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Showing posts from February, 2017

Conservative Evangelicals and Homosexuality - The Bible and Homosexuality (Part 7)

Having cleared the ground for looking at what the Old Testament says about homosexuality in my last blog in this series, I want to look at the three passages that specifically refer to homosexual sexual activity in the Old Testament and think about what they mean for us today.

Genesis 19

Genesis 19 is perhaps the most infamous passage from the Bible on sexual sin. It is from this chapter that the old word “sodomy” was coined. It describes the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sinful action when God's angels visit Lot (Abraham's nephew). In fact, this passage is famous in the Bible itself, which often refers to Sodom and Gomorrah as a kind of byword for sin (e.g. Isaiah 1:9-10; Matthew 10:15). What is the sin of Sodom? Well in vv.4-5 we read:

Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom--both young and old--surrounded the house. They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we ca…

Conservative Evangelicals and Homosexuality: The Bible and Homosexuality (Part 6)

In this blog I want to begin to look at what the Old Testament teaches about same-sex relationships. I want to start from general principles about how we understand how the Old Testament applies to us. This follows from my last blog, where I focused on the positive teaching of the Bible on sexual relationships, concluding that God had created us to have sexual relationships in the context of heterosexual marriage and noting the powerful picture this is of Christ, the bridegroom and the church his bride. This picture emphasizes why transgressing the boundaries of God’s plan for sexual relationships is such a significant thing, because it undermines the purpose for which he created them.

The Problem of Applying the Old Testament Law to Us

I want to focus briefly on the Old Testament Law. Technically that is the first five books of the Bible – Genesis to Deuteronomy. Often we’re particularly talking about the rules for living that we find God giving the people of Israel in Exodus, Levitic…

New Year - New Start

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

I recently heard on the radio that the most common New Year’s resolution is the resolution to lose weight. I suppose that’s not surprising. Christmas and New Year do tend to be a time of somewhat excessive eating after all! It’s a small sign that we all want to be something different, something better, than we actually are.

So, what if you could have an entirely “new you” this year? That’s what Paul is describing in 2 Corinthians 5:17 and he uses the language of “new creation.” When someone has become a follower of Jesus they are united to Christ, or “in Christ.” This has consequences that point both backwards and forwards in time. When we think of creation, we instinctively think of the perfection of Adam and Eve living in the idyllic garden of Eden. When we think of new creation we are being encouraged to look forward to the time when there will be a perfect “new…

Are You Ready?

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A little late in the day for these magazine articles, but I thought I'd put them up anyway. They may give ideas for future years.

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Later the others also came. 'Lord, Lord,' they said, 'open the door for us!' But he replied, 'Truly I tell you, I don't know you.' (Matthew 25:11-12 NIV)

Are you ready for Christmas? It's a question you may hear with increasing urgency in the coming month as the pressure mounts for the Christmas shopping to be completed, the presents to be wrapped, the food prepared and the house decorated. But there's another kind of preparation.

During Advent we prepare for the coming of God's King, Jesus. Of course at Christmas we remember when he came as a baby in a manger in Bethlehem. That was the first time he came. He came that time to be called Immanuel, which means “God with us”, and Jesus, which means “the Lord saves” (Matthew 1:21-23). At Christmas, we remember God coming himself to save us. God came, because no-on…