, fall, salvation, and glorification. In his pre-fall state, man was able to choose either to sin or not to sin. In this state, the grace of God assisted man in establishing him on a good course, had he chosen to obey. In choosing evil, in the fall, man lost the ability to choose not to sin. The only way he is able to do good is if God intervened with his grace in salvation. Once man is saved by grace, man’s will is again freed to do what is good, God’s grace acting not only in freeing the will, but also causing the will to desire good. The state of the saved person, however, anticipates the glorified state in which man will not be able to sin any longer and thus unable to desert the good.
KEY WORDS: Augustine, nature, sin, gnostic, ascetic, Platonism, Pelagius, free
will, free choice, grace.
Christian notions of love and theology in the context of the dialectics between individualism and collectivism
In the context of the current dialectics between collectivism and individualism, more precisely, of the tension between, on the one hand, the claim of the preeminence of theology, in exchange for sacrificing individual freedoms, as in the case of collectivism, and on the other hand, the claim of prevalence individual liberties, at the cost of “elasticizing” theology and implicitly relaxing the ecclesial unity, as in the case of individualism, there is a critical perspective that theology would hinder individual freedom by positioning itself as a Berlin Wall between individuals that it insensibly separates them from each other. Against this dialectical background, love is valued at the expense of theology. The reason is that the former unites individuals, connecting them to each ther, while theologies irrevocably separate them and restrict their freedom of thought while also endangering their personal well-being. In this article we aim to argue that love in general is inalienable from rationality and discernment, skills that are specifically theological, and Christian theology is inseparable from love, which is its original source and inspiration. Therefore, the adoption of love presupposes the adoption of discernment, and the acceptance of Christian theology implies, at the same time, the acceptance of love that animates theology.
KEY WORDS: love, individualism, collectivism, enemy, theology.