July 19, 2016

On Violence in The Seed (a Follow-Up to My Review) with Erik Guzman

Erik Guzman

In my recent review of Erik Guzman’s The Seed, I mentioned one part of the book that I found troubling—the idea that God would have commanded Adam to commit an act of violence in order to take his rightful place in creation. However, I also pointed out that because it’s an allegory, I may have been pressing the symbolism further than the author intended.

After I posted my review, Erik took some time to chat about it with me on Facebook. So I thought I’d share some of our conversation (with his permission) in order to clear up some of what was bothering me.

July 18, 2016

The Seed by Erik Guzman (Book Review)

The Seed

I tend to read a lot more non-fiction works than novels. But how could I resist a book compared by so many others to C.S. Lewis, George MacDonald, and J.R.R. Tolkien?


Madeline and Roark live in constant fear of the shadow—a mysterious creature that appears to suck the life out of anything it touches. The shadow has been pursuing them for as long as they can remember, so they are constantly on the run.

Tatus’ life has also been forever altered. Many years ago, the shadow took his family. But rather than run, Tatus has chosen to chase the shadow, seeking his revenge. Tatus serves the flying serpent god named Wyrm, who gives him unnatural strength and longevity. And most importantly, Wyrm offers Tatus a way to destroy the shadow once and for all.

July 11, 2016

Lord Willing? by Jessica Kelley (Book Review)

Lord Willing?

This was a hard book for me to read. It’s also a book that has desperately needed to be written.

Every time a tragedy strikes, from the death of a loved one to a natural disaster, certain well-meaning but misguided Christians assert that God is in control of the situation. There’s a hidden reason, they suggest, why God would allow (or cause) this to happen. His ways are mysterious, but he’s working it all together for good. God is apparently trying to teach us something. It’s ultimately all for his glory.

So when you get a flat tire, don’t worry, God is in control. When an accident leaves you paralyzed for life, God caused it to happen for a reason. When a young girl is raped, God is working it all together for good. When a young boy is murdered, God is trying to teach us something. When an earthquake destroys countless lives, it was all for God’s glory.

I have no words to describe how contemptible I find this kind of theology.

July 5, 2016

A Gay-Affirming Christian, Part 4: Confronting the Clobber Passages

Bible

This is the fourth and final post in a series arguing for the legitimacy of LGBTQ relationships from a Christian perspective. It relies on the positive case established in the previous three posts. If you have not read them yet, please do so before reading this one.


Christians who claim that LGBTQ relationships are inherently sinful usually do so on the basis of a handful of texts in scripture, often referred to as the “clobber passages”: Genesis 1:27, 2:24, 5:2, 18:20–21, 19:1–29; Leviticus 18:22, 20:13; Deuteronomy 23:17–18; 1 Kings 14:24; Matthew 19:4–5; Mark 10:6–8; Romans 1:26–27; 1 Corinthians 6:9–10; 1 Timothy 1:8–11; and Jude 1:7.

July 3, 2016

What Did Jesus Think of the Revolution?

Washington Crossing the Delaware

More than two centuries ago, the founding fathers of the United States signed a document known as the “Declaration of Independence,” making official the American colonies’ break from Great Britain.

The colonists believed they were justified in this action—along with the bloody conflict itself—due to an increase in taxes without sufficient representation. In fact, many of them were convinced that God was on their side in the war for independence from their oppressors. Let the revolution begin!


A similar situation existed two millennia ago. Much like the colonists under British rule, the Jews were under the oppressive rule of Rome.

July 1, 2016

A Gay-Affirming Christian, Part 3: It All Comes Down to Love

Love

This is the third post in a series arguing for the legitimacy of LGBTQ relationships from a Christian perspective. The previous posts lay the foundation for having this conversation and consider the overall view of marriage in the Bible. If you have not read them yet, please do so before reading this one.


As Christians, we do not live under long lists of rules and obligations. We have only two laws: love God with all your heart and soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37–40).

June 29, 2016

A Gay-Affirming Christian, Part 2: The Biblical Case for Marriage

Jacob’s Family

This is the second post in a series arguing for the legitimacy of LGBTQ relationships from a Christian perspective. The previous post lays the foundation for having this conversation. If you have not read it yet, please do so before reading this one.


In the second chapter of Genesis, God observes the first problem in his creation, “It is not good for the man to be alone;” and he provides a solution, “I shall make a partner suited to him” (Genesis 2:18, REB).