How to Make the Benefits of Family Life Accessible to LGBT People
“In the day-to-day details of navigating Christian obedience with a gay orientation,” observes Nate Collins in his new book All But Invisible, “we do not have turn-by-turn directions to tell us where to go, but only landmarks that confirm we’re on the right track” (83). [See more of Nate Collins’ traditional view on sex and marriage at the start of this post.]
One of those landmarks Collins would like to recapture is the notion of vocation to guide discussions about what it means to be gay and Christian. Collins explains, “when the Bible refers to a particular behavior or pattern of living as a ‘gift,’ it is highlighting the calling or vocation that the gift represents to those who have it” (85)—including marital status. As with all gifts,…
Biblical Counseling vs. Christian Counseling: What’s the Difference?
This post is adapted from Heath Lambert’s Theology of Biblical Counseling online course.
There are some Christians who disagree that the Bible should be used to help us solve our counseling-related problems.
Christians who rely—to one degree or another—on the counseling insights of secular people have been called integrationists, Christian counselors, and Christian psychologists—among other things.
I want to show how the decision to be a Christian counselor is a theological decision. In order to do that, I will describe areas where biblical counselors agree with our brothers and sisters in Christian counseling, as well as some areas where we disagree.
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“Who Am I?” Personal Identity in an Age of Identity Angst
After certain events changed Brian Rosner’s life dramatically, he had lost his sense of self and was forced to revisit the most personal of questions:
Who am I?
Out from this one question tumbled a number of others: How do your circumstances affect your sense of self? What makes you, you? What is a human being, anyway?
Leveraging his own personal experiences, Rosner addresses these questions in his new book Known by God. It tells the story of his own crisis of identity and the comfort he found in being known by God in an age of identity angst—a sense in which people are no longer sure who they are.
In our day and age the question of personal identity is subject to two powerful but opposing forces. On the one hand, nothing…
4 Reasons Why Faith vs. Science Is a Myth
“Tonight we will be talking about faith versus science. Our first guest is a former University of Oxford professor, evolutionary biologist, and bestselling author. He believes that science, not faith, holds the answers to all questions. On the other side of the aisle we have Joe Smith, who will speak for the legitimacy of faith and Christianity. Joe homeschools his kids, thinks Oprah is the Antichrist, and lives in a swamp” (23).
It does to Mark Clark. As he explains in his new book, The Problem of God, culture often portrays faith at odds with science: “science is about thinking, evidence, and rational justification, while Christianity and faith in general are about evading evidence and clinging to nonrationality” (25).
Gender & Sexual Identity: We Need a Fresh Perspective for Our People
For many years the intersection of gay identity and Christian identity in the United States was a virtual no-man’s land. Nate Collins is one of the more recent voices bridging that gap with his new book All But Invisible.
While similarly focused books emphasize the biblical and theological issues surrounding faith, gender, and sexuality, he provides a renewed vision of gospel flourishing for LGBT people by speaking from his own experience as a gay man in a mixed orientation marriage.
Collins is committed to helping churches include LGBT people in the family life of the church. But first, he addresses two big-picture problems facing Christians who want to explore identity questions at the intersection of faith, gender, and sexuality.
1) Vision Problem: The Abundant Life for LGBT People
This first problem is…
2 Crucial Lessons the Western Church Can Learn from African Christianity
Francinah was born into a family of traditional spiritual healers of African traditional religion who were strongly opposed to Christianity. In time she herself became one of these so-called sangomas.
But over the years Jesus revealed himself to her in visions, delivering her from the power of ancestral spirits, convicting her of the sin of her abortions, and commissioning her as a prophet to spread the gospel. In a radical display of obedience, she destroyed all items associated with her work as a sangoma and ancestral spirituality, and began to preach wherever she found herself.
Moss Ntlha tells this important story in his new book, Out of the Shadows of African Traditional Religion. He hopes Francinah’s story will be of help…
What Are the Top 10 Problems People Have with God?
Whether because of #FakeNews or post-modern relativism, our post-truth world posses a significant challenge to Christians who want to share their faith.
How does one speak into and reach a culture like that with the gospel?
Good question, one pastor Mark Clark takes on in his new book, The Problem of God, a handbook answering skeptics’ challenges to Christianity. Each chapter addresses one of the top ten God questions of our present age culled from a popular sermon series. Nearly a thousand skeptics showed up for it and never left. Clark thinks he knows why:
[B]ecause Christianity answered their questions, and their longings, better than anything else. They saw that it presents a rational and…
Was Katie Luther Spiritual? The Piety of the Reformation’s First Lady
In Katie Luther, Ruth Tucker introduces us to Katharina von Bora, wife of Martin Luther and First Lady of the Reformation.
This is not the sweet and submissive, subdued and godly woman many assume the great Reformer married. Instead, we discover a strong, independent woman whose voice echoes among modern women, wives and mothers who have carved out a career of their own.
Last week we learned five notable things about Katie—including that she was a nun who escaped her convent and a businesswoman who ran a brewery and inn. But what about her faith? When we consider her husband Martin’s profound spiritual nature imbued by a deep love for theology and the Bible, does Katie’s piety come up short?
As one person put it, “Her piety is more…
5 Things You Need to Know About Katie Luther
They say behind every great man is a great woman.
The same holds true for Martin Luther. And Ruth Tucker wants to introduce her to you in her new book, Katie Luther, First Lady of the Reformation. In it, she shows how, save for Martin Luther himself, Katharina von Bora was one of the most indispensable figures of the German Reformation:
Take her and their twenty-year marriage out of the picture, and his leadership would have suffered severely. Had it not been for the stability she brought to his life, [Martin] may have gone off the rails emotionally and mentally by the mid-1520s…Only Katharina von Bora—no other woman—could have accomplished what she did with this most unstable man. (11–12)
So who was this great woman behind the great Martin Luther? Here are five…
How to Apply the Bible to Your Life in Four Steps
One hallmark of biblical interpretation is the meant-means distinction: we need to determine what the Bible meant (to the original author and audience, in their context and culture) before understanding what it means (to us in our context and culture).
Authors William Klein, Craig Blomberg, and Robert Hubbard echo this hermeneutical rule in Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, Third Edition, a fully updated resource to help students unravel the mysteries of interpreting Scripture.
One of those mysteries is the means side of the equation: how to apply the Bible. The authors explain that “all applications must be consistent with the meaning of passages arrived at by means of…sound hermeneutical principles” (609). But how can one make the connection between what a passage meant, as determined…
2 Views on Human Evolution: Evolutionary-Creation vs. Unique-Origin
Discussions surrounding Christianity and science have been fraught with taut rhetoric and polarizing polemics on both sides of the aisle. The new Dictionary of Christianity and Science aims to shape these conversations by offering a framework for better dialogue.
Perhaps in no other discussion do we need such a sure, sturdy referee than in the one surrounding human origin. Through the Dictionary‘s “Multiple-View Discussions” entry type, two able scientists lead the discussion: Darrel R. Falk and Ann Gauger.
Below, we’ve engaged one aspect of their lengthy, robust discussion: the genetic evidence for so-called common descent—the view that our species, Homo sapiens, descended from ape-like ancestors.
We trust it will give you a taste of this definitive reference, showcasing why Scot McKnight says “Every Christian studying science will want a copy within arm’s…
Darwin, Darwinism, and the “Dictionary of Christianity and Science”
That tension, however, hasn’t stopped Paul Copan, Tremper Longman, Christopher Reese, and Michael Strauss from offering the church and academy a new reference resource for the intersection of the Christian faith and contemporary science.
The Dictionary of Christianity and Science (on-sale 4/25/17) engages the crucial faith-science topics of the day. From Adam and Eve to the age of the earth, Big Bang to bioethics, string theory to the Scopes trial, this definitive resource offers you access to over 450 concepts, individuals, and debates, displayed in three types of entries:
Introductions offer quick and easy overviews Essays present further exploration of significant topics Multiple-view discussions stimulate discussion through vigorous, charitable, persuading points-of-view articles
To give you a…