Showing posts from June, 2014

Being Open Minded: A Response To Matthew Vines, God And The Gay Christian (3)

Argument number 1: 
"Condemning same-sex relationships is harmful to the LGBTQ community. Jesus taught on the Sermon on the Mount that good trees should bear good fruit."

Now I'm not the only one who has tackled this question. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries, Michael Brown of Fire School Ministries, and Christopher Yuan fromChristianity Today have all addressed this issue. However, because it is addressed by Matthew Vines I'm going to likewise tackle it.

The problem with the statement is that it works on a false premise and understanding of not only the entire Sermon on the Mount, but specifically chapter 7 where the words of Jesus being used come from:

"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree ca…

Being Open Minded: A Response To Matthew Vines, God And The Gay Christian (2)

Now I know my last post worked as an introduction to what I am planning on writing over the next few posts. However, I want this post to likewise work as a foundational background to addressing the coming arguments from (specifically) Matthew Vines, but also touch upon other writers such as Brownson and Countryman.

As I've addressed in my series A Manifesto to the Thinking Christian, I truly believe there is an epidemic in so called "evangelical Christianity" of understanding one's own faith. In order for Christians to be impactful in their culture today, they need to understand that the days of looking at deeper biblical issues like the holiness code (found in Leviticus 17-20), and leaving this to the biblical scholars are passed.

Anyone who wants to (and I believe more now than ever) and will be forced to engage in the society today has got to do the work and know the rich value in what is found within passages like Leviticus 18-20, Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6, etc.…

Being Open Minded: A Response To Matthew Vines, God And The Gay Christian (1)

One of my greatest aims in my Christian life is to be well rounded within my methodology of thinking. That is, when I study, examine, or explore a topic I take that topic from every angle. My first step is to ask myself what my underlying presuppositions are. The next step, and this is key, is to examine those presuppositions and then find literature, study, and scholarship from the opposing side.

I need to get into the head and ideology of those who oppose my views, not only to be able to defend myself against them, but to find out what their motivations and perspectives are. In this way I can truly challenge and reverse-engineer what I myself believe.

I think this is important, and feel challenged that not enough people do study in this way. It is far to easy to study those who agree with you. While this can make for careful study, it leads to unbalanced opinions and forms of argumentation.

But if you've read my blog before this shouldn't come as a surprise. I've done many…

Did Jesus Really "Become" God? An Answer To A Muslim And A Look At Bart Ehrman

I recently heard a Muslim say that the deity of Christ was a "progressive" idea. In other words, Jesus "became" God through the traditions of His followers (Christians) over the 400 years of His passing. This brought up a very interesting conversation, on a topic that thankfully I'm very familiar with.

I'm familiar with it for the simple reason that it is not a new idea, nor is it an original one. In fact, everyone's favourate secular Jesus scholar, Bart Erhman, recently put out a new book entitled How Jesus Became God - The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee.

For the purpose of this post I will be addressing Erhman's new book and hopefully it will provide a picture to the discussion that happened with my Muslim friend. I do this mainly because many learned Muslims take their arguments directly from scholars like Erhman, who make their living off of attacking the reliability and sufficiency of biblical truth-claims.

I've discussed Er…