Articles in Theological Reflections
by Carmen Nanko-Fernández
One of the most profound Christian teachings is the incarnation. There is little development in the gospels of this audacious claim that the divine entered the human condition as one of us. John proclaims the Word became flesh and dwelled in our company and both synoptic gospels provide insights into the incarnation, establishing the humanity of Jesus from birth.
by Melvin Sensenig
Jeremiah 21:1–23:4 recounts a series of oracles against the last four kings in Israel. The canonical book’s reordering of the final four kings is important to the overall argument of the book about the future of the Davidic kingship. No future king can arise without the complete destruction of the current Davidic line.
by Jin H. Han
Many will recognize the question as a parody of Tertullian, De praescriptione haereticorum, chapter 7: “What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?” So, to answer our question, we must first ask, “What does Jerusalem represent?”
by Jean-Pierre Ruiz
The author presents the point that John sets before his audience visions of two imagined cities, one the mighty city that was a distant presence looming large through its local surrogates in Asia, the other a holy city descended from above. He urges them to choose between them, to decide their allegiance. This decision is a matter of who is the proper object of worship: the emperor or the Christ. John positions his readers at the intersection of power and praise.
by Karla M. Kincannon
A midwife tells mothers that there are three things they need to know about labor. “It’s hard work, it hurts a lot, and you can do it.” That’s good advice for those on the Christian journey. The birth of the true self into the world requires effort and openness to God’s grace. We each have a true self, a deeper identity that lives in the heart of God and is united to God in Christ.
by Reginald Brantley
One of the great ironies of Christian history in America is that slave masters taught their black slaves a racialist form of Christianity, hoping to keep them docile, but instead the story of the Exodus taught them that the God who rescued the Hebrew slaves and brought them out of Egypt was their God of liberation. Men like Demark Vesey and Nat Turner preached a liberation theology that rescued America from its baser self.
by Insook Lee
Many health care professionals consider religion and spirituality essential components in a holistic approach to health; many religious leaders recognize the benefits of using scientific and psychological perspectives to assess and treat specific symptoms. Here the author suggests ways for pastors to engage in dialog and treatment with health professionals.
by Mary Foulke
Sympathy and compassion are related, however, sympathy is more a feeling whereas compassion is both feeling and action. The author uses 2 Samuel, dealing with King David, to flesh out the differences between the two emotions; Jesus was a constant example of a life devoted to compassion for humankind. This intriguing article offers many insights useful to clergy.
by Peggy Adrien
The Gospel according to John starts off powerfully by identifying Jesus as the Word/as God. Within his Gospel, John cites only two healing stories—a cripple and a blind man. Here the author links the healer, Jesus, with the Old Testament demonstrating how these healings supported John’s opening statement about Jesus.
by Joseph Crockett
Important for transforming non-adherents into students, followers, and apprentices of a leader, discipline is a necessary, though not the only important, task in the life of a disciple. Jesus and others make clear the crucial connections between discipline and discipleship.
by Jae Won Lee
Human beings are born out of relationships, live in relationship to others, and are remembered through those relationships. Christian discipleship urges us to return to the foundational relationship between Jesus and his disciples, to reflect upon it in our social locations, and embody it in our daily life.
by Moses O. Biney
In an era of cultural and religious diversity and transnationalism, how can faithful discipleship accommodate or at least co-exist with cultural and religious differences? This perennial question calls for new answers, and this article is a move in that direction.