Lost In Translation

mistranslation

Courtesy of the http://www.lonelyplanet.com/blog/

My latest column titled, “Lost in Translation” is available for your reading pleasure, here!.

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Is Male-Male Homosexuality Forbidden?

male-maleI’m in the process of moving a number posts and articles that appeared in a previous (local-hosted) version of this website. This paper (see link below) was written when I served on our synod’s committee studying the issue of gay marriage and the ordination of practicing homosexuals.

It presents what I would argue is the correct view of the Levitical texts cited as prohibiting homosexual behavior.

Abstract

Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 have been interpreted as constituting a general prohibition against male homosexuality. I show in this paper that the prohibition is exquisitely specific in that it applies only to anal sex between two males.

The paper is technical, but an easy read if you care to trust my translation. If you find the going heavy, post a note in the comments section and I’ll try to explain it as best I can.

Male-Male Homosexual Intercourse

Now, go and study

Posted in Biblical culture, Moral values, Sexuality, What the Bible Really Says | Leave a comment

Spiritual but not Religious

spiritual-v-religous

I would like to direct you to David Mills’ article, Spirituality Without Spirits in which Mr. Mills deconstructs the claim of being “spiritual but not religious“. He sets the stage thus:

So we find Lady Gaga, the pornographic songstress, telling a reporter for The Times that she has a new spirituality just before taking her out for a night at a Berlin sex club. Asked by the reporter, “You were raised a Catholic — so when you say ‘God,’ do you mean the Catholic God, or a different, perhaps more spiritual sense of God?”, she responded, “More spiritual. . . . There’s really no religion that doesn’t hate or condemn a certain kind of people, and I totally believe in all love and forgiveness, and excluding no one.”

I don’t think Ms. Gaga or anyone else who talks like this has really thought it through. That God who forgives everyone and excludes no one doesn’t object to debauches in Berlin sex clubs — a point in His favor  from [Lady Gaga’s] point of view. But then He doesn’t object to murderers and torturers and corrupt bankers either. A point in His favor from no one’s point of view.

It’s a somewhat long article, and if you are not inclined to clink the link above, here is his conclusion – take it to heart

The man wasting away from pancreatic cancer will get no help nor comfort from the “spiritual,” which will seem a lot less friendly and comforting when he feels pain morphine won’t suppress. He has no one to beg for help, no one to ask for comfort, no one to be with him, no one to meet when he crosses from this world to the next. [Such a man] wants what religion promises.

And he is right to do so. The dying man is the true man, in the sense of being the one who reveals to us what we essentially are. We are on our death bed from the day we are born. To paraphrase Pascal, dying men want not the God of spirituality, but the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Now, go and study

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The Meaning of “The Kingdom of God”?

Dr. Mark D. Roberts, Senior Director and Scholar in Residence for Laity Lodge near San Antonio, Texas, has begun a series entitled “What is the Kingdom of God?” Here is his teaser:

The kingdom of God has been equated with all sorts of things in the last two millennia. Some have claimed that it is heaven, and that Jesus was saying, in so many words, “Now you can go to heaven when you die.” Others have understood “the kingdom of God” as referring to the Church. From their perspective, Jesus announced the beginning of the age of the Church. Still others have seen the kingdom of God as a world infused by divine justice. They have taken Jesus’ announcement as a call to social action. In recent times, “spiritually” inclined people have reduced the kingdom of God to inner awareness of one’s divinity. Like the ancient Gnostics, they understand the good news of the kingdom to mean “You are divine.”

The advent of the Kingdom of God was, according to Dr. Roberts, the foundation of the teaching of Jesus. If you claim to follow Jesus and do not understand His conception of the Kingdom, then it’s hard to imagine what you mean by “follow”. In my own view, Dr. Roberts’ characterization of Jesus’ teaching is absolutely correct – and the implications of what this means to live the Christian life are profound. Put another way, if Dr. Roberts is correct (and I think he is), then living for the Kingdom is manifestly not how we order our lives today.

Here’s a hint: the Kingdom of God is not a place. And if you are intrigued, you would do well to Dr. Roberts article.

Posted in Bible Study, Heaven, Kingdom, Theology | Leave a comment