Editorial: Learning From Paul’s Second Letter To Corinth -- By: Stephen J. Wellum

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 19:3 (Fall 2015)
Article: Editorial: Learning From Paul’s Second Letter To Corinth
Author: Stephen J. Wellum


Editorial: Learning From Paul’s Second Letter To Corinth

Stephen J. Wellum

Stephen J. Wellum is Professor of Christian Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and editor of Southern Baptist Journal of Theology. He received his Ph.D. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and he is the author of numerous essays and articles and the co-author of Kingdom through Covenant (Crossway, 2012) and God’s Kingdom through God’s Covenants: A Concise Biblical Theology (Crossway, 2015), and the co-editor of Building on the Foundations of Evangelical Theology (Crossway, 2015 with Gregg Allison).

Every year we devote one issue of SBJT to a study Lifeway’s January Bible study book. For 2016, our focus is on Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church. In focusing our attention on this specific book of Scripture, I am reminded about the story told by Kent Hughes regarding one of the world’s most renowned classics scholars, E.V. Rieu. Hughes recounts the story that Rieu, at the age of sixty, had just completed a new translation of Homer into modern English. Soon after his work was done, Rieu, who at this time was not a Christian, was approached by Penguin Books to translate the four Gospels. Interestingly, when Rieu’s son heard that his father had accepted the publisher’s request, it is reported that his son was overheard as saying: “It will be interesting to see what father will make of the four Gospels. It will be even more interesting to see what the four Gospels will make of father.”

As the story goes, Rieu’s son did not have to wait long to discover what the Gospels would do to his father. Soon after E. V. Rieu finished his translation, he committed his life to Christ. Rieu’s story is not an anomaly. It reflects countless similar stories of how our triune God takes his Word and drives it home in people’s life. This story is a wonderful testimony to the transforming

power of God’s Word. When people devote time to reading and studying Scripture, often they personally experience what the Bible claims for itself, namely, that it is God’s Word written, the product of his own divine agency through human authors, which Paul describes as God’s own breathed-out Word (2 Tim 3:16; cf. 2 Pet 1:20-21). They also discover that Scripture powerfully changes our lives because it is through his Word and by the Spirit that God makes people alive, unites them to Christ, and transforms us. In the words of the author of Hebrews, in reading and studying Scripture, we discover anew that “the word of God is living and active. Sharper t...

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