How significant is the argument that homosexuals are born that way? And, is it valid? In 2015 the Supreme Court decided that, against millennia of human history and biblical teaching, the definition of marriage should be expanded to include homosexual relationships. The case was Obergefell vs. Hodge, and Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion. In his reasoning, he demonstrated that the born that way argument held significant influence on his decision. He argued that it was important to give homosexuals the right to marry since homosexuals are born that way and can’t change.
Proverbs 22:6 has been interpreted in some circles as a promise to parents that if they do their jobs right, their child will never abandon the faith. However, this in turn has resulted in many parents feeling as if God has broken His promise to them when their child turns from the faith.
Train up a child in the way he should go:
And when he is old, he will not depart from it (Prov 22:6, KJV)
Although this verse has been used by many parents and church leaders as a promise, it is important to slow down and read this verse carefully.
Although incest is specifically prohibited by Leviticus 18, we often (unfortunately) isolate this text from its foundation. In biblical law it is important to understand the relationship between Law and creation to aid the process of application. In the case of incest, we need to understand that incest is prohibited because of its connection to Genesis 2:24.
Tracing the Language of Incest to Genesis 2:24
Leviticus 18:6–18 begins with the introductory phrase, “None of you shall approach any blood relative of his to uncover nakedness” (אִישׁ אִישׁ אֶל־כָּל־שְׁאֵר בְּשָׂרֹו לֹא תִקְרְבוּ לְגַלּוֹת עֶרְוָה). This verse functions as an introductory phrase which relates to the entire section on incest.
A natural question arises concerning Adam and Eve’s children. Who was Cain’s wife? If there were no other humans besides those who came from Adam and Eve, then by definition wouldn’t Adam and Eve’s children be committing incest? Cain would have no option except to marry his sister, which would be incest!
If Cain married his sister, that would seem to be wrong because of Genesis 2:24’s definition of a “one flesh” relationship? Cain is not the only one who might be guilty of incest by that definition. Abraham married his half-sister (cf. Gen 20:12). At the very least, this would seem to be poor planning by the Creator; at the worst, it would be a plan where the Creator causes His creatures to sin.
It is very popular in today’s evangelical culture to advocate living a “gospel-centered” life. Further, Christians are quick to remind others to “preach the gospel to yourself every day.” I think I understand what Christians mean by this, but I have seen a few problems that come from this kind of catchphrase Christianity. My goal is not to dissuade people from using these phrases, but to try to use biblical definitions to help others understand what living a gospel-centered life means.
What is covenant theology? This is a question I get periodically, so that it would be helpful to write a brief introduction on it. In the past I have defined the beliefs of dispensationalism (as well as the things that do NOT define dispensationalism). Thus, it is only fair now that I spent some time defining covenant theology.
Adherents of covenant theology claim that covenant theology is the natural outworking of God’s covenantal relationship with humanity. Although that general statement would find very few detractors, the details of covenant theology are often debated, even among proponents. Although Ulrich Zwingli is referred to as the initiator of covenant theology, it developed into a full-fledged system through the contributions of Zwingli’s successors. Within this system there is broad agreement as to how the system is constituted. Covenant theologian, Michael Horton, notes,
The historical evidence shows that infant baptism was regularly practiced from at least the 3rd or 4th century until the present day. One of the topics of discussion in the early church was how baptism could be an expression of faith when infants are not capable of expressing their own faith.
Of particular importance in this discussion was Augustine, who is well known for being the most influential theological figure of that time. In Augustine’s discussion of baptism, after having explained that baptism belongs to those who repent of their sins, Augustine addresses the obvious problem of what are infants repenting?
Is it possible that a loving God would allow evil? Think about the evil we see all around the world. Rape, murder, death, accidents, suffering—all evidences of evil. If God is in complete control (i.e., sovereign), how can we justify His love when He allows such evil?
This is a common argument brought forward by unbelievers. However, it is also a question that believers ask in the midst of suffering and evil. What should our response to this kind of statement?
There are a variety of ways one could define common grace. In Wayne Grudem’s systematic theology, he defines common grace as “the grace of God by which he gives people innumerable blessings that are not part of salvation. Common refers to something that is common to all people and is not restricted to believers or the elect only” (Grudem, 657).
This systematic category of common grace is worth exploring in Scripture because it teaches us of God’s blessing and mercy even to the unsaved. Sometimes the believer can mistakenly think that God doesn’t give blessing to unbelievers, but that is surely not the case. Because God is gracious and kind, those blessings do find their way to unbelievers in a variety of ways.
Communication is a complicated process. Not only are words involved, but tone, mood, and non-verbal signals are also a part of the process. Even within written communication examples of sarcasm, irony, jokes, and gloom all abound. Communication is complicated because it includes both words and emotion. This is why when we read Scripture, we must remind ourselves that we should not read as if Scripture were void of emotion or feeling.