Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ecumenical Perspectives on the Filioque for the 21st Century--available for pre-order

Ecumenical Perspectives on the Filioque for the 21st Century, ed. Myk Habets (New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, forthcoming July 2014), a book to which I contributed the Foreword "Ecumenical Reception of Ecumenical Perspectives on the Filioque," is available for pre-order directly from the publisher and from The book description and Table of Contents appear below.

About Ecumenical Perspectives on the Filioque for the 21st Century

The volume presents a range of theological standpoints regarding the filioque. With some contributors arguing for its retention and others for its removal, still others contest that its presence or otherwise in the Creed is not what is of central concern, but rather that how it should be understood is of ultimate importance. What contributors share is a commitment to interrogating and developing the central theological issues at stake in a consideration of the filioque, thus advancing ecumenical theology and inter-communal dialogue without diluting the discussion. Contributors span the Christian traditions: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, and Pentecostal. Each of these traditions has its own set of theological assumptions, methods, and politics, many of which are on display in the essays which follow. Nonetheless it is only when we bring the wealth of learning and commitments from our own theological traditions to ecumenical dialogue that true progress can be made. It is in this spirit that the present essays have been conceived and are now presented in this form.

Table Of Contents

Foreword: Ecumenical Reception of Ecumenical Perspectives on the Filioque. Steven R. Harmon
List of Contributors
1. Introduction: Ecumenical Perspectives and the Unity of the Spirit. Myk Habets
Part 1: The Filioque in Context: Historical & Theological
2. The Filioque: A Brief History. A. Edward Siecienski
3. Theological Issues Involved in the Filioque. Paul D. Molnar
4. The Filioque: Reviewing the State of the Question, with some Free Church Contributions. David Guretzki
Part 2: Developments in the Various Traditions
5. The Eternal Manifestation of the Spirit ‘Through the Son’ According to Nikephoros Blemmydes and Gregory of Cyprus. Theodoros Alexopoulos
6. The Spirit from the Father, of himself God: A Calvinian Approach to the Filioque Debate.
Brannon Ellis
7. Calvin and the Threefold Office of Christ: Suggestive Teaching Regarding the Nature of the Intra-Divine Life? Christopher R.J. Holmes
8. The Baptists ‘And The Son’: The Filioque Clause In Noncreedal Theology. David E. Wilhite
9. Baptized in the Spirit: A Pentecostal Reflection on the Filioque. Frank D. Macchia
Part 3: Opening New Possibilities: Origin, Action, & Intersubjectivity
10. Lutheranism and the Filioque. Robert W. Jenson
11. On Not Being Spirited Away: Pneumatology and Critical Presence. John C. McDowell
12. The Filioque: Beyond Athanasius and Thomas Aquinas: An Ecumenical Proposal. Thomas Weinandy
13. Beyond the East/West Divide. Kathryn Tanner
14. Getting Beyond the Filioque with Third Article Theology. Myk Habets

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ecumenical news update: Pan-Orthodox council announced, Baptist-Methodist dialogue begins

Baptist World Alliance-World Methodist Council joint delegation
Catching up on sharing on Ecclesial Theology some recent ecumenical news:

At a meeting of the archbishops of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches at the Phanar in Istanbul March 6-9, they issued a "Message of the Primates of the Orthodox Churches" which announced that "The Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church will be convened by the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople in 2016." This Pan-Orthodox Council would be the first such assembly since the Second Council of Nicaea in AD 787, reckoned by many churches as the Seventh Ecumenical Council. In Orthodox perspective, this could be considered the Eighth Ecumenical Council, since as Metropolitan Kallistos (Timothy Ware) notes in his book The Orthodox Church, "...the Orthodox Church also believes that, if it so desired, it could by itself convene and hold another ecumenical council, equal in authority to the first seven. Since the separation of east and west the Orthodox (unlike the west) have never in fact chosen to summon such a council; but this does not mean that they believe themselves to lack the power to do so." (It should be noted that there was a Fourth Council of Constantinople in 879-80, an attempt at East-West reunion, that some regard as an Eighth Ecumenical Council.) At the very least, the 2016 council has the potential to be something of an "Orthodox Vatican II."

In other news, the bilateral international ecumenical dialogue between the Baptist World Alliance and the World Methodist Council had its initial meeting January 30-February 5 at Samford University's Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. Below is the official communique from the meeting as posted on the World Methodist Council Ecumenical Relations page:

Communique from the Bilateral Dialogue between the Baptist World Alliance and The World Methodist Council

Representatives of the Baptist World Alliance and the World Methodist Council met January 30-February 5 at the Beeson Divinity School of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. The meeting was the opening round of conversations in the first international dialogue between Methodists and Baptists. The overall theme of the dialogue is faith working through love. The delegations were welcomed by the Provost and Executive Vice President of the University, Dr. J. Bradley Creed, as well as Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church and Rev. Dr. Mike McLemore, Director of Missions for the Birmingham Baptist Association.

Participants discussed presentations on the history, theology, and contemporary global situation of Methodists and Baptists. The dialogue is co-chaired by Rev. Dr. Tim Macquiban, Superintendent Minister of the Cambridge Methodist Circuit and minister of Wesley Methodist Church in Cambridge, England, and Rev. Dr. Curtis Freeman, Research Professor and Director of the Baptist House of Studies at Duke University Divinity School, Durham, North Carolina. Rev. Dr. Paul Chilcote, Dean of Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio, and Rev. Dr. Fausto Vasconcelos, BWA director of Mission, Evangelism, and Theological Reflection, serve as co-secretaries.

Other members of the Methodist delegation present were Dr. Ulrike Schuler, Professor at the Reutlingen School of Theology in Germany; Rev. Malcolm Tan, Pastor of Barker Road Methodist Church in Singapore; Rev. Lauren Matthews, Minister, Umngeni Circuit, Natal Coastal District, Methodist Church of Southern Africa; and the Rev. Christine Gooden-Benguche, Secretary, Jamaica District Conference, Methodist Church of the Caribbean and the Americas. The additional Baptist members present were Rev. Dr. Deji Isaac Ayegboyin, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Ibadan, Nigeria; Dr. Valérie Duval-Poujol, Professor of Biblical Exegesis, Catholic Institute, Paris, France; Rev. Dr. Timothy George, Chair, BWA Commission on Doctrine and Christian Unity and Dean of Beeson Divinity School, Birmingham, Alabama; and Rev. Dr. Stephen Holmes, Senior Lecturer in Theology, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Scotland. Also attending were Rev. Professor Robert Gribben, chair of the ecumenical relations committee of the WMC, from Melbourne, Australia, and Rev. Dr. Neville Callam, General Secretary of the BWA.

The participants worshipped together each day drawing on the two traditions, and attended the Sunday service at the Dawson Memorial Baptist Church in Birmingham. They made a pilgrimage to the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church where they met with Rev. Carolyn McKinstry, author of the book While the World Watched based on her experience as a survivor of the 1963 bombing of the church. They then visited the Civil Rights Institute where they particularly noted the participation of local churches in the struggle for racial justice.

The meeting next year is planned for Singapore where they will take up the conversations on the nature of the church with special attention to justification and sanctification.

5th February 2014

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion--Southeast Region 2014 Annual Meeting

As Vice President for the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion--Southeast Region, I am pleased to announce the program for our 2014 annual meeting that will convene at McAfee School of Theology on the Mercer University--Atlanta campus on Friday, March 7. Below is the program for the meeting; a map of the Mercer University--Atlanta campus is available here.

National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion, Southeast
2014 Southeast Regional Meeting
Friday, March 7, 2014
McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University, Atlanta, Georgia

8:30-9:00  Registration and Refreshments

(McAfee School of Theology Student Lounge)

9:00-9:15  Opening Session (Cecil B. Day Auditorim)

Welcome from the President—Mikael Broadway (Shaw University Divinity School)
Welcome from the Host—Alan Culpepper (McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University)
Announcement of Program—Steven Harmon (Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity)

9:15-10:00  Presidential Address: “When Jesus Says Good News”

Mikael Broadway (Shaw University Divinity School)

10:00-10:15  Responses from Membership

10:15-10:30  Break

10:30-11:15  Panel Discussion:
The Challenge of Teaching World Religions in Baptist-Related Universities

Lisa Battaglia (Samford University)
Don Berry (Gardner-Webb University)
Kathryn Muller Lopez (Campbell University)
Marc Mullinax (Mars Hill University)

11:15-11:45  Discussion by Membership

11:45-12:00  Business Meeting

12:00  Adjournment for Lunch