Patrick Henry College–God’s Harvard (to use the title of a recent book on the institution)–is pleased to offer to an electronic age the Global Journal of Classical Theology.
Such an offering immediately poses two interrelated questions: first, why the Journal? second, what will it endeavour to accomplish?
The Preacher reminds us (Eccl. 12:12) that “of making many books there is no end.” The same is surely true of theological journals. So why this one? The answer is simply the dearth of any existing equivalent for the electronic age. As I have argued elsewhere (“Mass Communication and Scriptural Proclamation,” in my Faith Founded on Fact, and in my trilingual Computers, Cultural Change and the Christ), the Lord in His wisdom has consistently employed advances in communication to further His purposes: the Roman road system for the rapid spread of the Apostolic message, the printing press for the success of the Protestant Reformation, and now the computer and the world wide web for the fulfilment of Christ’s promise that “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Mt. 24:14). Serious theology must rise to this challenge today. There is no longer a place for theological Luddites. Conservative theology must be united with the best that technological advance has to offer.
But what specifically will the GJCT achieve? The Journal stands for the Faith once delivered to the saints: classical theology, as its name indicates–the theology of the Ecumenical Creeds, Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian–as restored through the Reformation of the 16th century and as proclaimed in the evangelical revivals of the 18th. It refuses, as does Patrick Henry College, to be drawn into denominational battles, much less into sectarianism or into the morass of conflicting apocalypticisms. With C. S. Lewis, it focuses on “mere Christianity.”
And the Journal exists to proclaim that faith on the most serious intellectual plane. Like its sponsoring institution, which stands for classical education in an age of superficiality, both secular and religious, the Journal stands for scholarly rigour and an international perspective. It unqualifiedly opposes the denigration of the “head” by the “heart” which characterises so much of contemporary evangelicalism.
The GJCT does not limit itself to theology for theologians or to the obscurantist content of much of the technical literature (“The Use of the Hebrew Preposition in Amos Chapter 7,” etc.). This Journal seeks in a Renaissance manner to relate classical theology to non-theological disciplines. And it endeavours to function positively: building up, not tearing down; showing Scripture’s truth and providing answers to its critics, whether secularists or liberal theologians mired in the sloughs of redactionism.
Our first issue illustrates, we trust, all of the above. My dear friend Val Grieve (whom I as a barrister continually remind is but a distinguished member of the solicitor’s, or “lower” branch of the legal profession–though an Oxford man) provides a stirring testimony to the power of genuine evangelical faith. Ben Carter shows the implications in the modern scientific, sociological, and linguistic realms of the classic design argument for God’s existence. Dr Ed Martin, our Associate Editor, does a piece of remarkable philosophical analysis on theodicy and the problem of evil. Dwight Poggemiller offers an insightful paper applying the work of Gadamer to the art and practice of hermeneutics.
John Warwick Montgomery
COMING IN THE NEXT ISSUE
Dr A. H. Robertson, late Director of Human Rights, Council of Europe, surveys John Milton’s epic, “Paradise Lost,” in a posthumously published essay.
Physicist John Bloom asks, “Is Fulfilled Prophecy of Value for Scholarly Apologetics?”
Guenther Haas critiques those who try to use the Bible to justify the acceptance of homosexual practices.
The Revd Kenneth Harper, anciently (just before the Great Flood of Noah) a student assistant to the Editor, sets forth the implications of psychological and pedagogic generational theory for the work of the local church and of the church at large.
And much more . . .