New journals focus on faith foundations and Scripture investigations
FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – A newly released edition of the Southwestern Journal of Theology recovers the theological foundations of the seminary through transcribed lectures that were delivered by B.H. Carroll and Calvin Goodspeed during the seminary’s transition from Waco to Fort Worth, Texas. This issue was released alongside another edition of the journal that investigates Scripture from the Pentateuch to Pauline theology and beyond.
The first of these issues celebrates Southwestern Seminary’s move to Fort Worth in 1910. Carroll founded Southwestern two years earlier in Waco, and he served as the seminary’s first president until failing health caused him to pass his office to L.R. Scarborough in 1914.
This edition of the journal contains lectures by Carroll and Goodspeed on the “The Declaration of Faith,” which was published in James Madison Pendleton’s Baptist Church Manual. This declaration was adapted from the New Hampshire Confession of Faith, which served as the seminary’s own confession in its early years and was the basis for the Southern Baptist Convention’s 1925 version of the Baptist Faith and Message.
Carroll’s lecture highlights the proper use of Christian confessions and creeds. A stubborn skeptic of Christianity into his adulthood, the newly converted Carroll studied the confessions of Methodists, Presbyterians, Campbellites and Baptists as he debated which denomination to join. He testified to the importance of biblical creeds and confessions: “Now,” he said, “the bigger your creed, the better; and the less creed you have, the less account you are.”
A little-known figure in the seminary’s history, Goodspeed served as a systematic theology professor at Southwestern for one year, until poor health forced him to leave his professorship in 1909. His lecture on the 10th article of “The Declaration of Faith” outlines the doctrine of sanctification.
“It seems to me,” Goodspeed said, “if there is anything in the world or in the universe or in heaven that ought to call forth within a man an ambition which would arouse every faculty and every power into intensest exercise, it is the great thought that we can become more and more like God Himself. May we all make as rapid progress as possible in this sanctified life, the highest fruitage of the Christian life on earth, and its crown and glory even in heaven.”
The second issue of the Southwestern Journal of Theology released this January explores Scripture and biblical backgrounds. Joshua Williams, assistant professor of Old Testament, begins this journal with a discussion of the Pentateuch, which he argues is a single book with unified themes that extend from Genesis to Deuteronomy. Sang-Won (Aaron) Son, professor of New Testament, then discusses Paul’s understanding of the “one new man” in Ephesians and relates it to the doctrines of man and the church.
In a third article, James Wicker, associate professor of New Testament, examines inscriptions in early Christian architecture and finds evidence of a high Christology among early believers. John Taylor, assistant professor of New Testament, then inspects a late medieval lectionary manuscript containing portions of Luke 18-21. This ancient manuscript is located in the library archives at Southwestern Seminary. B. Paul Wolfe, formerly an associate professor of New Testament at the seminary and now Headmaster at the Cambridge School of Dallas, concludes this edition of the journal with an overview and analysis of recent New Testament scholarship.
This issue of the journal also contains a chapter-by-chapter review of A Theology for the Church, edited by Daniel L. Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and published in 2007. This 35-page review essay draws together analyses on each portion of this systematic theology written by numerous scholars from Southwestern Seminary: Malcolm Yarnell, editor of the journal and associate professor of systematic theology; Jason Lee, associate professor of historical theology; Benjamin Phillips, assistant professor of systematic theology at Southwestern’s Havard campus in Houston; Dongsun Cho, assistant professor of historical theology; Gerardo Alfaro, associate professor of systematic theology; Robert Caldwell, assistant professor of church history; John D. Laing, assistant professor of systematic theology and philosophy at the Havard campus; Thomas White, associate professor of systematic theology; Craig Blaising, executive vice president, provost and professor of theology; and David Allen, dean of the School of Theology and professor of preaching. Rustin Umstattd, assistant professor of theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, also contributed to the review essay.
Upon the release of these issues of the Southwestern Journal of Theology, Southwestern Seminary is now up-to-date with the publication of the journal. In his editorial, Yarnell expressed thanks to all those who have remained faithful in reading the journal through the years.
The Southwestern Journal of Theology is a publication of Southwestern Seminary. To order a copy of these two editions of the journal, contact the editorial assistant at P.O. Box 22608, Fort Worth, Texas 76122, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The editorial and select articles from each edition of the journal may be viewed on www.baptisttheology.org, a Web site of Southwestern’s Center for Theological Research.