Semănătorul (The Sower)

The Journal of Ministry and Biblical Research

Emanuel University of Oradea, Romania

Volume 3, Number 2.

Articles published by the Faculty of Theology in Emanuel
University of Oradea, and International Contributors,
April 2023.

Word Studies: A Combination of Immediate Context, Current Usage, and Authorial Intention

Corin Mihăilă

Getting to the meaning of a word is no easy task. It may seem like a quick process since the object of the study is the smallest unit of discourse. And it is so in most cases. However, it is at this basic level of meaning that most  interpretative fallacies are committed: etymological fallacy, root fallacy, and illegitimate totality transfer, just to name a few. One must guard against such fallacies by considering at least three factors that determine the meaning of a word: immediate context, current usage, and authorial intention. The word is  loaded with potential meaning, but potential meaning becomes real meaning only when the word finds a place in a particular literary structure, within a particular life setting, and in the particular intention of the author who utters the word. In other words, we should be interested in the meaning a word acquires in a certain context, corresponds with its usage in that period and by the same author, and fulfils the function the author intended for the particular passage in which the word occurs. In order to guard ourselves against fallacies of all kinds and guarantee a certain degree of precision in interpretation, we should look for what an author does with the word(s) he uses in a certain context.
KEY WORDS: word studies, meaning, etymological fallacy, root fallacy, illegitimate totality transfer, immediate context, current usage, authorial intention.

The Unchanging Word of God and Today’s Fast-Changing Generations

Dr. Ovidiu Hanc

This article advocates that the Bible, as the unchanging word of God, represents a revelation that is relevant simultaneously not only for the modern world but also for the fast-changing generation X, Y, Z of the postmodern era. It will analyse the way in which the message of the Bible is relevant over time. It will be discussed how some argue that the presentation of the Gospel must consider the cultural setting in which the message is proclaimed, others will suggest that relevance is almost akin to compromise.
KEY WORDS: modernism; postmodern era; revelation; relevance; the word of

“Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down”: An essay on some aspects of the history of revival

Michael A.G. Azad Haykin

This article focuses upon the theme of revival in the history of the church. It highlights first the deep interest of Calvin and Edwards in the doctrine of the Holy Spirit and how their influence was deeply felt among the Puritans. Three examples of revival are given, namely, in France; in the seventeenth century;  the English and Scottish Puritans, Calvin’s spiritual children, also experienced revival first-hand; the Elim Evangelistic Band, which developed into the Elim Pentecostal Churches, begun in Ulster in 1915 and soon spread to other parts  of the British Isles. In the 1920s it experienced a massive period of revival growth under the leadership of George Jeffreys (1889–1962). Here we learn of the variety as to how God sends revival, using different instruments. The article discusses the following facts about revival and gives examples. Genuine revival is not something that can be created. Revival comes from God. In times of revival, the Spirit primarily uses the Word of God to powerfully impact people. In revival the Holy Spirit’s activity is an exalting of the Saviour–a Christ- centred event.
KEY WORDS: Revival, the Puritans, the Elim Pentecostal Churches, God-sent
revival, the power of the word, Exalting Christ.

Exploring biblical and logical foundations for establishing a rigorous compatibility between divine sovereignty and human freedom

Dr. Călin Ioan Taloș

Throughout the history of Christian theology, the antinomy between, on the one hand, the divine will expressed through foreknowledge and predestination and, on the other hand, the human will expressed through limited knowledge and free choice, has been perpetuated. Since both of these wills claim their presence in the immanent order of everyday reality and the divine will is essentially sovereign, then to what extent does man have free will or freedom of choice? The answer to this question has divided theologians into different groups and theological rationalities. Some have brought to the fore the theory of predestination and the sovereignty of God, and others have invoked the compatibility of foreknowledge and human free will, developing theories that
highlight human freedom.
In this article, I will highlight two compatibilist theories, that of John Calvin and that of Luis de Molina. At the same time, I will show that, according to the fundamental principles of logic, contradiction and the excluded middle, Calvinism denotes a high view of God’s sovereignty and a low view of human liberty, whereas Molinism, a high view of creaturely freedom, but a low view of God’s sovereignty. Finally, I will propose, based on the biblical texts and the logic of included middle, evoked by the Romanian-French physicist, Basarab Nicolescu, the exploration of a rationality that gives rise to a high view of God’s sovereignty, as well as a high view of human freedom, creating the premise for the elaboration of a rigorous compatibilism.
KEY WORDS: Calvinism, Molinism, predestination, free will, included middle,

Social Ministry and Its Effects on Evangelistic Preaching

Kenneth R. Lewis

Social issues present an opportunity for Christians to perform social ministry to persons beset by the consequences of sin—whether caused by their own doing or their social surroundings. Social ministry can beneficially undergird evangelism and evangelistic preaching when the social ministry is conducted in the proper manner. This article will discuss the effects of social ministry on evangelistic preaching. The first part will define social ministry and how it contrasts with social action. The scope of this article will focus on social  ministry while mentioning social action as a separate function whose aims are distinct from social ministry. The second part of this article will present the application of social ministry in the evangelistic enterprise. This section will discuss some of the biblical principles behind social ministries and how it affects evangelism in positive and negative ways. The last part of this article will discuss some theological and practical issues that affect evangelistic preaching.
KEY WORDS: Social ministry, social activism, the social gospel movement, gospel proclamation, Biblical exposition.

‘In the Sanctuary’ in the Psalms

Dr. Justin M. Young

This study addresses the translation of the term שׁדק when prefixed with ב in the Psalter. While the expression is rendered rather consistently as a sanctuary reference (i.e., ‘in the/my/his sanctuary’) in other parts of the OT, the phrase is commonly given an alternative translation in some psalms. This article surveys the five passages in the Psalter in which שׁדקב is commonly translated in alternative ways from a sanctuary reference (60:8 [6]; 68:18 [17]; 77:14 [13]; 89:36 [35]; 108:8 [7]), contending that no definitive case exists in the Psalter for such alternative renderings. In the light of this, especially in cases in which שׁדקב appears in a verbless clause (i.e., 68:18 [17] and 77:14 [13]), ‘in the sanctuary’ remains the best translational option. While translating שׁדקב as a sanctuary reference carries significant ramifications for the ideology of these psalms, the present analysis focuses primarily on the translational issues involved.
KEY WORDS: Psalms, Psalter, sanctuary, temple, holiness, Mount Sinai