The Early Years Of The Journal Of The Evangelical Theological Society -- By: Alan F. Johnson

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 51:1 (Mar 2008)
Article: The Early Years Of The Journal Of The Evangelical Theological Society
Author: Alan F. Johnson

The Early Years Of The Journal Of The Evangelical Theological Society

Alan F. Johnson

Alan F. Johnson is emeritus professor of New Testament at Wheaton College, 501 College Ave., Wheaton, IL 60187. These remarks were originally delivered at the banquet of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society on November 15, 2007 in San Diego, CA.

The early years of the Society’s Journal consisted in mimeographed copies of a number of the papers that were presented at the annual meeting of the Society that at that time ran about 40 in attendance. Dr. John Walvoord, from Dallas Theological Seminary, edited most of these non-published volumes, while Wheaton College facilitated the distribution of the papers to all of the members.

In 1958 the Bulletin of the Evangelical Theological Society was born under the managing editorship of Dr. Neil Winegarden and the literary editorship of Dr. Steven Barabas, both professors at Wheaton College. In those days several other faculty members served as short-term editors, such as Dr. Arthur Holmes and Dr. John Luchies. The Bulletin began with only 18 pages and contained no book reviews until 1963. A modest beginning compared with our most recent issue that ran 218 pages including 34 book reviews!

The budget for the whole first year (four issues) was not to exceed $750. Interestingly, the average Bulletin issue ran less than 40 pages for the first six years. Footnotes averaged about 35 per paper but were seldom more than a brief reference or two with little annotation.

You might be interested in a few of the paper titles from 1958 to 1962:Ned Stonehouse, “The Infallibility of Scripture and Evangelical Progress”; Kenneth Kantzer, “The Christology of Karl Barth”; Arthur Holmes, “The Nature of Theistic Apologetics”; Bernard Ramm, “The Apologetic of the Old Testament: The Basis of a Biblical and Christian Apologetic”; and J. Barton Payne, “The Imminent Appearing of Christ.”

Professor Luchies, a philosopher, was known as a smart or spiffy dresser. During one of his courses, students secretly appointed one young man to sit in the front row and to write down in detail a description of all the items of clothing he was wearing each class period. They did not observe him wearing the same outfit until three fourths of semester later! When they disclosed this to him, he thanked them for their careful scrutiny and then said, “Class dismissed!” He was also known as an excellent teacher.

Dr. Steve Barabas was a friendly, amiable, gentle, and wise man of God who frequently would stand up in faculty meetings and quote Scripture as an aid to resolvi...

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