Saturday, May 3, 2014

All Around the Web - May 3, 2014

David Schrock - What's going on in Genesis 1-11?
Since Julius Wellhausen suggested that the first five books were not written by Moses, there has been an endless discussion between biblical scholars about the first eleven chapters of Genesis. Some have suggested that it is a compilation document written over time from the various viewpoints of various redactors. For others, its poetic form proves that it is mythological account of creation, on par with other pagan etiologies. However, following the likes of G. K. Beale, it seems best to see any interaction between Moses and other ancient Near Eastern religions (and there certainly was familiarity and interaction) as polemical attempts to esteem Yahweh-Elohim as the sovereign creator of all things.

There are many reasons for affirming the historical nature of Genesis 1-11 and the singular authorship of Moses, but perhaps one of the most awe-inspiring is the literary arrangement of Genesis 1–11. Borrowing from the observations of others, let me suggest two suggestive patterns in Genesis 1-11 that show how carefully Moses, schooled in Egypt and inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote a record of Creation, Fall, Judgment, Salvation, and New Creation.

Craig Evans - Fundamentalist Arguments Against Fundamentalism
Biblical fundamentalists often interpret the scripture’s more poetic moments in a literal fashion — understanding, for instance, the Bible’s “historical” stories in the same way they think proper, modern history should be written. This is especially so in the case of the Gospels, those writings that narrate the activities and teachings of Jesus. Jesus spoke every word, performed every deed — and he did these things in the locations and sequences stated in the Gospels. Or at least this is what is assumed.
But there is a problem. When the Gospels are placed side by side and carefully compared, differences emerge. One will notice variations in the wording of Jesus’ utterances, variations in the details of some of the stories, and sometimes variations in chronology and sequence. These differences can shake one’s confidence in the reliability and truthfulness of the Bible. The solution, fundamentalists believe, is to find ways of harmonizing the discrepancies. If harmonization is successful, then the fundamentalist view of the Bible remains viable — all is well. But what if harmonization doesn’t work?

This is where New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman and several of his popular books of the last decade come in. From Misquoting Jesus to his new How Jesus Became God, he hammers away at the pat answers and simplistic harmonizations. Biblical fundamentalism, Ehrman contends, is simply wrong. Therefore, he reasons, the Bible really can’t be trusted.

Justin Taylor - Why Does God Care Whom I Sleep With?

Kevin DeYoung - And What About Divorce?
When it comes to debating homosexuality among Christians, the issue of divorce is both a smokescreen and a fire. It is a smokescreen because the two issues-divorce and homosexuality-are far from identical.

For starters, there are no groups in our denominations whose raison d’etre is the celebration of divorce. People are not advocating new policies in our churches that affirm the intrinsic goodness of divorce. Conservatives, in the culture and in the church, keep talking about homosexuality because that is the fault line right now. We’d love to talk (and do) about how to have a healthy marriage. We’d love for that matter to spend all our time talking about the glory of the Trinity, but the battle right now (at least one of them) is over homosexuality. So we cannot be silent on this issue.

Just as importantly, the biblical prohibition against divorce explicitly allows for exceptions; the prohibition against homosexuality does not. The traditional Protestant position, as stated in the Westminster Confession of Faith for example, maintains that divorce is permissible on grounds of marital infidelity or desertion by an unbelieving spouse (WCF 24.5-6). Granted, the application of these principles is difficult and the question of remarriage after divorce gets even trickier, but almost all Protestants have always held that divorce is sometimes acceptable. Simply put, homosexuality and divorce are different issues because according to the Bible and Christian tradition the former is always wrong, while the latter is not.

Relevant Magazine - 8 Things Healthy Couples Don’t Do 
1. Post Negatively About Each Other on Social Media
2. Make Their Career a Priority Rather Than Their Relationship
3. Have All Their 'Together-Time' With Technology
4. Avoid Hard Subjects
5. Punish One Another
6. Withhold Forgiveness
7. Say 'Yes' to Everything
8. Throw In the Towel

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