Editorial: Proclaiming Jesus, the Servant King -- By: Stephen J. Wellum
SBJT 8:3 (Fall 2004) p. 2
Editorial: Proclaiming Jesus, the Servant King
Stephen J. Wellum is Associate Professor of Christian Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Wellum received his Ph.D. degree in theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and has also taught theology at the Associated Canadian Theological Schools and Northwest Baptist Theological College and Seminary in Canada. He has contributed to several publications and a collection of essays on theology and worldview issues.
Living in what many have dubbed a “postmodern world,” one of the crucial challenges facing Christians today is the proclamation of an exclusive Savior in an increasingly pluralistic world. This is especially difficult living in North America, not only due to the fact that the mindset of pluralism has affected so many people’s thinking, but also because so many think they know something of the Jesus of the Bible, when in reality, they know very little. What characterizes our society, and sadly the church, is a profound biblical illiteracy, which opens the door to serious confusion regarding the identity and utter importance of our Lord. In such a situation, how ought the church to respond? The answer is simple and perennial: we must return once again to the Scriptures in study and prayer, being confronted anew with our great God in the face of Jesus Christ. We must proclaim afresh the Jesus of the Bible in all of his glory and majesty as the only Lord and Savior, and even more, we must personally take up our cross, follow him, and proclaim him to our generation.
In this Bible study edition of SBJT, our goal is to help the church accomplish such a task. We focus our attention on Mark’s Gospel, which wonderfully, as do all of the Gospels, presents us with our incomparable Lord and Savior. No doubt, there are many themes found in Mark’s Gospel that are worthy of our attention, but if we are to do justice to the central purpose and subject matter of the Gospel, we must attend to Mark’s presentation of Jesus, particularly his presentation of Jesus as the Servant King. Robert Stein, who has devoted much of his scholarly career to the study of Mark’s Gospel, begins this edition with six important and very practical exegetical issues any pastor, teacher, and student of Mark must take seriously in order to interpret the Gospel correctly. In particular, Stein wisely reminds us that our task in reading Mark’s Gospel is not to reconstruct “the historical Jesus” or fixate our attention on secondary personalities such as John the Baptist, Peter, and so on. Instead, we must constantly be asking ourselves as we read the Gospel: What is Mark seeking to communicate, by the Spirit, about the identity, message, and mission of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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