Stimulus Volume 23 Issue 3 - Nov 2016
Table of Contents
Being of one Accord
Luke's Beatitudes and Woes: Are they Covenant Blessings or Curses?
Julia van den Brink
Theology and Pedagogy of Hope: A Vision of Christian Education
Yael Klangwisan and T.Mark McConnell
The Voice: Genesis 32
Synergeo: Critical Pedagogy: An Intersection of Faith and Education
Theology: Some Thoughts on a Visit to Myanmar
This edition of Stimulus marks a point of transition. Laidlaw College took over the editorship and production of Stimulus in 2012. We have continued the work of its founders in producing a print-journal which is orthodox, evangelical, and catholic (in the sense of “universal”), while open to publishing worthwhile and thought provoking material from beyond these descriptions. This volume of Stimulus marks the final edition of the journal in print form. From the first volume in 2017, the journal will be an open source online publication. This means, subscriptions will no longer be required and readers can access the journal freely through the internet. This is an exciting change, because it will enable a much broader readership. The journal articles will still be peer reviewed, ensuring that they have been tested for academic rigour and accuracy by experts in the respective fields. The details of the online version of Stimulus will be circulated in the next few months.
This volume includes four challenging articles. One of the biggest challenges facing western churches, especially in super-diverse cities like Auckland, is multiculturalism. Rev Dr Emma Keown’s piece, “Being of One Accord”, challenges readers to embrace genuinely multicultural expressions of the faith. She argues that there is a biblical mandate toward genuine interculturalism and suggests various ways churches and Christian organisations can embrace the shift from being monocultural to genuinely intercultural in expression. Her piece will be followed up in the next edition of Stimulus.
In a very thoughtful piece, doctoral student Julia van den Brink discusses the blessings and woes in Luke 6:20–26. She contends that within the context and in continuity with the Abrahamic covenant in particular, Luke is presenting Jesus as the initiator of the long-awaited New Covenant. Arguing from her exploration of Jewish biblical and non-biblical writing, she explains how the blessings and woes parallel and interpret the Deuteronomic blessings and curses. Her piece is provocative, challenging readers that God’s blessing in the present “has the potential to make life harder, not easier, as being faithful provokes resistance from others.”
In “Theology and Pedagogy of Hope: a vision for Christian Education,” Dr Yael Klangwisan with Dr Mark McConnell articulates a much-needed vision for Christian teaching based on Paul’s great triad of Christian virtue; faith, hope, and love. Three ideas essential to the Christian faith are explored in presenting this compelling vision – Trinity, Incarnation, and Resurrection. From Trinity comes inclusion and embrace. Incarnation flows to authenticity and imagination. Resurrection inspires hope, perseverance and empowerment. This is a must-read for Christian teachers seeking meaning for their important vocation.
Finally, the Rev Dr Mark Keown considers possible implications of Richard Bauckham’s argument that where people are named in the Gospel narratives, we have evidence of eyewitness recollections of Jesus. He suggests that this opens up possibilities for our understanding of early church evangelisation. Alongside the better-known Apostles and other preachers, those named in the Gospels may have shared their stories within Christian communities and to those who did not yet believe. Bauckham’s thesis also serves to emphasise the importance of personal testimony and narrative as a primary means of gospel communication.
Mark J Keown