According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for
this world to recreate, reclaim, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of
explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. - anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. - anon
... Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument.
There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is
irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a
power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table
to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace,
reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants
us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. - anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Relevant Magazine - 4 Lies the Church Taught Me About Sex




4 Lies the Church Taught Me About Sex
http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/relationships/4-lies-church-taught-me-about-sex

June 10, 2014

By Lily Dunn
Lily Dunn loves dessert before dinner, stories that make her laugh, and living authentically. She lives and teaches with her husband in Daegu, South Korea and blogs at lilyellyn.wordpress.com.

Girls don't care about sex and three other lies I've had to unlearn.

I’ve heard people say that growing up as an evangelical meant they never talked about sex. This wasn’t my experience. I grew up in the thick of evangelical purity culture and we talked about sex A LOT. We just spent all of that time talking about how and why NOT to have it.
As someone who waited until I was married to have sex, I was assured that I would be guaranteed an easy and rewarding sex life. When reality turned out to be different, I was disappointed and disillusioned. Only through gradual conversations with other married friends did I realize I wasn’t alone.
I started to wonder if maybe the expectations themselves were wrong. Maybe what I’d been told or inferred about post-marital sex simply wasn’t true.
Here are four of the biggest lies about sex I believed before marriage:
1. Any and all physical contact is like a gateway drug to sex.
Once in high school I attended a big Christian youth conference. One night, one of the chaperones addressed the girls: “Girls, we have noticed some very inappropriate touching going on...”
The inappropriate touching she meant turned out to be two high school couples in the youth group holding hands. This woman was deadly serious. “I know it may not seem like a big deal to you,” she said. “But hand-holding leads to OTHER THINGS!”
I heard similar things from parents, teachers, church leaders and books. In my church it was not unusual for people to pledge not only to save sex until marriage, but even to save their first kiss for their wedding day. “Don’t start the engine if you aren’t ready to drive the car,” and other similar metaphors warned me that any physical contact was a slippery slope straight into the jaws of fornication.
DESPITE WHAT HOLLYWOOD SAYS, CLOTHES DO NOT TAKE THEMSELVES OFF AND BODIES DO NOT MAGICALLY AND EFFORTLESSLY FIT TOGETHER.
On this side of things, I can honestly say that there are SO many conscious decisions you have to make between kissing and having sex. Despite what Hollywood says, clothes do not take themselves off and bodies do not magically and effortlessly fit together.
If you are committed to waiting until you’re married to have sex, there are many valid reasons to set boundaries on your physical relationship, but the fear of accidentally having sex shouldn’t be one of them.
2. If you wait until you are married to have sex, God will reward you with mind-blowing sex and a magical wedding night.
Before my wedding night, I had been told that honeymoon sex isn’t usually the best sex. I had heard that good sex takes work. I knew that it would probably be uncomfortable at first. But what nobody ever, EVER told me was that it was possible that it just might not work at all at first. On my wedding night, my mind and heart were there, but my body was locked up tighter than Maid Marian’s chastity belt.
I entered marriage with the firm conviction that God rewards those who wait, only to find myself confounded by the mechanics. I felt like an utter failure, both as a wife and a woman. And while we did (eventually) get things working, this was hard, frustrating, embarrassing and a huge blow to our confidences.
Saving sex for marriage is not a guarantee that you will have great sex or that sex will be easy. All it guarantees is that the person you fumble through it with will be someone who has already committed to love you forever.
3. Girls don’t care about sex.
As a teenager and young adult I cannot count the times I heard something to this effect: “Boys are very visual and sexual, so even though you aren’t thinking about sex, you need to be careful because you are responsible for not making them stumble.”
Let’s disregard for now how degrading this is toward men and focus on the underlying assumption that boys are sexual and girls aren’t. For years I was told that “girls don’t care about sex.” Well, as it turns out, I do. This has been a deep source of shame for me. For a long time I felt like a freak, until I started to realize that I wasn’t the only one, not by a longshot. But I never knew it because no one would admit it.
Many girls (yes, even Christian girls) think about sex. Many girls (yes, even Christian girls) like sex. This doesn’t make you a freak. It doesn’t make you unfeminine or unnatural. God created us, both men AND women, as sexual beings. Enjoying sex makes you a human being created by God, in the image of God, with the capacity and desire to love—physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and sexually.
MANY GIRLS (YES, EVEN CHRISTIAN GIRLS) THINK ABOUT SEX. MANY GIRLS (YES, EVEN CHRISTIAN GIRLS) LIKE SEX. THIS DOESN’T MAKE YOU A FREAK.

4. When you get married, you will immediately be able to fully express yourself sexually without guilt or shame. 

Many Christians have spent years—from the day they hit puberty until their wedding day—focusing their energy on keeping their sex drives in check. Then, in the space of a few hours, they are expected to stop feeling like their sexuality is something they must carefully control and instead be able to express it freely. And not only that—but express it freely with another person.
Many of us have programmed guilt into ourselves—this is how we keep ourselves in check throughout our dating relationships. And that “red light” feeling we train ourselves to obey doesn’t always go away just because we’ve spoken some vows and signed some papers.
It took me several months to stop having that sick-to-my-stomach guilty feeling every time I was together with my husband. Not everyone experiences this, but for the many people who do, it’s terribly isolating. Once again we’re experiencing something our churches and communities never acknowledged as a possibility. We feel alone and broken and filled with a profound sense that this isn’t the way it’s meant to be.
I don’t regret waiting until I was married to have sex, and I’m not advocating that churches stop teaching that sex is designed for marriage. But I do think there is something seriously wrong with the way we’ve handled the conversation.
If our reason for saving sex until marriage is because we believe it will make sex better or easier for us, we’re not only setting ourselves up for disappointment, but we’re missing the point entirely. Those of us who choose to wait do so because we hold certain beliefs about the sacredness of marriage and about God's intentions and wishes for humanity, and we honor these regardless of whether they feel easier or harder. In the meantime, we in the evangelical church has a lot of work to do correcting the distorted ways we talk about sex and sexuality, especially to our youth.

GCAS Online Course: Theory After the Death of God (July 7-11, 2014)




CTPE 860-714:
THEORY AFTER THE DEATH OF GOD

                                                    [[[REGISTER]]]

INSTRUCTORS: John D. Caputo and Peter Rollins

COST: $149 premium/$99 audit (to sign up/pay for online courses, click “Register")

DATES: July 7th (Monday) to 11th (Friday)  10-12:30 EST

MEDIUM: Online Interactive Video + Facebook Groups: https://www.facebook.com/groups/theoryafterdeath/

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will pose the question “What is Radical Theology?” and set about answering it by exploring four alternative (and partially overlapping) answers. All four views have in common (1) that they jettison the classical notion of the transcendence God, and expose God to contingency - and even death, and (2) all four descend from Hegel, not from Kant. The course would thus explore radical theology as variously heterodox Hegelianisms, each of which takes up the death of God in one way or another.

READINGS: Caputo, Insistence of God; Derrida, Acts of Religion; Hegel, Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion: The Lectures of 1827 Ed.Peter Hodgson (U Cal paperback); Lacan, Seminar VII; Tillich, Systematic Theology; Žižek, Monstrosity of Christ.

PLEASE NOTE: This mini-course is a non-required elective course which counts towards elective credits needed for all diploma-seeking GCAS students. It is also available as a standalone course for faculty members seeking professional development opportunities, as well as the general public or non-credit seeking students, without any additional requirements.

REQUIREMENTS: Students seeking credit must attend all events, lectures, and small-group discussions.  A student is required to write a 5-7 page research paper on the course material and approved by a professor. The student has until August 30th, 2014 to turn in their research papers via email at <creston@globaladvancedstudies.org>.  After the seminar, students are required to participate in a Post-Seminar discussion (details to follow). Students must remain in contact with Professor Davis as they develop, research and write their final papers.



[[[REGISTER]]]


* * * * * * * * * * *


Peter Rollins Teaches Summer Course
at The Seattle School
http://theseattleschool.edu/peter-rollins-teaches-summer-course-seattle-school/ 

June 3, 2014

Peter Rollins, a popular scholar who bridges the disciplines of philosophy and theology, joined us on campus last week to teach a course and speak at The Forum’s most recent town hall event. Both events were open to the public.

Rollins is no stranger to The Seattle School community, and each visit offers provocative ideas and reflections that inspire continued conversation at the intersection of text, soul, and culture.

Nearly 100 people attended last Wednesday’s town hall event, where Rollins spoke on “Figures of Transgression: The Trickster, the Cynic, and the Fool,” cautioning listeners against both ideology and apathy. He instead invited them to wrestle with ideas and assumptions through practices of de-centering and continuous conversations with those whom they consider “other.”

Rollins’ three-day summer course at The Seattle School followed last Wednesday’s town hall event with 25 students and 11 members of the community in attendance. During the course, “Unconscious Gods: Radical Theology, Psychoanalysis, and the Critique of Religion,” participants engaged developments in contemporary critical theory that have shaped Radical Theology’s conceptions of theology and church practice.

“Unconscious Gods” specifically focused on the theories that inform, influence, and shape Rollins’ developing theological project pyrotheology, where he draws from post-Hegelian theory, Radical Theology, and Lacanian psychoanalysis to further develop what Bonhoeffer called a “religionless Christianity.” Students also received a sneak peek into the material for his next book.

Rollins’ hope in both the town hall event and the class was to challenge Christianity to move toward acknowledging and mourning the loss of God as a deus ex machina—a device that inexplicity solves complex dilemmas and overcomes the gaps in our understanding. Rollins believes this concept of God is an idol that Western religion has embraced in order to avoid a more humble, unfamiliar, and undefined faith that engages the unknown mystery of an imminent God.

Before leaving Seattle, Rollins was able to sit down with Dr. Dwight J. Friesen, Associate Professor of Practical Theology, to discuss The Seattle School and the future of theological education. Find out why Rollins chose to teach at The Seattle School in the video below.



Book titles by Peter Rollins - click here




Index - Hermeneutics



Index - Hermeneutics

~ generally, all indexes list articles in date order from last to first and not topically ~

The reason for the importance of this index is that the sum total of these topics may help form a more mature method of reading the bible for understanding the Christian faith than if only one method was utilized (such as today's more popular literal reading of the bible supported by its grammatical-historical method). The listed articles below, along with any future articles forthcoming, will help sort out additional methodologies and referential biblical contexts that will lend relevancy to Christian faith and theology without which we are left to blind opinion and subjectivism.

R.E. Slater



Hermeneutics - An Introduction

"Is the Bible True" or "Is The Bible a Collection of Myths?"

Remembering an All-But-Forgotten, Extremely Influential Theologian: Christoph Blumhardt

The Gift of Reading the Bible Dynamically

Should Church Creeds and Confessions Change with Advances in Human Knowledge?

What To Do About Bad Theology

Is the Bible like a Compost Pile or a Cookbook?

A Jewish Perspective of the Bible

5 Approaches to Biblical Theology (Barr, Carson, Wright, Childs, Watson)

The Presence of God in an Open Bible

The Bible and Evolution, Inerrancy, and Other Matters

Can God speak through myth?

N.T. Wright, Scripture & the Authority of God - "Enlightenment, Postmodernism, and Misreading Scripture"

The Gospel is neither Exclusive nor Excluding

Accepting the Complexity and Ambiguity Inherent in Scripture, Part 2

Accepting the Complexity and Ambiguity Inherent in Scripture, Part 1

What do we mean by the word Literal?

Blinded to the Real Issues

Jesus, the Fulfillment of God's Revelation to Man

Text & Culture - The Relevancy of God's Word to Contemporary Culture

How Should We Read the Bible?

What is Theology?

Hermeneutics, in pictures



Hermeneutics - Postmodern Hermeneutics

My Journey Out of Inerrancy to a Broader Hermeneutic

How Are We to Read the Bible? As a Divine Product or Human? Part 2 of 2

How Are We to Read the Bible? As a Divine Product or Human? Part 1 of 2

How Postmodern Hermeneutics Helps in Reading The Bible



Hermeneutics and the Biblical Canon

Reviews of Konrad Schmid's "A Literary History of the Old Testament" - How the OT was Compiled

The Bible as a "Memory-Narrative" or "Mnemo-Narrative"

Can an Open Bible compete with a Dead One?

Development of the New Testament Canon

The Gnostic Gospels of the New Testament Era

The Biblical Apocrypha

The Jewish Apocrypha

The New Testament Apocrypha

Development of the Old Testament Canon

Development of the Hebrew Bible Canon

The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha



Hermeneutics and Apocalyptic Literature

Translating the Apocalyptic Literature of Revelation: The Defeat of the Pagan Empire of Babylon

Translating the Apocalyptic Literature of Revelation: The Woman and the Dragon and the People of God



Hermeneutics and Incarnation

How Do You Read the Bible? Incarnationally, Inspirationally, Inerrantly, or Inexpertly?

Evangelical Hermeneutics vs. Pauline Hermeneutics

Which Do You Chose - Justice, Justification or Jesus?

Biblical Interpretation - History v. Theology

Which Hermeneutic Do We Choose? Christological or Trinitarian?

Biblical Authority & Incarnation vs. Analytic Theology

Kevin Corcoran's Critique of Derrida and Caputo



Hermeneutics and Interpretation (unfinished)

35 articles unlisted as yet



Hermeneutics and Revelation

The Biblical Story of Inclusion of Who Belongs As God's People



Hermeneutics as Biblical Theology

Peter Enns - The Bible as a "Human Book"

Should Christians Resist the Pressure to Interpret the Bible Culturally?

Working Towards a Biblical Interpretation that is both Relevant and Accurate

5 Approaches to Biblical Theology (Barr, Carson, Wright, Childs, Watson)



Hermeneutics as Meta-Narrative

Peter Enns, "Scripture as a Polyphonic Text has not One, but Many Voices"

The Why of Narrative Theology, Its Necessity, and Usefulness

Oh the Games We Play with God and Church: A Study of Game Theory and Favorable Outcomes

What We Mean and Don't Mean When We Talk About God's Sovereignty

The Narrative Story of God, Creation and Mankind from an Evolutionary Perspective of Love Wins

An Unnecessary Division between Narrative and Literary Theology

What Is Narrative Theology? It is the "Grander Story of God and Creation"

Pete Enns - The Evolution of Adam, Parts 1, 2, 3

The God of Creation - Why Would God Use 4.6 to 6.2 Billion Years to Create the Earth?

What is Theology?

Recovering Theological Perspective Through Narrative

“Missio Dei” in historical perspectives, part 1

Missio Dei” in historical perspectives, part 2 

“Missio Dei” in historical perspectives, part 3

The Bible as Meta-Narrative

The Use of Meta-Narrative in Hermeneutics



Hermeneutics as Redactionism

The Historical Context of the Gospel of Mark's Ending

How Orthodox Beliefs and Modern Biblical Scholarship Might Reconcile

Archaeology and the Bible: Sorting through Fact from Fiction

Peter Enns - Historical Criticism and Evangelicalism: An Uneasy Relationship

Book Review: "Legacy of Israel in Judah's Bible"

Book Review: Politics in the Hebrew Bible, Parts 1-3



Hermeneutics as Reductionism

Who Is Rudolf Bultmann? The Father of Form Criticism and DeMythologizing of the Bible.

How Orthodox Beliefs and Modern Biblical Scholarship Might Reconcile

Confessions of an Ex-Apologist: "In Defense of Why I Left My Calling"



Sample Charts, Diagrams, and Illustrations
of the Hermeneutical Process