Editor’s Introduction -- By: David W. Baker
We at Ashland Theological Seminary pray that you have experienced God’s presence in your lives and ministries as we have at the Seminary over the past year. God has blessed our community by adding to it students, faculty, and programs. Our two newest faculty members are Dr Wyndy Corbin who has joined is in the area of ethics, and Dr Bill Payne who will be teaching missions and evangelism. These are areas of vital importance to the church, and thus to our instructional mission at the Seminary, so these two well-qualified individuals are very welcome.
As regards program, this year saw the successful start of a new concentration in our Doctor of Ministry degree offerings. It is in Formational Counseling, which is described as “a ministry of Christian caregiving that integrates pastoral care, spiritual direction, and Spirit-directed counseling with a view to bringing hope, healing and spiritual well-being to broken people” (see the degree discussion on the Seminary web site, www.ashland.edu/seminary). The program is unparalleled, and has received tremenduous interest from across the country.
This year’s Fall Lecture Series at ATS featured Dr Clark Pinnock, recently retired from a position as professor of theology at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario. He spoke on the topic of the openness of God, a controversial topic among evangelicals today. We publish a paper from him explaining his view on some of the issues involved. We also bring to you a summary of a presentation given to ATS faculty by Dr Brenda Colijn that clearly lays out some of the issues involved in the topic, and the relationships between the openness approach and classical Arminianism on the one hand and Calvinism on the other. We hope to have other responses from differing perspectives in a future issue.
We trust that you will benefit from the other articles and reviews which we are pleased to bring to you. We also hope that you will continue to pray God’s blessing, not only on us institutionally, but also on our alumni and the important ministries in which they are involved.
Introductory Thoughts to This Volume
As the editor of this volume indicates, several articles appear in these pages related to the visit of Dr. Clark Pinnock to Ashland Theological Seminary as our 1992 Fall Lecture Series speaker. Just as this topic has generated much controversy in the broader evangelical community, so there have been some who have questioned the seminary’s decision to host Dr. Pinnock.
There are a number of reasons why his visit represents the best of our heritage as heirs of the Reformation and of Anabaptism and Pietism, as well as our commitment to the spirit of modern evangelicalism.
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