After last week’s primetime interview with Bruce Jenner, it is hard to ignore the normalization of transgenderism in our culture. With an ever-increasing advocacy of “erotic liberty,” Christians need to understand what transgenderism is and how the gospel of Jesus Christ brings hope to the trans community, even as the gospel brings pardon and purity to all of us.
To help you think about these matters, I’ve found and listed below a dozen helpful articles on transgenderism. Some of them introduce the subject and provide the medical details, others engage culture and provide insight on how to apply the gospel to this growing area of discipleship. I pray they may help you think biblically about this issue and even more to develop a loving burden for transgender people.
“Why It’s Best to Avoid to Avoid the Word Transgendered” by Katy Steinmetz (TIME) — Admittedly, this article plays into the hands of those who work so hard to control our speech and thus the way we think about subjects related to the transgender community. Nonetheless, it is helpful to beware of how the language is at work around us.
“The Not-So-Unified Narrative of the LGBT” by Evan Lenow (CBMW) – In this JBMW essay, Evan Lenow, professor of ethics at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, shows how the social and political aims of Lesbians and Gays conflict with those Bisexuals and Transgender persons. At its heart the sexual liberation movement is not a unified movement.
Since Julius Wellhausen suggested that the first five books were not written by Moses, there has been an endless discussion between biblical scholars about the first eleven chapters of Genesis. Some have suggested that it is a compilation document written over time from the various viewpoints of various redactors. For others, its poetic form proves that it is mythological account of creation, on par with other pagan etiologies. However, following the likes of G. K. Beale, it seems best to see any interaction between Moses and other ancient Near Eastern religions (and there certainly was familiarity and interaction) as polemical attempts to esteem Yahweh-Elohim as the sovereign creator of all things.
There are many reasons for affirming the historical nature of Genesis 1-11 and the singular authorship of Moses, but perhaps one of the most awe-inspiring is the literary arrangement of Genesis 1–11. Borrowing from the observations of others, let me suggest two suggestive patterns in Genesis 1-11 that show how carefully Moses, schooled in Egypt and inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote a record of Creation, Fall, Judgment, Salvation, and New Creation. Continue reading →
Highlighting the facts about, Joe Carter reminds us of who Noah really is and not just who Hollywood would make him out to be. Beginning with the literary construction of the Noah narrative in Genesis 6-9, he writes,
The story of Noah is told is chiastic parallelism (or chiasmus), a figure of speech in which the order of the terms in the first of two parallel clauses is reversed in the second. If you assign the letters A and B to the first appearance of the key words or phrases and A’ and B’ to their subsequent appearance, they follow what is commonly referred to as an A-B-B-A pattern.
A chiasm in the story of Noah and the flood (Genesis 6.10-9.19):
A Noah (10a) B Shem, Ham, and Japheth (10b) C Ark to be built (14-16) D Flood announced (17) E Covenant with Noah (18-20) F Food in the Ark (21) G Command to enter the Ark (7.1-3) H 7 days waiting for flood (4-5) I 7 days waiting for flood (7-10) J Entry to ark (11-15) K Yahweh shuts Noah in (16) L 40 days flood (17a) M Waters increase (17b-18) N Mountains covered (18-20) O 150 days waters prevail (21-24) P GOD REMEMBERS NOAH (8.1) O’ 150 days waters abate (3) N’ Mountain tops become visible (4-5) M’ Waters abate (6) L’ 40 days (end of) (6a) K’ Noah opens window of ark (6b) J’ Raven and dove leave ark (7-9) I’ 7 days waiting for waters to subside (10-11) H’ 7 days waiting for waters to subside (12-13) G’ Command to leave the ark (15-17) F’ Food outside the ark (9.1-4) E’ Covenant with all flesh (8-10) D’ No flood in future (11-17) C’ Ark (18a) B’ Shem, Ham, Japheth (18b) A’ Noah (19)
After this literary point, Carter lists eight other facts about Noah, the Ark, the animals, and the Bible. To his nine, let me add two more theological considerations. Continue reading →
While America watches prosperity preachers on the new TV series “Preachers of L. A.,” John Piper drives the point home that such ‘Christianity’ is not Christianity at all. It is idolatry.
In opposition to the false claims of riches offered by the prosperity gospel, true Christianity teaches you how to suffer and to say “God is enough.” Any message that offers Jesus as a means to another end—health and healing, wealth and wisdom, or prosperity and pleasure—is a false gospel.
Jesus is the end of the gospel.
He is the pearl of great price. He is worth selling everything to gain, he’s worth losing everything to keep him. He is the center-piece of the gospel, and there is nothing better behind him. He calls himself the door in John 10, but it is not because behind him is a better prize. In him is the fullness of God, and when we enter through him, we come to the Father, who like the Son is the goal of the gospel.
Paul Simon once sang that their are 50 ways to leave your lover—a practice I’m not endorsing—and today there are just as many ways to make a baby, almost. According to Joe Carter, in his weekly post on bioethics, there are at least thirty-ways to make a baby. He writes,
Until the 1970s, all but one child ever born was the result of sexual intercourse; today, there are at least thirty-eight ways to make a baby. In an attempt to conquer infertility we’ve developed dozens of methods, a veritable alphabet soup of acronyms, to create a child: IVF, IUI, ICSI, DI, AI, ET, etc.
I had no idea that there were and are so many ways to bring children into this world. Of course, these reproductive technologies may help many infertile couples to be parents, but they also create innumerable ethical difficulties. Continue reading →