MBBS Faculty Contribute to the Global Dictionary of Theology

InterVarsity Press (IVP) released the Global Dictionary of Theology in October 2008. The dictionary is in itself a global conversation about theology, bringing together articles by theologians and scholars from all over the world, some of which were jointly written by authors separated by oceans and continents. Contributors include two faculty from the MB Biblical Seminary's campus in Fresno, California: Valerie Rempel, PhD, who wrote the article "North American Theology" and Mark Baker, PhD, who contributed to both "Salvation" and "Systematic Theology." Rempel is Associate Professor of History and Theology as well as Dean of Students and Enrollment. Baker is Associate Professor of Mission and Theology.

Contributors also include Pierre Gilbert, Program Coordinator and Professor of Old Testament at the MB Biblical Seminary campus in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Gilbert wrote the article "Spiritual Warfare." Elmer Martens, President Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at MB Biblical Seminary, wrote the articles "Biblical Theology" and "Community." Darren Duerksen, an alumnus of MB Biblical Seminary, composed the article "Dependency." And Juan Francisco Martinez, an alumnus of MB Biblical Seminary, was an associate editor of the dictionary, contributed four articles, and completed the English translation of Spanish articles.

The Global Dictionary of Theology is unique in that it does not merely collect articles from scholars and theologians around the world but it represents a conversation between the authors of the articles. Mark Baker drafted the article on salvation and sent it to Clint LeBruyns, a theologian in Cape Town, South Africa; the two discussed changes to be made and Baker notes, "The final product is much richer than the version I wrote alone."

Valerie Rempel joined the conversation with an article about the theology of a particular continent. Rempel noted that, "The challenge was to describe the uniquely North American contribution to theology, to name the impulses." In a world where theologies are uniquely shaped by their cultural context, it was her goal to "identify themes and movements that have shaped the direction of theological reflection in America."

IVP states that "the editorial perspective of the Global Dictionary of Theology is an ecumenical evangelicalism that is receptive to discovering new facets of truth through listening and conversation on a global scale." Nearly 200 contributors to the dictionary wrote articles from a wide array of theological perspectives. The hope is that this unique approach will facilitate and encourage a global discussion of theology. Baker evidences this hope as he remarks, "I learned and grew through working with theologians from Asia and Africa on the articles I wrote. I look forward to using articles from the dictionary in classes I teach."


Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations