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Theology Matters Jan/Feb - Nov/Dec 2002

The Spirit and The Trinity: A Christian Perspective of Interreligious Worship by Tim Janiszewski
The interreligious worship phenomenon prompts many questions and issues for the church.  Janiszewski responds to the premises that "the Spirit is alleged to be involved, actively, positively, and supportively in non-Christian worship and life.  The Spirit is said to be capable of indwelling non-Christian worship as well as Christian worship.  The Divine Presence animates non-Christian worship experiences in order to create communion with God as each world religion conceives of the Religious Ultimate in its own way."

Discerning the Center of Christian Faith by William Eisenhower
Eisenhower explores how Stanley Grenz in his book Renewing the Center and Jack Rogers in his book, Claiming the Center both address this issue of seeking the center of the Christian faith.

Repent, Reform, OVercome: Why We Must Restore Annual GAs by Susan Cyre
Cyre responds to the vote at the 2002 GA to implement biennial GAs.


"My Lord and My God":  The Uniqueness of Jesus in John's Gospel by Terry McGonigal
McGonigal examines: the Uniqueness of Jesus: According to the First Witnesses; God's Incarnation of Grace; God's Incarnation of Truth; THE Guide for the Journey Home, and Thomas' faith and our faith.  p. 1

Battle for the Mind: Tolerance in the Church at Pergamum by Darrell W. Johnson
"The Church is to be an 'inclusive' community in the sense that all are welcome....but the Church is not to be inclusive of all ideas, of all pre-suppositions, of all social and spiritual persuasions.  All of us are welcome, but all of us are then called by the Head of the Church to repent, to change our minds, to submit our thinking to the thinking of Jesus Christ."  p. 8

Repent, Reform, Overcome: Vote 'NO" on Christian Educator Amendments by Carol Shanholtzer
Shanholtzer critiques the amendments being voted on by the presbyteries regarding Christian Educators. p. 13


Recovering a Theology of God's (Gracious) Law by John P. Burgess
Burgess explains the relationship between law and grace. He looks at: a Reformed view of the Law; Defining the Law and how Law and Grace Work Together.  p. 1

The Gift of Discipline by Paul Leggett
Leggett looks at the role of discipline in the life of the church.  He examines the basic biblical doctrines and then considers how discipline 'rightly ministered' could help bring health and strength back into Christian denominations including the PCUSA. p. 7

Thank God for Crowing Rooster by Donn Moomaw
Moomaw explains how discipline in his life through action by the presbytery brought healing and restoration.  p. 10

"Hello, we've got a problem", by Richard White
The experience of Montreat Presbyterian Church because it refused to ordain women as elders. p. 13


Addressed By The Word: Theology, Ethics and Abortion by Mark R. Patterson
"Theology and ethics are inextricably bound...ultimate conclusions in either theology or ethics profoundly determine the shape of the other."  Patterson explains how "enlightenment rationalism and postmodern subjectivism" have influenced our conclusions about abortion and homosexual behavior.   p.1

The Basics About Stem Cells by Maureen L. Condic
Condic argues that "the scientific, ethical, and political advantages of using adult stem cells instead of embryonic ones are significant."    Condic is Assistant Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Utah, working on the regeneration of adult and embryonic neurons following spinal cord injury.   p. 9

Repent, Reform, Overcome: A Proposal to Renew the Church--The GA Nominating Committee, Part 5, by Susan Cyre
Cyre explains how the General Assembly Nominating Committee process can bring renewal to the church when properly exercised. p. 13


Let Marriage Be Held in Honor by Alan F. H. Wisdom
Wisdom responds to the cultural question of how would same-gender marriage harm heterosexual marriage.  He examines the biblical, confessional, and historic reasons why the church and state cannot condone same-gender marriage without destroying marriage.  "Ultimately, the choice is between Christian marriage as God's gold standard--or no standard at all."  p. 1

New Video Introduces Kids to Same-Sex Couples, by Ed Vitagliano
This reprint from the American Family Association critiques the 1996 video "It's Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues in School" that is used to orient teachers and "That's a Family?" that is shown directly to children. p. 5

A Critical Review of "Changing Families" a Churchwide Study Document by Christine A. Bruce
Bruce, a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, critiques the "Changing Families" paper being circulated for comment before being submitted to the 2003 General Assembly.   p. 7

The State of Our Unions by David Popenoe and Barbara Dafoe Whitehead
 Popenoe and Whitehead are co-directors of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University.   In this 1999 report, they discuss what is happening to Marriage; the marriage relationship; marriage as a right of passage; marriage in the life course; marriage as a social institution; women and marriage; some good news about marriage.   p. 9    Additional information on The Marriage Project at Rutgers University can be found at


Why Christology Is An Endangered Species by James R. Edwards
Edwards' argues "that we are witnessing a paradigm shift away from a theology of redemption to a theology of creation...we are witnessing a shift in theology from what God can and will do in the gospel to what God did once for all creation. Concomitant with the shift from Christology to creation is a shift away from the doctrines of sin and repentance, which according to the preaching of the cross are essential to the reception of new life in Christ.   The new theology argues that what is, is essentially good and right."  p. 1

More Than One Way? Affirming the Uniqueness of Christ's Person and Work in a Pluralistic Culture by Dennis Okholm
Okholm, who was a professor of religion at Wheaton College and is now at Azuza Pacific, posits the uniqueness of Christ against the claims of pluralism.  He addresses: why pluralism now; the practice of pluralism, defining pluralism, responding to pluralism, what's wrong with pluralism? and asserting the 'scandal of particularity'.  p. 6

Repent, Remember, Overcome: A Proposal to Renew the Church, Fitness for Leadership, Part 3,  by Susan Cyre, Philip Keevil
The authors discuss fitness for leadership at the session and presbytery levels, examination responsibilities and examinations on the floor of presbytery. p.  12