πετροστελος

May 1, 2009

Debate at City of God rages on

At City of God the battle of words wages on. On one side, John, Dan, and Poserorprophet (a.k.a., Dan O.), who want to allow gay marriage and adoption. On the other side, others of whom I have been the most outspoken. I maintain that Poser is preaching a different gospel because he writes that the poor are a part of the Church by virtue of their poverty; Poser wrote:

I wouldn’t necessarily say that “the poor [are] incorporated into Jesus, the Messiah” but rather that Jesus, the Messiah, incorporated himself into the poor. Therefore, there is now an indissoluble and sacramental link between the poor and Christ. By choosing to identify with the poor, the marginalised, and the damned, Christ revealed to us that these people are priests, administering God’s presence to the world. Not only that, but Christ reveals to us that God has chosen to locate himself in and amongst the poor. … [snip] This means that the poor are counted as members of the Church, even if they verbally deny Jesus and assert that they do not want to follow him.

John responded regarding my comments at City of God:

Here is a comment worthy of consideration:

“P. W. Dunn has continually exploited Porp inasmuch as he has accused him with charges which Porp would never concede to as intentionally executing. His interpretations have often been irresponsible (given his education) and simplicitic; He has cognizantly incited people to anger and has continued to be largely and ignorantly intolerant of other people’s views. When his arguments fail to succeed he subtly abuses his interlocutor. He accuses people for things which he also is guilty, especially the so-called propagandic techniques.”

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April 23, 2009

Homosexual Incest?

Filed under: ethics — Petros @ 1:25 pm
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Here in Ontario same-sex marriage is now possible.  It is reasoned that a homosexual should not be banned from marrying the person they love.  That is unfair to people of same-sex sexual orientation.

Marriage in the 21st Century

Question:

What if a gay person falls in love with his brother or her sister?  Should they be allowed to marry?  Well, I’ve always heard that the reason for laws against incest are based upon the genetic deformities that result in the issue of such unions.  But since there is no fear of deformed offspring in the case of homosexual marriage, really there is no impediment to marriage between two brothers or two sisters.

But then the question becomes, why should a brother be allowed to marry his sister?  If a homosexual is allowed to marry his same-sex brother or sister, it would be discrimination to say that a heterosexual can’t marry her brother or his sister.

March 11, 2009

No right to happiness

Filed under: ethics — Petros @ 5:35 am
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A big part of the argument favoring homosexual marriage is that homosexuals do not choose to be their sexual orientation but are born thus.  Recognizing this, the proponents of gay marriage find that the traditional interpretation of the Bible hinders homosexuals from finding the same happiness that is available to heterosexuals in monogamous marriage.  This is innately unfair in their view.

Dan at the City of God wrote:

If we accept that people now marry for love and not so that your dad can form a business alliance or expand his property holdings or some such thing, then what I have trouble getting worked up about is the need to somehow run around and prevent gay couples from doing the same thing.

I responded thus:

From the perspective Western hyper-individualism, your point of view makes perfect sense. The greatest good is what makes me happy. Andy Crouch writes in Christianity Today (Dec. 2003), “… all of us have a sexual orientation that bends toward self, that tends toward self-justification, and that hides from a God we fear is not good enough to satisfy us.”

One reason that we need to uphold the authority the Bible is that we would otherwise be guided only by the excesses of our own generation and culture. C. S. Lewis wrote that we have no right to (sexual) happiness, and he was right. The happiness in a sexual relationship which the Bible makes exclusively available only to heterosexuals was not itself intended as the greatest good but as incentive towards a greater good, the building of a community whose ultimate purpose was to have fellowship with God. By turning inward to ourselves, we completely miss this point. Collectivist cultures, e.g. most sub-Saharan cultures, do not see the greatest good as lying in the individual and that could be a big part of the reason why they adamantly oppose homosexuality. We misunderstand the Bible when we read and judge it from our own individualistic obsessions; and at the same time we miss the point of God’s intention for humanity.

February 26, 2009

Societal Values undermine Christian Education

At City of God Dan raised (June 5, 2008) the question of why Christians should care about the legalization of homosexual marriage:

Provided that the rights of all religious groups are protected, I cannot fathom what the point would be in prohibiting same-sex marriage on the civil level.

Poser-Prophet responds to Dan that civil marriage is not sufficient, but that Christians must also permit homosexual marriage in the church.  One reason that he gives in opposition to Robert Gagnon, who believes that society will deteriorate as result of the acceptance of homosexuality, is that 40% of the kids living on the streets claim they are homeless because their parents could not accept their homosexuality, and most of those, he observes as a street worker, come from Christian homes.  He proceeds to condemn the behavior of these parents.

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February 21, 2009

Homosexuality and Health II

I received a couple reactions from my post on “Homosexualitiy and Health” at City of God.  The Poser-Prophet did not react, which is in keeping with his express refusal to debate me further.

John wrote:

It would be interesting to see if there are similar studies regarding heterosexual promiscuity and its ill effects on health. …

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February 20, 2009

Homosexuality and Health

Filed under: ethics,science and medecine — Petros @ 10:55 am
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N.B.: This post makes mention of an important article “The Health Risks of Gay Sex” by John R. Digs, Jr., MD (2002).  It is well-documented study by a physician who has first-hand experience treating homosexuals.

The discussion about homosexuality continues at the City of God.

Dan of City of God has solicited the opinion of those homosexuals who were brought up or desire to attend church.  Dan, the Poser-Prophet, has responded that because of the opinions expressed the City of God which are hurtful to homosexuals, they will not feel safe enough to comment.  This led me to make a comment about health issues of homosexuals which is related to promiscuity.  I wrote:

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February 18, 2009

Reclaiming the Bible for the Church, Book Review

Review of Carl E. Braaten and Robert W. Jenson, eds. Reclaiming the Bible for the Church. Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, 1995 (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1996).
by Peter W. Dunn

The Anglican Church, as many denominations, is experiencing a crisis of biblical authority. Let us consider the debate over homosexuality: There are those who would promote the acceptance and blessing of homosexuality, saying that the Biblical prohibitions of same-sex relations are based on an antiquated world-view, that the Bible must not be taken literally, or even that the Bible actually promotes homosexuality (Jesus also had a beloved disciple!).
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February 10, 2009

Matthew 18.15-20 in the light of the Dead Sea Scrolls by Peter Wallace Dunn

Matthew 18.15-20 in the light of the Dead Sea Scrolls (pdf), by Peter Wallace Dunn

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Christian Studies at Regent College, April, 1991, under the supervision of Dr. (now Prof.) Markus N. A. Bockmuehl.

Abstract

The Dead Sea Scrolls provide some remarkable parallel texts to Matthew 18.15-20. In a recent article, F. Garcia Martinez shows that previous studies of these parallels are inadequate because they assume that a dependent relationship exists between Matthew 18.15-17 (as a tradition unit) and 1QS 5.24-6.1. He suggests that further investigation of these parallels would be helpful in understanding Matthew 18.15-17, as a tradition unit and in its literary context. This study seeks to do the latter–to compare and contrast Matthew 18.15-20 (the full unit) in its literary context with parallels from the DSS, in order to come to a better understanding of the correction process in the Matthean community.

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February 7, 2009

Rev. Robert C. D. Brow, 1924-2008: A Tribute

 Robert C.D. Brow, 1924-2008

Rev. Robert C.D. Brow, 1924-2008

I was saddened when I learned yesterday of the passing of Rev. Robert C. D. Brow, whom I met while teaching at Ontario Theological Seminary (now Tyndale Seminary and College).  He had served as a priest in India, England, Canada, Cyprus, and Abu Dhabi.  Thus, his theological works, many of which are posted at www.brow.on.ca, should prove useful in many cultural contexts, particularly his Model Theology.  So I would definitely recommend his site to our readers.

Bob Brow was the father-in-law of Dr. Gregory Bloomquist (St. Paul University, Ottawa), who is serving on the doctoral scholarship committee of the Barnabas Venture.  I wish to express our belated condolences to the family.

He was the author of Go Make Learners: A New Model for Discipleship in the Church, (Wheaton, Illinois: Harold Shaw, 1981).  Available online.

Bob Brow co-authored with Clark H. Pinnock Unbounded Love: A Good News Theology for the 21st Century (Downers Grove: InterVarsity and Carlisle, Cumbria: Paternoster Press, 1994).

January 31, 2009

A partial response to Elisee Ouoba on the issue of the church's stance on abortion

Filed under: ethics,politics — Petros @ 9:46 pm
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I want to thank you for your commentary on the American church. It is useful, because as a doctoral student in America, you may be able see things to which we ourselves are blind. I am in Canada, so I am not aware of how such issues affect the church in the US except through my reading. I am not an anti-abortion activist. But I am opposed to the practice and I also see it as an important issue for judging the character of a political candidate.

With regard to abortions, the reason it makes no difference which party is in power is that the policy is no longer determined by a democratically elected legislatures; in 1973, the judicial branch, the Supreme Court of the United States, took away the authority to decide the legality of abortion from the legislative branches–this is an usurpation of democracy, taking the right from the people to form the laws that will govern them. The Supreme Court decision in 1973, Roe vs. Wade, wiped out all of the abortion laws in 50 states. It went from being a public policy issue to the privacy issue regarding woman’s right to do with her own body what she wants. There is a series of seminal articles on this subject in First Things November 1996.
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