Jurnal teologic 22.2 (2023)

Amiel DRIMBE, Instruire pe calea vieții: Scurtă introducere în conținutul și teologia Didahiei. Jurnal teologic Vol 22, Nr 2 (2023): 5-31.
The Didache, an ancient Christian document likely composed in the late first century CE, stands as one of the earliest known Christian writings outside the New Testament, providing valuable insights into the formative years of Christianity and its evolving traditions. This document holds both historical and theological significance, shedding light on primary developments in Christology, ecclesiology, and eschatology. It not only emphasizes Christian doctrines, but Christian practices as well: there are practical instructions on topics such as ethics, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and church order.
However, the Didache is more than just a church manual; it serves as a comprehensive guide for Christian living, addressing life within the local church (Did. 7–15) and in the surrounding society (Did. 1–6). In the latter, it underscores the importance of moral living and the values of love, righteousness, and virtuous behavior. The “way of life” practiced and encouraged by this community encompasses most, if not all, aspects of life itself.
Keywords: Didache, earliest Christian communities, catechism, ethics, baptism, Lord’s Supper, church order, Christology, ecclesiology, eschatology

Otniel BUNACIU, „Blessed Are the Peacemakers…”: A Reflection on Karl Barth’s Understanding on War and Peace from a Perspective of the Situation in Europe Today. Jurnal teologic Vol 22, Nr 2 (2023): 33-45.
The current article tries to reflect on what could be a Christian attitude towards the war in Ukraine where the fight is between two Christian countries belonging to the same church tradition. The relevance of the discussion comes as Russia states nationalist and religious reasons among the motivation to attack Ukraine and the initiative has the open support of the Russian Orthodox Church. Starting from the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the mount the article discusses various perspectives trying to engage Karl Barth’s own reflection on the issues of war and pacifism.
Keywords: pacifism, peace, Russia, Ukraine, Orthodox, Baptist, state, church, war, anabaptists.

Octavian BABAN, Orthodoxy in the XVII century: Creeds, Worship and Education at Cyril Loukaris (1572-1638) and Peter Moghila (1596-1646). Jurnal teologic 22.2 (2023): 46-71.
Cyril Loukaris, the patriarch of Constantinople (1572-1638) is well known for his progressive views on the use of the Bible, very close to those of the Reformation. Enthroned as patriarch of Constantinople, with his headquarters in the Ottoman Empire, he tried to keep in touch with the Balkan countries, as well as with those in the West (England, Sweden), in order to promote and support a better knowledge of the Bible and a more biblical Christian faith. Quite often, he was judged as being too close to Calvin’s views, and many of his statements were objectionable, yet, very few quarreled with him during his life. He was influential in favoring a culture of reform in the Ottoman Empire and an Eastern-Orthodox culture more sharply focused on biblical studies. Theologically, he was opposed by the Kiev metropolitan of Romanian origin, Peter Movila (Moghila, Mohyla), yet the same one continued Loukaris’ reform of the Orthodox education of clergy and Eastern European intelligentsia, especially through the founding of the Kievan Academy at the Lavra Pecherska monastery, in Kiev. A very similar line of encouraging Christian education was followed by the Romanian evangelical denominations in the last 30 years, with notable results.
Keywords: Loukaris; Movila; Mohyla; Eastern Orthodoxy; Calvinism; Ottoman Empire Christianity; Romanian Principalities; Orthodox creeds; Church history; Balkans Christianity

David GORAN, Rolul botezului în convertirea credinciosului (II) / The Role of Baptism in the Conversion of the Believer (II). Jurnal teologic Vol 22, Nr 2 (2023): 73-88.
The research offers a brief presentation of the patristic writings that had a crucial role in the development of infant baptism – Didache, The First Apology, De Baptismo, The Apostolic Tradition. While infant baptism has become a widely used practice, the Anabaptist movement of the sixteenth century represented a turning point on the issue of believer’s baptism. The purpose of the research is to understand the relationship between baptism and conversion and to answer practical questions, such as: What does baptism mean? What does baptism accomplish? Who can be baptized? Who can baptize others? Who should be baptized? How should baptism be performed?
Keywords: baptism, infant baptism, conversion, forgiveness of sins.

Daniel BĂRNUȚ, Perspectivă a literaturii religioase interbelice cu privire la comunitățile de credincioși baptiști din Banatul montan – cercetare cantitativă Foaia Diecezană 1920-1925 / A Perspective of the Intewar Religious Literature on Baptist Communities in the Mountain Banat – Quantitative Research Foaia Diecezană 1920-1925. Jurnal teologic 22.2 (2023): 89-98.
In the period of 1920-1925 the Baptist Churches in Romania experienced the largest increase in the number of Baptist believers in history, in relation to a time segment/population of Romania. On 1 January 1920 there were 633 Baptist churches with a total of 18,751 believers and on 31 December 1925 the number of churches had increased to 1490 and the number of believers to 29,405.
For a proper understanding of this positive dynamic, it is necessary to identify the theological landmarks and the practice of the early Baptists in the ecclesial and societal space. Also, this situation in the Romanian Baptist history needs to be contextualized in the Romanian ethos specific to that post-war period.
This article presents a segment of a larger quantitative sociological research on how communities of Baptist believers were perceived in the religious press of the time in the Mountain Banat.
Keywords: Quantitative research, Qualitative Research, Ethnography, Ecclesiology, Socio-cultural context, Theological Reflection, Foaia Diecezană, Interwar, Baptists in Mountain Banat.

David Natanael TĂTAR, Evoluția istorică a lucrării de tineret din bisericile baptiste din România în perioada interbelică / Historical Evolution of Youth Ministry in Baptist Churches in Romania During the Interwar Period. Jurnal teologic Vol 22, Nr 2 (2023): 99-109.
This article presents a historical perspective of how youth work in Baptist churches in Romania developed in the interwar period. During this period, there were a series of initiatives at the national level for the organization of Baptist youth, thus the Baptist Youth Union of Romania (UTBR) was established, which operated within the Baptist Cult of Romania. Since 1925, U.T.B.R. congresses and conferences have been held with the participation of many young people from different areas of the country. At the regional level, the Youth Societies were established which regularly organized meetings for young people and at the same time created certain opportunities for the involvement of young people. The founding of the Baptist Students’ Association (A.S.B.) which had the purpose of the spiritual formation of students is also mentioned. This initiative came after the changes in society and the migration of young people to the urban centers of the country. The purpose of this association was the spiritual and cultural formation of young people. Within the youth work in Romania, a series of publications intended for young people stand out. Also, in the magazine of the Romanian Baptist Union from the interwar period, there were announcements about certain projects or conferences for young people. In the interwar period there were a number of activities in which young people got involved. It was desired, not only the spiritual formation of young people, but also their involvement in various projects. These activities were organized by U.T.B.R and the Youth Societies. Among the most prominent, I mention the involvement in the musical field, the presence of youth choirs and musical groups are frequently mentioned in Baptist publications. The involvement of young people in missionary projects is also noteworthy. Certain regional youth meetings with a significant involvement of young people in the organization are also mentioned.
Keyword: youth ministry, Baptist Youth Union of Romania, Youth Societies, congress, Baptist publications, youth involvement, leadership

Jelena Mulic SIVULKA, More Than Answers for the Mental Suffering: From Theodicy to Community. Jurnal teologic Vol 22, Nr 2 (2023): 110-127.
This paper will explore various theodicies applied for those experiencing great suffering, particularly with mental disorders, and how they affect one’s relationship with God and ability to find meaning and healing in the suffering.  There are five theodicies described:  the theodicy of consolation, of story, of protest, of free will and casual or lazy theodicy.  This work will make a case to show weaknesses and flaws in traditional approaches to dealing with the issue of suffering and seek to encourage more effective ones that are rarely implemented.  The conclusion will make a strong case showing that the church has a crucial role in the application of these unique theodicies – a natural result of faith in God and scriptural authority.
Keywords: theodicy, suffering, community, mental health challenges, church, healing

Victoria BOJONCA, Church and Faith-Based Organizations: A Pathway for a Restorative Relationship in the Public Space. Jurnal teologic Vol 22, Nr 2 (2023): 128-142.
Faith-based organizations (FBOs) play an indispensable role in addressing critical social needs that often exceed the capacities of local churches. While the church’s primary focus revolves around worship and spiritual instruction, FBOs step in to provide essential services and social justice due to their capacity and resources. However, tensions can occasionally affect the relationship between FBOs and local Churches, particularly in terms of their distinct callings and the potential impacts they carry. Our PhD research revealed these resentments, with interviewees expressing that FBOs sometimes undermine the authority and mission of local churches. In light of these issues, our study seeks to shed light on the shared mission of FBOs and the church. By highlighting this commonality, we aim to underscore their capacity for harmonious cooperation without undermining each other’s distinctive roles. This article’s primary objective is to facilitate the development of restorative partnerships between FBOs and local churches by proposing a framework for collaboration that addresses the mentioned tensions. To achieve this, we explore how FBO identities are formed and how their activities parallel the church’s overarching mission. Our aim is to cultivate trust and cooperation as both entities work together to achieve mutual goals, advancing the representation of God’s Kingdom.
Keywords: faith-based organizations, local church, ecclesial identity, public space, partnerships, witness.

George Rafael NĂSTASE, Conversion – the path to Roma individual and community transformation. A theological perspective of the transformation of Roma communities in Romania through the lens of Black and Liberation Theology. Jurnal teologic Vol 22, Nr 2 (2023): 143-163.
This article delves into the transformative potential of conversion within Romania’s Roma communities, drawing from the perspectives of Black Theology and Liberation Theology. Conversion, rooted in Christian theology, signifies a profound shift in individual mindset, fostering genuine repentance and change. Inspired by the liberation focus of Black and Liberation Theologies, the study investigates how conversion can drive transformation and community development in contexts marred by social, economic, and racial injustices.
Using ethnographic qualitative research, the study explores the complex interplay between spiritual beliefs, cultural dynamics, and social structures within Roma communities, synthesizing these insights with the experiences of Black and Liberation Theologies. By examining these theological frameworks alongside sociocultural analyses, the study uncovers both the obstacles and catalysts for metanoia among the Roma people, considering the historical and contemporary struggles faced by Black communities, notably in the United States.
Through a comparative analysis of theological doctrines, the article sheds light on the intersections of faith, identity, and social justice. It critically evaluates the role of local churches in facilitating conversion within Roma communities, drawing parallels with the challenges and successes experienced by Black communities. By emphasizing the liberative aspects of conversion within the Roma context and linking it to the rich traditions of Black and Liberation Theologies, this study significantly contributes to the discourse on theology and social change. Furthermore, it offers practical insights for practitioners and theologians alike.
This interdisciplinary exploration advocates for a more empathetic society, underscoring the importance of theological perspectives in addressing the multifaceted challenges faced by marginalized communities in Romania.
By highlighting the transformative potential of conversion, this article is aiming to answer the question How does the transformative potential of conversion, rooted in evangelical practices within Romania’s Roma communities, intersect with the principles of Black Theology and Liberation Theology?
Keywords: conversion, repentance, metanoia, Roma people, transformation, evangelical church