The new December 2018 issue of Themelios has 203 pages of editorials, articles, and book reviews. It is freely available in three formats: (1) PDF, (2) web version, and (3) Logos Bible Software.
- D. A. Carson | Editorial: The Changing Face of Words. Don Carson reflects on how the common meaning has shifted for the expressions guilt, shame, conscience, and tolerance, in each case losing a focus on God or an external standard. It is therefore urgent to think and speak worldviewishly.
- Daniel Strange | Strange Times: Meta-Madness. Dan Strange reflects on the work of Charles Taylor and calls readers engage Tayler more deeply and push at his presuppositions while pursuing serious interdisciplinary academic work that is methodologically sound and theologically orthodox.
- Eric Ortlund | How Did Job Speak Rightly about God? Yahweh’s stated preference for Job’s speech toward him in opposition to the friends in Job 42:7 is difficult to understand in light of the many criticisms Job levels against God in the course of the debate and the many seemingly pious and biblically supportable claims which the friends made. Ortlund argues that Job spoke rightly about God even when he criticized.
- Susanna Baldwin | Miserable but Not Monochrome: The Distinctive Characteristics and Perspectives of Job’s Three Comforters. Readers often perceive Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite as delivering an essentially uniform message that (erroneously) upholds the rigid, retributive justice of God as the answer to Job’s devastating plight. Baldwin argues that Job’s three comforters embody three subtly differentiated worldviews and epistemic frameworks. She shows that each develops his own unique line of argument with regard to the origins and mechanisms of human suffering and the means by which Job may attain deliverance and restoration.
- Andreas J. Köstenberger | John’s Appropriation of Isaiah’s Signs Theology: Implications for the Structure of John’s Gospel. Köstenberger explores John’s distinct use of “signs” as part of his “theological transposition” of the Synoptic Gospels by which John transforms the Synoptic concept of “miracle” into that of “signs” pointing to Jesus’s messianic identity. He demonstrates significant links between Isaiah’s and John’s use of signs. He also proposes that John was led by Isaiah to structure his Gospel according to Jesus’s signs: the first half containing “The Book of Signs,” and the second half conveying the reality to which the signs point.
- Will N. Timmins | Why Paul Wrote Romans: Putting the Pieces Together. Timmins argues that Paul had three purposes in view in writing the letter to the Romans—namely, a missionary purpose, a pastoral purpose, and an apologetic purpose. This article explores these three purposes, explains their interrelationships, and considers some neglected evidence.
- Joseph Pak | Self-Deception in Theology. Self-deception is a fundamental experience and the starting point of philosophy since Socrates. Pak discusses a few aspects of self-deception as a theological concept. Self-deception is closely related to sin, often creates false assurance of salvation, and is caused by disordered love. He argues that diligent effort to gain self-awareness is vitally important to prevent self-deception. We can counteract self-deception by acknowledging its pervasive and universal presence, opening ourselves to self-examination and questioning, and avowing disavowed engagements. God often uses trials to bring us out of self-deception.
- John B. Carpenter | Answering Eastern Orthodox Apologists regarding Icons. The Eastern Orthodox Church claims that their practices have been preserved unaltered from the early church, thus making them the pristine church in perfect continuity with the apostolic church. However, Carpenter argues that the Eastern Orthodox practices of iconography directly contradict the consistent teachings of the early church, which strictly prohibited icons.
- Ernie Laskaris | The New Atheist Sledgehammer: Like Epistemological Air Boxing. In one of the chief works produced by the New Atheists, Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion set out to reduce the existence of God to an “almost certain” impossibility. Laskaris argues that Dawkins demonstrates a deficient understanding of the God he seeks to extinguish, is unable to account for certain concepts that he appeals to in his arguments, and repeatedly violates the commitments of his naturalistic materialism while resorting to metaphysical speculation.