Theology Matters Jan/Feb-Nov/Dec 1999

Churches Uniting in Christ (CUiC): Selling Our Birthright by Dr. Paul Leggett, pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church, Montclair, NJ and author of numerous articles.   Leggett critiques the CUiC proposal being voted on by presbyteries in 1999-2000.

Questions and Answers on CUiC by the Theology Matters' Board.

The Old COCU and the New CUiC: How Similar Are They?  by the Theology Matters' Board.  A comparison of COCU that was voted down by the presbyteries with the new CUiC proposal.

Do Fences Make Good Neighbors? Getting to Know Who's Who in CUiC by Dr. Randall Otto, pastor of Deerfield Presbyterian Church, NJ.  Otto looks at the churches that are a part of CUiC, their background and their beliefs.

 

Asian Perspectives on Theological Pluralism by Scott W. Sunquist, W. Don McClure Associate Professor of World Mission and Evangelism at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.  Singapore has significant Sikh, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu communities.  How does the notion of pluralism and religious harmony function in Singapore?  Sunquist looks at a definition of pluralism, the Asian context of Religious Pluralism, the Minority Community, the Suffering Community and Witness in Bold Humility.

Jesus Wasn't a Pluralist by James R. Edwards, reprinted with permission from Christianity Today, April 5, 19999, p. 64-66.  Those who promote the ordination of practicing homosexuals argue that Jesus' message was one of inclusiveness.  Edwards writes, "In many respects, Jesus was inclusive.  he offered forgiveness and fellowship to outcasts within Judaism, and to Gentiles outside it, in a way that was unprecedented among Jewish rabbis.  But in other respects, Jesus was more exclusive than his Jewish contemporaries: he refused political alliances with Herod Antipas, the "fox" who beheaded John the Baptist; he refused to replace God with Torah and he refused to identify the kingdom of God with any of the prevailing sects of Judaism."  Edwards examines: the First Order of Business; American Church Captive; Liberating the Church.

Unity and Diversity: God's Idea or Ours? by Michael Boyland, Director of the Presbyterian Center for Mission Studies, Pasadena, CA. Boyland shows: Everything is Made to Worship God; God's Plan Involves Nations and Peoples, Jesus Brings Unity, Diversity Increases in the Early Church, Romans--a Practical Approach to Unity and  Diversity; Heaven is a Mixed Neighborhood, Unity and Diversity.

 

I Don't Think We're in Kansas Anymore, Toto! Postmodernism in Our Everyday Lives by Dr. Dennis L. Okholm, Professor of Theology at Wheaton College.  Okholm explains "postmodernism" and it's impact on the church.  He examines: The 'Modern' in Postmodernism; the 'Post' in Postmodernism; Crucial Characteristics of Postmodernism in Everyday Life--the rejection of a 'master narrative', the authority of the self, the power of language, the construction of reality, the priority of images, the importance of management and therapy; What Should the Church's response Be When It's Blown out of Kansas? p.1

Doubtful Disciples by Dr. M. Craig Barnes, Senior Pastor of the National Presbyterian Church and author of numerous books and articles. This is a reprint of a sermon delivered on May 23, 1999.  The text is Matthew 28:16-20.  Barnes writes, "he point of having faith is not to pretend you are certain.  The point of faith is that it allows you to keep worshiping in spite of your doubts."   p. 7

Postmodernism: A Declaration of Bankruptcy by Kathryn R. Ludwigson.  This is reprinted with permission from The Challenge of Postmodernism: An Evangleical Engagement, edited by David S. Dockery, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1995), p. 281-292., Theology Matters p.9

 

Abortion and the Sacraments by Elizabeth Achtemeier, retired Adjunct Professor of Homiletics and Old Testament, Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA.   Achtemeier looks at the church as A Different People; God's desire that we Live; Baptism into Life; Baptism as Redemption and Adoption; the Challenge of Baptism; The Lord's Supper; Communion with Neighbor and Saint; Thanksgiving and Future Kingdom, p. 1

Changing the Vision of Heaven: Abortion and Relative Truth by Terry Schlossberg, Executive Director of Presbyterians Pro-Life
Schlossberg looks at the Conflict of Truths; Truth and Faith; Truth and Ethics; Central Teachings of Scripture on Creation, Sin, and Redemption All Relate to Abortion, and Serve as a Fixed Standard for Decisions About Life; Truth and Caring, p.6

 

The Wedge in Evolutionary Ideology: Its History, Strategy, and Agenda by Phillip E. Johnson, PCUSA elder, law professor and author of numerous books and articles on intelligent design. Johnson discusses the background of the Wedge [now known as Intelligent Design] movement; The Two Models of "Science"; Two Examples form the National Academy of Sciences; The Right Question; The Wedge Strategy; The Future. p. 1

Admitting Design Into Science by William A. Dembski.  Dembski has a Ph.D. in mathematics and philosophy in addition to an M.Div from Princeton Theological Seminary.  He is author of numerous books and articles on Intelligent Design. After giving background to the Intelligent Design movement, Dembski looks at the Complexity-Specification Criterion that points to an Intelligent Designer.  he asks Why the Criterion Works and its Application to Biology and then concludes by answering, "So What?"  p.7.

 

A Theological Guide for Pastoral Nominating Committees by William Lewis, PCUSA pastor.
This is an important tool to help guide PNCs as they seek a new pastor.  Lewis helps PNCs understand postmodernism, the definition of terms and what is necessary to find the right match theologically.  Lewis examines Liberal theology and Evangelical theology.  he examines the interview process and how to ask the right questions and then how to interpret the answers the PNC receives.  He suggests some "red flag" answers.  p. 1