Themelios, Volume 38, Issue 3
202 Pages

Themelios, Volume 38, Issue 3

202 Pages


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



Published by
Published 27 January 2015
Reads 0
EAN13 9781725249455
Language English
Document size 3 MB

Legal information: rental price per page €. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.


DESCRIPTION hemeliosan international evangelical teological journal tat expounds and defends te istoric Cristian fait. Its is 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. hemeliospublised tree times a year online at www.t It is presented in tree formats: PDF is (for downloading and printing), Logos edition (for searcability and mobile access), 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 Edîtor:D. A. CarsonTrinity Evangelical Divinity Scool 2065 Half Day Road Deerfield, IL 60015, USAtemelios@t Managîng Edîtor:Brian TabbBetleem College and Seminary 720 13t Avenue Sout Minneapolis, MN 55415, USA brian.tabb@t Contrîbutîng Edîtor:Micael J. OveyOak Hill heological College Case Side, Soutgate London, N14 4PS, UKmikeo@oak Admînîstrator:Andy NaselliBetleem College and Seminary 720 13t Avenue Sout Minneapolis, MN 55415, USAtemelios@t
BOOK REVIEW EDITORS Old TestamentJerry HwangSingapore Bible College 9-15 Adam Road Singapore 289886 jerry.wang@t New TestamentAlan hompsonSydney Missionary & Bible College PO Box 83 Croydon, NSW 2132, Australiaalan.tompson@t Hîstory and Hîstorîcal heologyNatan A. FinnSouteastern Baptist heological Seminary P. O. Box 1889 Wake Forest, NC 27588, USAnatan.finn@t
Systematîc heology and BîoetîcsHans MaduemeCovenant College 14049 Scenic Higway Lookout Mountain, GA 30750, USAans.madueme@t
Etîcs(but not Bioetics)and Pastoralîa Dane OrtlundCrossway 1300 Crescent Street Weaton, IL 60187, USA dane.ortlund@t
Mîssîon and CultureJason S. Sexton Golden Gate Baptist Seminary 251 S. Randolp Avenue (Suite A) Brea, CA 92821, USA jason.sexton@t
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,University Duram ; 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: 978-1-62564-918-8
hemelios38.3 (203): 353–56
he Hole in te Gospel
 D. A. Carson 
D. A. Carson is researc professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity Scool in Deerfield, Illinois.
on complains, “I simply cannot resolve tis calculus problem.” Sara offers a solution: “Let’s read pJractice my guitar. hat will fix it. some Sakespearean sonnets.” I’ve got a problem wit my car: it won’t start. But no problem: I know wat to do. I’ll go and My cakes always used to fall wen I took tem out of te oven. But my friend sowed me ow to fix te problem. He sowed me ow to adjust te timing on my car engine. Ridiculous, of course. But tis is merely a farcical way of sowing tat solutions to problems must be closely tied to te problems temselves. You do not ave a valid solution unless tat solution resolves te problem compreensively. A soddy analysis of a problem may result in a solution tat is useful for only a small part of te real problem. Equally failing, one can provide an excellent analysis of a problem yet respond wit a limited and restricted solution. So in te Bible, ow are te “problem” of sin and te “solution” of te gospel rigtly related to eac oter? One of te major teses in Cornelius Plantinga’s stimulating book is tat sin “is culpable vandalism of salom.” hat’s not bad, provided “salom” is well-defined. Plantinga olds tat salom resides in a rigt relation of uman beings to God, to oter uman beings, and to te creation. Peraps te weakness of tis approac is tat salom—rater tan God—becomes te fundamental defining element in sin. Of course, God is compreended witin Plantinga’s definition: sin includes te rupture of te relationsip between God and uman beings. Yet tis does not appear to make God quite as central as te Bible makes im. In Lev 9, for example, were God enjoins many laws tat constrain and enric uman relationsips, te fundamental and frequently repeated motive is “I am te LORD,” not “Do not breac salom.” Wen David repents of is wretced sins of adultery, murder, and betrayal, even toug e as damaged oters, destroyed lives, betrayed is family, and corrupted te military, e dares say, trutfully, “Against you, you only, ave I sinned and done wat is evil in your sigt” (Ps 5:4). he majority of te approximately six undred OT passages tat speak of te wrat of God connect it not to te destruction
hat was te expression e used in a 20 address e delivered at Trinity Evangelical Divinity Scool. For analogous expressions, cf. Cornelius Plantinga Jr.,Not te Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin(Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 994): “sin is culpable salom-breaking” (p. 4); “Sin is culpable disturbance of salom” (p. 8). Cf. idem,Sin: Not te Way It’s Supposed to Be(ed. D. A. Carson; Crist on Campus Initiative; Deerfield, IL: Carl F. H. Henry Center for heological Understanding, 200). Cited  November 203. Online:ttp://
2 of salom, but to idolatry—te de-godding of God. Human sin in Gen 3 certainly destroys uman relationsips and brings a curse on te creation, but treating tis compreensive odium as te vandalism of salom makes it sound bot too sligt and too detaced from God. After all, te fundamental act was disobeying God, and a central ingredient in te temptation of Eve was te incitement to become as God, knowing good and evil. To put tis anoter way, te tentacles of sin, te basic “problem” tat te Bible’s storyline addresses, embrace guilt (genuine moral guilt, not just guilty feelings), same, succumbing to te devil’s enticements, te destruction of salom (and tus broken relationsips wit God, oter uman beings, and te created 3 order), entailments in te encaining power of evil, deat (of several kinds), and ell itself. However many additional descriptors and entailments one migt add (e.g., self-deception, transgression of law, folly over against wisdom, all te social ills from exploitation to cruelty to war, and so fort), te eart of te issue is tat by our fallen nature, by our coice, and by God’s judicial decree, we are alienated from God Almigty. For te Bible to be coerent, ten, it follows tat te gospel must resolve te problem of sin. Wat is te gospel? In recent years tat question as been answered in numerous books, essays, and blogs. Like te word “sin,” te word “gospel” can be accurately but rater fuzzily defined in a few words, or it 4 can be unpacked at many levels after one undertakes very careful exegetical study ofεὐαγγέλιονand 5 its cognates and adjacent temes. We could begin wit a simple formulation suc as “he gospel is te great news of wat God as done in Jesus Crist.” hen one could adopt an obvious improvement: “he gospel is te great news of wat God as done in Jesus Crist, especially in is deat and resurrection” (cf.  Cor 5). Or we could take several quantum leaps forward, and try again:
he gospel is te great news of wat God as graciously done in Jesus Crist, especially in is atoning deat and vindicating resurrection, is ascension, session, and ig priestly ministry, to reconcile sinful uman beings to imself, justifying tem by te penal substitute of is Son, and regenerating and sanctifying tem by te powerful work of te Holy Spirit, wo is given to tem as te down payment of teir ultimate ineritance. God will save tem if tey repent and trust in Jesus.
he properresponseto tis gospel, ten, is tat people repent, believe, and receive God’s grace by fait alone. heentailment of tis received gospel, tat is, te inevitable result, is tat tose wo believe experience forgiveness of sins, are joined togeter spiritually in te body of Crist, te curc, being so transformed tat, in measure as tey become more Crist-like, tey deligt to learn obedience to King Jesus and joyfully proclaim te good news tat as saved tem, and tey do good to all men, especially
2 Cf. D. A. Carson, “he Wrat of God,” inEngaging te Doctrine of God: Contemporary Protestant Per-spectives(ed. Bruce L. McCormack; Grand Rapids: Baker, 2008), 37–63; idem, “God’s Love and God’s Wrat,” c. 4 inhe Difficult Doctrine of te Love of God(Weaton: Crossway, 2000), 65–84, 88. 3 As Augustine rigtly observes inCity of GodXIII.xii. 4 E.g., D. A. Carson, “he Biblical Gospel,” inFor Suc a Time as his: Perspectives on Evangelicalism, Past, Present and Future(ed. Steve Brady and Harold Rowdon; London: Evangelical Alliance, 996), 75–85; idem, “Wat Is te Gospel?—Revisited,” inFor te Fame of God’s Name: Essays in Honor of Jon Piper(ed. Sam Storms and Justin Taylor; Weaton: Crossway, 200), 47–70. 5 E.g., te editorial forhemelios38:2 briefly reflects on wat “kingdom” means: D. A. Carson, “Kingdom, Etics, and Individual Salvation,”hem38 (203): 97–20.
he Hole in te Gospel
to te ouseold of fait, eager to be good stewards of te grace of God in all te world, in anticipation of te culminating transformation tat issues in resurrection existence in te new eaven and te new eart, to te glory of God and te good of is blood-bougt people. Once again, as in our brief treatment of sin, muc more could be said to fles out tis potted summary. But observe tree tings: . he gospel is, first and foremost,news—great news, momentous news. hat is wy it must be announced, proclaimed—tat’s wat one does wit news. Silent proclamation of te gospel is an oxymoron. Godly and generous beavior may bear a kind of witness to te transformed life, but if tose wo observe suc a life ear noting of te substance of te gospel, it may evoke admiration but cannot call fort fait because in te Bible fait demands fait’s true object, wic remains unknown were tere is no proclamation of te news. 2. he gospel is, first and foremost,news about wat God as done in Crist. It is not law, an etical system, or a list of uman obligations; it is not a code of conduct telling us wat we must do: it is news about watGodas donein Crist. 3. On te oter and, te gospel as bot purposes and entailments in uman conduct. he entailments must be preaced. But if you preac te entailments as if tey were te gospel itself, pretty soon you lose sigt of te reality of te gospel—tat it is te good news of watGod as done, not a description of wat we ougt to do in consequence. Pretty soon te gospel descends to mere moralism. One cannot too forcefully insist on te distinction between te gospel and its entailments. So now I come to te fairly recent and certainly very moving book by Ricard Stearns,he Hole in 6 Our Gospel: Wat Does God Expect of Us?his frank and appealing book surveys worldwide poverty and argues tat te American failure to take up God’s mandate to address poverty is “te ole in our gospel.” Witout wanting to diminis te obligation Cristians ave to elp te poor, and wit noting but admiration for Mr Stearns’s personal pilgrimage, is argument would ave been far more elpful and compelling ad e observed tree tings: First, “wat God expects of us” (is subtitle) is, by definition,notte gospel. his is not te great news of wat God as done for us in Crist Jesus. Had Mr Stearns cast is treatment of poverty as one of te tings to be addressed by te second greatest commandment, or as one of several entailments of te gospel, I could ave recommended is book wit muc greater confidence. As it is, te book will contribute to declining clarity as to wat te gospel is. Second, even wile acknowledging—indeed, insisting on te importance of igligting—te genuine needs tat Mr Stearns depicts in is book, it is disturbing not to ear similar anguis over uman alienation from God. he focus of is book is so narrowly poverty tat te sweep of wat te gospel addresses is lost to view. Men and women stand under God’s judgment, and tis God of love mandates tat by te means of eralding te gospel tey will be saved not only in tis life but in te life to come. Were is te anguis tat contemplates a Crist-less eternity, tat cries, “Repent! Turn away from all your offenses. . . . Wy will you die, people of Israel? For I take no pleasure in te deat of anyone” (Ezek 8:30–32). he analysis of te problem is too small, and te gospel is correspondingly reduced. hird, some studies ave sown tat Cristians spend about five times more mission dollars on issues related to poverty tan tey do on evangelism and curc planting. At one time, “olistic
6 Nasville: Nelson, 2009.
ministry” was an expression intended to move Cristians beyond proclamation to include deeds of mercy. Increasingly, owever, “olistic ministry” refers to deeds of mercywitoutany proclamation of te gospel—and tat is not olistic. It is not even alfistic, since te deeds of mercy are not te gospel: tey are entailments of te gospel. Altoug I know many Cristians wo appily combine fidelity to te gospel, evangelism, curc planting, and energetic service to te needy, and altoug I know some wo call temselves Cristians wo formally espouse te gospel but wo live out few of its entailments, I also know Cristians wo, in te name of a “olistic” gospel, focus all teir energy on presence, wells in te Sael, figting disease, and distributing food to te poor, but wo never, or only very rarely, articulate te gospel, preac te gospel, announce te gospel, to anyone. Judging by te distribution of American mission dollars, te biggest ole in our gospel is te gospel itself.
* * * * * * *
Carles Anderson began serving as managing editor ofhemeliosafter Te Gospel sortly Coalition began producinghemeliosin 2008. We announce wit regret tat e is stepping down and acknowledge wit gratitude is singular contribution. Our new managing editor isDr Brian Tabb, assistant professor of biblical studies and assistant dean at Betleem College and Seminary in Minneapolis. Some readers will recognize is name from te reviews e as already written forhemelios. Dr Tabb may be contacted atbrian.tabb@ t
hemelios38.3 (203): 357–59
Liberty, Wat Crimes Are Committed in hy Name?
 Mîcael J. Ovey 
Mike Ovey is Principal of Oak Hill College in London.
oessomeoneaveterigttoarmteirownsoul?Orifyoudontmucliketetalkofsoul,to dDo temselves spiritual arm. his came to a very visible ead in te controversy in te Britis does someone ave te rigt to do temselves moral arm? For many years te assumption in te UK as been tat te individual does ave te rigt Parliament tis year about laws permitting same sex marriage, but it ad been coming for some time. hus, in immediate post-WWII England and Wales, it made sense and ad public support to ave criminal offences of conspiracy to corrupt public morals (for example, by publising a directory of call girls), but by te late 970s tis ad canged. And te question put retorically in te public debate was in tese terms: ‘Wy proibit victimless beaviour?’ More straigtforwardly, ‘Wo oter tan te perpetrator is actually armed?’ his line of argument strongly defends te liberty of te individual and as a strong European post-Enligtenment feel to it. In my country it was expressed by Jon Stuart Mill, te igly influential Victorian essayist, in isOn Liberty(859). It is not, toug, an exclusively Englis idea, for Mill drew most of is fundamental argument from Wilelm von Humboldt’she Limits of State Action(79– 792).Mill’s point was tat te state was justified in limiting someone’s freedom to act only if te action resulted in arm to oters. In fact, Mill’s argument extended to social disapproval as well as state action. He nuanced tis by accepting tat some societies migt not be at a stage were tis approac to liberty was feasible. He writes (and tis may surprise some), ‘Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing wit barbarians, provided te end be teir improvement, and te means justified by actually effecting tat end.’ Similarly, liberty did not apply if te individual was, for instance, a minor. his nuancing clearly resembles Immanuel Kant’s claim in is 784 essay ‘Wat Is Enligtenment?’ tat since ‘we’ are now mature, we no longer need oters to make our judgments for us but sould make tem ourselves. Our ‘maturity’ confers bot tecapacityfor and terigtto autonomy. Mill’s point is tat tis autonomy must in uman society be exercised witout arm to oters. For Mill, terefore, is own conduct in alienating te affections of Harriet Taylor from er usband and setting up ouse wit er (possibly witout consummating until Taylor’s deat) was not ‘arm’ to Mr. Taylor or te two cildren se ad by im. Logically it sould not be subject eiter to legal sanction
J. S. Mill,On Liberty(repr., London: Penguin, 974), 69.
or public disapproval. He and Harriet were entitled to do as muc arm to temselves and eac oter as tey wised, for tey were mature consenting adults wose actions only dealt wit temselves. Beind tis position lay a conception of wat a uman being is. Mill quotes von Humboldt: ‘[T]e object “towards wic every uman being must ceaselessly direct is efforts, and on wic especially tose wo design to influence teir fellow-men must ever keep teir eyes, is te individuality of power 2 and development.”’ his strong version of individual self-realisation rests in turn on tis view: ‘Over 3 imself, over is own body and mind, te individual is sovereign.’ But wile Mill as been ugely influential in my country and elsewere, e as ad critics, bot non-Cristian and Cristian. A lot of tat criticism as centred on te idea of arm and ow Mill actually smuggles in is own value judgments at tat point and covertly imposes tem. Take te unfortunate Mr. Taylor, for instance. Very few men like being cuckolded, even if te cuckolding is at an emotional rater tan consummated level. hey experience it as ‘urt’ or ‘arm’ as do wives wose usbands pilander. And tose of us wo are teir friends and companions ave no doubt tat te arm is savagely real. I tink tis line of criticism about armto otersis important and well-taken. But it doesn’t tackle te question wit wic we started. Do I ave te rigt to armmyself? Mill’s rationale for saying we do as individuals ave tat rigt is tat we are sovereigns. he image is political wit te individual as a little kingdom wose boundaries coincide wit our bodies and our tougts. Witin tose boundaries, we are rigtly independent, little peraps, but genuinely sovereign entities. Of course Cristians wo are committed to te lordsip of Crist immediately sense te difficulties ere. How does te lordsip of Crist, wic sows Crist’s sovereignty, interact wit my sovereignty over myself on Mill’s view? he issue ere is cast inpoliticalterms: two competing sovereignties, one of wic may be subordinate and derivative. But at te end of day, wen Crist says I am to use myself (weter it is my body or my mind) in certain ways, do I ave te rigt to say no? On tis political model, were I am my own little kingdom, we readily talk of sin in similarly political termsanddescribesinnersasrebels.Itinktisisclearlyrigt,butIwanttomaketwosupplementarypoints about it. First, sin and te self-arm tat it sometimes sows is not just rebellion. It is alsoteft. Second, te language ofteftelps de-glamourise sin. Let me explain. First, teft. Wy speak in terms of teft? Because tis is te necessary implication of passages suc as Ps 24:–2. he little prase ‘te eart is te Lord’s’ carries uge freigt. he language is tat of possession or ownersip. his extends our understanding of wat it means for God to be te Lord beyond simply a political image (‘king’) to tat of property and ownersip. he eartbelongsto God. It is ispossession. his puts a different complexion on my acts of spiritual self-arm. hey do affect more tan myself, and tey affect in oter ways tan ‘political’: tey compete wit God’s rigts asowner. his ownersip is grounded in God’s creation of all tings from noting, as Ps 24:2 makes clear, grounding God’s claims as owner of all tings in te fact of is creation of all tings. On tis view, defying God is not just an act of political rebellion; it is a ‘property-act’—it is stealing someting tat belongs to someone else. My use of gifts or talents for purposes oter tan tose for wic God gave tem is an act of robbery. And wen someone commits fornication wit anoter
2 Ibid., 2. 3 Ibid., 68–69.
Liberty, Wat Crimes Are Committed in hy Name?
consenting adult, tere is te double teft of stealing te gift of sexuality bot wit regard to oneself and wit regard to te oter person. In one sense tis idea of sin as teft is implicit in Augustine’s famous prase tat sin is ‘lust for mastery’ (libido dominandi), for te Latin word for ‘master’ (dominus) can certainly carry te idea of political power. But it is also strongly used for te rigt of property, te master woowns.Lust for mastery obviously can be manifested in te way I treat oters, treating tem as if I ave rigts to ownersip. But in view of Ps 24:–2, lust for mastery is also someting I ave wit regard to myself. I long to ceat my rigtful owner and creator of is rigts as my owner and creator. In sort, I long not to be a creature. his takes me to te second point: de-glamourising sin. Apologetically, speaking of sin as rebellious sovereignty seems to me to risk glamourising sin in our culture. Given our anti-autoritarian pose in Western culture and our affinity for te rebel, to describe sinners as rebels risks letting people see temselves as eroes. For rebels overtrow governments, and governments are, as a rule of tumb, autoritarian. Aside from Cuck Norris movies, few films glamourise upolding order. But teft is often different. It smacks of deceit and disonesty, and our experience of it is its sneakiness. In a modern Western society, peraps more of us ave been victims of teft in its various forms tan of te ins and outs of political rebellion. Of course, it is possible to glamourise teft too—as teOcean’s 11series did. But I find it significant ow strongly tose acts of teft are cast in terms of stealing from someone wo deserves it and wo as significant deceit and disonesty in teir own lives. And it does focus te question, ‘Did Goddeserveto ave me steal from im?’ his article starts wit te oft-quoted question, ‘Liberty, wat crimes are committed in ty name?’ We are rigt to say tat wit respect to God, sedition against im is committed in te name of liberty. But tere is anoter crime tat is someow muc more mean-spirited: teft. My allegedly armless actions towards oters can be tefts of tose oters from God, teir owner. And my allegedly armless actions include stealing myself.
hemelios38.3 (203): 360–74
Jesus, te heological Educator
 Keît Ferdînando 
Keit Ferdinando teaces in te teology faculty of Salom University in Bunia, DRC.
esus was a teological educator. He was, of course, muc more tan tat, but certainly no less. He J taugttetwelve,andetaugttecrowds.heGospelsfrequentlycallimteacerorrabbi,suggestive of te popular reputation e gained for teacing. Indeed, more tan once e identified imself as a teacer, confirming te assessment of oters: ‘You call me “Teacer” and “Lord”, and rigtly so, for tat is wat I am’ (Jon 3:3; cf. Matt 23:0; 26:8). It was also te role tat Josepus and te 2 Talmud associate particularly wit im. Moreover, Jesus’ teacing provoked reactions, ostile on te part of te autorities but usually muc more positive from te crowd. People came in uge numbers to ear im. hey were amazed at is teacing (e.g., Matt 7:28; 3:54; 22:22, 33) and deligted wit it. 3 ‘He was te teacer par excellence.’ Wat ten were te caracteristics of is teacing, especially of te twelve? For it is in teacing is disciples, a small group e individually selected for training and to wom e devoted immense time and energy, tat we may discern te earliest model of wat we migt term Cristian teological education. It was for tose few men a ricly varied experience and one wic would ave an immense impact not only on tem but also, as tey continued Jesus’ own mission, on te wole of uman istory. For tis reason te manner of Jesus’ teacing—is pedagogy—merits attention from anybody engaged in watever way in te formation of Cristian believers, rater more attention indeed tan it as tended 4 to receive. ‘Just wy leaders of te curc over te centuries ave made so little attempt to understand and appreciate te teacing tecniques and environments used by Jesus will likely remain one of te 5 great mysteries.’ Moreover, serious consideration of Jesus’ approac is especially important in te case of teological and biblical educators wose purpose is to train te future leadersip of God’s people, as Jesus did. he university model of education wic emerged early in te last millennium as spread across te globe, and forms of teological education are everywere increasingly patterned after it. here are advantages no doubt in suc an approac but by no means unequivocally so. Wile it would
® ® Unless oterwise noted, Scripture quotations are from he Holy Bible: New International Version . NIV . Copyrigt © 973, 978, 984, 20 by International Bible Society. All rigts reserved worldwide. 2 H.Blocer,JésusEducateur,inIctus28 (985): 3, referring toAnt.8.3 andSan.43a. 3 D.Macleod,heCristologyofWolfartPannenberg,hem25:2 (2000): 4. 4 Blocer(JésusEducateur,34)notestatJesuspedagogyasbeenstrangelyneglected:Lestravauxconsacrés à son enseignement s’intéressent davantage au contenu de sa doctrine, qu’aux métodes et principes éducatifs’ (‘he works devoted to is teacing are more concerned wit te content of is doctrine tan wit te educational metods and principles’ [my translation]). 5 T.WardandS.F.Rowen,heSignicanceofteExtensionSeminary,Evangelical Missions Quarterly9: (972): 7–27. See also, owever,Joe Carter and Jon Coleman,How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History’s Greatest Communicator(Weaton: Crossway, 2009); Robert H. Stein,he Metod and Message of Jesus’ Teacings(2d ed.; Louisville: Westminster Jon Knox, 994).
Jesus, te heological Educator
peraps be naïve to suggest tat Jesus’ model of training sould directly transfer to our own ugely different contexts, we neverteless may gain muc from discerning te principles wic underlay it and reassessing current values, pedagogies, and structures of teological education in te ligt of wat Jesus 6 did wit suc indisputably successful effect. To tat end, tis article explores aspects of Jesus’ work as teological educator and ten suggests some implications for our practice today.
1. FîsHers o Men: he Goa o heoogîca Educatîon
Jesus’ teacing was focused and purposeful. He summoned and ten taugt is disciples wit a specific end in view, te nature of wic emerges early in te narratives of te Synoptic Gospels. He understood is own ministry very muc in terms of calling sinners (Mark 2:7), seeking and saving ‘wat was lost’ (Luke 9:0), summoning men and women to repentance. And in rater similar terms e expressed te purpose beind is calling of te first of te twelve: ‘“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fisers of men”’ (Matt 4:9). he notion of ‘fising for men’ was not a common one, and Jesus’ use of te metapor was doubtless inspired simply by te occupation of tose e was calling at te time: fising. Neverteless, it implies seeking, calling, winning men and women—in sort, following te pattern tat tey would see repeatedly demonstrated in Jesus’ own ministry. Moreover, it sets im apart from te Jewis rabbis of is day wo trained disciples not to become fisers of men but to learn 7 andtransmitteirteacingofteLaw.Accordingly,overtenextfewyearsetrainedtemtocatcmen’ (Luke 5:0) and finally commissioned tem at te moment of is own departure: ‘Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising tem . . . and teacing tem’ (Matt 28:9–20). he initial summons, terefore, always ad tat final commissioning in mind: ‘tere is a straigt line from tis commission 8 to te Great Commission.’ It was an educational programme wit a specificallyvocationalintent. he tree years during wic tey followed, watced, and eard te Lord Jesus Crist were terefore a period of teological apprenticesip wose purpose was te continuation of Jesus’ own mission once e ad gone. Jesus trained missionaries, and e did so from te very beginning of is ministry. ‘he initial objective of Jesus’ plan was to enlist men wo could bear witness to is life and carry on is work after 9 e returned to te Fater.’ Furter, Jesus constantly kept te goal of teir training before tem. Simply by following im, te purpose for wic tey ad been called was at all times dynamically present in te form of is own ministry. Not only tat, but te missionary expeditions on wic e sent tem (e.g., Luke 9:–6; 0:– 23) were temselves exercises in ‘fising for men’ wic anticipated te final realisation of teir call in te commission tey would receive from Jesus between is resurrection and ascension (Matt 28:8–20; Mark 6:5–8; Luke 24:44–49; Jon 20:9–23; Acts :8). Moreover, troug suc trips Jesus fostered te skills and gifts tey would need to fulfil tat commission. hey learned to fis not only by watcing te great fiserman at is work but also by fising temselves: ‘Adults learn far better wen tey see and
6 Blocer(JésusEducateur,4)notes,enseproposantcommenotreModèle[aucoursdunépisodetrèspédagogique, Jn 3,5], il n’a pas exclu cet aspect de son œuvre’ (‘in offering imself as our model (during a very pedagogical episode, Jn 3:5), e did not exclude tis aspect of is work’ [my translation]). 7 R. A. Guelic,Mark 1–8:26(WBC; Dallas: Word, 2002), 5. 8 D. A. Carson, “Mattew,” inMattew–Mark(2d ed.; Expositor’s Bible Commentary 9; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 200), 48. 9 R. E. Coleman,he Master Plan of Evangelism(2d ed.; Grand Rapids: Revell, 200), 2.