To Our Readers And Contributors -- By: Anonymous
To Our Readers And Contributors
With this issue of the Westminster Theological Journal a number of significant changes go into effect. Our subscribers will want to take note that each volume now corresponds with the calendar, rather than the academic, year; issue no. I will appear in the spring and no. 2 in the fall. As a result, no issue bears the “Fall 1981” date, but this change does not affect subscriptions.
Also beginning with this issue a new editorial team takes over the responsibility of producing the Journal, and we wish to reaffirm the statement of purpose that appeared in the initial volume. Careful readers must have sensed in that statement a tension between, on the one hand, the editors’ desire not to dissociate themselves “from the great stream of Christian tradition” and, on the other, their recognition that the Christian faith must be articulated “in the present.” More specifically, they claimed to “cling tenaciously to the heritage that comes to us from the past” while simultaneously giving full consideration to “every form of thought that may reasonably come within the purview of a theological Faculty.”
For many, then and today, the tension is unbearable. Some regard past theological formulations as a positive obstacle to honest inquiry; others question the wisdom or deny the necessity of considering forms of thought that prove inimical to historic Christianity. In response to the latter, one can easily imagine the original editors appealing to the Semitic scholar Robert Dick Wilson, one of the founders of the Seminary, known for his refusal to “shirk the difficult question.” As for the former objection, had not J. Gresham Machen turned the tables on the opponents of historic Christianity by accusing them of anti-intellectualism? This charge was not a dishonest debate technique; it reflected a profound recognition that the greatest obstacle to knowledge is the rejection of God’s truth in Scripture.
The present editorial staff, representing the faculty as a whole,
WTJ 44:1 Spring 1982 p. ii
is unequivocally committed to these same inseparable objectives: the exposition and promotion of Reformed theology, as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms; and the patient, critical analysis of contemporary scholarship whenever it bears on theological study.
Such well-defined objectives necessarily affect editorial decisions. We regretfully cannot accept articles which, while seeking to promote Christian orthodoxy, show isolation from current scholarship (including foreign literature when applicable), or criticize opposing viewpoints uncharitably, or otherwise fail to advance scholarly discussion in original fashion. On the other hand, we are also unable to place scholarly materials which, ...
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