Dr Tom Holland has asked me to announce the imminent publication of his evaluation of the theology of N.T. Wright:
Tom Wright and the Search for Truth: A Theological Evaluation
I have long felt that someone ought to write a comprehensive, probing critique of N. T. Wright’s theological thought. I’m very grateful to Tom Holland for tackling this challenging, yet much-needed task. Holland rightly, I believe, raises serious concerns regarding Wright’s methodology, which tends to elevate Second Temple literature above the Hebrew Scriptures.
While Wright is correct in his efforts to peel back layers of Reformation tradition in reading Paul, Holland shows that Wright’s own methodology does not always live up to the noble aims of the critical realism he espouses. No doubt there is much to learn from Wright’s scholarly contribution. The way forward, however, I believe, is subjecting Wright’s work to the kind of constructive critique Holland has provided. It is my hope that this volume marks the beginning of an even more thoroughgoing scrutiny of Wright’s reconstructed synthesis-with the result that Paul’s thought can be discerned more cogently from the New Testament documents against the most important ancient background, which surely must be the inspired canonical contributions of the Old Testament writers. Even the most ardent followers of Wright, not to mention Wright himself, will want to take note of this measured, yet pointed and sustained interaction.
Andreas J. Kostenberger, Senior Research Professor of New Testament & Biblical Theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Founder of Biblical Foundations (www.biblicalfoundations.org)
Anyone wanting further details should go to Apiary Publishing. A 50% pre-publication discount is being offered on the Kindle edition until the end of October. A paperback edition will be available at a later date.
About the Author
Dr. Tom Holland is a Research Supervisor at Union School of Theology. He is a Baptist minister who has planted two independent evangelical churches in North Hertfordshire. He has been a visiting lecturer in Poland, USA, New Zealand, Singapore, Nepal and Korea.
Update 24th October 2017
Click here to download the “Books at a Glance” review of this book in PDF. The paperback version should be available soon from the Apiary Publishing site linked above,
My name is Toivo Pilli and I am Director of Baptist and Anabaptist Studies at the IBTSC. I have been involved in the work of IBTSC since 2002.
Tell us a little about IBTSC.
IBTSC is a European higher education institution, which was initially established in Rüschlikon, Switzerland, in 1949, then under the name of International Baptist Theological Seminary. In 1996 the Seminary was relocated to Prague, Czech Republic, with a special aim of responding to the needs of Eastern European Baptists in pursuit of theological education and reflection, in the post-Communist era. Nowadays, after another move in 2014, IBTSC is located in the Netherlands. The Centre today focuses on three main areas: practical theology, contextual missiology and Baptist identity. The MA in Baptistic Histories and Theologies is validated by the University of Manchester, UK. IBTSC is an independent Collaborative Centre within the Theological Faculty of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Most of our fifty students are on the PhD programme with the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. IBTSC has an excellent library in the main fields of research.
Are the courses full-time, part-time or a mixture of both?
All the courses offered are part-time, however the studies require travelling to Amsterdam for intensive teaching blocks, usually once or twice a year. For PhD students the most important meeting point is the Research Colloquium every January. For beginning students the starting intensives take place in August-September. Independent reading, writing, communication by e-mail, Skype and using IBTSC Moodle resources are part of the learning culture of IBTSC. The Centre teachers and students appreciate the intensive teaching and learning sessions in Amsterdam which enable them to build networks, communicate directly, sometimes discuss and debate, and deepen friendships.
How do IBTSC students fund their studies?
IBTSC students fund their studies from different sources: church support and scholarship funds, as well as personal funding. Although the Centre does not offer scholarships, the fees in this European higher education institution are extremely friendly.
Does IBTSC take students from overseas?
Yes, many students at IBTSC are from overseas. The student body at IBTSC is diverse and multicultural, serving the Baptist and wider Christian family – from Armenia and Australia, Cuba and Canada, Norway and the Netherlands, Ukraine and the USA, to name only some countries. Students benefit from interaction with other students – and teachers – from different cultural contexts: a Lebanese Christian perspective may be an eye-opening experience for a British student.
What type of ministry is IBTSC intended to prepare students for?
The Centre aims to help students to pursue their calling in life and ministry – some students are engaged in pastoral work, mission or theological education, others are strengthening their knowledge and skills for teaching or research. IBTSC aims to help students to reflect upon their own context: either from the aspect of mission, practical ministry or baptistic identity.
When students leave IBTSC, what kind of ministries / jobs do they go into?
As most of the students are PhD students, almost all of them already work as teachers, pastors, youth workers, mission leaders or they are involved in academic life. However, the experience in IBTSC may open up new opportunities, as the studies offer new horizons and insights, and help to clarify personal calling and ministry goals.
What is distinctive about what IBTSC offers compared with other colleges in the Netherlands and overseas?
The IBTSC makes a deliberate attempt to enhance theological studies from a baptistic perspective. Strong focus on baptistic (both Baptist and Anabaptist) church traditions gives to these studies a unique colour of identity. However, there is a clear understanding that this can only be strengthened in conversation with other Christian traditions.
Please tell us about the library and other research facilities.
The IBTSC library consists of 40 000 carefully selected volumes which strengthen studies in the three key research areas: practice, mission and identity. The online resources, especially the Digital Theological Library, and vast holdings of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam library create excellent library opportunities for students and researchers.
Does IBTSC offer a distance or on-line learning option? If so, please tell us more about it.
IBTSC Amsterdam offers flexible part-time study opportunities, but not online courses.
My thanks to Dr Pilli for his contribution to this new series of interviews with faculty of theological colleges from around the world.
The St Andrews Symposium for Biblical and Early Christian Studies
Atonement: Sin, Sacrifice, and Salvation in Jewish and Christian Antiquity
4-6 June 2018 St Mary’s College, University of St. Andrews
Short papers are invited that explore the diverse aspects of atonement within the following corpora: Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, Dead Sea Scrolls, Pseudepigrapha, New Testament, Rabbinic Judaism, and early Christianity. Abstracts if 250 words on the following topics will be accepted until 1 February 2018 and should be sent to Justin Duff (email@example.com):
Priesthood and temple cult
Blood, redemption, and non-cultic reparation
Temple and cosmology
Angelology, anthropology and sacred space
Political Ideologies in the Second Temple period
Impurity and demonology
Corporate priesthood and the people of God
Early Christian sacrificial imagery
Apocalyptic and early mystical traditions
Ancient and scriptural exegesis
Other related topics
Registration for the symposium opens 1 December and closes 1 May 2018. It will be available here. Early bird registration fee (£50) will be available until 1 March 2018 (£75 thereafter). Short papers will be considered for publication in a conference volume. Submission of short papers must be made by September 2018.
[tweetthis]Call for Papers: Atonement: Sin, Sacrifice, and Salvation in Jewish and Christian Antiquity 4-6 June 2018 University of St. Andrews[/tweetthis]