From the Editor: Old Testament Scholarship in Honor of Allen Guenther
And [Jesus] said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” (Matt. 13:52 NRSV)
Authors of the thematic articles for this issue, like the scribes of whom Jesus spoke, have brought forth treasures from the Old Testament which embrace the excitement, power, and insight of the kingdom of heaven. They have done this in honor of their mentor, brother, and fellow scholar, Allen Guenther. Two tributes follow these pieces in which James Pankratz and Elmer Martens recount the strength and blessing of Dr. Guenther’s academic ministry and personal relationships. Rodney Wiebe and Sherri Eason offer a bibliography of his works.
Ken Esau assesses the ethical dimension of God’s apparent deceptions in the Exodus account. Randy Klassen evaluates the role of women as ‘ēzer, discerning important connections between Genesis 2 and narratives in Exodus. In the structure of 1 Kings 19, Dan Epp-Tiessen finds encouragement for ministering persons in the life of Elijah. Pierre Gilbert explores the issue of conversion through prophetic judgment oracles, and Elmer Martens highlights Isaiah’s vision of God’s love and concern for the whole world. In Psalm 33, Lynn Jost demonstrates the psalmist’s critique of an ancient military machine and allegiance to imperial security. Paul Keim, in a sermon, evaluates Jesus’ use of Old Testament texts to enjoin love for God, the neighbor, the sojourner, and the enemy.
Several essays address the challenge of organizing faith’s cognitive dimension. Alfred Neufeld, of Universidad Evangélica in Paraguay, recounts three significant influences upon his current project to write an Anabaptist systematic theology. Following his account, an English translation is provided of the project in outline form. Thomas Finger responds to the critique of his Anabaptist theology by J. Denny Weaver in the fall 2005 issue of Direction. Vic Froese, in a review essay, responds to strengths and weaknesses of Rick Warren’s best-selling popular presentation of faith, The Purpose-Driven Life. Completing the major articles for this issue, Felipe Hinojosa offers the second and final part of his essay evaluating MB mission efforts along the Texas-Mexico border.
In Ministry Compass, pastor Jeff Nikkel describes the discipleship program developed from within his congregation. An annotated bibliography of helpful resources on the Psalms is provided by the editor in Recommended Reading, followed by Book Reviews and Current Research among us.