Introduction -- By: Benjamin L. Merkle

Journal: Southeastern Theological Review
Volume: STR 09:1 (Spring 2018)
Article: Introduction
Author: Benjamin L. Merkle


Benjamin L. Merkle

STR Editor

This Spring issue of STR is un-themed, containing one Old Testament essay, two New Testament essays, one essay that is cross-disciplinary (New Testament and Theology/Ethics), and one unique essay regarding the papers of John Sailhamer which are now housed at Southeastern Seminary.

The first essay in this issue is by Ched Spellman, Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Cedarville University. His essay, “Nehemiah’s New Shadow: Reading and Rereading the Ezra-Nehemiah Narrative,” argues that the conclusion to the book of Nehemiah suggests that, although the people have returned from exile, rebuilt the temple, restored the walls, and repopulated Jerusalem, the people have failed to adhere to the requirements of the Mosaic covenant. Thus, when the sober tone of Nehemiah 13 is carefully considered, Ezra-Nehemiah should not be interpreted as a positive portrayal of post-exilic Israel. Rather, the recurrence of pre-exilic themes demonstrates that the situation is less than ideal.

In the second essay, Andrew Naselli, Assistant Professor of New Testament and Theology at Bethlehem College and Seminary, asks the question, “Was it always idolatrous for Corinthian Christians to eat ‘meat sacrificed to idols’ in an idol’s temple?” His answer, though perhaps no longer the majority view, is that it was not necessarily always wrong to do so. He argues that (1) some meals at an idol’s temple were merely social events that did not involve idol worship; (2) the Greek term εἰδωλόθυτος means meat sacrificed to idols regardless as to whether one eats it in an idol’s temple or at home; and (3) the passage in 1 Cor 8 is significantly different from 10:14–22 so as to introduce a different scenario (and thus different principles that might apply).

In the third essay, Peter Dubbelman, Senior Adults Pastor at Apex Baptist Church and Ph.D. Candidate at Southeastern, maintains that when Paul writes concerning “the Law’s decree” being “fulfilled in us” (Rom 8:4), that Paul is referring to both imputed righteousness and that which a Christian is to become based on their union with Christ. That is, justification includes a transformative aspect as a person is conformed to the image of the Son.

The fourth is essay co-authored by David Jones (Professor of Christian Ethics at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) and Andrew Spencer (Ph.D. in Ethics)...

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