Themelios, Volume 37, Issue 2
262 Pages

Themelios, Volume 37, Issue 2


Themelios is an international, evangelical, peer-reviewed theological journal that expounds and defends the historic Christian faith. Themelios is published three times a year online at The Gospel Coalition ( and in print by Wipf and Stock. Its primary audience is theological students and pastors, though scholars read it as well. Themelios began in 1975 and was operated by RTSF/UCCF in the UK, and it became a digital journal operated by The Gospel Coalition in 2008. The editorial team draws participants from across the globe as editors, essayists, and reviewers.
General Editor: D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Managing Editor: Brian Tabb, Bethlehem College and Seminary
Consulting Editor: Michael J. Ovey, Oak Hill Theological College
Administrator: Andrew David Naselli, Bethlehem College and Seminary
Book Review Editors: Jerry Hwang, Singapore Bible College; Alan Thompson, Sydney Missionary & Bible College; Nathan A. Finn, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; Hans Madueme, Covenant College; Dane Ortlund, Crossway; Jason Sexton, Golden Gate Baptist Seminary
Editorial Board:
Gerald Bray, Beeson Divinity School
Lee Gatiss, Wales Evangelical School of Theology
Paul Helseth, University of Northwestern, St. Paul
Paul House, Beeson Divinity School
Ken Magnuson, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Jonathan Pennington, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
James Robson, Wycliffe Hall
Mark D. Thompson, Moore Theological College
Paul Williamson, Moore Theological College
Stephen Witmer, Pepperell Christian Fellowship
Robert Yarbrough, Covenant Seminary



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dEsCriptioN hemelios IS an InTeRnaTIOnal eVangelIcal TeOlOgIcal jOuRnal TaT exPOunDS anD DefenDS Te ISTORIc CRISTIan faIT. iTS PRImaRy auDIence IS TeOlOgIcal STuDenTS anD PaSTORS, TOug ScOlaRS ReaD IT aS Well. iT WaS fORmeRly a PRInT jOuRnal OPeRaTeD by rtsF/UCCF In Te Uk, anD IT became a DIgITal jOuRnal OPeRaTeD by he GOSPel COalITIOn In 2008. he eDITORIal Team DRaWS PaRTIcIPanTS fROm acROSS Te glObe aS eDITORS, eSSayISTS, anD ReVIeWeRS. hemeliosIS PublISeD TRee TImeS a yeaR excluSIVely OnlIne aT WWW.TeGOSPelCOalITIOn.ORg. iT IS PReSenTeD In TWO fORmaTS: pdF (fOR cITIng PagInaTIOn) anD HtML (fOR gReaTeR acceSSIbIlITy, uSabIlITy, anD InfilTRaTIOn In SeaRc engIneS).hemeliosIS cOPyRIgTeD by he GOSPel COalITIOn. reaDeRS aRe fRee TO uSe IT anD cIRculaTe IT In DIgITal fORm WITOuT fuRTeR PeRmISSIOn (any PRInT uSe RequIReS fuRTeR WRITTen PeRmISSIOn), buT Tey muST acKnOWleDge Te SOuRce anD, Of cOuRSe, nOT cange Te cOnTenT.
Editors General Editor:d. A. CaRSOnTrinity Evangelical Divinity Scool 2065 Half Day Road Deerfield, IL 60015, USATemelIOS@TegOSPelcOalITIOn.ORg Managing Editor:CaRleS AnDeRSOnOak Hill heological College Case Side, Soutgate London, N14 4PS, UKcaRleSa@OaK ContribUting Editor:MIcael J. oVeyOak Hill heological College Case Side, Soutgate London, N14 4PS, UKmIKeO@OaK Administrator:AnDReW daVID NaSellIGrace Bible Curc 107 West Road Moore, SC 29369, USATemelIOS@TegOSPelcOalITIOn.ORg
Book rEviEw Editors Old TestamentdanIel sanTOS Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie— CPAJ Rua Maria Borba, 15 Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil 01221-040 DanIel.SanTOS@TegOSPelcOalITIOn.ORg New TestamentAlan hOmPSOnSydney Missionary & Bible College PO Box 83 Croydon, NSW 2132, Australiaalan.TOmPSOn@TegOSPelcOalITIOn.ORg History and Historical heologyNaTan A. FInnSouteastern Baptist heological Seminary P. O. Box 1889 Wake Forest, NC 27588, USAnaTan.finn@TegOSPelcOalITIOn.ORg
Systematic heology and BioeticsHanS MaDueme Covenant College 14049 Scenic Higway Lookout Mountain, GA 30750, USAanS.maDueme@TegOSPelcOalITIOn.ORg Etics(buT nOT BIOeTIcS)and Pastoralia dane oRTlunD Crossway 1300 Crescent Street Weaton, IL 60187, USA Dane.ORTlunD@TegOSPelcOalITIOn.ORg Mission and CUltUreJaSOn sexTOn Ridley Hall Ridley Hall Road Cambridge, CB3 9HG England jaSOn.SexTOn@TegOSPelcOalITIOn.ORg
EditoriAL BoArd GeRalD BRay,Beeson Divinity Scool; olIVeR d. CRISP,Fuller heological Seminary; wIllIam kyneS,Cornerstone Evangelical Free Curc; ken MagnuSOn,he Soutern Baptist heological Seminary; JOnaTan pennIngTOn, he Soutern Baptist heological Seminary; JameS rObSOn,Wycliffe Hall; MIcael haTe, Duram University; MaRK d. hOmPSOn,Moore heological College; GaRRy wIllIamS,he Jon Owen Centre, London heological Seminary; paul wIllIamSOn,Moore heological College; sTePen wITmeR,Pepperell Cristian Fellowsip.
ArtiCLEs ARTIcleS SOulD geneRally be abOuT 4,000 TO 7,000 WORDS (IncluDIng fOOTnOTeS) anD SOulD be SubmITTeD TO Te ManagIng EDITOR Ofhemelios, WIc IS PeeR-ReVIeWeD. ARTIcleS SOulD uSe cleaR, cOncISe EnglIS, fOllOWInghe SBL Handbook of Style(eSP. fOR abbReVIaTIOnS), SuPPlemenTeD byhe Cicago Manual of Style. hey SOulD cOnSISTenTly uSe eITeR Uk OR UsA SPellIng anD PuncTuaTIOn, anD Tey SOulD be SubmITTeD elecTROnIcally aS an emaIl aTTacmenT uSIng MIcROSOfT wORD (.DOc OR .DOcx exTenSIOnS) OR rIc texT FORmaT (.RTf exTenSIOn). sPecIal caRacTeRS SOulD uSe a UnIcODe fOnT.
rEviEws he bOOK ReVIeW eDITORS geneRally SelecT InDIVIDualS fOR bOOK ReVIeWS, buT POTenTIal ReVIeWeRS may cOnTacT Tem abOuT ReVIeWIng SPecIfic bOOKS. AS PaRT Of aRRangIng bOOK ReVIeWS, Te bOOK ReVIeW eDITORS WIll SuPPly bOOK ReVIeW guIDelIneS TO ReVIeWeRS. th Printed by Wipf and Stock Publishers, 199 W. 8 Ave., Eugene, OR 97401. ISBN:978-1-62564-957-7
E d i t o r i A L
hemelios37.2 (2012): 178–81
he BeauTy Of BIblIcal Balance
 D. A. Carson 
D. A. Carson is researc professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity Scool in Deerfield, Illinois.
en i WaS a yOung man In PaSTORal mInISTRy, i WROTe a bOOK-lengT manuScRIPT unDeR Te w TITle SaReD WIT TIS eDITORIal. i SenT IT TO Only One PublISeR. haT PublISeR TuRneD IT DOWn WIT mORe gRace Tan Te manuScRIPT DeSeRVeD. He genTly POInTeD OuT majOR exegeTIcal anD lOgIcal flaWS In One Of Te aRgumenTS. i cOulD See e WaS RIgT, anD, SuITably umbleD anD fOOlISly DIScOuRageD, i cOulDn’T bRIng mySelf TO exPenD Te TIme anD eneRgy TO fix Te PROblem. i mOVeD On TO OTeR TIngS. decaDeS laTeR, OWeVeR, i RemaIn cOnVInceD TaT, eVen If One PaRTIculaR eRROR neeDeD RePaIR, Te maIn TeSIS Of Te bOOK WaS RIgT: Te BIble DePIcTS Te ImPORTance Of balance alOng quITe a feW quITe DIffeRenT axeS, anD IT IS ImPORTanT nOT TO cOnfuSe Tem. BefORe i lIST SOme Of TeSe DIffeRenT axeS, i SOulD acKnOWleDge TaT balance IS nOT alWayS a VIRTue. FOR examPle, Wen scRIPTuRe cOmmanDS uS TO lOVe GOD WIT OuR WOle beIng (deuT 6:4–5; MaRK 12:29– 30), IT DOeS nOT aDD, “of cOuRSe, all TIngS In mODeRaTIOn: One muST balance lOVe fOR GOD WIT OTeR PRIORITIeS.” APPlIeD In Te WROng cOnTexTS, Te aPPeal fOR balance may be a maSK fOR mORal InDIffeRence anD SPIRITual cOmPROmISe. BuT leT me aSSume TaT We aVe eeDeD Te WaRnIng anD TuRn TO SOme Of Te DIffeRenT axeS aROunD WIc We neeD TO maInTaIn balance.
1. Balance in te Use of Our Time, Wile We Attempt to Be Faitful to Scripture
he BIble exORTS uS TO DIScaRge many ReSPOnSIbIlITIeS, all Of Tem TIme-cOnSumIng: TO WORK, lOVe OuR neIgbOR, lOVe OuR SPOuSe, bRIng uP OuR cIlDRen In Te nuRTuRe anD aDmOnITIOn Of Te LORD, PRay, meDITaTe On GOD’S wORD, meeT TOgeTeR WIT OTeR belIeVeRS fOR muTual eDIficaTIOn anD cORPORaTe PRaISe, beaR WITneSS TO Te gOSPel WIT unbelIeVeRS, anD muc mORe. if We aRe elDeRS/PaSTORS/OVeRSeeRS, Te WORK Of TeacIng DemanDS caReful STuDy, WIle Te TeacIng ITSelf exTenDS InDefinITely beyOnD sunDay mORnIng SeRmOnS TO IncluDe One-On-One BIble STuDy, Small gROuP STuDy, TRaInIng OTeRS, anD cOunSel Of many KInDS fOR Te PeOPle In OuR flOcK, IncluDIng Te membeRS Of OuR OWn famIly. All Of TeSe aRe gOOD TIngS; all Of Tem RequIRe TIme. he Same scRIPTuReS InSIST On PROPeR cycleS Of ReST: GOD gIVeS IS belOVeD SleeP. ADD TO TIS PIle Te PeculIaR RuS Of DuTIeS TaT befall uS In PeculIaR cIRcumSTanceS: a famIly membeR fallS cRITIcally Ill; TWO cIlDRen aRe gRaDuaTIng fROm unIVeRSITy abOuT Te Same TIme TaT a TIRD IS geTTIng maRRIeD; Te famIly buSIneSS IS On a KnIfe-eDge beTWeen a gReaT leaP fORWaRD anD gOIng belly-uP—anD all Of TeSe cIRcumSTanceS aRe unDeR GOD’S PROVIDenTIal aRRangemenT.
he BeauTy Of BIblIcal Balance
he neeDeD balance In Te face Of Suc DemanDS TuRnS On RIgT PRIORITIeS In uSIng Te TIme GOD aS gIVen uS, alOng WIT RefuSIng TO feel lIKe DISmal faIluReS becauSe We cannOT Squeeze TIRTy OuRS Of lIVIng InTO TWenTy-fOuR. we aVe all Te TIme TaT GOD aS WISely allOTTeD; TeRe IS nO mORe. we can WORK aWay aT maKIng OuR uSe Of TIme mORe efficIenT; abOVe all, We can PuRSue gODly PRIORITIeS. AnD We can TRuST Te WISDOm Of OuR gOOD anD WISe eaVenly FaTeR.
2. Balance in Integrating Complementary Biblical Empases
waT i aVe In mInD aRe Suc PaIReD exORTaTIOnS aS Te InjuncTIOn TO SPeaK Te TRuT, cOuPleD WIT Te InjuncTIOn TO DO SO In lOVe. hIS KInD Of balance IS quITe DIffeRenT fROm Te fiRST KInD. he fiRST KInD IS WaT Te gamIng TeORISTS call a zeRO-Sum game: nO maTTeR OW aRD We OPe OTeRWISe, OuR DaIly DISTRIbuTIOn Of TIme alWayS SumS uP all Te DIScReTe blOcKS Of TIme TO acIeVe Te Same TOTal: TWenTy-fOuR OuRS. one cannOT allOT mORe TIme anD eneRgy TO One ReSPOnSIbIlITy WITOuT cORReSPOnDIngly DImInISIng One OR mORe Of Te OTeR blOcKS. BuT TIS SecOnD KInD Of balance IS nOT a zeRO-Sum game. one muST nOT DImInIS Te OblIgaTIOn TO SPeaK Te TRuT by aPPealIng TO Te PRIORITy Of lOVe; One muST nOT DImInIS Te OblIgaTIOn TO SPeaK In lOVe by aPPealIng TO Te PRIORITy Of TRuT. heRe IS nO zeRO-Sum game. in Te caSe Of Te claImS Of TRuT anD lOVe, TeSe TWIn VIRTueS aVe ROugly PaRallel claImS: GOD manDaTeS bOT Of Tem. BOT “TRuT” anD “lOVe” caRRy SlIgTly DIffeRenT OVeRTOneS In DIffeRenT cOnTexTS, Of cOuRSe, buT TeRe IS nO InTRInSIc ReaSOn TaT We SOulD TInK TaT eITeR DImInISeS Te OTeR. oTeR PaIRS In TIS caTegORy Of balance aRe mORe cOmPlIcaTeD yeT. FOR examPle, CRISTIanS muST cOnSTanTly RecOgnIze TaT Tey aRe SaVeD by gRace; CRISTIanS muST PeRfORm Te gOOD DeeDS TaT GOD aS cReaTeD uS TO DIScaRge (cf. EP 2:8–10). in TIS caSe, alTOug neITeR POle SOulD DImInIS Te OTeR, Tey aRe nOT quITe PaRallel anD ceRTaInly nOT RecIPROcal. in many ReSPecTS Te gOOD DeeDS aRe Te neceSSaRy fRuIT anD eVen Te DemOnSTRaTIOn Of Te gRace; Te cOnVeRSe IS nOT TRue. iT IS eaSy TO TInK Of OTeR POlaRITIeS unDeR TIS eaDIng TaT SuSTaIn RelaTIOnSIPS TaT aRe mORe cOmPlex yeT. FOR examPle, Te BIble uRgeS CRISTIan unITy (TInK JOn 17), anD Te BIble InSISTS On Te nOn-negOTIabIlITy Of SOunD DOcTRIne (TInK Gal 1), eVen If TIS meanS Te mOST funDamenTal DISRuPTIOn Of unITy, namely, excOmmunIcaTIOn. he TWOdesiderata aRe nOT quITe PaRallel: One, Te TRuT Of Te gOSPel, ISalwaysnOn-negOTIable; Te OTeR, Te VIRTue Of unITy, ISoftenPReSenTeD aS SOmeTIng emInenTly DeSIRable, buT SOmeTImeS aS an acT Of cOmPROmISe (e.g., Te allIanceS Of JeOSaPaT). in OTeR WORDS, TO acIeVe balance In POlaRITIeS Of TIS SORT, One muST STuDy OW scRIPTuRe OlDS Tem uP, If anD OW eac RelaTeS TO Te OTeR, WeTeR bOT aRe equally nOn-negOTIable, anD SO fORT.
3. he Balance of a Healty Biblical Diet
hIS cOulD be caST aS SOmeTIng ImPORTanT fOR almOST all CRISTIanS, buT i Sall caST IT In TeRmS Of Te ReSPOnSIbIlITy Of PaSTORS TO feeD Te flOcK Of GOD WIT Te WOle cOunSel Of GOD. heRe aRe aT leaST TRee cOmPOnenTS TO TIS balanceD DIeT: First, PaSTORS SOulD be TeacIng anD PReacIng fROm all PaRTS Of Te BIble—fROm bOT Te olD anD Te NeW teSTamenTS, anD fROm Te DIffeRenT genReS Of Te BIble: ISTORy, lamenT, cROnIcle, PSalm, ePISTle, PROVeRb, aPOcalyPTIc, WISDOm, anD SO fORT. paSTORS SOulD KeeP lOOKIng bacK OVeR TeIR SOulDeRS TO See WaT Tey aVe cOVeReD anD WaT Tey aVe nOT cOVeReD RecenTly.
Second, PaSTORS SOulD be cecKIng uP On TemSelVeS TO See If Tey aRe cOVeRIng all Te majOR bIblIcal TemeS. iT IS SaDly POSSIble fOR a PReaceR TO cOOSe TexTS fROm many DIffeRenT PaRTS Of Te BIble anD yeT OVeRlOOK majOR TemeS Of Te BIble. FOR examPle, IT IS POSSIble TO anDle TexT afTeR TexT WIT a TOne anD an aPPlIcaTIOn TaT aRe InVaRIably DenuncIaTORy, eVen angRy, SOmeTImeS Self-RIgTeOuS, anD DeVOID Of muc gRace; alTeRnaTIVely, IT IS POSSIble TO anDle TexT afTeR TexT In Suc a Way TaT unDeRScOReS GOD’S lOVe anD gRace buT WITOuT a WORD abOuT GOD’S jealOuSy, WRaT, anD juDgmenT. wen i WaS In PaSTORal mInISTRy, eVeRy SIx OR nIne mOnTS i’D SKIm Te InDex Of a SySTemaTIc TeOlOgy OR TWO SO aS TO aleRT me TO TemeS i aD nOT SO muc aS TOuceD On. hird, becauSe Te BIble IS nOT a cOllecTIOn Of mIScellaneOuS RelIgIOuS TexTS TaT Te PReaceR IS OnOR-bOunD TO cOVeR buT a GOD-bReaTeD cOllecTIOn TaT eSTablISeS TRajecTORIeS—TRajecTORIeS Of bOT naRRaTIVe anD Teme—Te balanceD PReaceR WIll SO TRace OuT TeSe TRajecTORIeS TO DemOnSTRaTe OW RIgTly anDlIng Te WORD Of TRuT fOllOWS InneR-canOnIcal lIneS TaT bRIng uS TO JeSuS anD Te gOSPel. FaIlIng TO DO TIS RegulaRly IS SImPly nOT faITful, balanceD, bIblIcal PReacIng. in OTeR WORDS, balanceD bIblIcal PReacIng DOeS nOT TaKe Place WeRe Te PReaceR unPacKS SenTenceS In Te naRROW fOcuS Of Te ImmeDIaTe cOnTexT WITOuT KeePIng an eye PeeleD fOR Te bIblIcal-TeOlOgIcal STORylIne, fOR Te enTIRe canOnIcal cOnTexT.
4. Balance as te Product of a Spiritual Diagnostician
i SuPPOSe i mIgT aVe IncluDeD TIS fOuRT POInT WIT Te TIRD. YeT TeRe IS a funDamenTal DIffeRence. he balance TaT Te TIRD POInT callS fOR gaTeRS aROunD Te naTuRe Of scRIPTuRe ITSelf; Te balance TaT TIS fOuRT POInT callS fOR DemanDS SPIRITual DISceRnmenT SO aS TO KnOW WIc bIblIcal emPaSeS Te lIVeS Of SPecIfic PeOPle mOST uRgenTly neeD. small WOnDeR TaT Te puRITanS calleD TeIR PaSTORal caRe “Te cuRe Of SOulS.” LIKe Te meDIcal DOcTOR WO muST maKe an accuRaTe DIagnOSIS befORe PReScRIbIng SOmeTIng, SO Te PaSTOR muST maKe an accuRaTe DIagnOSIS befORe clOSely aPPlyIng PaRTIculaR bIblIcal TRuTS anD TemeS. he mInISTRy Of JeSuS SOWS uS TaT We SOulD nOT TReaT Te cOcKSuRe anD Te Self-RIgTeOuS Te Same Way aS Te bROKen, Te cOnTRITe, anD Te DeSPeRaTe.
5. Balance in Integrating Complementary Truts hat Lie on te Edge of Great Mysteries, Not Least Complementary Truts about God
GOD IS unfaTOmably lOVIng, yeT IS WRaT ReflecTS IS PeRfecT juSTIce. He IS uTTeRly SOVeReIgn, yeT e PeRSOnally InTeRacTS WIT OTeR PeRSOnS, nOT leaST Te uman beIngS e aS maDe In IS OWn Image, Suc TaT e OlDS Tem accOunTable fOR WaT Tey Say anD DO anD feel anD ImagIne; fOR SOVeReIgn TOug e IS, e neVeR TReaTS Tem aS InSenSaTe RObOTS. GOD IS One, yeT e exISTS aS TRee PeRSOnS WO InTeRacT WIT One anOTeR. EVen TO begIn TO maKe SenSe Of TeSe cOmPlemenTaRy TRuTS, IT IS nOT lOng befORe One IS WReSTlIng WIT Te RelaTIOnSIPS beTWeen TIme anD eTeRnITy, WIT Te naTuRe Of SecOnDaRy cauSalITy, WIT Te naTuRe Of Te WIll anD Te naTuRe Of fReeDOm, WIT Te nOTIOnS Of PeRSOn anD SubSTance. paRT Of Te aIm Of bIblIcal balance In TeSe caSeS IS TO leaRn TO STaTe Te cOmPlemenTaRy TRuTS In Suc a Way TaT One IS nOT unWITTIngly unDeRmInIng SOmeTIng elSe TaT scRIPTuRe SayS. one RefuSeS TO DRaW InfeRenceS fROm One faceT Of Te TRuT TaT enDangeRS SOme OTeR faceT Of Te TRuT. one leaRnS TO leT eac TRuT funcTIOn In OuR lIVeS anD In OuR TeOlOgy In Te Same WayS Tey funcTIOn In scRIPTuRe, anD In nO OTeR WayS.
he BeauTy Of BIblIcal Balance
iT WOulD be eaSy TO aDD mORe axeS WeRe CRISTIanS neeD TO acIeVe bIblIcal balance. FOR examPle, Te BIble ITSelf eSTablISeS SOmeTIng Of a IeRaRcy Of TRuTS, SO PaRT Of maTuRITy In PaSTORal mInISTRy IS TIeD uP WIT maInTaInIng a SImIlaR SenSe Of PROPORTIOn anD PRIORITy, alIgneD WIT Te BIble ITSelf. MOReOVeR, IT WOulD alSO be eaSy TO exPanD eac Of Te fiVe POInTS lISTeD abOVe InTO an enTIRe caPTeR RePleTe WIT examPleS anD PaSTORal aPPlIcaTIOnS. waT SOulD be cleaR eVen fROm TeSe SORT PaRagRaPS, OWeVeR, IS TaT bIblIcal balance RequIReS TOugT, Self-examInaTIOn, OngOIng STuDy Of scRIPTuRe, umIlITy Of mInD, anD a cOnTInuIng ReSOluTIOn TO bRIng eVeRy TOugT caPTIVe TO CRIST.
o F F t H E r E C o r d
hemelios37.2 (2012): 182–84
he rIgT TO rIDIcule?
 Micael J. Ovey 
Mike Ovey is Principal of Oak Hill College in London.
e WISeST anD Te beST Of men—nay, Te WISeST anD beST Of TeIR acTIOnS—may be RenDeReD RI-nOVtel, anD AuSTen ceRTaInly DOeS a faIR amOunT Of IT eRSelf. DIculOuS by a PeRSOn WOSe fiRST ObjecT In lIfe IS a jOKe.’ huS cOmmenTS Jane AuSTen’S caRacTeR daRcy InPride and PrejudiceTO ElIzabeT BenneTT.rIDIcule IS a Teme RunnIng TROugOuT Te BuT TeRe aRe queSTIOnS abOuT ITS PROPeR aPPlIcaTIOn. sORTly afTeR daRcy’S SPeec, ElIzabeT’S faTeR RemaRKS abOuT IS PlanS fOR a fuTuRe gueST: ‘heRe IS a mIxTuRe Of SeRVIlITy anD Self-ImPORTance In IS leTTeR, WIc PROmISeS Well. i am ImPaTIenT TO See Im.’ He laTeR amuSIngly engageS TIS gueST In a cOnVeRSaTIOn WIc DISPlayS Te gueST’S SeRVIlITy anD Self-ImPORTance fOR all TO See—all, TaT IS, excePT Te gueST. he Scene IS bOT enTeRTaInIng anD yeT DISTuRbIng. FOR SuRe, Te ReaDeR feelS TaT Te gueST ‘DeSeRVeS’ RIDIcule. BuT neVeRTeleSS ElIzabeT’S faTeR IS DeTeRmIneD TO bRIng OuT Te WORST In IS gueST TO amuSe ImSelf anD Te mORe PeRcePTIVe Of IS DaugTeRS. ElIzabeT’S faTeR aS RIgTly Seen TWO SeRIOuS VIceS In IS gueST’S caRacTeR, yeT encOuRageS Tem RaTeR Tan STeeRIng IS gueST TOWaRD SafeR gROunD. ElIzabeT’S faTeR laTeR RISKS RIDIcule ImSelf aS IS WeaKneSS cOnTRIbuTeS TO Te SeDucTIOn Of IS emPTy-eaDeD yOungeST DaugTeR, buT IS final ReSPOnSe TO TIS RunS: ‘FOR WaT DO We lIVe, buT TO maKe SPORT fOR OuR neIgbOuRS, anD laug aT Tem In OuR TuRn?’ HIS Defence Of RIDIculIng OTeRS IS, If yOu lIKe, TaT e IS PRePaReD TO be RIDIculeD bacK. he InT IS TaT If e IS PRePaReD TO TaKe RIDIcule, e IS In SOme SenSe allOWeD TO DIS IT OuT. hIS TaKeS uS TO Te bROaDeR queSTIOn Of Te uSe Of RIDIcule In uman engagemenTS, anD eSPecIally In TeOlOgIcal DIScuSSIOn. FOR Te Way TaT a DIScuSSIOn IS elD anD caRRIeD fORWaRD can be aS ImPORTanT aS Te final cOncluSIOn. huS, Te baSIc DISTIncTIOn beTWeen a TRue aRgumenT anD a ValID aRgumenT In elemenTaRy lOgIc RecOgnISeS TaT a TRue anSWeR can be ReaceD fOR InaDequaTe ReaSOnS. sImIlaRly, EP 4:13 InDIcaTeS TaT TRuT muST be exPReSSeD In a PaRTIculaR Way—In lOVe (an aPPlIcaTIOn Of Te geneRal Nt InSISTence On caRITable OTeR-PeRSOneD lOVe). LuTeR’S ReflecTIOnS On OW an exTeRnally ‘RIgTeOuS’ acTIOn can be PRODuceD by Self-SeeKIng anD Self-PleaSIng aRe VeRy PeRTInenT eRe. AnD IT IS In Te cOnTexT Of TewayCRISTIanS SOulD cOnDucT TemSelVeS In TeOlOgIcal DIScuSSIOn TaT i WanT TO examIne Te uSe Of RIDIcule. hIS queSTIOn aSSumeS ReneWeD fORce becauSe DIScuSSIOn nOW aPPenS nOT juST TROug jOuRnalS, bOOKS, anD cOnfeRenceS, buT TROug Te inTeRneT anD ITS POSSIbIlITIeS Of blOggIng, FacebOOK, anD tWITTeR. heSe POSSIbIlITIeS mulTIPly all KInDS Of DIScOuRSe, IncluDIng DIScOuRSe On SeRIOuS TeOlOgIcal TOPIcS. he cOnVenTIOn Of InfORmalITy In TeSe POSSIbIlITIeS maKeS IT eaSIeR fOR many Of uS TO acceSS TeSe DebaTeS. BuT Te InfORmalITy alSO allOWS unSaVOuRy STRaTegIeS, lIKe TROllIng, WIc aImS nOT TO aDVance DebaTe buT
he rIgT TO rIDIcule?
TO DISRuPT IT by PROVOcaTIOn anD cOnScIOuS OffenSe. heRe IS an ObVIOuS queSTIOn WeTeR RIDIcule can cROSS OVeR InTO SOmeTIng IllIcIT TOO. YeT RIDIcule aS legITImaTe uSeS. sTRIKIngly, RIDIcule can PuT SOmeTIng InTO a TRueR PeRSPecTIVe. iSaIa 44:9–20, fOR examPle, PuRSueS a STRaTegy Of RIDIcule, anD TIS elPS Te ReaDeR. FOR Te RIDIcule PRODS Te ReaDeR OR lISTeneR TO gRaSP OW VaSTly IncOngRuOuS IT IS TO WORSIP SOmeTIng Wen Te OTeR alf Of IT IS fiReWOOD cOnSumeD by Te flameS. heRe, RIDIcule funcTIOnS aS a RealITy cecK. iT PuTS TIngS In TeIR TRue PeRSPecTIVe anD ulTImaTely aS a beneficIal anD beneVOlenT funcTIOn fOR Te PeOPle Of GOD, elPIng uS See OW abSuRD IDOlaTRy IS. heRe agaIn, RIDIcule IS SOmeTImeS a ReSORT fOR TOSe WITOuT POWeR. inPride and Prejudice,ElIzabeT BenneTT IS Te famIly’S SecOnD DaugTeR, WIT lImITeD PROSPecTS. HeR InITIal InTeRnal RIDIcule Of daRcy IS PaRTly Te ReSPOnSe Of Te WeaK agaInST Te SOcIally STROng, anD IT elIcITS Te ReaDeR’S SymPaTy anD PeRaPS aDmIRaTIOn TaT Se WIll nOT be cOWeD. se can DO lITTle elSe, buT Se can RIDIcule Im. FuRTeR, RIDIcule IS VeRy clOSe TO Te Well-TRIeD PRIncIPle Ofreductio ad absurdum. HeRe One WORKS TROug Te cOnSequenceS Of a PROPOSITIOn TO SOW, nORmally, Self-cOnTRaDIcTIOn, falSeOOD, OR abSuRDITy. huS a BRITIS naTIOnalIST Of my acquaInTance WaS aRguIng TaT all ImmIgRanTS InTO BRITaIn SOulD be RePaTRIaTeD. He WaS alSO exTRemely PROuD Of IS NORman anceSTRy. My cOnTenTIOn WaS TaT On IS OWn ReaSOnIng e anD myRIaDS Of OTeRS SOulD be RePaTRIaTeD TO FRance, SInce Tey WeRe SImPly lOng-STanDIng ImmIgRanTS DaTIng fROm 1066. hIS WaS unSymPaTeTIcally ReceIVeD anD PeRceIVeD aS RIDIcule, alTOug i TInK IT legITImaTely uSeDreductio ad absurdum. HOWeVeR, TeRe IS alSO a DaRKeR SeT Of POSSIbIlITIeS WIT RIDIcule. sOmeTImeS RIDIcule IS nOT Te PROTeST Of Te WeaK agaInST Te STROng, buT can be a bullyIng TOOl In Te anDS Of Te STROng TO KeeP Te WeaK WeaK anD TO bOlSTeR One’S OWn POSITIOn. AnD In Te acaDemy, WeTeR TeOlOgIcal OR nOT, POSITIOn anD POPulaRITy anD Te POWeR Of PaTROnage can maKe SOme VeRy STROng InDeeD. rePuTaTIOn DOeS Seem TO me TO be a Real cOmmODITy In Te acaDemy, anD RIDIcule, becauSe IT can be SO clOSe TO DemeanIng anD belITTlIng, can DO Real unDeSeRVeD aRm TO anOTeR. huS SOme blOg POSTS OR DIScuSSIOn TReaDS cOmmenT nOT On Te aRgumenT buT On a WRITeR’S allegeD InTellecTual IncaPacITy (‘mOROn’), exTReme POSITIOn (‘claSSIc funDamenTalIST’), anD POSSIble aSSOcIaTIOnS (‘On a PaR WIT faScISTS’). suc ReTORIc TenDS TO ISOlaTe Te WRITeR In queSTIOn anD TO SOme exTenT DemOnISe Im OR eR, unITIng OTeRS agaInST Te WRITeR aS a PeRSOn, nOT SImPly agaInST Te POSITIOn e OR Se aS aDVanceD. suc ISOlaTIOn TacTIcS can OccuR leSS PublIcly buT STIll SeRIOuSly In a PRIVaTe lecTuRe WITIn an InSTITuTIOn. suc ISOlaTIOn TacTIcS aRe all TOO TemPTIng fOR uS, PaRTly becauSe Tey gIVe VenT TO OuR angeR aT a PaRTIculaR POSITIOn, buT alSO becauSe Tey can be a ReTORIcal SORTcuT anD aRe eaSIeR Tan InTellecTual engagemenT WIT Te POSITIOn ITSelf. suc RIDIcule TacTIcS SaDe ReaDIly InTO bullyIng. i WOnDeR WeTeR Te CRISTIan TeOlOgIcal acaDemy IS quITe aS fRee Of bullyIng by RIDIcule aS IT SOulD be. FuRTeR, RIDIcule IS nOT alWayS uSeD TO claRIfy, buT SOmeTImeS TO ObScuRe OR aVOID an aRgumenT. he ObjecT eRe IS nOT TO cOOPeRaTe In a DIScuSSIOn by PROVIDIng SOmeTIng TaT genuInely TeSTS Te STRengT Of an aRgumenT buT TO finD a Way Of cOmPeTIng SucceSSfully In PublIc OPInIOn. GORgIaS Of LeOnTInI (ca. 430 ..) IS cReDITeD WIT Te SlOgan ‘one muST DefeaT Te SeRIOuSneSS Of One’S OPPOnenTS WIT laugTeR anD TeIR laugTeR WIT SeRIOuSneSS’ (See ARISTOTleRet. 3.18, 1419b4–5). we RaPIDly RecOgnISe Te ReTORIcal SReWDneSS anD fORce Of TIS (GORgIaS WaS afTeR all a TeaceR Of ReTORIc). FOR WIT TIS STRaTegy One RemaInS DelIbeRaTely OuT Of STeP WIT One’S DIalOgue PaRTneR, DISablIng TeIR cOnTRIbuTIOn by alWayS ReSPOnDIng In a DIffeRenT Key. tO TaT exTenT TIS can be a STRaTegy fOR SIlencIng a DIalOgue PaRTneR becauSe Te DIalOgue PaRTneR cannOT SPeaK In Te Key In WIc e OR Se cOOSeS.
hIS unDeRlIneS OW IT IS POSSIble TO engage In DIalOgue WIT TWO VeRy DIffeRenT mODelS. on Te One anD, DIalOgue can be a cOOPeRaTIVe enTeRPRISe In WIc One meeTS SeRIOuSneSS WIT SeRIOuSneSS, laugTeR WIT laugTeR. AnD eRe Te POInT Of RIDIcule IS TO TaKe Te jOInT cOnVeRSaTIOn fuRTeR, aS a TOOl Of claRIficaTIOn OR ReSTORaTIOn Of PeRSPecTIVe, aS We aVe OuTlIneD eaRlIeR. hIS SImPle buT PROfOunD POInT Of DIalOgue aS a cOOPeRaTIVe enTeRPRISe IS TaKen anD DeVelOPeD by H. p. GRIce InTO maxImS fOR RIgOROuS anD ReSPecTful cOnVeRSaTIOnS. HIS funDamenTal PROPOSITIOn RIgTly unDeRlIneS TaT a cOnVeRSaTIOn aS ajointPuRPOSe, nOT juST a unIlaTeRally ImPOSeD One. He WRITeS, ‘MaKe yOuR cOnVeRSaTIOnal cOnTRIbuTIOn Suc aS IS RequIReD, aT Te STage aT WIc IT OccuRS, by Te accePTeD PuRPOSe OR DIRecTIOn Of Te TalK excange In WIc yOu aRe engageD.’ By cOnTRaST One can alSO cOnDucT a DIalOgue cOmPeTITIVely RaTeR Tan cOOPeRaTIVely. rIDIcule WROngly uSeD can feeD TIS cOmPeTITIVe STRaTegy. iT can becOme a TOOl nOT Of cOOPeRaTIOn buT Of aSSeRTIng POWeR OVeR OTeRS by InSISTIng On DIalOgue In a Key TaT OTeRS aVe neITeR PROPOSeD nOR accePTeD. Hence TeRe aRe SeRIOuS queSTIOnS Of OlIneSS TO be faceD by a CRISTIan ScOlaR WO uSeS RIDIcule: Am i uSIng IT cOOPeRaTIVely, In lOVe anD caRITy fOR my neIgbOuR WIT WOm i am In DIalOgue? oR am i uSIng IT aS TOOl Of VIOlenT DOmInaTIOn (becauSe TeRe can be a ‘cOVeRT TRIll Of VIOlence’ [GeORge sTeIneR] aS i RIDIcule anD Demean OTeRS In Te name Of TRuT)? of all ScOlaRly cOmmunITIeS, Te CRISTIan acaDemy SOulD be maRKeD by Te cOOPeRaTIVe PRIncIPle, WIT ITS cOnnOTaTIOnS Of caRITy, fellOWSIP, anD muTualITy. BuT PaRTIculaRly aS i ReaD WaT We Say On Te web anD OuR ReaDIneSS TO RIDIcule OTeRS, i WOnDeR OW faR OuR ScOlaRly cOmmunITIeS aRe Really DISTInguISable fROm Te WORlD’S. we WanT TRuTful, OneST, faITful ORTODOx CRISTIan ScOlaRS. we alSO neeD Oly OneS.
hemelios37.2 (2012): 185–90
BOnOeffeR aS BIble scOlaR
 Robert W. YarbroUg 
Bob Yarbroug is professor of New Testament at Covenant heological Semi-nary in St. Louis, Missouri.
aT IS a BIble ScOlaR? waT DOeS OR SOulD One lOOK lIKe? haT IS a queSTIOn beIng aSKeD w TODay, aS TeSe TRee bOOKS InDIcaTe: 1. sTePen MOORe anD YVOnne seRWOOD,he Invention of te Biblical Scolar: A Critical Manifesto(MInneaPOlIS: FORTReSS, 2011). 2. Ben wITeRIngTOn iii,Is here a Doctor in te House? An Insider’s Story on Becoming a Bible Scolar(GRanD raPIDS: ZOnDeRVan, 2011). 3. AnDReaS köSTenbeRgeR,Excellence: he Caracter of God and te Pursuit of Scolarly Virtue(weaTOn: CROSSWay, 2011).
1 NOT Only IS scRIPTuRe a fROnT-buRneR maTTeR aT PReSenT; SO IS OW We SOulD aPPROac scRIPTuRe acaDemIcally. scRIPTuRe anD WaT TO DO WIT WaT IT SeemS TO DemanD Of Te belIeVeR WeRe ceRTaInly fROnT-buRneR ISSueS fOR dIeTRIc BOnOeffeR (1906–1945), aS IS SaDly TRuncaTeD caReeR TeaceS uS. Many STuDIeS aVe 2 exPlOReD BOnOeffeR’S WayS Of ReaDIng scRIPTuRe. we cannOT InTeRacT In DeTaIl WIT BOnOeffeR’S exegeSIS eRe. i WIll cOnTenT mySelf RaTeR WIT (1) callIng aTTenTIOn TO TODay’S lIVely InTeReST In BOnOeffeR, (2) cOnDucTIng a bRIef TOugT-exPeRImenT IglIgTIng BOnOeffeR’S STeaDfaST CRISTIan cOnScIOuSneSS, anD finally (3) nOTIng a feW feaTuReS Of BOnOeffeR’S legacy TaT PeRaPS callenge uS In OuR ReSOlVe TO uPOlD RObuST faIT In GOD’S wORD WRITTen In a TIme Wen Suc faIT IS nOT neceSSaRIly eaSy, POPulaR, OR Igly PRIzeD In many cIRcleS.
1. Current Resurgence of Interest in Bonoeffer
publISeD WORKS by anD abOuT dIeTRIc BOnOeffeR In Te WaKe Of IS DeaT gO bacK InTO Te eaRly 1950S. in 1953 TeRe aPPeaReD EbeRaRD BeTge’S eDITIOn Of BOnOeffeR’S cORReSPOnDence anD muSIngS 3 enTITleD pRISOneR fOR GOD: LeTTeRS anD paPeRS fROm pRISOn. sInce TaT TIme TeRe aS been a cOnTInual
1 EDITOR’S nOTe: see rObeRT w. YaRbROug, “he EmbaTTleD BIble: FOuR MORe BOOKS,”hem34 (2009): 6–25, aVaIlable aTTTP://TegOSPelcOalITIOn.ORg/TemelIOS/aRTIcle/Te_embaTTleD_bIble_fOuR_mORe_bOOKS. 2 AS Te meReST Of examPleS SPannIng Te laST alf cenTuRy, See walTeR HaRRelSOn, “BOnOeffeR anD Te BIble,” Inhe Place of Bonoeffer: Problems and Possibilities in His hougt(eD. MaRTIn MaRTy; NeW YORK: ASSOcIa-TIOn pReSS, 1962), 115–39; Jay rOcelle, “BOnOeffeR anD BIblIcal inTeRPReTaTIOn: reaDIng scRIPTuRe In Te sPIRIT,” CurTM22:2 (APRIl 1995): 85–95; sTePen planT, “‘in Te BIble iT iS GOD wO sPeaKS’: peaKe anD BOnOeffeR On reaDIng scRIPTuRe,”Epwort Review33:4 (2006): 7–22. 3 MaRTIn MaRTy,Dietric Bonoeffer’sLeTTeRS anD paPeRS fROm pRISOn (oxfORD: pRInceTOn UnIVeRSITy pReSS, 2011), 248.
ebb anD flOW Of InTeReST In BOnOeffeR. CuRRenTly We aRe WITneSSIng SOmeTIng We mIgT call nOT juST a flOW buT a SPIKe In BOnOeffeR STuDIeS, PaRTIculaRly Of a bIOgRaPIcal naTuRe. sOme Of uS aVe ReaD ERIc 4 MeTaxaS, BOnOeffeR: paSTOR, MaRTyR, pROPeT, sPy. in aDDITIOn TO MeTaxaS, neaRly a DOzen OTeR bOOKS On BOnOeffeR aVe aPPeaReD juST SInce abOuT 2004: 1. sTePen HayneS,he Bonoeffer Penomenon: Portraits of a Protestant Saint(2004) 2. LaRRy raSmuSSen,Dietric Bonoeffer: Reality and Resistance(2005) 3. JOn MaTTeWS,Anxious Souls Will Ask . . . : he Crist-Centered Spirituality of Dietric Bonoeffer(2005) 4. MaRK deVIne,Bonoeffer Speaks Today: Following Jesus at All Costs(2005) 5. keIT ClemenTS,Bonoeffer in Britain(2006) 6. sabIne dRamm,Dietric Bonoeffer and te Resistance(2009) 7. JeffRey pug anD MaRTIn MaRTy,Religionless Cristianity: Dietric Bonoeffer in Troubled Times(2009). wReSTleS WIT Wy BOnOeffeR IS Of InTeReST TODay. 8. FeRDInanD sclIngenSIePen,Dietric Bonoeffer 1906–1945: Martyr, hinker, Man of Resistance(2010) 9. JOn walKeR,Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonoeffer’she COST Of dIScIPleSIP(2010) 10. MaRTIn MaRTy,Dietric Bonoeffer’sLeTTeRS anD paPeRS fROm pRISOn (2011). A bIOgRaPy nOT Of BOnOeffeR buT Of IS bOOK We callLetters and Papers from Prison. hIS SPaTe Of PublIcaTIOnS aS gROWn OuT Of a PaIR Of mORe SemInal SOuRceS. heRe aRe, fiRST, cRITIcal eDITIOnS Of Te BOnOeffeR cORPuS aS TeSe maKe TeIR Way InTO EnglIS; LeTTeRS anD paPeRS fROm pRISOn, fOR examPle, juST aPPeaReD In ITS full EnglIS eDITIOn In 2010. secOnD, TeRe IS EbeRaRD BeTge’S DefinITIVe bIOgRaPy Of OVeR 1,000 PageS eDITeD, ReVISeD, anD PublISeD by vIcTORIa J. BaRneTT In 1998. he bOOK IS calleD SImPly dIeTRIc BOnOeffeR: A BIOgRaPy. heSe PublIcaTIOnS all POInT TO faScInaTIOn WIT BOnOeffeR TaT clamORS fOR ReflecTIOn. hey RePay clOSe aTTenTIOn by any WO SaRe BOnOeffeR’S cOnceRn fOR Te KnOWleDge Of GOD anD DeVOTIOn TO GOD TROug faIT In CRIST In TImeS WeRe eVIl anD SuffeRIng anD RanK unbelIef Seem On Te RISe aT an alaRmIng RaTe aT eVeRy anD.
2. A Brief hougt-Experiment
An ObVIOuS POInT Of aTTRacTIOn TO cOnTemPlaTIng BOnOeffeR IS IS maRTyRDOm. he fORmal caRge agaInST Im InVOlVeD Te cOnSPIRacy Of WIc e became PaRT TO aSSaSSInaTe HITleR. BuT aS a GeRman pROTeSTanT PaSTOR, e WOulD nOT aVe aD Te cOnVIcTIOn TO jOIn In aD e nOT been DeePly gROunDeD In CRISTIan cOnVIcTIOnS TaT gaVe Im an unuSual VISIOn anD fORce Of caRacTeR. due TO TeSe cOnVIcTIOnS, fOR a VeRy lOng TIme befORe Te cOnSPIRacy In Te mIDDle Of wORlD waR ii, e WaS mOVeD TO OPPOSe Te NazI mOVemenT. He WaS SPeaKIng OuT anD acTIng Wen a TROublIng PeRcenTage Of GeRman TeOlOgIanS anD cleRgy WeRe eITeR cOmPlIcIT In Te NazI mOVemenT OR TOO PaSSIVe In TeIR OPPOSITIOn TO IT. EVen Te COnfeSSIng CuRc,die Bekennende Kirce, WaS TOO DOcIle anD cOllabORaTIVe fOR BOnOeffeR’S TeOlOgIcal OuTlOOK anD eTIcal ScRuPleS. YOu WOulD lIKe TO TInK TaT unDeR TOSe cIRcumSTanceS yOu WOulD aVe been On Te SIDe Of Te angelS aS many TInK BOnOeffeR WaS. BuT OTeRS fieRcely DebaTe Te mORalITy Of Te cOnSPIRacy
4 NaSVIlle: NelSOn, 2010.