Editorial -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal for Baptist Theology & Ministry
Volume: JBTM 02:2 (Fall 2004)
Article: Editorial
Author: Anonymous


The year 2004 witnessed a renewed interest in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion of the Christ, reinvigorated discussions of and inquiries into the identity and mission of Jesus of Nazareth. On the one hand, Gibson’s film evoked controversy and division in some sectors of American society. Debates regarding the content and potential impact of the movie filled newspapers, magazines, talks shows, Internet discussion boards, chat rooms, etc. Epitaphs such as “revisionist,” “simplistic,” and “anti-Semitic” were attached to the movie by its opponents in an attempt to impugn and discredit its depiction of the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ. Some were actually afraid that the movie would spawn physical violence (which of course did not happen). On the other hand, the film was eagerly anticipated and warmly received by many. The Passion of the Christ set new attendance and financial records for a movie of its kind. Many Christians viewed the movie as an opportunity to discuss spiritual matters and to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Churches rented entire theaters not only for their own members to view the movie, but also as a means of reaching out to their respective communities. A local Baptist church in the area where I lived erected a large tent on a parking lot beside the local theater in order to dialogue with and witness to movie-goers following their viewing experience. The film provided a timely reminder that the life and death of Jesus Christ leave no room for neutrality.

In light of this renewed interest and, even more so, in light of the worthiness of this subject, this edition of the Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry will examine various facets of the person and work of Jesus Christ. The subject of Christology is, in many ways, an

inexhaustible topic. We are under no illusions that a publication such as the JBTM can even begin to scratch the surface of all the important issues involved in this area. We believe, however, that the articles contained herein provide a sampling of topics vitally important for a biblical understanding of the identity and the mission of our Lord. We are also of the conviction that a right understanding of the person and work of Jesus Christ is absolutely essential for a healthy, biblically-based church ministry.

In the first article, Dr. David S. Dockery provides for us a basic, theological overview of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Originally delivered as an address at Union University, the monograph calls modern Christians back to the primary and essential elements of our faith. Dockery seeks “to explore the basic themes that help us understand the biblical and theological aspects o...

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