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Showing posts from February, 2018

When Marriage is No Longer Understood as a Moral Act

Is marriage a moral act?
Not all acts are moral acts.   I am using the term ‘moral act’ not in the sense that it is moral rather than immoral but in the sense that it is subject to moral definitions and is not simply amoral.  The distinction is between amoral acts and moral acts.  For acts to be moral acts, whether immoral or moral, we have in view moral actions, the moralcharacter of the actors, and the moral consequences.  We develop an entire ethic as a society that embraces views on actions, character, and consequences and which expresses them in its laws.  When, however, we remove the notion of an act being a moral act and still try to develop a morality around character and consequences, the results are very, very disturbing.  This is the case with Western society’s experiment with making marriage a mere act—an amoral act—while still holding to ethics of character and consequences around the issue of marriage.
Before examining this point in regard to marriage, let us take anoth…

When Use of the Diagnosis 'Spiritual Abuse' Becomes a License for Bad Pastoral Care

The Evangelical Alliance in the United Kingdom has recommended against use of the term ‘spiritual abuse,’ a term that has been promoted by advocates of the ever-present issue of homosexuality.[1]  Clearly, there is an agenda on the part of those trying to silence orthodox Christianity: the intention is to turn historic Christian teaching on homosexuality into ‘spiritual abuse’ and then to silence, even criminalise, it.  The EA worries that the phrase ‘spiritual abuse’ is vague and incoherent.’
There is no question that anything (such as enshrining the phrase ‘spiritual abuse’) proposed by Jayne Ozanne will have an anti-orthodox and anti-Biblical agenda and should be seen for what it is.  She is one of the primary spokespersons for undermining orthodoxy in the Church of England in our day, a campaigner for the distortion of Christianity by encasing it in postmodern, Western culture, particularly on issues of sexuality and marriage.  The EA is right to challenge her and others trotting o…

The Seminary as an Academic Community

A seminary forms several, overlapping communities for the purpose of serving the Church.  These communities are: an educational community, a spiritual community, a ministerial community, an academic community, and an interpersonal community.  Such communities clearly overlap in several ways with the Church—and with churches—and this is a positive point and calls for various, ongoing discussions to foster the relationship.  Yet there are distinctions between what the Church and churches can offer and what a seminary, serving the Church, can offer.  Here, I intend to discuss the seminary as an academic community.
The Academic Community:
While a distinction between an educational community and an academic community is somewhat forced because the two overlap significantly, some distinctions are important to make.  An academic community may, for example, be research-oriented rather than educationally oriented.  There are times when an educational institution suffers because fa…

The Anti-Naturalism of Western Culture

Western culture has increasingly followed an anti-natural trajectory.  If Modernity ruthlessly sought answers in science—or what it thought was ‘scientific’ (as in its imaginative constructions in the humanities)—an alternative anti-naturalism has come into ascendency in postmodern times.  This is not an ivory tower debate.  It plays out in children’s classrooms, adoption agencies, public policies, university campuses, denominations, views on immigration, hiring policies, and on and on the list goes.  The rejection of nature is the definitive characteristic of our age—despite all the contradictory worries about climate change and the environment.
The French existentialist philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre, argued for an authentic existence that did not fall entirely to the side of facticity or, alternatively, to the side of transcendence.  One should acknowledge the facts while not being bound by them (Being and Nothingness).  As an existentialist, his primary concern was to deny that we, …