Semănătorul (The Sower)
The Journal of Ministry and Biblical Research
Emanuel University of Oradea, Romania
Volume 2, Number 1.
Articles published by the Faculty of Theology in Emanuel
University of Oradea, and International Contributors,
“Emblem of the throng that praise the Lamb”: the Northamptonshire Association in the long eighteenth century
Michael A.G. Haykin
In the 18th century the Welsh pastor Benjamin Francis (1734–1799), pastor of the Horsley Baptist church in Gloucestershire, composed a poem entitled “The Association.” on the annual assemblies, where God’s people could be free to receive wise counsel and discuss in love non-essential issues on which they disagreed. The binding force on the conscience was Scripture. These meetings of eighteenth-century Baptists had a great impact for good in the Baptist denomination, the larger Evangelical circles, and in fact, their impact was felt throughout the world generally.
KEY WORDS: association, Scripture, circular letters, doctrine of the Trinity, missionary vision.
A Vision to Emulate: Spurgeon’s College and its Recognition of the Importance of Principles from Charles Spurgeon to His Students
Dr Philip McCormack
Charles Spurgeon’s book Lectures to My Students has influenced tens of thousands of Christians since its first publication. In his weekly lectures, Spurgeon sought to impress upon future leaders key principles that he embodied in his own life and ministry. Although the focus of the article is upon how these principles have been embedded in the current College’s strategic plan, they can apply to any Theological Training Institute.
KEY WORDS: Education, enterprise, mission, strategy, vision
The relationship of John’s Gospel to the Synoptics Gospels is difficult to explain. That is the reason why there have been many proposals, even from the beginning of the church. Not even today, scholars have reached consensus. Rather, there are many competing explanations. Yet, they can be grouped into three categories, according to what John knew and what he used in writing his gospel: (1) John did not know the Synoptics; (2) John knew the Synoptics and used them as literary sources; and (3) John knew the Synoptics but did not use them. Of these three categories, the third one best explains the similarities and the differences between John and the Synoptics. But beyond stating that John knew the Synoptics but did not use them as literary sources, one is on a rather uncertain territory. Therefore, it is historically and literarily plausible to see John as being aware of the Synoptics and even having read them, but whether he chose to harmonize them, adapt them, supplement them, or reinterpret them, is less clear. In the end, it is clear that John wrote a different Gospel, yet it should be read alongside and not instead of the Synoptics.
KEY WORDS: John, gospels, Synoptic, sources, relationship between John and the Synoptics, oral tradition, similarities, differences.
As far as Paul’s Epistles are concerned Paul is not to been seen as some sort of theological Christopher Columbus when it comes to his contribution to the New Testament. In certain Letters he can write of having received many traditions from those who were before him, including the apostles in Jerusalem, Peter, John, James the Lord’s brother, John Mark, who could correct and supplement the knowledge of Jesus which he must have had before his conversion. Again, his supposed lack of reference to “Jesus in the days of his flesh” is challenged and qualified. Paul is presented also as an agent of revelation, standing on the other side of the cross and resurrection. He is therefore able to bring out to the full the eschatological and soteriological significance of Jesus’ death. This article will focus upon Paul’s Christology as he fills out the traditions of Jesus given in the Four Gospels, his reflection upon him, on the far side of the cross, through the Holy Spirit and with the extra dimension of the new revelations he received, presents him as Messiah, Lord, Son of God, Mediator, Saviour, Last Adam and the believer’s unique relationship with him.
KEY WORDS: Occasional Writings, Judaism, Conversion, Revelation, Christology.
Kenneth R. Lewis
This article will contrast the models of pastoral and secular leadership. A synopsis of the foundational or more common secular leadership models will be discussed first. Following will be a discussion on the pastoral leadership model with contrasts to the secular paradigm. Biblical support for the pastoral leadership model will be given to prove this standard of leadership as the ideal for pastor or church leader. The pastoral and secular leadership models converge in some aspects. However, this article will focus on the differences, and more specifically, on the distinction of pastoral leadership in particular highlighting servanthood, shepherding, character.
KEY WORDS: Secular Leadership, Pastoral Leadership, servanthood, shepherding, authority.
The idea that morality without God is possible is so prevalent in today’s secular society. The Christian view on this topic is based on the fact that objective moral values cannot exist without being grounded in God. These two opposing views reflect the conflict between secular moral relativism and the theistic view of reality that advocates, from an anthropological point of view, that human existence cannot be analyzed without a moral framework. Without the moral dimension, the concept of the rule of law is not more than a utopia that cannot be applied in practice. This paper analyses the issue of morality from a biblical point of view in light of Paul’s use of the Law. As a Pharisee, Paul used the Law as the foundation for moral living. This view was completely changed as Paul was transformed by God’s grace. The aim of this study is to examine both the positive and negative aspects of the Law as man draws closer to God, but also the way in which Paul relates to the Law in terms of morality. Today’s society debates the theme of good without God, while the first century society had in mind the theme of good for God. This paper argues that just as good without God is utopian, so, in Paul’s understanding of the Law, good done for God cannot be used as a soteriological foundation.
KEY WORDS: Good without God; morality; Paul’s use of Law (or Law); relativism; soteriology; legalism; lawlessness.
Dr. Aurelian Botica
In the following article we will analyze the concept of the “mourning of God” in Pesikta D’Rav Kahana, a Rabbinical document dating to approximately late fourth century C.E. We will explore individual themes such as the “unauthorized worship”, the nature of the sin that caused the death of Nadab and Abihu – Aharon’s two sons, and the reaction of God toward the death of His people. The cultic context of Pesikta D’Rav Kahana is the celebration of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which, among other purposes, served as a day of national mourning. We will show how the Rabbinical interplay between the specific and the general/indirect biblical texts enhance our understanding of the socio-religious world behind the text of Pesikta D’Rav Kahana. The purpose of this article is to probe into what the audience would have possibly heard from the pulpit when the rabbis preached sermons like these. What was their situation? What did they need to hear in order to receive hope, or that their lives might be set on the right course and thus avoid the shortcomings of their predecessors.
KEY WORDS: Sacrifice, Sin, Nadab and Abihu, God, Mourning, Yom Kippur.