Review

REVIEW. Summer 2012 Vol. 37. No. 3.

“Old Testament Law and the Charge of Inconsistency” by Tim Keller.  Redeemer Report, June 2012.
(PDF version available here)


When we’re said to “pick and choose” Bible verses, it can be frustrating.  Keller says: “I vainly hope that one day someone will access their common sense (or at least talk to an informed theological advisor) before leveling the charge of inconsistency.”  Well, we all do have canons within the canon.  Some are substantial; some, but spins on pet peeves. Read more →

REVIEW. Spring 2012 Vol. 37. No. 2.

“Alan Chambers: Change We Can Believe In” by Jamie Dean, World, December 17, 2011.
“NARTH Statement on Sexual Orientation Change”, NARTH.com, January 25, 2012.
“More Unmerited Mercy” by Marvin Olasky, World, February 11, 2012

The Religious Right’s World magazine named Exodus head Alan Chambers its “Daniel of the Year” for 2011, celebrating discordantly that his “homosexual desires changed, [his] same-sex attractions diminished and he stopped indulging [his homosexual] temptation.”  In his book, Leaving Homosexuality, he’d warned that same-sex temptations remain and that his testimony is not a “guide to change from gay to straight.”  He wrote that, “heterosexuality shouldn’t have been my goal – nor should it be yours.”  Read more →

REVIEW. Winter 2012 Vol. 37. No. 1.

The Gay Gospels by Keith Sharpe (O-Books, 2011), 203 pp.

A “self-help manual” from a Gscene writer claims we’ve been kept in the dark about Bible passages that “celebrate homoerotic desire and relationships”.  Sharpe “uncovers” what he calls “open and hidden affirmations of LGBT lives in the Bible” and he urges readers to “learn [his] arguments by heart.”  Sadly, whoever does so will be as ill prepared to handle refutation of this sophistry, as one who must handle refutation of Earth’s being but 10,000 years old or the experiential refutation that “ex-gay” hype is a hoax.  The misled may then throw the baby out with the bathwater – something Sharpe says he wants to prevent. Read more →

REVIEW. Fall 2011 Vol. 36. No. 4.

“Liberty’s Loss” by Tim Dalrymple, World, July 30, 2011.
“Born Homosexual? A Parent’s Guide” by Chuck Colson, Breakpoint.org, June 1, 2011.
“Evangelicals and the Gay Moral Revolution” by Albert Mohler, Jr., The Wall Street Journal, July 1, 2011.

The scary teaser in the Religious Right’s World magazine is: “Same-sex marriage in New York threatens the rights of those who oppose it.”  Actually, any legal protection from discrimination more than “threatens” discriminators – it outlaws their “right” to discriminate!  Though protections for churches and clergy are written into this law, World worries that Christians may not be “comfortable” offering services to same-sex couples.  Well, are they comfortable offering services to non-Christians, the divorced and remarried, mixed-race couples?  Are they comfortable when loving their “enemies” as they love themselves?  Taking offence, Dalrymple warns that, “gay couples will take offense if they are not offered the same services traditional couples receive.”  Well, if the haves take offense when the have-nots get to have, why wouldn’t the have-nots take offense over the haves’ continuing selfishness?  He warns that, “the same well-funded activists who pushed the same-sex marriage bill into law will continue to make their case in the courts and in the statehouses.”  No doubt.  As will the well-funded Right. Read more →

REVIEW. Summer 2011 Vol. 36. No. 3.

I Corinthians by Alan F. Johnson (InterVarsity Press, 2004)

This review focuses on a Wheaton College professor’s cursory but careless comments on I Corinthians 6:9, contrasted with his nuanced work on chapter 7.  Noting the two terms in 6:9 that “have evoked considerable debate”, Johnson repeats some tired superficialities and moves on to a careful study of what he says is no less ambiguous material in 7.  On 7, he admits: “the passage is complicated by numerous translation options”, “exegetically it is a very difficult passage”, “the sense of this expression is not clear”.  Yet, such caution is missing in his dealing with the equally difficult terms in 6:9. Read more →

REVIEW. Spring 2011 Vol. 36. No. 2.

Homosexuality and the Christian: A Guide for Parents, Pastors and Friends by Mark Yarhouse (Bethany House, 2010), 256 pp.

In his Preface, this psych prof at Pat Robertson’s Regent University urges that we “move away” from discussing “whether orientation can change.”  Having championed the long-discredited and destructive hype for change, he now equivocates but also exaggerates on “change” while trying to change the subject from orientation to identity: “It isn’t so much about getting people into counseling so they can change; it’s about equipping them to understand their attractions with reference to a larger sense of self and purpose.”  But his mere re-branding won’t do.  Swapping one label for another changes nothing that’s relevant. Of course Christians who happen to be homosexually oriented are Christians first – as are Christians who happen to be heterosexually oriented.  Both must integrate their sexual orientation and their Christian discipleship.  But putting first things first: Discerning God’s grace over all else and not swallowing camels while straining out gnats sets the Gospel perspective for an honestly larger sense of self and purpose. Read more →

REVIEW. Winter 2011 Vol. 36. No. 1.

Paul Among the People: The Apostle Reinterpreted and Reimagined in His Own Time by Sarah Ruden (Pantheon Books, 2010), 214 pp.

“What Marriage Is For” by The Editors, National Review, September 20, 2010.

A published translator of Vergil, Homer, Aristophanes and Petronius – and now of Paul – Ruden was interviewed recently in Christianity Today and its sister publication, Books & Culture.  Having recoiled at an arrogant, ill-informed put-down of Paul’s opposition to a brutality of his day (sorcery), she sought to know more of what he wrote in the original Greek and historical context.  She grants that in her many years of graduate study in the Greek and Latin classics at Harvard, “we behaved as if the New Testament had not been written in Greek … and as if the Roman Empire at its greatest period of power had not been in the early Christians’ background.”  At last, she found even her “first efforts at setting Paul’s words against the words of polytheistic authors helped explain why early Christianity was so compelling, growing as no popular movement ever had before.”  Read more →

REVIEW. Fall 2010, Vol. 35. No. 4.

“The Repeal of Proposition 8” by Todd Bouldin (www.toddbouldin.wordpress.com, August 6, 2010).

“Marriage Untainted by Religious Motivation” by Alan F. H. Wisdom (The Washington Times, August 16, 2010).

“What is the ‘Gospel’ Response to the Prop 8 Ruling?” by Tony Jones (blog.tonyj.net, August 13, 2010).

“Same-sex Marriage and the Insignificance of the Nuclear Family” by Dennis Prager (The Washington Times, August 23, 2010) Read more →

REVIEW. Summer 2010, Vol. 35. No. 3.

The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University by Kevin Roose (Grand Central, 2009, 319 pp.) Read more →

REVIEW. Spring 2010, Vol. 35. No. 2.

“Seeking Truth: Three Views on the Calvin Approach to Academic Freedom” by Anthony Diekema, George Marsden and Nicholas Wolterstorff, The Calvin Spark, Winter 2009

“Can Homosexuals Be Christian?” by C. Michael Patton, Reclaimingthemind.org, January 4, 2010

“Love of Unimaginable Proportions” by Mark Galli, ChristianityToday.com, March 4, 2010. Read more →

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