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Showing posts from July, 2018

Interpreting Romans 8 in Light of Paul's Use of the Old Testament

Introduction Romans 8 seems to include a reflection on several Old Testament passages.  While only one is directly quoted, Psalm 44.22 in Romans 8.36 , two others have been missed by commentators.  All three Old Testament texts have to do with suffering and pose a problem that needs resolution.  This essay seeks to demonstrate that Paul does, indeed, allude to Exodus 2.23-25 and Psalm 89 in Romans 8 , and it intends to show how observing these allusions will help to interpret his arguments.  Standard interpretations of Romans 8 do not benefit from understanding the role of these Old Testament texts for Paul. [1]   I intend to prove—to the extent that we can do so when speaking of allusions in texts—that these Old Testament texts focus our reading of Romans 8 on the corporate people of God, not individual salvation, explain the problem of God’s steadfast love in the face of suffering, and shed light on some of Paul’s Christology in this chapter.  Attention to these texts a

Regarding the 'Spiritual Friendship' Perspective and the Revoice Conference

My previous post addressed the 'Spiritual Friendship' and Revoice Conference (coming shortly in July, 2018).  The conference is being offered to support the recently developed 'Spiritual Friendship' view, which advocates a view of 'gay identity' without engaging in homosexual relations. Dr. Robert Gagnon has also recently addressed this view. Along with Rev. Dr. Don Fortson, I published a study of primary source literature on the issue of homosexuality in 2016: Unchanging Witness: The Consistent Christian Teaching on Homosexuality in Scripture and Tradition (B&H Academic) .   Dr. Robert Gagnon published his excellent, primary source study on homosexuality in 2002: The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics  (Abingdon Press).  Both works are available from Christian Book Distributors: In response to the 'Spiritual Friendship' view, I addressed the attempt to separate desire from acts in my post and poi

On the Attempt to Distinguish Desire from Sinful Acts

Introduction This blog post addresses the distinction sometimes made between desire and acts.  Some have used this distinction to suggest that only actions are sinful whereas the desire is not.  Such a distinction fails rather roundly in the court of Scripture, as this blog post will demonstrate.  Its application to sexual ethics, and to homosexuality in particular, has become a fateful error in pastoral counselling.  ‘Spiritual friendship’ is a recent view currently on offer.  It affirms being ‘gay’ as an internal good rather than an internal disorder while insisting that people not act out their same-sex desire.  The distinction between desire and sinful acts cannot, however, be Biblically maintained. On the contrary, the Gospel offers so much more. The Distinction between Desire and Sinful Acts Denny Burke and Rosaria Butterfield have recently addressed the distinction between desire and acts as an old distinction between Roman Catholic and Reformed teaching on sin. [1