We have spent the last year working our way through the Gospel of John. Along with our sister broadcast radio program, White Horse Inn, we have explored the themes, characters, theology, history, and meaning of this important book. We believe that these kinds of “deep dives” into Scripture strengthen our faith and ultimately help build up the churches in which we worship and serve. I hope this has also been your experience.
In this issue of Modern Reformation, we turn to the final chapters of John’s account of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Now that Jesus is alive again, how will his disciples engage him, what will he do with them, and what purpose does it all serve? Our first feature article is by Jeff Mallinson—a Lutheran theologian at Concordia University in Irvine, California—who tackles John’s purpose statement: “These things are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). Over and over this year, we have explored the historical, factual, eyewitness evidence of John’s Gospel. In this article, Dr. Mallinson draws it all together and demonstrates how our faith is both reasonable and life changing.
Our second feature article is by Timothy Fox, a Presbyterian pastor in Austin, Texas. Dr. Fox examines each of the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus, showing how the disciples must now grapple with this one who has risen from the dead. As they grow in their own faith and knowledge, we in turn learn how to grow in our own faith and knowledge of Jesus.
In the third feature article, Michael Brown—a Reformed pastor currently serving in Milan, Italy—draws our attention to the apostle Peter, who takes center stage at the end of John’s Gospel and becomes an object lesson for all who believe and follow Jesus. More than just a moral philosophy or set of theological truths to which we give adherence, Peter’s story shows us that the Christian life is actually a sharing in the new resurrection life of Jesus.
Next year, we are returning to our issue-specific themes, starting in January/February with the “myth of secularism.” In a world where more and more young people identify with no religion at all, it is tempting to believe that secularism is winning the day. In his forthcoming article, however, Michael Horton will argue how our age is similar to other periods in church history in which believers have grappled with paganism—not secularism—as they bear witness to Jesus Christ.
We hope you will join us for our twenty-ninth year of publication as we tackle this and other important questions about God, this world, and your life in it. Renew your subscription today!
Eric Landry executive editor