Douglas Dunbar (author), Robert Hiebert (thesis supervisor), Larry Perkins (second reader), Trinity Western University GSTS (Degree granting institution), Dirk Büchner (external examiner)
Well-written narratives communicate more than information. What a story communicates is as important as how the story communicates. The narrative flow of a story engages the reader in the action. Narrative conventions assist the reader in connecting prior knowledge or experience with the story. Authors also make linguistic decisions as to how the story is conveyed. The syntax of clauses, sentences, paragraphs and whole documents conveys the story to the reader in expected, and at times unexpected, ways. This study merges narrative and text-linguistic exegetical methods in the reading of Exodus 2-4. Text-linguistics, the primary method employed, examines the syntax of the story in an effort to understand how the language has been employed in the communicative act. These observations are then combined with narrative observations: characterization, plot, type-scenes, and connections with other stories within the same work, in this case the Pentateuch.
Suzette Benjamin (author), Archibald Spencer (thesis supervisor), Ken Radant (second reader), Ross Hastings (external examiner), Trinity Western University GSTS (Degree granting institution)
Karl Barth claims in Church Dogmatics that calling upon God as Father in prayer (invocation) is exemplary human action. Barth’s treatment of prayer in this way provides a different vantage point on the topic of prayer than is often studied in contemporary Christian scholarship, where Christian prayer is studied to establish its devotional or community value. Barth’s presentation of prayer is worth studying because it reveals prayer as the vehicle through which humans learn about themselves and about God. Moreover, prayer reveals God’s divine nature as He connects with the Christian pray-er. Barth calls this relationship between God and the Christian divine–human correspondence. My focus is to explore Barth’s theology to determine the significance of prayer in the context of divine–human correspondence and then to relate it to prayer in everyday Christian life. I conclude that prayer, as effective human action, is inherent to human correspondence with God.
Rob AJ Blazecka (author), Archie Spencer (thesis supervisor), Bruce Guenther (second reader), Craig Allert (third reader), Trinity Western University GSTS (Degree granting institution)
This thesis is an attempt to articulate Tertullian’s principles of hermeneutics. It gathers relevant statements from across his recognized works, and attempts to synthesize his thought on hermeneutics. What emerges are eight principles that determine his Scriptural interpretation. In the first chapter, Tertullian’s treatises are placed in the literary context of classical rhetoric, and an argument is advanced that Tertullian took much influence from the rhetorical tradition, but does not uniformly conform to exact parameters of Ciceronian rhetoric. Rather, Tertullian is an original writer who synthesized classical rhetoric with the literary structures of the Scriptural canon as he saw it. The second chapter explores Tertullian’s view of the Scriptures, arguing that he held to a unified canon of writings that he understood to be God’s word. The third chapter is the mainstay of this thesis, and argues that many of Tertullian’s treatises are best read as a unified theological project. It is argued that many of his writings evince an effort on Tertullian’s part to apply hermeneutic principles to an array of theological topics, and thus may profitably be read as a concentrated literary effort in hermeneutics. Lastly, an attempt to state his hermeneutics in eight principles are explained and demonstrated.
Tyler J. R. Harper (author), Archie Spencer (thesis supervisor), Kenneth Radant (second reader), Ross Hastings (external examiner), Trinity Western University GSTS (Degree granting institution)
In opposition to the historical context of twentieth-century human centered religion, Karl Barth argues for a theologically based anthropology, fixing human self-knowledge on divine revelation and so constructing his understanding of humanity from within his Christology. In founding his concept of humanity on the reality of Christ, Barth is able to avoid the twin pitfalls of optimistic and pessimistic descriptions of humanity in the surrounding zeitgeist. Barth’s anthropology depicts the existence of true humanity as it is only made possible and represented by the person of Jesus Christ, who is simultaneously God for humanity and humanity for God. For Barth, this is humankind as it was created to be. This thesis examines Barth’s corpus to answer the question: Does a coherent theological treatment of humanity exist throughout Barth’s corpus, as it is grounded in the person of Jesus Christ?
Erika M. McAuley (author), Archie Spencer (thesis supervisor), Bruce Guenther (second reader), Christopher Morrissey (external examiner), Trinity Western University GSTS (Degree granting institution)
By his poetic declarations concerning Jesus Christ, Prudentius appeals to some as a flagship for fourth-century Nicene theology. This thesis investigates the poet’s concept of salvation to determine its congruity with Nicaea’s underlying soteriology. To that end, Athanasius’ Against the Gentiles-On the Incarnation and Prudentius’ Liber Cathemerinon are read in juxtaposition, drawing out and comparing theological themes. Prudentius exhibits an inherent fixation on the problem of sin and its effect on salvation. This diminishes the significance and hope offered by the Incarnation. Yet, Athanasius purports that Nicaea’s Christological proclamations are founded on God’s saving action in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Therefore, while the Christological confessions of Nicaea appear to prefigure the theology of Prudentius in his pastiche, Liber Cathemerinon, a closer analysis reveals that his conception of salvation is inconsistent with the underlying soteriological impetus of Nicene theology.