Jurnal teologic 22.1 (2023)

Octavian BABAN, The Complexity of Social Identity and the ‘We’ Groups in Acts: Its Theology and Relevance for Contemporary Christians. Jurnal teologic Vol 22, Nr 1 (2023): 5-30.

The present article analyses Luke’s use of personal pronouns, first person plural (“we”) and their derivatives or associated vocabulary, with the general tools of biblical exegesis and from the perspective of social identity theories. In particular it looks at the complexity of the social identity of Christians in the Acts of the Apostles as derived from their Christian faith and from their social interaction in the Church, and with the Jewish and Hellenistic society at large, in both friendly or less friendly manners. It emphasizes the dynamics of the transition from a Jewish group to a new Christian mixed (Jewish and Gentile) community and the identity nuances and processes it implied.

Key words: Social Identity, Acts of Apostles, NT Exegesis, Christian Identity, Faith Transition.

Amiel DRIMBE, „Quo vadis, Domine?”: Limitări ale urmării lui Hristos, conform portretului lui Simon Petru în Evanghelia după Ioan / „Quo vadis, Domine?”: Limitations of following Christ, according to the portrait of Simon Peter in the Gospel of John. Jurnal teologic Vol 22, Nr 1 (2023): 31-51.

The portrait of Simon Peter in the Gospel of John is surprisingly muted and rarely positive. According to this Gospel, the commitment of the most prominent disciple has serious limitations. First, Simon Peter’s actions do not live up to his affirmations. The discrepancies between his words and deeds are obvious (e.g., 13:6–10, 36–38). Secondly, following Jesus appears to be an opportunity for self-affirmation, i.e., to prove that he is superior to the other disciples. The context in which Simon Peter makes the arrogant claim of following Jesus unto death (13.37) is the same context in which Jesus is glorified by God the Father (13.31–32). The disciple seeks recognition for himself in the very context of Jesus being exalted (cf. 12.23–33). Moreover, his intervention interrupts Jesus’ new commandment of mutual love. For Jesus, the way of discipleship is the way of brotherly love (13.35). For Simon Peter, the way of discipleship is the way of self-love and self-affirmation (13:36–37). Eventually, the “first” among the disciples experiences the most shameful of failures. Interrogated as to whether or not he is a disciple of Jesus, Simon Peter denies his Master three times (18:15–27). This happens because he attempts to follow Jesus in his own strength, not in dependence on the Holy Spirit (chs. 14–17).
Simon Peter’s call to discipleship occurs just in the epilogue of John’s Gospel (21.19; cf. 1.40–42). He is asked to follow Jesus only after he understands that this call will cost him his life (21.18). From the Evangelist’s perspective, discipleship cannot be otherwise but radical: it means following Jesus at all costs and to the very end.

Keywords: Simon Peter, Gospel of John, discipleship, following Jesus, limitations.

David GORAN, Rolul botezului în convertirea credinciosului (I) / The Role of Baptism in the Conversion of the Believer (I). Jurnal teologic Vol 22, Nr 1 (2023): 53-85.

The current paper select and explores some controversial biblical texts that present baptism in close relationship to salvation and forgivness of sins. The study present an exegetical approach for the verses relating to baptism: Mark 16:16 and John 3:5 from the Gospels; four passages from the book of Acts (2:38; 10:48-49; 16:33; 22:16); three passages from the Pauline epistles, (Galatians 3:26-27; Romans 6:4-5 ; Colossians 2:11-12) and one passage from the Petrine writtings (1 Peter 3:21). The purpose of the paper is to understand the relationship between bapstism and conversion and to answer some practical questions: What does baptism mean? What baptism accomplish? Who can be baptized? Who can baptize others? Who should be baptised? How should baptism be performed?

Keywords: baptism, infant baptism, conversion, forgivness of sins.

Beniamin MOGOȘ, Arius, Alexander, and Athanasius: The Essential Role They Played in the Development of Christology at the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea and its Immediate Context. Jurnal teologic Vol 22, Nr 1 (2023): 87-107.

This paper offers a brief introduction to the three most important people who played a conclusive role in the development of Christology at the first Ecumenical Council of Nicaea—Arius, Alexander, and Athanasius. For each of these three individuals, the author briefly presents his background, his belief, and his influence on Christology in the early fourth century A.D. As a heretic, Arius stimulated an orthodox response from the Church. Alexander was first to formulate this orthodox response regarding the Doctrine of Christ. Then, the Council of Nicaea crystallized it, and Athanasius championed it for the rest of his life.

Keywords: Christology, Nicaea, Ecumenical Council, Arius, Alexander, Athanasius.

Constantin GHIOANCĂ, Fides et Ratio în lucrările lui C. S. Lewis / Fides et Ratio in the Works of C. S. Lewis. Jurnal teologic Vol 22, Nr 1 (2023): 108-115.

This article examines the relationship between Fides et Ratio (Faith and Reason) in some of the main works of C. S. Lewis. While faith and reason may seem to be against each other, C. S. Lewis emphasizes that they are in harmony, supporting and complementing one another. Faith may be in contrast with Rationalism, as an Iluminist ideology, but not with reason itself. The real challenge to Christian faith comes from the area of emotions and imagination which can make someone doubt the truths he held before. However, it is not feelings per se that are problematic, C. S. Lewis is speaking about those emotions and feelings which diverge from the general order or pattern of Nature. This order is apprehended intuitively by the inner man.

Keywords: C. S. Lewis, Fides et Ratio, rationalism, nature, feelings, faith, reason, order.

Cristian Florin BUTE, Complexitatea specificată a organismelor vii ca mărturie în favoarea creației / The Specified Complexity of Living Organisms as Argument for Creation. Jurnal teologic Vol 22, Nr 1 (2023): 116-138.

The evidence against the darwinian theory has enhanced lately, so there are many scientists who argue against evolutionism. And mathematics, through probability theory and information theory, has an added rigour that casts doubt on Darwinism. Just as nothing produces only nothing, matter or energy cannot by itself produce complex coordinated information, because if the information useful to life is zero at the beginning, the law of entropy (the inevitable degradation of any closed system) will keep it zero. Desorder cannot produce order and the blind processes of nature do not produce complex and coordinated useful information. Truly, in order to to believe in atheistic random evolution, you have to believe in miracles. Belief in an initial Reason therefore conforms to reason, while belief in blind chance postulates the lack of reason, wanting to obtain reason from nothing.

Keywords: entropy, specified complexity, information theory, DNA code, Darwinism.