In recent decades universal reconciliation (UR) has sharpened its attack on evangelical faith. By their fiction and nonfiction, and by film (The Shack), universalists such as Paul Young, Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, and others are propagating the idea that the love of God trumps all other attributes of God including his holiness and justice. From this starting point universalists believe that all people are born as children of God, that all are going to heaven, that all must embrace God’s love. Those who reject God in this life will repent after death and escape hell. Even the devil and his angels will repent from hell and go to heaven. Universalism is an old idea. Christians have confronted UR since the third century and refuted it as heresy—heresy because UR believes that faith in Jesus is unnecessary. Thus, the death of Jesus Christ as an atonement for sin becomes unnecessary. Through his acquaintance with Paul Young, De Young is increasingly concerned that Young and other universalists are misleading many. In this book De Young challenges all the arguments that universalists make—their appeals to the Bible, to logic and reason, and to church history—and shows that they are unconvincing.
Sex. We live in a world that loves it without understanding it. This book clearly explains the truth about sex and winsomely responds to society’s evolving views on human sexuality and gender. From marriage to birth control, homosexuality to singleness, What is the Meaning of Sex? sets forth a distinctly Christian perspective, equipping you to engage our confused culture with a God-glorifying vision of human sexuality.
Ours is a time of rapid cultural change with new economic challenges. People look to their governments for leadership and solutions. But what can and should government do to meet the difficulties that beset a nation? What can citizens expect from their elected representatives? What is reasonable? And what should citizens do? What are their responsibilities? This book addresses such fundamental issues through the eyes of Scripture and against the backdrop of North America's dual heritage of Christianity and humanism. Government, politics, and the Bible do not seem like a good mix. But as this book aims to show, the Bible has much wisdom to teach us about the place and role of government and its citizens. Biblical principles work because God knows how his world and his servant governments are supposed to function. After all, he ordained the governing authorities, and the principles enunciated in his Word are timeless and remain practical. This book introduces fundamental biblical principles that apply to government and politics. The intent is to inform and to motivate the reader to get involved where possible in the political processes of the day. Our legislators need the input and help from their knowledgable Christian constituents.
This is an introduction to African Christian Ethics for Christian colleges and Bible schools. The book is divided into two parts. The first part deals with the theory of ethics, while the second discusses practical issues. The issues are grouped into the following six sections: Socio-Political Issues, Financial Issues, Marriage Issues, Sexual Issues, Medical Issues, and Religious Issues. Each section begins with a brief general introduction, followed by the chapters dealing with specific issues in that area. Each chapter begins with an introduction, discusses traditional African thinking on the issue, presents an analysis of relevant biblical material, and concludes with some recommendations. There are questions at the end of each chapter for discussion or personal reflection, often asking students to reflect on how the discussion in the chapter applies to their ministry situation.
Virtually every scholar on both sides of the same-sex discussion eventually addresses the account of Sodom found in Genesis 19. However, in recent years, scholars have tended to downplay the importance of this chapter in relation to this debate. This book challenges this trend and seeks to demonstrate how the account of Sodom plays a key role in our understanding of a God-ordained sexual ethic, especially in light of Genesis as Torah--instruction for both ancient Israel and for the Church. ""Peterson has written one of the best books to deal with the contemporary issues surrounding homosexuality, lesbianism, gay rights, and gay marriage. He convincingly shows that the arguments of both past and contemporary defenders of same-sex behavior fall far short of both Christian tradition and logical coherence. He affirms there is no positive assertion anywhere in the Bible that God accepts same-sex behavior, nor is there an exhortation that Christians or culture should accept such behavior."" --James B. De Young, ThD, Author of Homosexuality: Contemporary Claims Examined in Light of the Bible and Other Ancient Literature and Law ""Peterson offers a thorough and forthright assessment of one of the Old Testament's most hotly-debated biblical passages. Regardless of one's position on the contemporary issues related to this challenging text, all who are interested in the relevance and application of scripture to the issue of human sexuality will need to reckon with Peterson's analysis and argument."" --Brian P. Irwin, Associate Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Scripture, Knox College, Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto ""In this thorough treatment of biblical and other Sodom texts, Peterson makes a vital contribution to the current debate about the Bible and same-sex sex.The hot-button issue is never far removed from what otherwise could on its own be merely 'dry' exegesis, making the book an interesting and important read. This is good, careful, indispensable scholarship from a good mind, and a brave one at that.Sodom is back on the docket."" --J. Glen Taylor, Associate Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto ""In simple, readable language, based on solid scholarship and careful research, Peterson has written the definitive treatment of the sin of Sodom, making clear that a key reason the city was destroyed was rampant sexual sin, manifest specifically in homosexual acts. By refuting the pro-homosexual, revisionist interpretations of Genesis 19, Peterson has done a real service to the church and to all those who want to take the scriptural account seriously."" --Michael L. Brown, PhD, Author ofCan You Be Gay and Christian? Brian Neil Peterson is Assistant Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. He is the author of Ezekiel in Context (2012), The Authors of the Deuteronomistic History (2014), and John's Use of Ezekiel (2015)."
The biblical narrative of Sodom and Gomorrah has served as an archetypal story of divine antipathy towards same sex love and desire. 'Sodomy' offers a study of the reception of this story in Christian and Jewish traditions from antiquity to the Reformation. The book argues that the homophobic interpretation of Sodom and Gomorrah is a Christian invention which emerged in the first few centuries of the Christian era. The Jewish tradition - in which Sodom and Gomorrah are associated primarily with inhospitality, xenophobia and abuse of the poor - presents a very different picture. The book will be of interest to students and scholars seeking a fresh perspective on biblical approaches to sexuality.
The writers of the bibilical laws, like the writers of other legal corpora throughout history, considered the regulation of sex to be of some importance. A study and comparison of the two groups of sex laws in the Bible, those in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, reveal that factors even more narrowly focused than the general desire to control social behavior shape the texts. These factors, as reflected in the text, are responsible for the differing conceptual matrices within Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Whereas the interest of the Leviticus sex texts is ontology, that is, the classification or oder of kinds and their relationships, the interest of the Deuteronomy sex texts is property, that is, the man's ownership of the woman's sexuality and its protection. Ellens shows how these differing interests influence subtle corresponding differences in the conceptualization of women in the two groups of texts.
The Flame of Yahweh offers a thorough exploration of gender relationships and sexual activity in the Old Testament. Topics include sexuality in Eden, the elevation vs. the denigration of women, exclusivity vs. adultery and pre-marital sex, permanence vs. divorce and remarriage, intimacy vs. incest, and sexuality in the Song of Songs.
In Slaves, Women & Homosexuals William J. Webb tackles some of the most complex and controversial issues that have challenged the Christian church--and still do. He leads you through the maze of interpretation that has historically surrounded understanding of slaves, women and homosexuals, and he evaluates various approaches to these and other biblical-ethical teachings. Throughout, Webb attempts to "work out the hermeneutics involved in distinguishing that which is merely cultural in Scripture from that which is timeless" (Craig A. Evans). By the conclusion, Webb has introduced and developed a "redemptive hermeneutic" that can be applied to many issues that cause similar dilemmas. Darrel L. Bock writes in the foreword to Webb's work, "His goal is not only to discuss how these groups are to be seen in light of Scriptures but to make a case for a specific hermeneutical approach to reading these texts. . . . This book not only advances a discussion of the topics, but it also takes a markedly new direction toward establishing common ground where possible, potentially breaking down certain walls of hostility within the evangelical community."
Gagnon offers the most thorough analysis to date of the biblical texts relating to homosexuality. He demonstrates why attempts to classify the Bible’s rejection of same-sex intercourse as irrelevant for our contemporary context fail to do justice to the biblical texts and to current scientific data. Gagnon’s book powerfully challenges attempts to identify love and inclusivity with affirmation of homosexual practice. . . . the most sophisticated and convincing examination of the biblical data for our time. —Jürgen Becker, Professor of New Testament, Christian-Albrechts University
Argues scientific research shows homosexuality is not merely a set of behaviors anyone might show, but that homosexuals are a distinct group of people, and discusses the social implications
A respected evangelical speaks out on the church's most controversial issue, proposing that it is possible for Christian communities to welcome homosexuals without affirming same-sex unions.
The church is going through a time of severe fracture over the issue of homosexuality. This book addresses the arguments from the gay Christian movement and revisionist theologians and exegetes on a single point: Can they withstand the evidence of the primary sources? In Unchanging Witness, Donald Fortson and Rollin Grams articulate the consistent orthodox view on homosexuality by presenting primary sources throughout Christian history and by interpreting the biblical texts in their cultural contexts. The first part of the book examines church history from the patristic period to the present day, and the second part engages biblical texts in light of Ancient Near Eastern, Jewish, Greek, and Roman primary sources. Throughout, the authors survey the conflicting and changing arguments of revisionist readings and contend that, in light of the overwhelming evidence of the relevant texts, the real issue is not one of interpretation but of biblical authority and Christian orthodoxy.
Millions have bought into the theology of Paul Young, whose book, The Shack, which portrays God as a loving, black woman. Similar changes in appearance were given to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The story of pain and redemption then resonated with the public. But is Young's worldview important? Is his theology that big a deal? James De Young thinks so. In fact, it's so important that he's written a compelling challenge to The Shack. In Burning Down the Shack, De Young manages to shed important light on the implications of Young's pluralistic faith, and provides readers with a gripping counter-balance to the popular little volume that's spent many weeks on the best-seller lists. Exploring the nature and character of God, from Scripture, De Young concludes that it is necessary to proceed carefully with The Shack, lest important truths be skewed and even jettisoned. Without being confrontational, De Young makes the case that dangers can lurk under the foundation.
Ideal for individual or group use, this unique resource presents short pieces from some of the nation's most preeminent church leaders - women and men, Protestant and Catholic, mainline and evangelical - who address fundamental moral imperatives about homosexuality. Through personal testimony, factual clarification, and moral suasion, they invite the reader to open his or her heart to the Spirit, to Gospel values, and to full acceptance of gay and lesbian persons in the "family of God."