Last week the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) met in Atlanta, Georgia for its 67th annual meeting. It is the first meeting of the ETS since the Supreme Court declared gay marriage to be a Constitutional right in its landmark decision Obergefell v. Hodges. How does ETS look now that we are inhabiting a post-Obergefell culture? Here are three snapshots that I observed and now pass on to you: Continue Reading →
Jonathan Merritt has published an interview that evangelicals would do well to take note of. In this piece for Religion News Service, Merritt talks to Mark Yarhouse and Megan DeFranza about their new books dealing with transgender and intersex respectively. Why is this interview important?
The interview highlights two books that represent a massive revision of biblical anthropology. I finished reading Yarhouse’s book about a month ago, and I am reading DeFranza’s book now. And their revisions are not benign. They represent a theological earthquake that for some reason has yet to register on the evangelical Richter Scale. The ideas aren’t new, but I think their mainstreaming within the evangelical movement is. What is the earthquake? Continue Reading →
Reparative therapy has become quite the hot potato in our national conversation about homosexuality. It is a therapy that focuses on orientation change for homosexuals, and many people view it as the Christian approach to homosexuality. But is that true? Right now there are at least two perspectives on this question among conservative evangelicals. Some believe it is a valid aid in discipleship and sanctification. Others do not. Who is right? Continue Reading →
Last Monday, a cadre of Roman Catholic theologians wrote a letter to the powers-that-be at The New York Times complaining about Ross Douthat’s unwashed views about Catholic theology. In particular, they were perturbed at Douthat’s remarks about marriage in the wake of the recent Synod on the Family. These theologians argued that a layman like Douthat had no business opining on things he is not credentialed to opine on. It was a snarky, elitist argument aimed at shaming the Times into silencing Douthat. Continue Reading →
I had the privilege of talking to the Lady, the Bear, and the Ninja about my new book that I wrote with Heath Lambert, Transforming Homosexuality: What the Bible Teaches about Sexual Orientation and Change. These three are the main personalities at Apologia Radio, and it was a stimulating conversation. Also, these guys are real characters and run a great show. You can watch the video here.
Many readers give very little thought to what they are aiming to do when they read a text. Most want to understand the meaning of the text, but very few could tell you what they mean by meaning. And that is a problem for a couple of reasons.
1. Some people define meaning as a reader’s response to what he is reading. Because there can be as many responses as there are readers, this theory implies that there can be as many different meanings of text as there are readers.
2. Some people define meaning as a property of the text without respect to the author who wrote it. This view believes that we can only learn the meaning of a text after we have learned the rules of the game–the norms of the language.
Neither one of these approaches is very helpful at the end of the day. To define meaning, we need to recognize that meaning is not a property of the text independently conceived. Nor is reading a property of the reader’s interaction with the text. Rather, meaning is defined as the message that the author intended to communicate at the time that he wrote.
That basic hermeneutical lesson is the one that John Piper explains so well in the video above. It’s Hermeneutics 101, and I commend it to you.
Several weeks back there was a bit of a dust-up in conservative Reformed Protestant circles over the following simple question: Does being a man or a woman have any ethical significance for the way we live together in civil society? Despite the success of feminism in radically reworking gender roles over the past half century, conservative Evangelicalism has maintained a modest conviction that our sexuality has ethical import. Certain New Testament passages compel conservative Evangelicals to maintain that women should not be pastors and that the husband is in some way the head of the home. The group of Evangelicals who hold to this, which readers will quickly ascertain is simply a boringly normal version of the historic Christian and Jewish teaching on such matters, are commonly called Complementarians. In their view, men and women are distinctive complements to one another rather than identical and universally interchangeable parts.
Continue Reading →
Donald Trump did an interview with CBN in which he elaborated his views on the Bible. In an earlier interview, Trump declined to reveal a Bible verse that has had an impact on him persoanlly. In this interview, he reveals one. You can watch the relevant clip above or read the transcript below. Continue Reading →