Introduction To The Current Issue -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Ashland Theological Journal
Volume: ATJ 15:0 (NA 1982)
Article: Introduction To The Current Issue
Author: Anonymous

Introduction To The Current Issue

1983 marks the Centennial Anniversary of The Brethren Church. This issue is dedicated to the origin and development of this group, as well as being a proper attempt to evaluate where the denomination has been and where it is going. As the sponsoring institution of Ashland Theological Seminary and Ashland College, The Brethren Church has a long history of eclectic fellowship and educational pursuit. The diverse denominational makeup of faculty and students at ATS attests to this fact and, indeed, is a tribute to the Brethren philosophy of community and education.

Dr. Charles Munson (Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University), Dean of the Seminary and Professor of Practical Theology, delves in the first essay into the life of Henry Holsinger, a man without whom Brethren Church “history could not be written.” His life was intertwined with the church split that ultimately led to a new denomination in 1883. Because Holsinger “never stood in the way of women preaching,” the following article, “Brethren Women in Ministry: Century One,” should not be surprising. Nevertheless, it will be to many readers. Written by Dr. Jerry Flora (Th.D., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), Professor of New Testament and Theology at ATS, this lucid essay lays the groundwork for future research in an area which has been virtually untapped. Dr. Flora informs us of some very active early years for women in Brethren ministry and poses some striking questions as to why this situation declined after 1915.

Dr. Dale R. Stoffer (Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary), pastor of Columbus Bible Fellowship, writes an excellent scholarly article, “Progressivism—A Definition,” which offers a historical overview of the Brethren and points out issues that contributed to division, while defining the Progressive movement and evaluating it. This central article delineates the historical and theological perimeters of the movement. The fourth essay is that of Dr. Richard E. Allison (D. Min., ATS), Professor of Christian Education and Director of Doctoral Studies of ATS. Dr. Allison’s essay on “J. Allen Miller” brings us face to face with another leading individual in The Brethren Church. We learn of Miller’s influence as a president of Ashland College and as a scholar of The Brethren Church. The selection of essays is rounded off by Dr. Jack L. Oxenrider’s “The Historical Role of the Brethren Elder.” Dr. Oxenrider (D. Min., ATS), pastor of Jefferson Brethren Church in Goshen, Indiana, gives us a glimpse of the importance of the elder in Brethren history as well as the evolution and institutionalization of the role of the elder.

Our sermonic piece for this issue is written by a beloved preacher

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