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Scholarship for the Church

The Journal of Christian Studies is the flagship journal published by the Center for Christian Studies.  It began in 1980, under the leadership of Michael R. Weed, as the Faculty Bulletin of the Institute for Christian Studies.  The journal’s purpose is effectively summarized in its motto: “Scholarship for the Church.”  It is intended to benefit all thoughtful Christians and church leaders, scholars and non-specialists alike.  The goal is ultimately missional and the scope international.  

The Journal of Christian Studies is issued three times a year, with articles written by scholars who are both experts in their respective fields and active leaders in their churches.  Each issue of the journal unpacks a topic or theme that is important to the church’s faith and practice in our current culture.  Articles address these themes through biblical, theological, historical, and sociological perspectives, communicating rigorous scholarship in an accessible way. 

Subscribe to the Journal of Christian Studies and have three issues per year mailed to you.  The first issue of each year will be made available to the public digitally on the CCS website.  

 

Below are the topics for the three upcoming issues:

1. The Church and the Pandemic.

The doctrine of the church and sacraments has habitually been marginalized among evangelicals, a sort of theological afterthought.  COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020 and their ongoing effects have further revealed the widespread weaknesses in ecclesiology across a spectrum of Christian churches and denominations.

Contributions to this issue address topics at the intersection of ecclesiology or Christian ministry and the pandemic.  They deal with some of the following questions: How have the lockdowns negatively affected the church?  Are there any positive effects? Why is church attendance important?  What is missing in self-administered, isolated participation in the Eucharist?  What are the effects of the “screenification” of the assembly and liturgy?  What are the repercussions of the government pronouncing religious assembly to be illegal, and the church submitting?  How has ministry changed, or how should it adapt?  What good things have we discovered?  How can churches now move forward?  How can Christians and churches be better prepared for any future pandemic and lockdowns?  Contributions interact with these and similar questions theologically and in conversation with biblical, historical, and/or sociological material.

2. Marriage and Human Sexuality.  

Recent years have seen rapid and significant shifts in cultural attitudes regarding sexual ethics.  The traditional Christian description of marriage as the sacramental union of one man and one woman, in which context sexual intercourse is primarily for reproduction, has been dismissed not only by society but also by many Christians.  The cultural and ecclesial situation has led to much confusion and division across denominations.

Contributions to this issue address the confusion by dealing with some of the following questions: What is the biblical teaching about marriage and sexual ethics?  Is marriage a sacrament?  What should Christians and their communities teach about homosexuality and transgender identity?  How can Christians truly love sinners and show grace while, at the same time, proclaiming the truth about sexual purity and God’s will for his people?  What does the Christian moral tradition have to say about it all?  What can natural law and science tell us?

 

3. The Art of Dying.

Death, never a pleasant topic, is a matter that modern culture has gone to great lengths to avoid.  This avoidance has also permeated the church.  But there was a time when Christian theologians spoke of “the art of dying” (ars moriendi) and produced manuals that helped prepare believers for a good death.  Now, “good death” and “dying with dignity” have come to mean something different, with the increasing acceptability of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia.

 

This issue’s articles will deal with questions such as the following: How do modern understandings of death differ from premodern understandings, and why?  How can we improve pastoral care to the terminally ill or those with dementia?  What should Christians think about euthanasia?  What are some features of a theologically responsible and pastorally sensitive funeral liturgy?

 

1-year subscription = $35