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Showing posts from June, 2016

The Centurion's Gay Lover?

Ian Paul goes into great detail debunking numerous myths and falsehoods surrounding the story of Jesus healing a Centurions servant in Luke 7:1-10/ Matt 8:5-13 and the way it is used in the church's debate around sexuality. Well worth a read.
The rhetorical move here, via the story in Luke 7, is that, far from the traditional reading of the NT where same-sex relations are rejected as incompatible with the kingdom, gay people don’t simply become acceptable in the kingdom; they become the archetypal members, in much the same way that Jesus holds children before the disciples as archetypes of kingdom membership. So rejecting this is not just a problem of rights; it is rejecting the central way that God pursues his kingdom purposes.

The Miracle of Thiselton's Theology

I now repent of all my unbelief and cynicism. If you need any further proof of supernatural intervention in human affairs it is this:

The man who required 1492 pages to write a commentary on 1 Corinthians.

Has managed to cover the entire Christian faith (and atheism!) in only 467 pages in his Systematic Theology.

Having read Thiselton on a few occasions I can relate to the reviewer who complained:
Thiselton tries to elucidate his subject using terms and concepts that are as difficult to understand as the original subject, if not more so. The chap is just too smart for most of us to follow and too hard working for most of us to keep up with. We rejoice if he has been triply blest now with the spiritual gift of brevity!

(seriously though, he is an amazing scholar and is always well worth reading)

12 Reasons for All Age Worship

I know 12 reasons sounds like a short sharp and succinct blog post, but it aint. Thaliakr will take you on a long and winding tour of the twelve reasons in the second longest blog post known to humankind. Still, there is lots of helpful reflection and practical suggestions in there.
Since my time as pastor of West Baptist (2008-2011), I’ve become a huge fan of all-age church, where everyone is all in together, and people of all ages are warmly invited to engage in what’s going on. I’m not talking about a place where the kids are allowed to be in the room but expected to be quiet and do colouring-in. At West Baptist, there’s no separate Sunday School, and everyone of every age is actively included and considered in how things are done, on Sundays and beyond. This system was already in place when I arrived. I was a bit sceptical at first, but now I reckon it’s fantastic – and truly possible for most communities.

Ben Myers Campaigns against Unnecessarily Slanted Words

This is funny, but also points to a genuine issue of modern communication: The felt need to ram home your point instead of trusting the reader to do the work of appropriating it for themselves.
The overuse of italics has, today, reached plague proportions. Writers sprinkle their sentences with italics merely because they would like you to notice these particular words. But if I am reading the sentence, how could I fail to notice those particular words? Why, author, do you need to give me such emphatic and overbearing guidance? I am already reading your sentence; I am already committed to it; I am already willing to hear what you have to say.

What I Think About the Orlando Shooting

Sometimes being a Baptist pastor can be uncomfortable as people hear other Baptist pastors saying things in the media and wonder if that is what you think too. The Baptists are a very broad church with divergent beliefs and practices across the globe. So if you are concerned about what I might be thinking, here is what I do think. I'm not speaking for anyone else here.

1. Every person who was killed was a precious child of God made in God's image. Every death was a terrible tragedy and waste. Our world is terribly broken by sin and needs a saviour.

2. For whatever motive, and it seems complicated, the killer targeted these people because they were part of the LGBT community, this is therefore a hate crime against LGBT people as well as an act of terrorism. Those who try and downplay this are badly mistaken. Regardless of your beliefs on personal sexual morality we should all be saying: this was not acceptable, we love and accept LGBT people as part of our society, we must keep…

Using the Trinity to Keep Women in their Place

While there are some reasonable (if ultimately unconvincing to me) arguments for the complementarian position there is no excuse for the sort of mummery where one tries to argue such a position from the Trinity. This novel doctrine is known as Eternal Functional Subordination (EFS). It is, to coin a technical phrase, arse-backwards (and this goes for any other attempt to prescribe human activity based on what the Trinity is like). Don't miss Darren Sumner as he takes those turkeys to task:

The EFS mode of reasoning is what Barth decried as human projection misidentified with divine revelation. Ware takes a human cultural construct and, mistaking it for revelation, reads it upward into the life of God by means of an analogia entis. When he in turn derives from this divine relation a proscription for human gender relations, the circle is complete and the exercise in natural theology is made infinitely more egregious. Ware first reads the authority-submission structure from creatur…