Editorial Introduction: The Bible And Theology -- By: Steve W. Lemke

Journal: Journal for Baptist Theology & Ministry
Volume: JBTM 07:2 (Fall 2010)
Article: Editorial Introduction: The Bible And Theology
Author: Steve W. Lemke


Editorial Introduction: The Bible And Theology

Steve W. Lemke

Dr. Lemke is Provost, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, occupying the McFarland Chair of Theology, JBTM Executive Editor, and Director of the Baptist Center for Theology and Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary New Orleans, Louisiana

Evangelical Systematic Theology begins and ends with Biblical Theology. The Bible is the ultimate source of authority for Systematic Theology and is the standard by which all Systematic Theology is measured. Baptists in particular and evangelical Christians in general believe that the Bible is the plumb line by which all theology should be evaluated, not our own speculations and conjectures. It is perhaps the burden of conservative theology that it is seldom as interesting or fascinating as liberal Theology simply because liberal theology places a premium on novelty and creativity. Liberal theology delights in going directions no one has ever gone before. It is not so with conservative theology. As its name suggests, conservative theology is interested to “conserve” that what has been given to us in God’s Word. So conservative theology may not be as innovative as liberal theology, but it is more reliable because it is grounded in God’s Word rather than in mere human speculation. This Fall 2010 issue of the Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry addresses the doctrine of Scripture as it informs theology.

The first section of this issue of the Journal considers how the Bible is foundational for theology. In this section, C. Fred Smith (Associate Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary) argues for the inerrancy of Scripture from the perspective of logic and philosophy. Steven L. Cox (Research Professor of New Testament and Greek at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary) discusses the relationship of Jesus’ teaching to pharisaical Judaism. Thomas P. Johnston (Associate Professor of Evangelism at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) contrasts Catholic and Protestant approaches to the availability of Bibles to laypersons, the use of vernacular translations, the proper translation of the Bible, and the use of the Bible in theology. Johnston notes how these differences in Catholic and Protestant approaches to the Bible become visible in the Green Bible Collection in Oklahoma City.

The second section of this issue of the Journal addresses “Key Issues in Theology for the Church.” James Leo Garrett, Jr. (Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Historical and Systematic Theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary), one of the giants in Southern Baptist Theology, contributes an article on the past and future of Baptist theology. This artic...

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