Papers on History

Faith Comes through Hearing:

The Centrality of Scripture to the Early Presbyterian Missions to Korea (1884-1910)

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In this paper, I argue that central to the early Presbyterian Missions to Korea (until 1910) was a high doctrine of Scripture. The stuanch biblicism of these missionaries and the church they founded was one of the defining characteristics, if not the defining characteristic, of Korean Presbyterian Church at this time.

Papers on Interpretation

Towards an Evangelical Hermeneutic:

A Critique of the Chicago Statement on Hermeneutics (1982)

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In this paper, the author engages with the articles of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics to show where the statement makes positive contributions to a viable Evangelical hermeneutic and where its formulations need to be refined. The paper was written for a class on Hermeneutics and Criticism at Regent College, limiting the disscussion in varius areas an necessitating interaction with a specific body of sources.

Towards a Biblical Theology of Imputation

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In this paper, it is argued that Paul teaches imputed righteousness in Romans and that this doctrine has its roots in the Biblical storyline invoked by Paul in the introduction of the letter. Genesis 15:6 is discussed as the primary Old Testament text that anticipates imputation, but Habakkuk 2:4 is referenced as an essential step in the progressive revelation of the doctrine.

Not a Single Survivor:

An Exposition of Joshua 10:28-43 in Interaction with K. Lawson Younger

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For some, Josh 10 and similar accounts present an immense ethical dilemma–how can God commission and participate in such a slaughter? Yet, our answer to such a dilemma presupposes that we understand the texts that raise it; have we? Many argue we have not, that they communicate no such thing. They argue that what we have are hyperbolic victory accounts communicating no more than complete victory–not necessarily utter destruction. The contention of this paper is that Joshua 10:28-43 is not hyperbolic but records with striking emphasis the fulfillment of God’s HRM (to devote to destruction) commands in Deuteronomy as regards a specific section of southern Canaan. (Contains as an appendix a word study on HRM [Herem].)

The Rhetoric of Repentance:

A Close Reading of the Rebuke and Restoration of David in 2 Samuel 11:27-12:25

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In this paper, the author provides a close reading of 2 Samuel 11:27-12:25, arguing that the author of 1 & 2 Samuel carefully crafts his narrative to demonstrate God’s faithfulness to His promises and David’s true repentance, with the result that God would still provide David with a sure house and victory over his enemies.

I Will Make Them Like the Calf:

An Examination of Jeremiah 34:17-22 in its Literary Context

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In this paper, the author looks at Jeremiah 34:17-22 in its literary context to better understand the passage and why the author of Jeremiah has put it in its present place. Particular attention is paid to the maledictory oath in 34:18-19.

Considering Habakkuk as Part of the Book of the Twelve

A Consideration of Habakkuk as Part of the Book of the Twelve Cover

In this paper, the relationship between Habakkuk and its greater context as part of the Book of the Twelve is considered in brief. Different positions are not interacted with at length, but a few arguments in favour are offered, as are a few words against the opposition. Lastly, brief insights this context provides for our reading of Habakkuk are given. Attached is a helpful bibliography of relevant published essays and books.

“That the One Reading These Things Will Run”:

On The Translation of Habakkuk 2:2c in the Septuagint

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I consider the translation of Hab. 2:2c in light of the semantic range and uses of διωκω (to pursue, to run) and αναγινωκσω (to read) and in light of the MT. The conclusion drawn is that the LXX text is best translated in accord with the MT, “so that the one reading the things will run.”

Lament of the Afflicted:

A Translation of Job 30

Having been afflicted by God and judged by his friends, Job cries out in Chapter 30 with a poem describing his present decrepit state. Because of the difficulty of the Hebrew texts, English translations and commentators disagree on how to translate various sections of this poem. This paper attempts to show that the Hebrew text is comprehensible as it stands and presents a new translation of Job 30 from the Masoretic text with reference to the rest of the Hebrew Bible for interpretive aid.

A Consideration of the Meaning of the Righteousness of God in Romans 1:17

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In this paper, it is argued that in Romans 1:17 Paul uses “the righteousness of God” to refer to God’s righteous character displayed in salvation accomplished by the provision of righteousness through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection for those who believe. Each of these three aspects is considered and argued for, the most space being spent defending the righteousness of God as the provision of imputed righteousness.

Do Not Say In Your Heart:

An Exposition of Romans 10:1-8

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Paul’s use of Deuteronomy 30:11-14 in Romans 10:1-8 has puzzled many an interpreter. This paper builds on previous work on Deuteronomy 30 to explain the text of Romans 10:1-8 and particularly Paul’s use of Deuteronomy 30.

Christ is Preeminent over False Religion:

An Investigation of the Collossian False Teaching

Christ is Preeminent over False Religion

In this paper, the author surveys the major positions concerning the heresy against which Paul wrote his letter to the Colossians. It is concluded that the data is best explained by the existence of a general syncretistic belief that mixes Judaism, Christianity, and Hellenism. The paper concludes with a brief reflection on mirror reading and how the conclusions reached in this paper should lead to a reconsideration of the the role of mirror-reading over against historical reconstruction.

Convinced of Better Things:

An Exposition of Hebrews 6:1-12

Convinced of Better Things

Hebrews 6 has proved to be a contensious passage in the history of exegesis and theology: the strong warning issued in this passage has proved to be the battleground for many soteriological debates. In this paper, I argue that the passage, interpreted within the compatibilist worldview of the Bible, holds together the same tension found elsewhere in the NT: perseverance is assured by God’s protection but dependent on man’s endurance. The author of Hebrews juxtaposes God’s sovereign protection with man’s responsible action in a warning intended to be the very means by which the stagnated Hebrews were to press on to the maturity to which God had called them.

2 Thessalonians and Hell:

Separation from or Wrath Coming Forth from God

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Is Hell eternal seperation from God or the experience of wrath pouring forth from God for an eternity? Those who argue for the former often appeal to 2 Thessalonians 1:9. In this paper, the author argues that the best reading of the Greek preposition apo (“away from”) in this verse is “[coming forth] from,” that is, it indicates the point from which something moves away from. Having argued this, the author then expounds briefly why the doctrine of Hell as the Thessalonians and the rest of the Bible discuss it matters.

Papers on Theology

Coming on the Clouds:

An Investigation into the Nature of Our Lord’s Return

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In this paper I argue against the dispensational bifurcation of Christ’s return, which posits a rapture and then the second coming , through a close reading of three major texts (Matthew 24, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians) and various other key texts in interation with these. I conclude that, according to the New Testament, Christ will return once for judgment and salvation in a highly visable manner, that this will be unexpected, and that this return is imminent.

The Epistemological Necessity of Tri-Unity

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In this paper, I argue that self-knowledge requires three points of reference–the self who is knowing (subject), something to see onself in (an external object), and a standard of reference (norm). Applying this to theology/apologetics, I argue that only the Triune God of Scripture could be God, for only the God of Scripture is capable of knowing Himself–of having any knowledge independent of creation.

God’s in the Making:

An Analysis of Deification in the Thought of Athanasius

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“He became man, that we might become God”; is this new age pantheism or Christian Orthodoxy? This quote captures in a shocking manner a central theological tenant in the thought of the early church father Athanasius. The purpose of this paper is to answer the questions, what did Athanasius mean with his doctrine of deification and what influence should it have on Protestant Christian theology?

Luther’s Sola Scriptura

Luther's Sola Scriptura

In 2017, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, many are quick to pledge support to Luther and the Reformer’s doctrine of Scripture—Sola Scriptura—or to decry and deny it, yet the discussions concerning this doctrine reveal that not everyone knows what Sola Scriptura actually meant. What we need is a proper understanding of what Sola Scriptura meant and what biblical warrant it has or does not have. This paper is small effort to meet the first need, an understanding of Sola Scriptura in the thought of the Reformers, particularly Luther. It is argued that Scripture for Luther was authoritative and inerrant, clear, and sufficient for all Christian belief and practice.

Sacramental Ontology and Augustine:

A Historical and Philosophical Critique of a Few Claims for Sacramental Ontology

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In this paper, the author seeks a definition for the nebulous idea of Sacramental Ontology and critiques it via its appeals to platonic philosophy and Church history.

To Love God with All Ones Heart, Soul, and Strength:

A Christian Philosophy of Education

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In this paper, the author offers a philosophy of Christian education. Using Jeff Greenman’s nine components of learning as the structural framework, I develop in this paper my own philosophy of education, employing a hypothetical school of ministry located in Vancouver to elucidate it in a concrete setting. Two Appendices follow the main paper, the first giving a brief sketch of the Christian worldview and the second presenting my approach to the relationship of Christ and culture (Christians and the World).

Appendix 1 – The Christian Worldview

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In this first appendix of my paper “To Love God with All One’s Heart Soul and Strength,” I sketch the Christian worldview as best as I understand it. I briefly treat a Biblical view of metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. My presentation is highly dependent on the work of John Frame and is very selective, only putting forth what I believe to be necessary for the main content of my paper.

Appendix 2 – The Cutlural Mandate

Appendix Cover 2In this appendix to my paper “To Love God with All One’s Heart Soul and Strength,” I examine Neibuhr’s categories of Christ and Culture, the Cultural Mandate, and various biblical motifs, arguing that Christians are called to be radically different and radically orientated towards each other in order to be an effective witness to the world around them.

A Worm to Be Abased or a Flower to Be Praised

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In this paper, the author presents an analysis of self-esteem counselling in light of the Christian anthropology.