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The Costly Love of God

 I recently had a brief conversation with my nurse practitioner about church.  I mentioned I knew a church in the area where she grew up.  She replied that she was Catholic growing up but would now be Unitarian if anything.  She then explained, 'I just believe in loving everyone.' I have thought about this brief exchange for the past few days as it is full of interesting points.  First, she implied that churches with commitments to doctrine or ethics are not as loving.  Second, the exchange begged the question, 'What is love?'  Her version of love is, undoubtedly, a product of a relativistic worldview that values toleration, acceptance, and diversity.  It might be called, 'permissive love.'  For her, permissive love is the highest version of love.  Third, her concept of love did not need God but was humanist.  We should love one another unconditionally and, if there is a god, then that god's love needs to look like our permissive love. So, what kind of love
Recent posts

Open Letter to First Lady Michelle Obama about Abortion and 'Womxn'

 Dear First Lady Michelle Obama, So much discussion about abortion is in the news today in anticipation of a Supreme Court decision that is expected to return legislation on abortion to the states.  In this regard, I note with regret your comment, "State lawmakers will have the power to strip womxn [xic] of the right to make decisions about their bodies and their healthcare."  Might I briefly clarify four matters of biology? First, a child in the womb has a different, though related, DNA from the mother.  Therefore, a choice to abort the child is not a choice about the mother's body so much as about her son's or daughter's body.  The child inherits one chromosome from each parent, making a separate individual.  Any decision to take the life of the unborn child is a decision about the child's life.  Stripping a woman from the so-called 'right' to make decisions about terminating someone else's life is hardly a decision about her own body.  Inciden

The Impending End of Evangelicals in Mainline Denominations

  We seem, at long last, to have reached the end phase of Evangelicals leaving mainline denominations. The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia voted on 10 May, 2022 on their understanding of marriage.   A Biblical and historical Christian understanding of marriage between a man and a woman was rejected—not by the laity or the clergy but by the bishops in a vote 12-10.   The response of the orthodox Christian bishop and chair of GAFCON Australia, Richard Condie, and the text of the defeated statement on marriage, may be found here . Various issues arise around this failure of the Anglican bishops, but one is the ongoing fellowship of orthodox Christians with false ‘brothers’—a problem Paul dealt with clearly and decisively in 1 Corinthians 5.   This false partnership has followed every mainline denomination over the past half a century at least, and the result is always the same in the end: after a great loss of membership, the denomination eventually splits.   The purpo

Why Christians Celebrate the Life of the Unborn and Say that Abortion at Any Stage is Wrong

As Christians, our witness to the culture involves speaking and living out our faith in the public square even when the cultural context is opposed to us.  This involves our view about life itself being a gift from God, even before birth.  We have, therefore, remained consistently opposed to abortion through the centuries and distinguished from many cultures on this issue.  (Only in recent times have the post-Christian, mainline denominations (and rebellious individuals like Joe Biden or Nancy Pelosi) approved of abortion and other ethical views that are nothing more than an adoption of the present-day culture and a rejection of Scripture, historic Christianity, the Church, and God Himself.) Various cultures find ways to make killing the innocent morally right, even a moral duty.    The conclusion is what is important; the reasoning is irrelevant--only some path chosen to get there.    Abortion is not merely permitted; it is made into a moral good.    It is justified by the culture, th

Platonists, Stoics, and Paul on Gender Fluidity, ‘Side B Christians,’ and ‘Conversion Therapy’

  In Greek and Roman antiquity, every form of sexual expression that is now on full display in society was present there as well.  Descriptions of celibacy, marriage between men and women, pre-marital sex, prostitution, adultery, divorce and remarriage, rape, pederasty, pedophilia, homosexuality of both men and women, men identifying and dressing as women, homosexual marriage, bestiality—and whatever else one might add—are all present in the literature.  Some of the arguments in regard to these practices developed as applications of philosophical schools of thought in this pre-Christian era.  This essay compares and contrasts Paul’s understanding with some aspects of Platonism and Stoicism and then expands this to contemporary discussion of gender fluidity, so-called ‘Side B Christians,’ and ‘conversion therapy.’ Platonism Platonic philosophy, for example, saw the particulars (this chair, this kind of justice, this love) as expressions of ideals or universals (‘Chairness,’ Justice, Lov

Letters on the Ban on Conversion Therapy

 I offer two letters addressed to the Rt Hon Boris Johnson, MP, and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.  Both letters attend to the question under discussion about so-called 'conversion therapy' for persons who are internally disordered in their sexuality.   The letter in the left column is a copy from a post-orthodox, progressive author in the UK, along with a few other signatories of like mind.  It is copied from: https://anglican.ink/2022/04/05/rowan-williams-urges-boris-johnson-to-ban-conversion-therapy-for-transgendered-individuals/.  The letter in the right column is from this blog and expresses a Biblical understanding of conversion, using language from Paul's letters, 2 Peter, and the Book of Common Prayer.  It represents an orthodox, Evangelical understanding of conversion that has been held by the Church since apostolic times.   The letter on the left is not recognisably Christian and offers no Christian hope to sinners.  Only in a laboratory scrubbed clean of a

The Church and Western Tribalism (2021), by Rollin G. Grams

The Church and Western Tribalism  is a collection of essays by Rev. Dr. Rollin G. Grams on the challenge that postmodern, post-Christian, Western culture poses for the Church and Christians.  Part of the shift in Christian missions in the 21st century has been to stop thinking of missions as 'from the West to the rest,' and part of this change in thinking involves a clear understanding of what the Church's mission to the West (and all those areas of the world that have been shaped by it) is.  Persons interested in this book will find it on this blog's book shop (https://bibleandmission.blogspot.com/p/bookstore.html).  What follows is the book's preface and table of contents. Preface   Seismic shifts in Western culture have taken place since the 1960s.   We struggle to understand what these changes are and how to articulate them.   The argument in this book is that the present state of Western culture might be described as ‘postmodern tribalism’—a developed and lat