Journal

Journal of Contemporary Theological Studies

In this journal the connection between theology and practical ministry is examined from a scholarly as well as a practical perspective. This area of research is simultaneously an area of research from antiquity and yet a new area of scholarly endeavor as well. In this journal Christian theology from the Scriptures is explored with its implications for contemporary praxis. This discussion is pursued by scholars, both student and faculty, of Bible Colleges with the design of discovering practical applications of theology for the modern context in the church as well in different ministry contexts.  The focal points of these articles and discussions are the rich tapestry of the Scriptures as it is appropriated into the diverse texture of contemporary society, problems and the church.

JCTS began at Manna University as a forum for scholarly discussion and review. Then in 2014 other colleges joined the scholarly forum, initially New Hope Christian College in Oregon joined the scholarly interaction. Other colleges joined as well with the first student forum for paper submissions held at the ABHE (Association for Biblical Higher Education) conference in February 2015. Each paper is reviewed through an editorial process then selected for presentation and the best of the papers are selected for publication in this journal.

Journal Volumes

Volume 2

LEADERSHIP IN THE PERICOPE OF MATTHEW 20:20-28

Nestled in the later portions of the Gospel of Matthew is a compelling pericope regarding the nature of leadership in the Kingdom of God. In this section of Scripture, the Apostle Matthew, relates the tale of when the mother of the Apostles James and John comes to entreat Jesus to provide ruling positions for her sons. Jesus’ response provides insight into how He views leadership in the Kingdom He came to bring. He challenges a prevailing concept of authority and power and provides all the disciples with a paradigm shift in what advancement looks like. This text is rich. When viewed using Socio Rhetorical interpretive methodology, the reader sees multiple layers of texture. These textures allow the student to see more clearly the difference between the way leadership was viewed during that period and the radical departure that Jesus posits. (Read entire article)

 

THE PROMISE AND PERIL OF GLOBALIZATION IN AMERICA: HOW LOCAL AMERICAN CHURCHES SHOULD RESPOND TO GLOBALIZATION

The dramatic changes brought about by globalization present both theological and ecclesial challenges to the American church. Scholars are engaging these problems from a variety of directions. Since scholars like Philip Jenkins and Mark Noll revealed the new realities of global Christianity, others have sought to understand how that influences Western theology. On an ecclesial level, American church leaders, like Mark DeYmaz, have increasingly written about how to develop and lead multiethnic churches in America. What is still developing, however, is how church should respond to the globalizing forces confronting the American church. This paper, therefore, aims to briefly to define globalization, identify some aspects of its increasing impact on American churches, and then finally suggest several ways in which local churches can respond. (Read entire article)

 

APOSTLESHIP: WE HAVE THE MEANS, WE HAVE THE MOTIVATION

Some followers of Jesus go down to a river to find people gathered for prayer. Along the river bank, they see a group of women. The followers of Jesus share what they claim is the truth of the Scriptures: that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah. One of the women, a business woman from Asia, listens and understands. Though others have heard this same word and not understood, the Holy Spirit reveals the salvation of Jesus Christ to her. (Read entire article)

 

A SPIRITED DEFENSE: APOLOGETICS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT ACCORDING TO LUKE

Almost every Christian has heard it. Many hear it so often they accept it without a second thought. It’s taken as a rock-solid maxim upon which all good evangelism is based, and is usually expressed in the following way: “You cannot argue anyone into the kingdom of God!”

At one level this statement reflects a wise caution about reaching people for Christ. It trades on the fact that petty quarreling will do no good in effective evangelization. It also serves as a helpful reminder that Christians cannot intellectually muscle a non-believer into the kingdom against her will. (Read entire article)

Volume 1

DYNAMISM AND ERROR: A CRITIQUE OF PROCESS THOUGHT AND ITS RAMIFICATIONS ON CONTEMPORARY THEOLOGY

“My own path, however, is not to celebrate moving deeper and deeper into God’s death and all its Nietzschen ramifications but to affirm that God can be reborn for us when freed from those features that have become both incredible and oppressive. Altizer is not interested in such a theoretical possibility. . . . He places his hope. . . . that in the depths of Hell we will find salvation. . . . I, on the other hand, do not have confidence that we will find salvation in the depths of Hell. I fear we will find only Hell.”1

The Words of Dr. John B. Cobb, Jr. sound forth with passion and sincerity. They possess a certain transparency that is both vulnerable and appealing, allowing one to peer into the very heart of the man. At first glance, this statement is one that most evangelicals, being unfamiliar with Cobb, would find themselves in hearty agreement with, many of them likely to believe that the doctrinal convictions behind it are orthodox. Quite the contrary is actually true. Cobb seems to present a view of God that is alive and well and vitally involved in the world, much unlike Dr. Thomas Altizer, whom he criticizes above. Upon even a cursory examination, however, it would not take any length of time to discover the twisted, anemic nature of the impotent “god” which Cobb purports. (Read entire article)

 

JESUS AS AN AGENT OF CHANGE IN JOHN 21

As Jesus appears to the disciples by the Sea of Galilee after his resurrection, he comes as an agent of change. In this role, although he encounters the disciples first as a group but in subsequent scenes, he interacts only with Peter. Examining this pericope of John 211 using socio-rhetorical interpretation reveals different concepts in these texts. This paper organizes around two elements of socio-rhetorical interpretation: Inner Texture and Intertexture.2

The topic explored here is Jesus’ leadership in bringing change to his disciples. Jesus uses a particular way of bringing this direction to his followers. Discovering this “way of leadership” is the question and once discovered how does it compare with other models of leadership and how does it apply in modern contexts? (Read entire article)

 

WHERE THERE IS NO VISION: HOW SCIENCE APART FROM REVELATION LED TO HISTORY’S WORST ATROCITIES

It is remarkable how the world can be changed by small things. If the average person was asked to recall something world-changing, I would expect that most would speak of the bombing of Hiroshima, the destruction of the Berlin Wall, the attack on the World Trade Center, or some other event in history in which many people were involved in changing the political direction of a nation or region of the world. Descriptions of these moments in history best fit what would seem to be required to change the world; they were large scale, shocking, and forceful. I wonder how many, if asked, would believe that the world was changed by an event much less massive than the ones mentioned above; that widespread change was brought about by the release of a book that contained less than five hundred pages and was small enough to be carried in one hand. (Read entire article)

Editors

Guy Higashi
President
New Hope Christian College

Steven Crowther
President
Manna University

 

Mark Kelley
Academic Dean
New Hope Christian College

 

Write for the Journal

JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY THEOLOGICAL STUDIES SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

An exceptional opportunity for students of ABHE institutions to present papers to their peers and a Council of Review on how theology impacts ministry. The Forum will be held as an Annual Meeting pre-conference event each February in Orlando. The top papers will be selected by the Council for publication in the digital ABHE student scholars publication, The Journal of Contemporary Theology.

PURPOSE

To facilitate the development of world-class biblical scholars among students who are effective in the research and apologetic of the dynamic relations between theology and ministry. Students are invited to submit papers, between 2,000 – 3,000 words, that will explore, engage and extend our knowledge and understanding of the connection between theology and ministry as found within the various contexts of the Scriptures, ministry, and leadership.

TIME & PLACE

The Forum will be held as a preconference for the ABHE annual meeting in Orlando each year in February. Papers will be presented followed by peer review discussion. Students other than presenters are encouraged to attend and participate in the discussions. To participate, students must be either a presenter or recommended by a faculty member of the college where they attend.

SUBMISSION OF PAPERS

Papers should be submitted by December 15th to Steve Crowther – scrowther@manna.edu

Students selected for presentations at the Forum will be notified by January 1st. Upon selection, presenters must register at www.abheannualmeeting.com under the designation of Student Scholar.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

  • Your submission (including references) conforms to the Chicago or Turabian style format.
  • All text, including references, is double-spaced in Arial or Times New Roman font (10-12 point type) with one-inch margins.
  • Your title page includes complete contact information for all authors, including mailing addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers.
  • The text of your submission, including abstract, body of the paper and references (not including title page, tables and figures), is no longer than 25 pages total.
  • You submit your paper as a Word document (.doc or .docx extension) to the email address of the forum contact person.
  • Any prior publication of data featured in the manuscript is explicitly acknowledged either in the manuscript or in the transmittal letter to the forum contact. Any forthcoming or “in press” articles which use the data should be forwarded to the forum contact person with the submission.

The presenter will prepare powerpoints to present the paper during the Forum for a 15 minute presentation. The best papers will be selected for publication in the Journal – JCTS.