The result of his faith crisis and educational interest in the behavioral sciences prompted Dr. Stokes toward a life long passion for understanding and developing theology. His theological knowledge is a result of personal studies, courses, seminars, thousands of books, dialog with theologians and pastoral ministry. In addition, his formal education culminated in a dissertation on Messianic Judaism requiring additional study and research into Judaism, early and historical Christianity and their theological similarities and differences.
My faith crisis and return and the encouragement by Rev. Dr. Harold Coble to return to school worked together to force me to reconsider all of Judaism and Christianity. Ultimately, I could not bring myself to pick one and reject the other. A Judeo-Christian faith had developed within me and I could not separate them. It was like having divorced parents who had moved on but I could not let the marriage end.
In the process of his own journey, Dr. Stokes discovered the Messianic Movement and decided to use traditional anthropological approaches to studying the movement. As a participant-observer,he participated in and observed the movement in America and Israel for several years and then completed his dissertation as an anthropological perspective on the movement. As with all anthropologists, his study effected him as well and his own Judeo-Christian faith is now an integral part of the scholarship of the Messianic Jewish Movement. He serves a both a critique and an encouragement to the movement at several levels and within several organizations. He continues to publish articles and other works on the movement and his congregation, The DiscipleCenter serves as a Gentile mirror image of the movement bringing its message and influence to the Church.
In addition, Dr. Stokes has served on the translation committee of the New American Standard Bible update and contributed to the translation from a pastoral and scholarly perspective especially related to the Jewish world view of the writers of the New Testament Books.
Areas of Theological Interest and Scholarship
Theology as a Behavioral Science
Ritual and Liturgy in Worship
Judaism and Christianity
Jewish Christian Dialog
Religion and Sexuality
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