If you enjoy reading The Bible here is something to meditate on from William Webb (pretty much my NEW hero)…

First of all I want to encourage you to purchase this book by William Webb…
Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis

“As one might suspect from its name, a key component of a redemptive-movement hermeneutic is the idea of movement. The Christian seeking to apply Scripture today should examine the movement between the biblical text and its surrounding social context. Once that movement has been discovered, there needs to be an assessment of whether the movement is preliminary or absolute (see criterion 1). If it is preliminary and further movement in the direction set by the text would produce a more fully realized ethic, then that is the course of action one must pursue. The interpreter extrapolates the biblical movement toward a more just, more equitable and more loving form. If a better ethic than the one expressed in the isolated words of the text is possible, and the biblical and canonical spirit is headed that direction, then that is where one ultimately wants to end up. The alternative, of course, is to work with an understanding of Scripture that is static.
A static hermeneutic does not interest itself in discovering movement. It is primarily interested in exegeting the text as an isolated entity and finding comparable or equivalent expressions (alternative forms) of how that text may be lived out in another culture. In the case of slavery, a static hermeneutic would not condemn biblical-type slavery, if that social order were to reappear in society today. Proponents of a static hermeneutic are generally willing to condemn American slavery, which was often worse than the biblical form, but they will not speak in a negative manner about the kind of slavery presented in the Bible. In the meantime, the household codes concerning masters and slaves are transferred to the modern context of employer/employee relationships. Equivalent admonitions of “obey” and “submit” are popped in like sure-fit items. This type of application process amounts to a rather wooden swapping of ancient-world and modern-world equivalents. When a static hermeneutic is pressed with the actual words of the slavery texts, however, it produces grotesque, mutation-like applications. Imagine taking the words of Peter and advising modem employees to accept physical beatings by their employers for the sake of the gospel (1 Pet 2:18-25). Or, think about instructing contemporary employers from the Pentateuch that, should they limit beating employees to within a hairbreadth of their life, they would not be guilty of legal reprisal (Ex 21:20-21). Or, maybe our modem world should consider handing out lesser penalties for sexual violation against an employee (= slave) than in the case of sexual violation against an employer or self-employed person (= free) (Deut 22:25-27; cf. Lev 19:20-22). These examples, of course, show the utterly ridiculous nature of a static hermeneutic. Even a static application utilizes a redemptive-movement hermeneutic of sorts, on a lesser scale, by its selective choice of that which can and cannot be carried over to our context.
One might be able to persuade a modern congregation into believing that employees should “obey” and “submit to” their employers based upon the slavery texts. This happens all the time. But the outcome reflects a tragic misunderstanding of Scripture. The rest of the slavery material, beyond the obey/submit instructions, is often left at arm’s length and simply not applied.  This kind of static approach to the slavery texts is not persuasive. In fact, the wooden nature of a static hermeneutic becomes a liability to any Christian seeking to live out their commitment to God’s will, as revealed through Scripture. Having discovered the movement of the biblical texts on slavery relative to the original social context, an extrapolation of that movement today leads to the abolition of slavery altogether. On this issue our culture is much closer to an ultimate ethic than it is to the unrealized ethic reflected in the isolated words of the Bible.

In addition to the complete removal of slavery, a redemptive-movement hermeneutic proposes quite a different way of applying the household codes in our modern context. A redemptive-movement hermeneutic does not argue that modem Christians apply the household codes through submitting to and obeying their employers. Such an application not only neglects the element of movement to a more fully realized ethic but overlooks fundamental differences between slavery and modem employee-employer relations. The most crucial difference is that of ownership compared to a contractual basis for working relationships. In the modern contractual setting we should not preach obedience and submission, but that Christian employees should fulfill the terms of their contract to the best of their ability in order to bring glory to God and enhance their gospel witness. In addition, a redemptive-movement hermeneutic seeks to reapply the spirit or movement component of the slavery texts relative to the surrounding cultures. Scripture sides heavily with the plight of the slave, the poor and the oppressed. This life-breathing spirit, which bettered the conditions for slaves in the ancient world, should also influence the application process today. Contemporary Christian employers, then, should not abuse their power in pursuit of bottom-line production but advance their businesses in ways that value their employees as people and encourage their productive contribution in humane and just ways. Working conditions, levels of income, and disparity between the rich and poor are all issues that the redemptive spirit, evidenced in scriptural movement, ought to impact as we bring these texts to bear on our modem world.”

William J. Webb. Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis (Kindle Locations 319-339). Kindle Edition.

What are your thoughts?

1. “A static hermeneutic does not interest itself in discovering movement.” What do you think about the idea that scripture is not static?

2. As we read scripture are we able to see the trajectory of a text not just the shooter or the place where the text is being shot from?


What is a Christian? “Can a Christian be a liberal? Short answer: no.”

Before we get started… here are my thoughts as seen though scripture, history and tradition. A Christian is a person who has heard, responded and does.

1. Heard: A Christian is someone who has heard the message of the person and work of Jesus the Christ.

2. Responded: responded by faith to turn away from the kingdom of self to the kingdom of God by following Christ through lifelong discipleship as a response to the message of what God has done for the world through the vicarious life, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus.

3. Does: A Christian will expressed this new life of faith through repentance, love of God and love of others within two communities

  1. God’s kingdom community called the church: This community (at it’s most basic form) is marked by love as it centers around and provides two necessary services to the body of Christ.
    • Baptism (community or kingdom identification with Christ’s death burial and resurrection)
    • The Lords Table (community or kingdom celebration of Christ’s atonement and return)
       2. The world: Everything outside of the church.

I read a popular article today from some guy named Doug Giles (below are some quotes and the link) and wanted to comment on what I think a Christian is (the short summary above). The article’s topic and contents made me pretty angry. I was hoping that we might discuss what the author of the article has added to what a Christian is so that any one who believes this crap will be healed.

Here is the link: http://clashdaily.com/2012/08/you-can-be-a-christian-or-a-liberal-but-not-both/

“Can a Christian be a liberal? Short answer: no.”

“For the “Christian” to lean politically to the left means that he must blow off huge chunks of the Bible and replace Scripture with the make-believe notions of PC’s malleable “Christ.” Only after torturing Scripture can the Christian then fit current liberalism into his supposed relationship with God.”

Is the Gospel an idea, culture, lifestyle or God in Jesus the Christ?

I am interested in what your thoughts are concerning this article.


Here are some questions that I have.

  1. Did you become a Christian through argumentation or love?
  2. Did Jesus call us to make disciples or decisions?
  3. What is the difference in proclaiming something in love and proclaiming something to win?
  4. Trevin Wax says… “We don’t proselytize. We evangelize. Proselytism is about getting someone to change from one religion to another. Evangelism is proclaiming the evangel – the gospel. It’s an announcement about the way the world is. Then we call people to bring their lives in line with that reality.”
    1. What does this mean “Evangelism is proclaiming- the gospel.”
    2. Is proclaiming only a polemic act?
    3. Is the Gospel and idea, culture, lifestyle or God in Jesus the Christ?
    4. Is the Gospel “an announcement about the way the world is.”?

Homosexuality and Scripture

Excellent presentation by a very well respected scholar! Thank you Ben Witherington.

I am in complete agreement with what Witherington presents here from scripture but i do have some questions and a small rant that has been rolling around in my mind for awhile now concerning homosexuality and the Christian response…

1. In light of the Gospel (The person and work of Jesus The Christ) why do we sound like moralists concerning this issue but not on many other sin issues? [By moralists I mean a people who follow a system of moral principles]

2. Why does behavioral modification seem to be a means of grace for homosexuals and not everyone else? (It seems like we are picking and choosing based on the “yucky factor”)

3. Is repent simply an evangelical synonym for behavioral modification?

4.  If our response to hearing the Good News is to turn and follow. What exactly does this look like?

Who doesn’t  hate the thought of being audited come tax season.  I remember talking with an acquaintance about taxes and after I told him how stressful it was he pulled his cigarette out of his mouth and looked at me for a minute with all seriousness and said… “really do you have something to hide? Is that why your worried?”  I remember walking off and thinking to my self  “you @$%!@#& jerk, NO! I’m stressed because taxes are complicated and I am afraid I could have made a mistake… were you born on another planet?… Mr. Perfect Man?

Anyways… when issues like homosexuality come up for some reason some pretty understanding, peaceful, loving and kind Christian’s begin to look (in my opinion) a lot like tax accountants and their churches must look a lot like the department of the IRS or CRA. Full of people who smoke just ready to try to figure out what you have done wrong.  I could imagine being a fall ridden (Rom 3:23), law broken (2 Cor 3:6) sexually confused person (which every honest person is as a result of the fall and the law) looking for grace and being really confused by some “Christians” who seem to have this whole “tax thing” figured out and love to make people feel unconformable who don’t.

Some people ACT like they will hold up well come audit day. Those people might laugh, mock or over simplify the complexities of this fallen world full of fallen people doing and thinking fallen things but in the end I won’t be putting my money on behavior modification when I stand before the great tax agent in the sky… I will be thankful for his Son Jesus just like I am thankful for H&R Block (well that is until H&R Block messes up, LOL).

Four Stages of Faith Development… any thoughts?

Brian McLarens spin* on the four stages of faith development,

1. Simplicity

2. Complexity

3. Perplexity

4. Humility

He says… “Each stage enfolds, embraces, integrates, and revalues the gains of previous stages, and, in so doing, rises to a higher level.”

Q: Have you seen evidence of this, presumably universal human pattern, in your walk with Christ?

Q: How does an understanding of his four stages effect the way we interact with one another as a community?

Q: Do you agree with his four stages?

Q: Would you add or take away from this list?

*Fowler’s stages of faith development

The evangelical medium over message delemma…

Here are some example questions that seem to create conflict in and among certain evangelical circles in regards to medium over message.

  1. Is bible software a bible?

  2. Are forms of communication like email, Facebook, e cards, Etc. the same as a written or typed forms?

  3. Is an e-reader a better tool for reading?Image

  4. Can art-work be a form of evangelism?

  5. Is “texting” a question during the Sunday morning service different from putting one on paper and placing it in a question box?

Here are some questions I would love to dialogue over…

Q: Does it seem, for the most part, that evangelicals (my sphere of influence) place more emphasis on the medium than the message? In other words does the form of our communication seem to be more important than the message?

Q: Have you seen any other forms of this issue among evangelicals?

Q: What, in your opinion, is the cause of this “medium over message” dilemma?

Q: What, in your opinion, would be some effective ways to overcome this dilemma?