Fragner x Acknowledgements I would first like to thank the contributors for the patience they have shown over the long gestation period needed for a volume of this kind. They, clearly, have the greatest role to play in this Festschrift and but for their cooperation and goodwill there would be no achievement. Several colleagues have been very helpful during the planning, collection and preparation of the volume. First and foremost is Professor Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi who generously offered encouragement, advice and assistance. Sincere thanks likewise go to Professor Parviz Morewedge whose and initiative inspired the original idea and to Dr Etin Anwar of Temple University for her initial editorial contribution. I would also like to express my gratitude and appreciation to the editors at The Institute of Ismaili Studies and I.
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Prospective contributors should submit articles by email to the managing editor in Microsoft Word. Articles should use clear, concise English and should consistently adopt either UK or USA spelling and punctuation conventions. Special characters such as Greek and Hebrew require a Unicode font. REVIEWS The book review editors generally select individuals for book reviews, but potential reviewers may contact them about reviewing specific books.
As part of arranging book reviews, the book review editors will supply book review guidelines to reviewers. Themelios Carson — D. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is an indisputable matter: that is, this is something to be confessed as bedrock truth if the gospel makes any sense and if people are to be saved 1 Cor — If Christ did not rise from the dead, our faith is futile, the witnesses who claimed they saw him are not telling the truth, we remain in our sins, and we are of all people most to be pitied because we are building our lives on a lie.
By contrast, Paul allows people to differ on the matter of honoring certain days, with each side fully persuaded in its own mind. Immediately, however, we recognize that some things that were thought theologically indisputable in the past have become disputable.
Paedobaptism was at one time judged in some circles to be so indisputably right that Anabaptists could be drowned with a clear conscience: if they wanted to be immersed, let us grant them their wish. Until the last three or four decades, going to movies and drinking alcohol was prohibited in the majority of American evangelical circles: the prohibition, in such circles, was indisputable.
Nowadays most evangelicals view such prohibitions as archaic at best, displaced by a neat transfer to the theologically disputable column. Indeed, such conduct may serve as Themelios a possible sign of gospel freedom. For example, in the past many Christians judged smoking to fall among the adiaphora, but their number has considerably shrunk.
Scientifically demonstrable health issues tied to smoking, reinforced by a well-embroidered theology of the body, has ensured that for most Christians smoking is indisputably a no-no. Since, then, certain matters have glided from one column to the other, it cannot come as a surprise that some people today are trying to facilitate the same process again, so as to effect a similar transfer.
Doubtless the showcase item at the moment is homosexual marriage. Yes, such marriage was viewed as indisputably wrong in the past, but surely, it is argued, today we should move this topic to the disputable column: let each Christian be fully persuaded in their own mind, and refrain from making this matter a test of fellowship, let alone the kind of matter on which salvation depends.
What follows are ten reflections on what does and does not constitute a theologically disputable matter. After all, there is no cardinal doctrine that has not been disputed, and not many practices, either. Rather, he pronounced an anathema, because outside the apostolic gospel, which is tied to the exclusive sufficiency of Jesus, there is no salvation Gal —9. When some in Corinth gave the impression that certain forms of fornication could be tolerated in the church, and might even be an expression of Christian freedom, Paul insisted on the exercise of church discipline all the way to excommunication, and emphatically taught that certain behavior, including fornication, inevitably means a person is excluded from the kingdom 1 Cor 5—6.
Across the centuries, people have disputed the doctrine of the Trinity, the deity of Christ, his resurrection from the dead, and much more, but that does not mean that such matters belong in the disputable column. In short: just because something is in fact disputed does not mean that it is theologically disputable. If this point were not valid, any doctrine or moral stance could be relativized and placed in the adiaphora column by the simple expedience of finding a few people to dispute its validity.
At the end of the day, that turns on sober, even-handed, reverent exegesis—as Athanasius understood in his day on a different topic. Athanasius won the Christological debate by the quality and credibility of his careful exegesis and theological integration. Similarly today: even if one disagrees with this or that detail in their arguments, the kind of careful exegetical work displayed at a popular level by Kevin DeYoung and at a more technical level by Robert A.
Gagnon represents a level of detail and care simply not found by those who wish to skate around the more obvious readings of the relevant texts. In short: the most fundamental tool for establishing what is or is not an indisputable, is careful, faithful exegesis. In 1 Corinthians 8, Paul does not assert that Christians should not eat meat that has been offered to idols.
Rather, he insists that the meat has not been contaminated; there is nothing intrinsically wrong with eating such meat. The conscience is such a delicate spiritual organ that it is easily damaged: to act in violation of conscience damages conscience, it hardens conscience— and surely no Christian who cares about right and wrong wants to live with a damaged conscience, an increasingly hardened conscience.
If we violate our consciences when we think that what we are doing is wrong even though, according to Paul, the action itself is not wrong , then we will find it easier to violate our conscience when the envisaged action is wrong, with the result that our conscience will be less able to steer us clear of sin.
Nevertheless, Paul insists, the demands of love require that they refrain from such eating if by going ahead and eating they wittingly or unwittingly encourage those with a weak conscience to follow suit. This does not mean that the action has shifted to the indisputable column: that would mean, in this case, that the action is always wrong, intrinsically so. So we are driven to the conclusion that an action belonging in the disputable column is not necessarily one that Christians are free to take up.
Rather, Christians may rule the action out of bounds either because they admit they have weak consciences, or, knowing their consciences are strong, because they voluntarily put the action aside out of love for weaker believers.
They are using a manipulative argument to defend a misguided position in which they are convinced that the act of eating meat that has been offered to idols is invariably wrong. It is difficult to be absolutely certain, but it appears that in 1 Corinthians 8 what is permitted in principle is the eating of meat that has been offered to idols, while in 1 Corinthians 10 what is prohibited is eating meat that is part of participating in any service or worship or cult or rite that is tied to pagan deities.
And this affords us another insight: actions that may belong to the adiaphora, i. More briefly:.
Reason and Inspiration in Islam: Theology, Philosophy and Mysticism in Muslim Thought
If humanity could only understand the intimate connection that we all share; that separation does not exist in Reality. Then, we would embrace each other and ourselves, and turn in earnest love to the One from which we all came. To two very special individuals who have been my guiding lights in Islam since I met them back in March of Cikgu and Liza, the orientation, education and example you have set for me has provided me with the foundation for every ounce of knowledge that I have and every correct word written in this thesis.
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