Extracurricular Activities — October 19, 2013
Cohick has previously published several books and articles, including Ephesians in the New Covenant Commentary series, Women in the World of the Earliest Christians, and The New Testament in Antiquity. I spoke with her about her latest project, as well as her experience as a woman in the field of biblical studies.
When I was a seminary student I didn't come across many commentaries written by women...Although women still face challenges as a minority in evangelical scholarship, are there any benefits of being a female in your field?
I would say it's almost a double-edged sword. I get invited to speak or to write a chapter in an edited volume, and oftentimes there is a presumption, or it's even directly stated: "We need a woman." We need a woman on this panel, or we need a woman speaker because the last three years we've had men.
I don’t mean to be the conscience of the Christian music industry, but there is another popular song that left me dismayed and wanting to say something. So here I go.
“Forgiveness,” by Toby Mac and featuring Lecrae, who really should know better given he rapped on the Heidelberg Catechism, repeatedly says “we all need forgiveness” “Cause we all make mistakes sometimes, and we all step across that line.”
No. Mistakes are what happens on a math test when we forget to carry the one. Or when we write “it’s” when we really meant “its” (can you tell I’m grading papers?). Or when we send out Brandon Weeden because the only player we have who resembles a starting quarterback tore his ACL and it doesn’t matter anyhow because our season is already ruined and we’re just hoping for a high draft pick.
The Spirit, then, is a light to us in three ways: by exposing our guilt, by illuminating the word of God, and by showing us Christ. Or to put it another way, as Divine Light, the Holy Spirit works to reveal sin, reveal the truth, and reveal glory. When we close our eyes to this light or disparage what we are meant to see by this brightness, we are guilty of resisting the Spirit (Acts 7:51), or quenching (1 Thess. 5:19) or grieving the Spirit (Eph. 4:30). There may be slight nuances among the three terms, but they are all speak of the same basic reality: refusing to see and to savor what the Spirit means to show us.
There are, then, at least three ways to grieve the Holy Spirit—three ways that may be surprising because they correspond to the three ways in which the Spirit acts as light to expose our guilt, illumine the word, and show us Christ.
As I write these words, the Holy Spirit is moving mightily around the earth, saving lost sinners, bringing rebels to repentance, healing sick bodies, setting captives free and, above all, glorifying the name of Jesus. According to pastor John MacArthur, however, this is actually “a farce and a scam.”
In his new book Strange Fire, he claims that this work of the Spirit actually represents “the explosive growth of a false church, as dangerous as any cult or heresy that has ever assaulted Christianity,” and he calls for a “collective war” against these alleged “pervasive abuses on the Spirit of God.”
Yes, Pastor MacArthur has branded the charismatic movement a “false church” and is calling for an all-out war against it.
Watch Out, Pastors: Barna Finds Millennials Use Technology to Fact-Check Your Sermons, Among Other Things
The one-way communication from pulpit to pew is not how Millennials experience faith. By nature of digital connectedness, Millennial life is interactive. For many of them, faith is interactive as well—whether their churches are ready for it or not. It’s an ongoing conversation, and it’s all happening on their computers, tablets and smart phones. What’s more, many of them bring their devices with them to church. Now with the ability to fact-check at their fingertips, Millennials aren’t taking the teaching of faith leaders for granted. In fact, 14% of Millennials say they search to verify something a faith leader has said. A striking 38% of practicing Christian Millennials say the same.
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