Public Theology, Freedom, and Persecution in Global Perspective

Vol. 6 No. 2 / Oct 2020


EDITORIAL: SCHAEFFER’S A CHRISTIAN MANIFESTO: DATED YET RELEVANT

PETER A. LILLBACK - in Vol. 6 No. 2 / Oct 2020
Editorial

NEW SECULAR RELIGION AND THE CLASH WITH NEOTRADITIONAL GREAT RELIGIONS

JAMES KURTH - in Vol. 6 No. 2 / Oct 2020
The United States in 2020 is in the midst of its greatest crisis since that of the Great Depression and the Second World War. This crisis is the result of large numbers of Americans, especially elite Americans, abandoning the traditional American religion, which was originally based upon Reformed Protestantism, and replacing it with a new secular religion, which is global progressivism. The determined efforts of these elites to promote this secular and postmodern religion on a global scale ...

CALVIN AND NEO-CALVINISM ON PUBLIC THEOLOGY

BENYAMIN F. INTAN - in Vol. 6 No. 2 / Oct 2020
In 1974, Martin Marty first introduced the term public theology, and it has since gained popularity. However, the reality of public theology has long been a part of the church’s witness and should continue to be one of the church’s essential tasks. John Calvin’s view of public theology has impacted modern politics, both on the democratic movement and the development of Western law and human rights. Not a few have accused him of inhibiting freedom and democratic ideals. Here, I will discuss ...

KUYPER AND REFORMED PUBLIC THEOLOGY: FAMILY, FREEDOM, AND FORTUNE

JOHN WITTE JR. AND ERIC WANG - in Vol. 6 No. 2 / Oct 2020
This Article Introduces And Illustrates The Public Theology Developed By Dutch Theologian, Philosopher, And Statesman Abraham Kuyper At The Turn Of The Twentieth Century. Much Like Pope Leo XIII Transformed Modern Catholicism With A New Social Teaching Movement Grounded In Neo-Thomist Thought, Kuyper Transformed Modern Protestantism With A New Public Theology Grounded In The Reformed Tradition Going Back To John Calvin. Combining Close Biblical And Catechetical Exegesis With Sweeping Theological

DOING JUSTICE TO RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY: THEOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS FOR “PRINCIPLED PLURALISM”

JONATHAN CHAPLIN - in Vol. 6 No. 2 / Oct 2020
This article argues a theological case for “principled pluralism,” a particular stance regarding the proper attitude of the state towards the plural religious affiliations of its citizens. Its central claim is that the role of the state is both to defend the religious freedom of adherents to all faiths and to maintain a public square equally open to contributions from all faiths without publicly privileging any faith, even Christianity. It develops the argument in critical dialogue with ...

SPHERE SOVEREIGNTY ACCORDING TO KUYPER

ANTONIUS STEVEN UN - in Vol. 6 No. 2 / Oct 2020
This article systematically describes the principle of sphere sovereignty according to Abraham Kuyper. Four themes are critically examined: the sovereignty of Christ as the main basis of Kuyper’s principle and its relation to creation, fall, and redemption; structural pluralism as the way of understanding social structure; the notion of religious and confessional pluralism; finally, the role of the state as the sphere of spheres. A positive critique of Kuyper’s principle is given in conclusion.

BAVINCK AS PUBLIC THEOLOGIAN: PHILOSOPHY, ETHICS, AND POLITICS

CORY C. BROCK - in Vol. 6 No. 2 / Oct 2020
As a result of the Enlightenment, the privatization of religion, and the dissociation of theology and the university, public theology has become a very pertinent topic. While public theology emerged as a discipline in the 1980s, the neo-Calvinist tradition, led by Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck, was engaged in public-theological reasoning long before. Although not using the expression public theology, Bavinck offers a public theology in multiple ways. For him, it is a theology for and ...

THE PROMISES AND DANGERS OF PUBLIC THEOLOGY

SEUNG-GOO LEE - in Vol. 6 No. 2 / Oct 2020
In this article, I examine how public theology developed during the last several decades and point out several pitfalls in it. During this examination, I also draw out several ways in which Reformed public theology could be presented to avoid the dangers of public theology. That is, it must be based on Trinitarian theology and must be orthodox in the sense that it should not hold to a pluralistic view of salvation and not be panentheistic in its understanding of the relationship between God ...

CHRISTIAN FORMATION IN PRACTICAL PUBLIC THEOLOGY

JENNIFER PATTERSON - in Vol. 6 No. 2 / Oct 2020
Practical public theology engages questions concerning life together in a political community. Forming Christians in practical public theology draws on biblically informed principles and the experience of community in the church. It fosters a conception of public life that is wider than the strictly political, enabling responses with the resources and capacities of spheres beyond government alone. It cultivates a disposition to discern the multiple theological principles in many concerns of our

PERSECUTION AND MARTYRDOM: GLOBAL DEBATES AND CHRISTIAN RESPONSES

M. CHRISTIAN GREEN - in Vol. 6 No. 2 / Oct 2020
The Article Examines Religious Persecution, In The United States And Abroad, Through The Lens Of An Extreme Result Of Persecution: Martyrdom. It Examines Maximal And Minimal Definitions Of Martyrdom And Recent Claims And Instances Of Martyrdom, Both In United States Law And Political Culture And Against Christian And Other Religious Groups Around The World. The Article Concludes With Some Principles From Which To Discern An Ethic Of Martyrdom And Claims Of Martyrdom, Recommending Especially ...

HOPE FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM FOR ALL IN CHINA

BOB FU - in Vol. 6 No. 2 / Oct 2020
What theological foundation can best procure, promote, and protect religious freedom for all? If obstacles to securing the peaceful public manifestation of religious faith in the context of the diverse worldviews in the “public square” depend on the state, however, what is next? In China, the Communist Party routinely uses persecution and other tyrannical tactics to eliminate the expression of religious beliefs, making religious freedom appear out of reach. Nevertheless, research projects ...

THEOLOGICAL CONTROVERSIES IN THE ANTI-EXTRADITION MOVEMENT IN HONG KONG

KIN YIP LOUIE - in Vol. 6 No. 2 / Oct 2020
From June to December of 2019, the normally peaceful streets of Hong Kong were filled with demonstrators and on many occasions with violent clashes between protesters and police. Hong Kong society was rocked by the Anti-Extradition Movement. We will give a brief description of the movement. Then we will describe the ways in which churches and Christians have participated in this movement. Thirdly, we will go into various controversies generated within the churches of Hong Kong. We do not intend

BLASPHEMY, POLITICS, AND RELIGION: THE CASE OF INDONESIA AND AHOK

PAUL MARSHALL - in Vol. 6 No. 2 / Oct 2020
Thirty years ago, few in the West were much concerned about blasphemy restrictions which, while sometimes still on the statute books, were usually thought domestically and internationally to be only of historical interest. But, by the end of the twentieth, there were repeated eruptions of violence worldwide in reaction to blasphemy accusations, nearly all in the Muslim-majority world. Even comparatively moderate Indonesia has seen an increase in such accusations. This culminated in 2017 when Aho

PANEL ON PUBLIC THEOLOGY

ROBERT GEORGE, DAVID VANDRUNEN, PHILIP TACHIN, AND RICHARD J. MOUW - in Vol. 6 No. 2 / Oct 2020
1. How Is Your Position Fitted To Address The Problems Of Public Theology? 2. Does Natural Theology Have A Contribution To Make To Public Theology? 3. How Do You Conceive Of Law And Gospel In Relation To Social Issues? 4. What Is The Role Of Common Grace In The Present Secular Situation In The West? 5. What Would Be The Best Outcome Of The Present Secularization Other Than Christ’s Return? 6. From Your Point Of View, What Is The Major Problem With Other Positions?

INTERVIEW WITH BASUKI “AHOK” TJAHAJA PURNAMA

PETER A. LILLBACK - in Vol. 6 No. 2 / Oct 2020
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, also known by his Hakka Chinese nickname, Ahok, was born on June 29, 1966. He received his Bachelor of Engineering from Trisakti University, Jakarta, and his M.B.A. from Prasetiya Mulya, Jakarta. From 1992 to 2005, Ahok worked in corporate business. He was then elected to be Regent of East Belitung (2005–2006) before becoming a legislator in the Indonesian People’s Representative Council (DPR; 2009–2012), Deputy Governor of Jakarta (2012–2014), and Governor of Jakarta (20