Monday, July 21, 2014

All Around the Web - July 21, 2014

Marc Cortez - A Common (But Bad) Reason for Rejecting Penal Substitution
As a theology professor, I routinely hear people claim that Anselm invented the penal substitution view of the atonement. This is the idea that Jesus bore the punishment that we rightly deserved because of our sin, and that this was necessary for us to be reconciled to God.

Before Anselm, the church had a view that focused almost exclusively on ideas like victory—i.e. on the cross Jesus defeated the enemies of humanity like Satan, death, and sin—and healing—i.e. the entirety of his incarnate life healed our broken humanity and made it possible for us to resume the path to godlikeness. (If you’d like some examples, see here and here.)

And people often use the relative newness of the theory as a reason for rejecting it. If the early church didn't think of the cross as some kind of vicarious punishment, if that was just a medieval invention, let's get rid of it.

There's just one problem with this: it's wrong. And it's wrong for two important reasons.

Denny Burk - Are religious liberty and pluralism at odds?
John Inazu has a fascinating piece at Christianity Today about religious liberty vs. LGBT rights. I encourage you to read this so you can understand how we’ve landed in the pickle we’re in right now. Inazu also offers three predictions about where things are going in the very near future:

Prediction #1: Only religious groups (by no means all of them) will impose restrictions based on sexual conduct.

Prediction #2: Only religious groups will accept a distinction between “sexual conduct” and “sexual orientation,” and those groups will almost certainly lose the legal effort to maintain that distinction.

Prediction #3: Fewer and fewer people will value religious freedom.

Canon and Culture - How to Support Religious Liberty  
Gordon College, a Christian college on the North Shore of Boston, is the latest Christian institution to come under attack for its commitment to live biblically. Numerous stories and opinion pieces in the Boston Globe have vilified the College for seeking a religious liberty to discriminate against homosexuals. Civic organizations and municipalities, public intellectuals, and even the governing accreditation agency are attacking the College’s conduct and hiring policies, which require members of the College community to reserve expressions of sexual intimacy for marriage, defined consistent with the Bible, Christian teaching, and Western tradition as the monogamous union of a man and a woman.

The administrators and board of Gordon College deserve approbation for standing firm amidst this firestorm. At a time when leadership is in short supply, their moral courage is inspiring. Many friends of Gordon College have rallied in support. They also deserve praise for their courageous words on behalf of the College and its religious freedom. Yet those of us who support Gordon College should be careful that our words do more good than harm.

To explain why Gordon College should enjoy religious liberty we must explain why its religious exercise deserves protection. Obedience to conscience and the exercise of faith are valuable exercises in themselves. But in this case, a claim for religious liberty without more can actually strengthen the case against Gordon College by bolstering the critics’ premise that Gordon College seeks a religious liberty to discriminate unjustly. From the perspective of the Boston Globe and other cultural elites, discrimination on the basis of sexual preference is the same as racial discrimination. In their view, defenders of Gordon College’s policy are indistinguishable from church-going racists in the Jim Crow era.

Trevin Wax - Know Your Southern Baptists: Kevin Ezell
Why you’ve heard of him: Ezell leads the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Position: Ezell is the president of NAMB, the SBC mission agency tasked with reaching North America with the gospel through evangelism and church planting.

Previous: For 14 years, Ezell was the senior pastor at Highview Baptist in Louisville, KY. He also pastored churches in Illinois, Tennessee, and Texas.

Wall Street Journal - The 10 Most Endangered Jobs (Or, Why You Are Reading This Online)
Want some job security in the future? Avoid any career involving paper — and that includes newspapers.

A new study released Tuesday by job-search site, lists the 10 top endangered jobs in the U.S. Using data on 200 jobs from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, CareerCast projected the least promising career paths in terms of future employment growth, income potential and existing unemployment in the job field.

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