What Is the Bible, and How Should We Interpret It? Part Two of a Six-Part Series on Christianity and Feminism

Generally speaking, it’s a bad idea to start a new series of blog posts the week before you’re gonna be up to your eyeballs in Sundance films. I’m sorry to leave you hanging for the last three weeks, but now that Sundance is through, the rest of this series should continue at a rate of at least one post per week.

The idea for this series on gender roles in Christianity spawned as part of my Christian Ethics class, in which I was flung head-first into an issue I thought I had pretty well figured out. I began my foray into this issue assuming an egalitarian position (and assuming that the Bible supported my position), but emerged from the trenches as a “limited complementarian.”

It all started with a conversation I had with one of my fellow classmates, who identified himself as a conservative complementarian and a student of John Piper (who is a very conservative complementarian). During our conversation, this student made it clear that he felt that men and women had very distinct roles in marriage, in society, and in the Church. Citing John Piper, this student said that anyone who disagreed with him (i.e., me) was doing “hermeneutical gymnastics” to arrive at their position.

Continue reading What Is the Bible, and How Should We Interpret It? Part Two of a Six-Part Series on Christianity and Feminism

Why I’m Not a (Secular) Feminist Part One of a Six-Part Series on Christianity and Feminism

In late 2014, British actress and the Global Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women, Emma Watson, delivered a speech as part of the launch of the UN’s He for She campaign—a campaign that, according to Watson, has at its core an attempt to redeem the word feminist. In the many months since Emma delivered the speech, I’ve found myself wondering if I am a feminist. For those of you who know me, you know that the Bible is an important part of my life. It molds and shapes my worldview. So, in the wake of Emma’s speech, I found myself asking whether the ideals espoused by the He for She campaign are something I can embrace, or whether I must reject them.

It would not be until late 2015, over a year after Emma delivered her speech, that I finally found resolve to my questioning, through a final paper I put together as part of my Christian ethics class at Fuller Theological Seminary. In the coming weeks, I will to invite you (for better or worse) into the inner musings of my mind and the thoughts spurred by the process of writing this paper, but for now, I’m going to start by articulating why I am most certainly not a secular feminist.

Continue reading Why I’m Not a (Secular) Feminist Part One of a Six-Part Series on Christianity and Feminism

Why I’m Actually Thankful for Donald Trump How Donald Trump's Hateful Rhetoric and Continued Popularity Exposes Issues in the Heart of American Culture

I’m quite certain that no name has been mentioned more frequently around American dinner tables in the last six months than that of Donald Trump. In fact, according to Google, searches for Donald Trump went up almost ten times in volume, to around 6.3 million, beginning in June of this year. The reason? Donald Trump has thrown his hat in the ring for the Republican nomination to be the next President of the United States, and it goes without saying that he’s been something of an…interesting candidate.

From Muslims to women to veterans to reporters to immigrants, Donald Trump has insulted and demeaned more people thus far in his presidential campaign than any other candidate in history. He has suggested that Mexican immigrants are rapists, that Muslims ought to be uniformly banned from entering the U.S., that mosques ought to be put under surveillance, and that our country ought to establish a database of the Muslims in this country.

While many people (myself included) lament Trump’s rhetoric as hate speech that has no place in 21st Century America, many more actually support Trump’s policies. In fact, 55% of Americans support the ban on Muslims entering the United States, and Trump has continued to garner an increasing amount of support from the Republican party, climbing from 18% back in July to around 34% today, with some polls reporting that Trump enjoys favorability as high as 39%.

Continue reading Why I’m Actually Thankful for Donald Trump How Donald Trump’s Hateful Rhetoric and Continued Popularity Exposes Issues in the Heart of American Culture

Where’s Your Hope? Why Conservative Christians Fear the Syrian Refugees

Last week, a host of Republican governors openly declared that their states would not welcome Syrian refugees fleeing the terror of ISIS and their war-torn country. I was deeply troubled by their remarks, because before the Constitution was even ratified, it was already clear that the control of immigration would rest squarely with the federal government. (See Arizona v. United States, 132 S.Ct. 2492 (2012), for a history.) But even more troubling for me has been the response from the community of people who claim the name of Jesus.

This is just one more heartbreaking episode of a recurring drama in American political life. Those who claim to know Jesus—the God-man who summed the entirety of the Old Testament law in two commands: Love God and Love Others—are the very same people who more often than not assume a political posture that is cold if not outright hateful.

In one conversation I had with another Christian on the subject, I was belittled for thinking that the Bible says we are to care for the marginalized and the oppressed, even at great cost to ourselves. Beyond that, my knowledge of the law was questioned because it did not comport with his view that Obama wishes to be king and the States are doing a brave and noble thing by saying no to those in need. Continue reading Where’s Your Hope? Why Conservative Christians Fear the Syrian Refugees