Africa Journal of Evangelical Theology 31.1

Africa Journal of Evangelical TheologyVolume 31.1 (2012) of the Africa Journal of Evangelical Theology is now available for free download by permission of the editorial team at Scott Christian University, Nairobi, Kenya.

This issue focuses on the problem of AIDS/HIV in Africa. It offers some theological perspectives on this subject and considers the wider implications for our understanding evil and its effects in this world.

Africa Journal of Evangelical Theology 31.1 (2012) Table of Contents

  • Andrew Wildsmith, “AIDS and Theology: Introduction,”
  • Samuel Ngewa, “Who is the Neighbour? An Application of Luke 10:30-37 to the HIV and AIDS Crisis,”
  • Diane Stinton, “‘Into Africa’: Contextual Research Methods for Theology and HIV and AIDS in Africa,”
  • Priscilla Adoyo, “Sexual Issues, HIV/AIDS, and the Role of the Church,”
  • J. Nkansah-Obrempong, “Theology and HIV and AIDS,”
  • Mary Getui/E. Odongi, “Gender Issues in Relation to HIV and AIDS,”
  • Peter Okaalet, “The Church and AIDS in Africa: Towards a Spiritual Answer,”
  • John Chaplin, “Some New Perspectives and Advances on HIV and AIDS Prevention and Treatment,”
  • Keith Ferdinando, “Evil and AIDS: An African Perspective,”
  • Rich Harrell/Committee, “Theological Perspective on HIV and AIDS: Summary statements,”
  • “Resources and Books,”

Click here to visit the download page.

Africa Journal of Evangelical Theology 31.2 (3012) Table of Contents

  • Editorial, “Controversy in Politics, Ideology, Theology and the Church,”
  • Judith L. Hill, “The New Testament and Political Democracy,”
  • Timothy M. Njoya, “Church and Politics: With Aspects Relating to Governance, Public Policy and Ethnicity,”
  • Joseph B.O. Okello, “The Pastors, Politics and People of Kenya,”
  • Patrick U. Nwosu, “The Ideal State in Jesus’ Ministry and Contemporary Nigeria.”
  • Tersur Aben, “Is Postmodernism Coherent?”
  • Mark Olander, “Creative Teaching Methods in Theological Education,”
  • Danny McCain, “Pentecostals and Others: Challenging and Learning from Each Other,”
  • “Book Reviews,”
  • “Books Received,”

Issue 31.2 should be available on-line in 2015.

Everyday Life in Byzantine Lycaonia

The following article by Sir William M. Ramsay is now available in PDF. This material is in the Public Domain and so can be freely distributed and copied.

William M. Ramsay [1851-1939], “A Country Town of Lycaonia. A Description of the Conditions of Christian Life under the Eastern Empire,” Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute 41 (1909): 36-46.

A Country Town of Lycaonia

My subject is an attempt to set before you some slight picture of the main facts in the life of a country town in the centre of Anatolia in the province called in ancient time Lycaonia, during the Byzantine Empire. Now we read a great deal in books, in ancient history, and in the history of the Church about that period, but historians concern themselves chiefly with great men, the great religious leaders, generals, and statesmen; with the rarest exceptions we find nothing whatsoever with regard to the practical facts of life among the common people in that country during the period when these great men were living and working. There is some literary material, which has still to be collected, with regard to the life of that period in the private letters of Basil and other great men, which give a great deal of material for the facts of ordinary life. The ordinary people made it possible for Churchmen to exercise their leading power, for generals to have .armies to conduct to victory or defeat; and without the knowledge of their common life, a knowledge of history becomes one-sided and misleading in the highest degree. We want therefore to know something of the common people, the way they live, their surroundings, their views of life, and how far they were affected by the great Church leaders, generals and statesmen.

The question may be asked with regard to the Byzantine Empire; Is it worth while to take up our time in making out some picture of a period rightly regarded as a period of decay in the history of the world? There is no doubt that Gibbons’ title, The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, is correct. The fall was in great measure due to the pressure of what was going on in the Byzantine Empire, that is in Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Two remarks will bring out the importance of life in the Byzantine Empire.

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Learning From Ancient Exegesis

St Jerome (from Andre Thevet)
St Jerome (from Andre Thevet)

I am grateful to the Evangelical Homiletics Society for their kind permission to place on-line the following article, which explains what we can learn from examples of ancient exegesis of the biblical text:

Timothy J. Ralston, “‘Back to the Future’: Classical Categories of Exegesis, Application and Authority for Preaching and Spiritual Formation,” Journal of the Evangelical Homiletics Society 3.2 (2003): 33-51.

Summary (from text)

The categories lectio continua, lectio semi-continua, lectio selecta and lectio divina describe hermeneutical approaches to the application of scripture. Consequently these categories provide a helpful means to classify the hermeneutical validity of an application presented in a sermon and, by implication, the relative authority of the ethic derived from one’s interaction with a biblical text. They also offer a well accepted taxonomy to understand the differing use of the Bible in the spiritual formation of individuals and Christian communities. Therefore, they represent valuable categories worthy of recovery and adoption for evaluating sermons.

Perhaps I state the obvious. I hope so. Most (if not all) Evangelicals express a genuine commitment to the ideal of lectio continua, that which we believe lies at the heart of preaching in the tradition of sola scriptura. Often, however, our preaching hermeneutic, even that which designates itself as “expository,” displays more of the characteristics of lectio selecta or lectio divina. Unfortunately few appreciate the difference and most aren’t aware of the problem.

The Holy Spirit is not limited by the poverty of a method, but the weakness of our application to reflect the results of authoritative exegesis must surely detract from the simplicity of the Bible’s authority as it speaks to human need. Ultimately, anything less than lectio continua in preaching undermines a local church’s ability to form the lives of its members according to scripture and to engage with other Christian communities in obedience to our Lord’s requirement of unity in faith and witness – the measure of true Christian maturity and the measure of success in our effort toward the spiritual formation of the Body of Christ.

To read the full article click here. Visit the author’s web page here.