Editorial -- By: Douglas Moo

Journal: Trinity Journal
Volume: TRINJ 18:1 (Spring 1997)
Article: Editorial
Author: Douglas Moo


Douglas Moo

Readers of this journal may begin to think that we are harping on certain issues again and again—and you would be right! For we are convinced that certain issues are critical to the life and health of the church, and we believe it is our job to bring to bear what we think is a biblical viewpoint on these matters.

One such issue is the very worrisome departure from solid biblical preaching in many of our evangelical churches. There are many reasons for this decline, among them, a misplaced reliance on those experts who advocate a “seeker” model for the church and a fall-off in biblical literacy among pastors. But, for whatever reason, the message of the Bible, in itself and for itself, is being heard less and less often from our pulpits. Hence our first article, in which Ray Ortlund Jr. sounds a clarion call to go “against the grain” and proclaim Scripture as it has been given to us. Those of us who have been privileged to hear Ray in the pulpit know that he “preaches what he preaches.”

Our middle two articles focus on two key theological issues: the relationship between Moses’ law and Christ’s grace and the NT doctrine of justification. Stephen Casselli, on staff at Westminster Theological Seminary, illuminates in a fresh way the relationship between the Testaments by examining John’s portrayal of Jesus as “eschatological Torah.” Recent discussions among Roman Catholics and evangelicals have opened up anew the key reformation doctrine of justification by faith. One aspect of this discussion, significant ever since Luther’s strong words on the matter, has been the apparent conflict between Paul and James on justification. Do these two biblical writers themselves provide rationale for trivializing the doctrine, or, in postmodern fashion, holding two different doctrines side by side? Timo Laato, a pastor in the Church of Finland,

thoroughly explores this matter. His article is more academic in nature than many that we print. But its depth of research and significant insights on so central a matter convinced us that it needed to be published. I want to express sincere thanks to Mark Seifrid, who teaches at Southern Seminary in Louisville, for translating the article from German for us.

As a “bookend” in this fascicle, our final article returns to the subject of preaching. David Johnson is well qualified to write on preaching. For before doing a Ph.D. in NT studies at Trinity, he served in a local pastorate for a number of years.

Coming fascicles will feature articles on our usual variety of biblical, theological, and ministerial topics as well as several articles on Christian environmentalism....

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