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The Curiosity Index (11.01.2019)

The “Judge Judged in Our Place”: Substitutionary Atonement Reclaimed A challenge here from Roger Olsen: If a person rejects substitutionary atonement I only care about two things: 1) Has he or she grappled sufficiently with the New Testament identifications of Jesus Christ with the “Suffering Servant” of Isaiah? and 2) Has he or she really understood traditional, historical substitutionary atonement correctly? I often find these tasks not yet finished by those who out of hand reject substitutionary atonement—often because they cannot seem to escape the distortions that surround it in…

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Links 

The Curiosity Index (11.09.2018)

China Bans Zion, Beijing’s Biggest House Church Religious freedoms in China are coming under increasing pressure. Is Anyone Born Gay? Christopher Yuan tackles a difficult question. Who Wrote the Book of Genesis? Tremper Longman III has a crack at answering this one. A full-scale Lego supercar that actually drives I love that they gave the driver a crash helmet. When the Earth Opens Up Oh. My. Goodness.

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Christian Living 

Morality, debating opponents and the future of Christianity

It is by no means a novel insight to declare that the great testing ground for western Christians in the 21st century is in ethics. What is moral? What is sin? What is holy? What is right? It is in these areas that the witness of the Bible and of the teachings of the church are being put most severely to the test. It is most evident in discussions about sexuality and gender. Specifically homosexuality and transgender. But these are just the last & present pressure points. It’s a bit like waves…

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Articles 

Same-sex marriage: where now?

Proof, if any were needed, that progressive politics has triumphed in the court of public opinion throughout the West came when a different court delivered its verdict on same-sex marriage. The US Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 decision extending marriage to couples in same-sex relationships is, arguably, the most important decision to date given the enormous cultural influence of the US. The speed of change has been remarkable, yet one that is, so far, almost entirely confined to ‘western’ nations (South Africa perhaps the most notable exception). It will be the subject of…

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Articles 

There’s nothing to see here

In the 80s comedy Naked Gun Leslie Nielsen stands in front of an exploding firework factory while urging the onlookers to ‘move on, nothing to see here’ who aren’t going to go anywhere. This has been pretty much the experience of evangelicals in the western church over the issue of same-sex marriage. Mark Galli tries to make this point in a Christianity Today editorial that two billion Christians believe marriage is between a man and a woman and have done for two thousand years. Move on, nothing to see here. The problem…

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Articles 

Strong tides

It’s not news to say that western society has long since left behind traditional Christian sexual ethics. As society has changed and churches have increasingly encountered people who reject the tradition, so churches have attempted to adapt and re-evaluate their tradition. These sweeping changes have created a sizeable distance between society and church. There are changes in worldview. Tim Challies quotes Nancy Pearcey about why Christians struggle to communicate effectively on the issue of sexuality: It’s crucial for us to realize that nonbelievers are constantly filtering what we say through a…

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Articles 

Out in the cold

The Western world is undergoing a sociological revolution (although Pascal Emanuel Gobry argues it is a reaction to the Christian revolution). This will become very clear to us in a generation. Values, ethics and modes of operating and functioning in society are in many areas being transformed and nobody knows what the result will be. No one possibly can. It could be 150 years before things fully play out, as the same Gobry, points out (ironically in this article, he talks of social-revolution. Make your mind up Pascal). In all likelihood…

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Evangelicals, gender & homosexuality: part 2

I’m not sure how many posts on this blog could be seen as prophetic, but there’s reasonable grounds for seeing this one  (written just a week ago) as prophetic. Thanks Steve Chalke. I argued that those who have a justice hermeneutic regarding the issue of gender are very likely to see homosexuality in exactly the same light. I quoted Krish Kandiah who said, “As an egalitarian I believe that leadership roles are available to men and women in the church, this does not lead me to change my views on…

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