Skip Navigation

2019

Theology Matters, 2019


Holy Saturday & the Hell of Coming Home: Caring for War Wounded Souls by Adam D. Tietje
In Packing Inferno, Iraq War veteran Tyler Boudreau describes his experience of going to war and of coming home: They say war is hell, but I say it’s the foyer to hell. I say coming home is hell, and hell ain’t got no coordinates. You can’t find it on the charts, because there are no charts. Hell is no place at all, so when you’re there, you’re nowhere—you’re lost. The narrative, that’s your chart, your own story. There are guys who come home from war and live fifty years without a narrative, fifty years lost. They don’t even know their own story, never have, and never will. But they’re moving amidst the text every day and every long night without even realizing it. … They live inside the narrative like a cell, and their only escape is to understand its dimensions. Spring 2019, Theology Matters, Pg. 1

Calvin’s Theology of Pastoral Care by David E. Willis
How did Calvin understand pastoral care?1 There are different ways to approach this question.2 I shall take the following text as representative of his understanding. It is from Calvin’s commentary on John 10, which he takes to be dealing with the office of pastor. Spring 2019, Theology Matters, Pg. 8

The Care of Souls Through the Centuries - by Various Authors
Spring 2019, Theology Matters, Pg. 14

Invitation to a Pillar Fight by Charles Partee
Preamble: Beyond the blue horizon an even-keeled professorship goes into dry dock claiming that (1) doctrine unites, (2) reason divides, and (3) bondage frees. Winter 2019 Theology Matters, Pg. 1

Recovering the Office of Elder The Shepherd Model, Part III by Eric Laverentz 
In the last two editions of Theology Matters we have examined the historical and biblical role of elders as shepherds of the people rather than primarily as leaders of a corporation. The former expression was standard among Reformed and Presbyterian congregations from the 16th century until the early 1900s. Of course, our society has changed dramatically since then. But might it still be possible to recover this former understanding of the office of elder, which is so central to our history, identity, and being as Presbyterians? Winter 2019 Theology Matters, Pg. 5

The Call to Love the Small by Tee Gatewood
Every year from Advent to Christmas, Christians tell a story of small things. We often begin with Zechariah and Elizabeth and Gabriel. God is doing something new and the action begins when the struggle of an insignificant, old couple is taken up and used within God’s big salvation drama. God sends Gabriel to Zechariah in the temple and then to a small town in Galilee. Gabriel goes to appear to a young woman who may or may not be of the tribe of David. We do not know much about Mary, but we do know that she is of no or very low social standing. She is small in many ways, yet it is through her tiny ear that the great God is inaugurating his everlasting kingdom. And all of this is prologue to the manger where the Mighty One will be
made small. Year after year, we retell this story. We help our children produce it in pageants. We host live nativities and decorate our houses with smaller, more predictable versions. At each step along the journey, we are invited to wonder at the mystery of Christmas that God is with us. Year after year, twist after turn, the call of the Lord is to enter the story and ponder it in our hearts. And yet, all too often, we miss one key detail: that the God of the Bible loves to use what is small. The Lord of creation chooses to use Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary and the manger. In freedom and infinite power God uses what is small to do something huge. Winter 2019 Theology Matters, Pg. 13