Monkeys Are People Too

Despite the title of this post, I don’t believe that “monkeys are people too.” Nevertheless, an ABC news report says that some people think that they are. This is one you’ll have to see to believe.

According the report, people are “adopting” monkeys and living with them as their surrogate “children.” These people call these adopted monkeys their “babies,” and they even dress them up like little infants.

The stories of these “adoptions” ought to scandalize anyone who still cares about the sanctity of human life. Is it any wonder that human life is so devalued in our culture when there are people who do not know the difference between people and animals? They are like the Ninevites of old, “persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?” (Jonah 4:11).

This report is a sign of the times.

Adopting Monkeys – Part 1

Adopting Monkeys – Part 2

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Gender Talk on “The Albert Mohler Program”

Yesterday, Dr. Russell Moore hosted a discussion of biblical manhood and womanhood on “The Albert Mohler Program,” and I was pleased to be a guest along with my good friend Jim Hamilton. You can hear the show at AlbertMohler.com, at the show’s podcast, or at the player below.

[audio:http://www.sbts.edu/MP3/totl/2008/AMP_06_30_2008.mp3]

At the beginning of the program, Dr. Moore mentioned that he had been in the Dallas area to deliver some messages at Denton Bible Church. Not only that, he offered a noteworthy tribute to Tommy Nelson, the pastor of Denton Bible Church: Continue Reading →

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Gun Rights and Hermeneutical Confusion

In today’s Washington Post, Eugene Robinson posts his reflections on The Supreme Court’s recent declaration that gun ownership is an individual right. In essence, Robinson says that The Supreme Court interpreted the second amendment correctly but that he would nevertheless favor restrictions on the right to bear arms. The meaning of the Constitution is clear on this point, he says. Robinson just disagrees with the Constitution.

What caught my eye about Robinson’s column, however, was the last two paragraphs. He writes: Continue Reading →

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Let’s Get Technical: The Meaning of authenteō

WARNING: This post is going to be a little bit technical. Enter at your own risk!

Commenters under my previous complementarian posts have been debating the meaning of authenteō in 1 Timothy 2:12—whether it has a negative meaning (“usurp authority, domineer”) or a neutral one (“exercise authority”). In particular, the comments have called into question the work of Henry Scott Baldwin who has argued that authenteō does not have a negative meaning.

Continue Reading →

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Gender-Debaters Point the Finger at Themselves

Christianity Today has published two essays in which an egalitarian and a complementarian point the finger of critique at their own movements. John Koessler represents the complementarian point of view, and Sarah Sumner represents the egalitarian.

I’m not going to comment on this exchange point-by-point. But I do have a question about one of Koessler’s statements. He writes:

“When God created humankind in his image, he created them to be male and female (Gen. 1:27). It is often said that men and women bear the image of God equally. But it might be more accurate to say that men and women bear God’s image together. Men and women collectively reflect the divine image; one without the other is incomplete.” Continue Reading →

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Dobson Says Obama Distorts the Scripture

Dr. James Dobson sharply criticized Senator Barack Obama yesterday on the “Focus on the Family” radio program. If you missed it, this is one you’ll want to hear. Among other things, Dr. Dobson said of Obama, “He’s deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology.” Dobson says that Obama is “dragging biblical understanding through the gutter.”

Dr. Dobson is responding to a speech that Senator Obama gave in 2006 in which Obama compares Dr. Dobson to Rev. Al Sharpton. You can listen to the broadcast below, or visit CitizenLink.org and listen to it there.

[audio:http://focusfamaction.edgeboss.net/download/focusfamaction/c4daily/2008-06-24-daily-c4.mp3]

The speech to which Dobson is responding is the one that Obama gave at a conference hosted by Jim Wallis in 2006 (read transcript here). I wrote about the speech a couple of weeks ago. Dr. Albert Mohler wrote about Obama’s speech a couple of years ago.

Dobson’s response was uncharacteristically sharp. His urgent opposition to Obama’s candidacy is worthy of note, given his usual, friendly reserve. At the end of the day, Dobson is right. Obama does twist the scripture, and he does so in support of public policies (like gay “marriage” and abortion) that are not consistent with what the Bible teaches. Thus, Dobson was right on the money in confronting Obama.

“Dobson accuses Obama of ‘distorting’ Bible” – by Eric Gorski (Associated Press)

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UPDATE!

Senator Obama has responded to Dobson with these words: “I think you’ll see that he was just making stuff up, maybe for his own purposes.”

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Bruce Ware’s Complementarian Reading of Genesis

On Sunday, Dr. Bruce Ware delivered one of the finest, most succinct presentations of the Complementarian point of view that I have ever heard. His address was the second of a Complementarian series of sermons being hosted by Denton Bible Church (the first address is here). The message is deeply biblical and powerfully delivered. The audio is available from DBC’s website, or you can listen to it below.

The substance of Ware’s address consists of ten reasons “why we should affirm that God designed there to be male headship” in the original created order. In essence, Dr. Ware explains how Genesis 1-3 teaches male headship as a part of God’s pre-fall creation.

There is much that I could say in commending this sermon, but I want to focus here on one thing that I really appreciated—Dr. Ware’s method. Dr. Ware explains the meaning of the Genesis creation accounts not only by appealing to the historical sense of the text, but also by reading it in light of the apostle Paul’s comments on Genesis. Thus, Dr. Ware moves back and forth between Genesis and Paul’s writings to explain the creation accounts.

The theological and hermeneutical presupposition undergirding Dr. Ware’s approach is worthy of note. Dr. Ware assumes that the New Testament’s interpretation of the Old Testament is normative. In other words, Dr. Ware treats Paul’s interpretation of Genesis as an authoritative and binding interpretation. This is not a presupposition that characterizes the mainstream of biblical scholarship. Most critical scholars treat the New Testament and the Old Testament (and the individual books within them) as if they represented different and sometimes contradictory theological perspectives.

Unfortunately, this critical way of reading the Bible has infected much of what passes for evangelical scholarship. Some evangelical Old Testament scholars have bought into the interpretive assumptions of their guild so much that they no longer feel any need to understand how the Old Testament’s message fits into a canonical unity with the New Testament. For them, the New Testament’s interpretation of the Old Testament is a problem for the NT scholars, not the OT scholars.

Dr. Ware’s presentation offers a reading of the Old Testament that takes the New Testament’s use of the Old very seriously. For this reason, not only is Dr. Ware’s interpretation of Genesis countercultural, but so is his hermeneutic.

UPDATE: It has come to my attention that two liberal websites, Ethics Daily and Religion Dispatches, have published scurrilous, patently false accounts of Dr. Ware’s message. For example, the article at Religion Dispatches falsely reports:

Ware said that women victims of domestic violence were often to blame for their own abuse because they were failing to submit to their husbands’ authority. Men’s sin came in response to their wives’ lack of submission, becoming either abusive or passive: equal failures in the eyes of Ware and many complementarians, who see men who fail to “lead their families” with proper authority as morally deficient as those who rule with too heavy a hand.

This is not true. As indicated above, I listened carefully to Ware’s sermon, and this report is just not true. Dr. Ware said no such thing. In fact, he said the opposite. He said that abusive husbands are responsible for their own sin. But you don’t have to take my word for it. You can listen to the message yourself at the link above.

I should also add that in a private correspondence about these false reports, Dr. Ware wrote to me the following: “These words are his/her [the reporter’s] distorted interpretation of what I said.  I did not say these words and I reject altogether what this statement puts forth.”

Bottom line: These reports are an example of what the Bible calls “bearing false witness” (Exodus 20:16). Both Ethics Daily and Religion Dispatches would do well to retract and apologize for these false stories.

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Not-so-evangelical Evangelicals

You’ll be hearing a lot about a recent survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Among the most disturbing findings is that 57% of evangelical church attendees say that they believe many religions can lead to eternal life. Watch NBC News’ coverage above, and then read the “Summary of Key Findings.”

Dr. Albert Mohler talked about the survey on his radio program today. You can listen to the audio below, or download it from AlbertMohler.com.

[audio:http://www.sbts.edu/MP3/totl/2008/AMP_06_23_2008.mp3]

Also, David Van Biema interviewed Dr. Mohler about the poll for Time magazine.

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