Thursday, May 16, 2013

Christianity Today Gleanings: Pastors' Positions on Creation vs. Evolution Vary by Region, Church Size

Christianity Today Gleanings: Pastors' Positions on Creation vs. Evolution Vary by Region, Church Size

BioLogos (a theistic evolution organization) sponsored this study. I find the results interesting, but also praise the resolve of the pastors who continue to believe in Biblical creation (YEC). See Chart below (click for larger version):

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

John Piper on the Femininity of Women

John Piper (theologian)
John Piper (theologian) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
John Piper recently answered a question in a podcast about if he used Bible commentaries by women, and his answer in a nutshell was yes since he couldn't see them. This set off two different blog posts, one over on Christianity Today's Her.meneutics blog, and the other by Rachel Held Evans. I think Piper makes a good point in suggesting that I Timothy 2:12 is directly speaking of direct contact with women teachers and because one does not see the woman teacher or she is not directly teaching men face to face, this makes it okay. As a complementarianism myself, I will tend to agree with Piper up to a point, but I think something got lost in his explanation when he added the "not seeing the woman, so it makes it okay" bit. Some might disagree with me here, but I think this is where both Pietka (on the Her.Meneutics blog) and Evans struggled with Piper's answer.

Evans, as usual, really takes Piper to task as a hypocrite on this issue. Of course, she's also of this new wave of liberal Christian feminism, where husbands submit to wives, and vice versa, but it seemingly seems the woman is controlling this. As well, in her world, there is nothing wrong with women holding leadership positions over men in the church, despite the Biblical prohibition in 1 Timothy 2:12. Pietka is more kind in her words, and yet takes Piper to task for a whole another reason, and that is suggesting that Piper has an obsession with women's bodies. She writes,
"Piper's affirmation, consequently, of women who teach indirectly and impersonally shows his overt rejection of and implicit obsession with women's bodies. He makes it seem impossible that a man could listen to a woman's biblical insights in her presence without being distracted by her femininity."

I don't think that's the problem, but that's her perceived problem, whereas Evan's problem is more theological, although she'll probably state it as cultural as well. She simply has problems with complementarianism, but that's another issue all together. Regardless, Piper stirred something up within the Christian feminist community, but there's something we need to examine here ourselves. Is Piper right on this issue? There's just something that's been nagging me about it.

I see no problem with reading women's commentaries on Scripture, whether it's Beth Moore, Kay Arthur, or others. It's not because I can't see them or because they are not directly teaching me in a Church setting. It's simply because I believe that Godly women do have something to say to us. We can and should learn from all who might have an insight.  Paul was referencing a Church teaching setting, I believe when he wrote 1 Timothy 2:12. He referenced the women in Timothy's life as people he learned from. There were women in the Bible who were teaching a discipling. Learning from Godly women is not a bad thing. But our reasoning should not be because we don't see them. It should be because they do still have something to say, whether we are complementarian or not.

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Culture Is Not the Problem

Ken Ham - Answers in Genesis
This past weekend, we had the opportunity to attend the 2nd Annual Teach Them Diligently homeschool convention in Spartanburg, SC which featured speakers such as Ken Ham, Lou Priolo, Stephen Kendrick, and other well-known speakers/authors from the homeschool community. I attended a number of Ken Ham's sessions, of which he laid out how the Church has lost a measure of authority, because many pastors are teaching their congregations that Genesis 1-11 are not entirely true. While churches are teaching that the coming, death, and resurrection of Jesus are absolutely true, they are leading their congregations astray by allowing science to dictate what is "true" about the origins of the universe and mankind. I've known this for some time, as I've read pieces by Tim Keller detailing his views on how Genesis 1 means one thing with regards to creation and Genesis 2 is something else. I doubt he does that with the rest of scripture. The Christian group, BioLogos, exists to link evolution, millions of years, and the Bible together. In fact, this was the whole reason the Teach Them Diligently conference was started last year because a similar conference in South Carolina had an issue with Mr. Ham calling out Peter Enns on this very issue.

In short, Mr. Ham's point was that because the Church has decided that they would use a different hermeneutic in interpreting Genesis 1-11, we have lost and are losing the so-called "Culture Wars." How? Because we have no more credibility when we don't fully interpret the Bible correctly. We lose on marriage because Genesis 2 and 3 details God creating the marriage of man and woman, not man and man, or woman and woman. Why we need a Savior is in Genesis 3. If we start interpreting the Bible according to what Science says, how can we have much credibility? How can we justify the need for a Savior if we say we came from apes or that dinosaurs could not have been created the same day as man?

The Church is the problem in that they are not teaching the whole counsel of God. They have lost the full meaning of the Gospel message by not correctly interpreting the Bible. They don't want the Bible to say what it means or mean what it says. They want day in Genesis 1 and 2 to mean something other than day when it doesn't mean something other than day in the rest of the Bible. Let's stop playing around with man-made science and look at God's science and what he really says about His creation and get down to the real Gospel. When we start giving out the real Gospel, only then can hearts truly start being changed.
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