A Younger Theologian’s Letter to Joseph Țon

In recent weeks, I have been monitoring a theological controversy in Romania among my Baptist brothers and sisters.

Dr. Joseph Tson – a well-known pastor and author, perhaps the preeminent Romanian Baptist theologian of the past few decades – has recently declared his theological agreement with a charismatic group (“Strajerii” – “Watchmen”) that promotes a type of Word-Faith, prosperity-gospel teaching.

Tson’s recent revelation has affected Romanians all over the world. The Baptist Union recently excluded Tson from the Baptist Union and revoked his ordination for his deviation from the Baptist Confession of Faith.

In the uproar online over Tson’s recent changes, I found Dr. Radu Gheorghita’s “Letter from a Younger Theologian” to be a helpful source of biblical insight and brotherly persuasion. Dr. Gheorghita is the Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was a mentor to me when I was a student at Emanuel University of Oradea. With Radu’s permission, I have translated the letter into English and am happy to provide it here.


Dear Brother Joseph,

We thank you for the message you sent with your supplemental clarifications. Before I can respond, I want to appreciate the decent tone of dialogue in your most recent messages, and I assure you that I don’t take that for granted. As for me, I desire to maintain the same parameters. I hope that at least one good thing might come from the tumult of recent weeks – that Romanian …

Posted in Baptists, Jesus, Reaching Romania, Theology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Jesus vs. Paul: An Interview with Scot McKnight about the Gospel

The December issue of Christianity Today features a cover story from Scot McKnight called “Jesus vs. Paul”.

In the article, Scot seeks to help evangelicals resolve a common dilemma – how to reconcile and integrate the different emphases we find in the teachings of Jesus (Kingdom of God) and the letters of Paul (justification by faith). Scot’s solution is to center the gospel in neither justification nor kingdom but in Christology. Paul and Jesus are united because they are both centered on Jesus – who he is and what he has done.

Scot is stopping by the blog today to answer a few of my lingering questions. I encourage you to read the article, read these follow-up questions and then discuss in the comments section.

Trevin Wax: Scot, in your article, you write: “It is not exaggerating to say that evangelicalism is facing a crisis about the relationship of Jesus to Paul, and that many today are choosing sides.” Why do you think evangelicals feel the need to choose sides in this discussion?

Scot McKnight: You ask a genuinely interesting question and I wish I could give an answer to the “why?” question.

Instead, I see an issue here of hermeneutical inevitability. We are driven by the way we think to synthesize (or systematize) or to harmonize or to compartmentalize. These sorts of actions are inherent to how our brains work, especially for people who read the Bible as believers and who believe it is God’s Word and genuinely makes …

Posted in Interviews, Theology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments