New Testament Persecution and the Inception of Diokology through the Application of the Regnal Righteousness Dynamic
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This dissertation seeks to derive a biblical definition of Christian persecution which both identifies the essential character of Christian persecution and offers a pragmatic application of the definition in Christian living. The introductory chapter sets forth the scope of the work biblically, theologically, and ethically. Chapter 2 establishes the definition of Christian persecution through the instruction Christ offers to His followers in Matthew 5: 10-12. Specifically, the definition is explored through an examination of the structure and content of Matthew 5: 1 0-12, with particular emphases on the righteousness and kingship of Christ. Chapter 3 offers a comparative study of the conclusions of chapter 2 with regard to other New Testament works. Specifically, the conclusions of the regnal righteousness dynamic from chapter 2 are juxtaposed alongside studies in Mark, Luke- Acts, and Paul. Chapter 4 then places the results of the regnal righteousness dynamic for persecution against other diokological studies, including study by the Lausanne Conference for World Evangelism; study by Penner on discipleship related to persecution; and study by Ton on persecution and rewards. Chapter 5 seeks to apply the results of the research to the notorious test case of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Interacting with the work of Craig Slane on Bonhoeffer and Claude Foster on Paul Schneider, chapter 5 will show the practical effects of persecution studies.