Editorial -- By: Robert W. Yarbrough

Journal: Trinity Journal
Volume: TRINJ 28:1 (Spring 2007)
Article: Editorial
Author: Robert W. Yarbrough


Robert W. Yarbrough

Perhaps more than any issue in recent years, this Trinity Journal is about doctrine. This is eminently fitting in light of the recent major work by Trinity professor Kevin J. Vanhoozer, The Drama of Doctrine (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2005). Vanhoozer points out that many evangelical churches have de-emphasized doctrine in favor of other priorities: practical emphases, the hope of attracting greater attendance, swapping doctrine for “feeling.” Mainline churches do not want to risk offending a membership already in steep decline by highlighting historic convictions that no longer command consensus and may even antagonize. Has doctrine, then, had its day?

To use Paul’s words, mē genoito! Absolutely not! Vanhoozer’s riveting book is a convincing reaffirmation of the centrality of our confessed biblical and theological certainties—our doctrine—to faithful daily expression of Christ’s lordship and the Bible’s authority in our lives. Vanhoozer’s volume is three or four times larger than this Trinity Journal, but in a limited way this issue bears out the fascinating range and life-changing substance of doctrine in a number of areas.

The book review section under Dr. Eckhard Schnabel’s careful editorship plays a central role in calling attention to a number of books on doctrinal themes—incarnation, Trinity, atonement, the uses and teachings of Scripture, the nature of truth itself. Simply to peruse these reviews is to be reenergized by the knowledge of how much fresh discussion is underway just now, how pressing the questions are, and how stimulating the quest for right answers and responses can be.

The articles themselves highlight matters of faith, and resultant practice, that are striking in importance. Kari Konkola’s painstaking and original historical study restores humility to its rightful place in Christian thought and character. How did we ever lose sight of this? Scott Manetsch furnishes a fresh and penetrating analysis of where

Catholics and evangelical Protestants can and cannot consider themselves united in doctrinal outlook. This essay is a mini-refresher course in justification and other key biblical teachings that rightly stand at the center of historic Christian identity. Paul Hartog sheds fresh and wide-ranging light on the interpenetrating quality of the Bible’s teaching and early Christian doctrinal formulation growing out of biblical exegesis in the early generations of church history. There is no less need now for synthetic and accurate theological understanding—regula fidei understood as the norming norm of Christian teaching...

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