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Why San Francisco's City Church is Wrong About Sex

The senior pastor and elders of City Church, identified as the largest evangelical church in San Francisco, will no longer require members to abstain from homosexual practice, so long as the homosexual activity occurs in the context of marriage. According to a letter written by senior pastor Fred Harrell on behalf of the Board of Elders, “We will no longer discriminate based on sexual orientation and demand lifelong celibacy as a precondition for joining. For all members, regardless of sexual orientation, we will continue to expect chastity in singleness until marriage.”“Our pastoral practice of demanding life-long ‘celibacy,' by which we meant that for the rest of your life you would not engage your sexual orientation in any way, was causing obvious harm and has not led to human flourishing,” the letter said. Continue Reading »

Jesus on Safari

It has been nearly ten years since Jaroslav Pelikan died and a full twenty-five since he completed The Christian Tradition, his five-volume, 2,100-page history of “what the church of Jesus Christ believes, teaches, and confesses on the basis of the Word of God.” Who was Jaroslav Pelikan, and why does his work remain so important for serious Christian scholarship today? Continue Reading »

What Newsweek Doesn’t Get About the Bible

Newsweek, in an article by Kurt Eichenwald, says that Christians who regard homosexual practice as sin (or who—horror!—favor prayer in public school) “are God’s frauds, cafeteria Christians,” “hypocrites,” “Biblical illiterates,” “fundamentalists and political opportunists,” and “Pharisees.” To support his slurs, Eichenwald first tries to undermine reliance on Scripture as a supreme authority for moral discernment and then to show how Christians, oblivious to the problems with biblical inspiration, ignore its clear teaching. Continue Reading »

Salt of the Earth

Salt of the earth” is one of the best-known phrases in the Bible, but it’s more enigmatic than we realize. Salt has many qualities, and it’s not clear which one Jesus is highlighting. Does Jesus want disciples to preserve the world? Are disciples as necessary to the world as salt is to life? Are disciples the seasoning on a main course dished up by someone else? Continue Reading »

Infinite Circle

Gratitude: An Intellectual History? by peter j. leithart? baylor, 350 pages, $49.95 Peter Leithart’s Gratitude: An Intellectual History is a creative, insightful, and ambitious book. It takes its point of departure from the voluminous literature on the subject of the gift. Though the topic . . . . Continue Reading »

Spirit in Flesh

God has come to the human race many times and in many ways. He came to form Adam from the dust, and he came walking in the garden after Adam sinned. He came to deliver Israel from Egypt, descended on Sinai to give the Law, and led Israel through the wilderness into the land. He came in judgment when his people polluted the holy land, and he came to stir the heart of Cyrus to let them go. Biblical history is filled with advents of God. Continue Reading »

A Biblical Vision of Marriage

Too often, we Evangelical Protestants have harmed our public witness and failed in fidelity by proclaiming the sanctity and permanence of marriage in one sentence before highlighting the “biblical” justifications for divorce in the next. Our current moment indeed requires us to testify to the male-female nature of marriage, but it also affords an opportunity. As we commend the biblical vision of marriage to our neighbors, we must not shy from aspects of it we have been loath to behold. It’s time we Evangelicals abandon our defense of divorce and embrace a biblical defense of marriage’s permanence. Continue Reading »

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