ETHICAL PREACHING?: INTERPRETING THE INFLUENCE OF 2 TIMOTHY 4:2

Upon reading this passage from the second letter to Timothy, 4:1–5, some Christian ministers today might be encouraged to proclaim the gospel in the form of preaching each Sunday in church worship, even in the midst of hardship and even, perhaps, in the midst of sharply differing theological opinions about the gospel. Have such readers made an ethical mistake in reading this passage in this way? Some more critical readers might object to this reading because it embraces the text’s negative view of the audience, accusing them of turning away from the “truth” and only listening to what they want to hear. This reading might cause the Christian minister to think of his or her audience each Sunday as outsiders who must be “won back” to the truth, which is the minister’s responsibility alone to dispense with authority. In this paper I propose to do three things: 1) critically evaluate a traditionally evangelical way of understanding 2 Timothy 4:2, 2) answer the question of whether the preaching and teaching commands in 2 Timothy 4:2 and its context are unethical, and 3) as a result, briefly sketch a new interpretation of its significance for current preaching practices. Ultimately, I will argue that the commands of 2 Timothy 4:2 are not unethical, and can be used fruitfully to inform an ethical understanding of preaching, though one that differs from the traditional view.


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Copyright by Justin Allison (May 2014)

Galatians 3:12, the Law is not of Faith?!

Upon reading this passage from the second letter to Timothy, 4:1–5, some Christian ministers today might be encouraged to proclaim the gospel in the form of preaching each Sunday in church worship, even in the midst of hardship and even, perhaps, in the midst of sharply differing theological opinions about the gospel. Have such readers made an ethical mistake in reading this passage in this way? Some more critical readers might object to this reading because it embraces the text’s negative view of the audience, accusing them of turning away from the “truth” and only listening to what they want to hear. This reading might cause the Christian minister to think of his or her audience each Sunday as outsiders who must be “won back” to the truth, which is the minister’s responsibility alone to dispense with authority. In this paper I propose to do three things: 1) critically evaluate a traditionally evangelical way of understanding 2 Timothy 4:2, 2) answer the question of whether the preaching and teaching commands in 2 Timothy 4:2 and its context are unethical, and 3) as a result, briefly sketch a new interpretation of its significance for current preaching practices. Ultimately, I will argue that the commands of 2 Timothy 4:2 are not unethical, and can be used fruitfully to inform an ethical understanding of preaching, though one that differs from the traditional view. 


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Copyright by Justin Allison (May 2013)


ETHICAL PREACHING?: INTERPRETING THE INFLUENCE OF 2 TIMOTHY 4:2


Upon reading this passage from the second letter to Timothy, 4:1–5, some Christian ministers today might be encouraged to proclaim the gospel in the form of preaching each Sunday in church worship, even in the midst of hardship and even, perhaps, in the midst of sharply differing theological opinions about the gospel. Have such readers made an ethical mistake in reading this passage in this way? Some more critical readers might object to this reading because it embraces the text’s negative view of the audience, accusing them of turning away from the “truth” and only listening to what they want to hear. This reading might cause the Christian minister to think of his or her audience each Sunday as outsiders who must be “won back” to the truth, which is the minister’s responsibility alone to dispense with authority. In this paper I propose to do three things: 1) critically evaluate a traditionally evangelical way of understanding 2 Timothy 4:2, 2) answer the question of whether the preaching and teaching commands in 2 Timothy 4:2 and its context are unethical, and 3) as a result, briefly sketch a new interpretation of its significance for current preaching practices. Ultimately, I will argue that the commands of 2 Timothy 4:2 are not unethical, and can be used fruitfully to inform an ethical understanding of preaching, though one that differs from the traditional view.


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Copyright by Justin Allison (May 2014)

Family, Gender Roles, and Marriage

in the Ancient Near East and Greco-Roman World

A Brief Investigation and Analysis of the History, Culture, and Socio-Ethics of Family, Gender Roles, and Marriage in the Ancient Near East and Greco Roman World in Contrast to the Gospels, the Pauline Corpus, and Other Selected New Testament Writings.


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Honor and Shame in the New Testament

The aim of this monograph is to provide a socio-historical exegetical analysis of 1 Corinthians 10-14 and Matthew 5-7. Paul's letter to the Corinthian church was written to a specific culture during the first century. In order for one to properly understand the letter in context, one must understand the audience and the historical background from which he is writing. The New Testament culture of the Greco-Roman world operated under certain social systems, or codes, that were understood by everyone, one of these being the honor/shame code. First Corinthians addresses the honor code of the time period, and counters it as Paul outlines the proper way that the "Jesus-group" members must conduct themselves. In doing so, he urges the members of the Jesus-group to avoid the practices of their pagan neighbors and live in such a way that is righteous and attractive for evangelism. There are predominant themes that emerge out of 1 Corinthians 10-14 that will be discussed at length. These themes include honor for the individual as it relates to their piety in worship, the individual acquisition of wealth and prestige and how that relates to their involvement in the Church and finally how one's personal reputation reflects the honor of the whole group. These themes will be the predominant ideas discussed in this critical analysis of the 1 Corinthian 10-14 chapters.


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Copyright Alyssa Rasnick (May 2013)

Paul's Advice to Women in Worship: 

An Understanding Informed by the Cultural Contexts

The advice Paul gives to Corinthian women about proper behavior in worship often makes modern people wince. In this paper I will use a basic instruction on culture formation to show how our own personal enculturation sets up prejudicial blocks to understanding the meaning of the ancient text. To that end, a small introduction to the historical and cultural realm of New Testament people is made; in particular, the focus shines on the important Mediterranean values of honor and kinship. Through examination of the cultural context, Paul’s advice to women is seen to be very much in harmony with social conventions of the times. The cultural values of honor and kinship, and the historical facts of Greco-Roman gender roles are foundational for understanding Paul’s challenging advice to Corinthian worshippers. Understanding his original meaning confirms the appropriateness of women speaking to the church body today.


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Copyright Andrea Lowry (May 2013).

The Purpose of Prayer and Fasting in a Christian's Life

Prayer and fasting are fundamental aspects in the life of a Christian in order to build an intimate relationship with God. Jesus’ model of prayer found in the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 and Luke 11, provide great insight into the purpose and proper practice of prayer in the lives of Christians today. In Mark 2 and Matthew 6, the purpose of fasting is revealed as it changed from a Jewish custom to a closer fellowship with God. The purpose of both prayer and fasting can be summarized from the first few lines of the Lord’s Prayer which give honor to God’s name, usher in the kingdom of God, and call for the accomplishment of God’s will through Jesus Christ.


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Copyright Alicia Patillo (May 2013)

WOmen in Ministry: A New Testament theology in historical context

The topic of women in ministry is of crucial importance in today’s culture. The notion that a woman can run for the office of President of the United States of America and yet be forced to remain silent in a church where males are the authorized agents of Biblical orthodoxy and orthopraxy creates cognitive dissonance. Unfortunately, some churches and individuals still promote the belief that a woman is innately or inherently inferior to a male spiritually and even emotionally. The following research is intended to give a clear image of a Biblical theology regarding a woman in ministry as presented within the text of scripture and the greater historical context of the New Testament world.


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Copyright Christopher A. Perry (August 2017)