With the grass being so lush and green this Beltane, with all the heat and rain, I’ve been meditating on YHWH as the source of life and fertility. In the process I’ve stumbled across a critique of Karl Barth by Walter Brueggemann, where he suggests Barth overplayed his hand in depicting YHWH as god of … Continue reading Fertility and Divinity
In his first letter to the Corinthians the Apostle Paul lamented, “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate.” Paul was referring to a case of incest within the church. His response? He instructed the community and its elders to “hand this … Continue reading Unfit for Office
I am seeing many criticism of women who dress scantily yet complain of sexual harassment. May I offer a response by way of analogy? One could certainly question the wisdom of fighting theft by putting your jewellery in the front window of your home. But such silliness on the part of owners still doesn’t make … Continue reading On clothing standards and sexual harassment
I loved this exchange I witnessed in a forum: Enquirer: How would you explain to your 6 yr old daughter why the Bible is mainly about boys and not girls? My daughter asked me this question this morning, after months of studying her children's Bible every morning. It was a simple enough question, and I … Continue reading Why is the Bible mostly about boys?
Here's my view. Though God-as-father-to-Israel and God-as-husband-to-Israel metaphors are prevalent within the New and Old Testaments, they are by no means the only metaphors to be found there and closer examination reveals feminine metaphors for God as well. Moreover, some of the God-as-father metaphor found there are distinctly counter-cultural and not at all in tune … Continue reading Can we limit God to masculine metaphors?
In his first letter to the Thesselonians, Paul uses breast feeding mothers as a model for leadership (1 Thes 2:7). Imagine if more leaders took this seriously!
Female circumcision is widely associated with Muslims in Western consciousness, but in truth the practice of female circumcision varies widely between different Muslim communities. Why is this? Well, I came across an intriguing explanation for this in "The Third Choice: Islam, Dhimmitude and Freedom" by Mark Durie. Mark writes: "The modern distribution of female circumcision … Continue reading Why is female circumcision practiced by some Muslims and not others?
This calligraphic work by Baruch ben Shemaryah, 1794, contains the entire biblical Song of Songs in tiny Hebrew script. It is housed at Yale University Library. I found it while researching Jewish art.
In his thought provoking article on "Evangelical Churches and Same Sex Attraction", Nigel Chapman raised a three practical scenarios for Christian leaders to consider: Three Practical Scenarios The pastoral and missional problems raised by same sex attraction and orientation, and exemplified in the many negative outcomes for same sex oriented people in our churches can be encapsulated reasonably … Continue reading 3 Practical Scenarios Raised By Same Sex Attraction
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said. (Genesis 16:1-2) The story of Sarah … Continue reading Was it sinful for Abraham to have more than one wife?
If you think Christianity is too patriarchal by far, consider the heights to which these Bhutanese Bhuddists have taken it. For them, images of the phallus are an essential aspect of traditional ceremony. They were introduced the 15th-century Buddhist teacher, Drukpa Kunley, who's unconventional Tantric teachings made a deep impression on the Bhutanese. Curiously, the sexual … Continue reading Is this taking penis worship a bit too far?
Is this how you imaging Eve? In researching Christian art I frequently come across highly sexualised interpretations of the temptation of Eve, with artists playing up the possibility that original sin was related to sexual knowledge. Often this atmosphere is accentuated by having the snake draped over Eve in ways not normally witnessed outside of … Continue reading Is sin sexy?