The Hate Behind the Nashville Statement

A group of Evangelical leaders released the “Nashville Statement” on gender and sexuality last month, sparking a host of outrage (and the formation of response statements like Christians United). What may be less immediately obvious, however, are the groups behind Nashville’s drafting.

The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood drew signatories for their release from organizations such as The Gospel Coalition, the Southern Baptist Convention with its seminary and college (Boyce), Together For The Gospel, and a variety of schools, churches, and public figures. The CBMW itself appears to be cross-pollinated by mutual publicity and financial ties to many of these. Notably present within the list of signatories are the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Family Research Council, both deemed hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

I sincerely doubt all of the Nashville signatories would agree to the kind of work engaged by the ADF, which has included the criminalization of non-heterosexuality, and the FRC, which defames gays and lesbians. I say I doubt this, because signatory pastors like Francis Chan claim an increasingly compassionate, thoughtful, and loving approach toward those with whom they disagree (whether that’s actually true or not).

However, it could be that the CBMW and its more controversial signatories are not-so-strange bedfellows Read more “The Hate Behind the Nashville Statement”

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Allen reviews The Openness of God, though review is a strong word

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This was a fascinating read. The authors attempt to make a clear distinction between a biblical portrayal of God’s relationship with the world and the influence of Greek philosophy upon Christian theology, specifically in regard to God’s experience of things like time, change, emotion, and knowledge.

Read more “Allen reviews The Openness of God, though review is a strong word”

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My Life With Night Terrors, Demons, And “Alice In Wonderland Syndrome”

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

-Lewis Caroll, Alice in Wonderland

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My Childhood Demons

Peering out from beneath a pile of stuffed animals, I saw the shadowy figure sitting at the foot of my bunk bed. It stared at me from between the rungs of the ladder which led up to my snoring little brother; I felt the shadow watching me. A few days later, two more shadows would join the first and crowd around me.

I sunk further into my animals, desperate to avoid its gaze.

So goes my earliest memory and the beginning of my night terrors.

Until age ten, night terrors were a routine part of my childhood. Read more “My Life With Night Terrors, Demons, And “Alice In Wonderland Syndrome””

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The Spirit Doesn’t Protect You From Stupidity

If there is one thing the book of Judges teaches, it’s this:  God’s Spirit doesn’t prevent you from doing something stupid.

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Which turns out to be really good news.

But we’ll get to that. Read more “The Spirit Doesn’t Protect You From Stupidity”

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The Christian community validates Jesus’ legitimacy (or at least it should)

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This is the transcription of a sermon that I preached at Elk Grove Congregational Church on 6/29/14. It is, in fact, the first transcript I’ve ever shared and the form is different from what I normally post on an irenicon.
[Lectionary: Jer 28:5-9   |  Mat 10:40-42]

Good morning, friends.

Thank you, James, for this opportunity to speak and, as he says, “it’s better when we’re together.” It’s good to be with you all.

My name is Allen and, as some of you know, I am a recent seminary graduate. In my past life I was a youth pastor, had even received my bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies, but attending Seminary has given me a  new (and ever growing) appreciation for the significance of what we do.

It’s a big thing to speak the words of God.
It’s a big thing to identify as a Christian and claim to know that God would have us do “X” or that God would have us do “Y.” Read more “The Christian community validates Jesus’ legitimacy (or at least it should)”

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