Category Archives: Class

Class: April 23, 2014

Christ and Culture April 23

“Apology” for class purpose


  • Watermill Multnomah and Convergent Books
  • Vines new spiritual leader?

See last weeks class agenda for tolerance examples

Evolution: The Battle for Adam

  • Theistic evolution or evolutionary creation

o   “Evolutionary creation asserts that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit created the universe and life, including humans, through an ordained, sustained, and intelligent design-reflecting evolutionary process. . . . evolutionary creationists believe that biological evolution is an ordained natural process that God has sustained throughout eons of time (Barrett and Caneday, Four Views On The Historical Adam, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013), 42-44.).”

  • Accommodation:

o    “Speaks of God making Himself known to humans in words and ways suitable for the finite human mind to comprehend. The most significant example in which God accommodates to humankind is found in the coming of Jesus Christ—deity taking human form (Grenz, Guretzki, Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms, (Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press, 1999), 7.).”

  • Scientific Concordism:

o   The idea that the facts of science should line up with Scripture

  • The “Two Books” concept

o   The Divine Book of Words and the Divine Book of Works

  • Ancient Phenomenological Perspective vs. Modern Phenomenological Perspective

o   A way of contrasting what would have been the informed perspective in ancient times with the informed perspective of modern times

  • Message/Incident Principle

As an example, this view says that to a thirsty person, the water is the point, the cup is incidental. So, in this evolutionary creationism, accommodation means that God has used methods understandable to us in order to get an eternal truth to us. The means is incidental. For example, the important eternal truth is that God created the heavens and the earth, humanity, the universe. In order to help humankind to get hold of that message, God communicated to the author of Genesis in a way that he could understand but in fact, not what actually happened. Did God lie? No! He accommodated.

  • Retrojection: “Adam is the retrojective conclusion of an ancient taxonomy. . . . He is an incidental ancient vessel that delivers numerous inerrant spiritual truths.”

A retrojective conclusion is to look at the evidence and trace your way back to a presumed origin.

  • The tension between creationists, evolutionists, evolutionary creationists, and Intelligent Design proponents (which may in some cases be the same as evolutionary creationists)

Stephen C. Meyer clip (start at 38:00)

April 16, 2014


Photographers must photograph gay weddings!

The Christ who will not worship Satan to gain the world’s kingdoms is followed by Christians who will worship only Christ in unity with the Lord whom he serves. And this is intolerable to all defenders of society who are content that many gods should be worshiped if only Democracy or America or Germany or the Empire receives its due, religious homage [today read: the Church yielding to the state in our present milieu of separation between Church and state].

DA Carson’s examples:


“The lyrics are heard in our brains!”

Lincoln on tolerance

The handout from last week

Paths to an acceptance of gay Christianity

1) Re-translate the text.

See the following website for a treatment of the word physikos in Romans 1 where the writer claims that Paul is actually talking about people operating opposite to the way they were born. Thus, persons not born gay but engaging in homosexual activity are violating God’s law, suggesting to the writer that a gay person in relationship with another gay person is what God intends. All of this because the author claims that the word lying beneath “nature” or “natural” has been mis-translated.

2) Re-interpret the text.

See James V. Brownson’s book, Bible, Gender, Sexuality, where the author reinterprets the texts by recovering the underlying “moral logic” of the text.

3) Apply the text differently in light of modern culture, particularly the view that “loving, monogamous, same-sex” relationship were not in view.

4) Agree with the text but dismiss it for the sake of modern sensibilities.

The Phyllis Tickle interview with Andrew Marin

5) Marginalize the text as non-essential

6) Lessen the importance of the texts by emphasizing love, poverty, acceptance.

7) Re-direct attention from the texts by focusing on what Jesus did not say.

Hello, Scott.

I follow your distinction between pre-marital sex and adultery: in adultery, the partners are betraying their spouses and children. But- when two women love each other, there are no victims like that. I would say that therefore, because there are no victims, the sin is less- or nonexistent. I am delighted that my church lobbied the UK government to allow church weddings for gay people, and the Government will allow that for any denomination which opts in. Many churches will.

Jesus said that if a man look at a woman with lust in his heart, he had already committed adultery. He did not say the same if a man look at a man.

8) Placate the text by compartmentalizing between principle and practice.

See the video featuring Justin Lee, president and founder of the Gay Christian Network

9) Maintaining a neutral position

The end of Evangelicalism as we have known it

Rachel Held Evans

“The Day Evangelicalism Died”




The Christ and Culture Update Class: 2014

It is almost time for our second annual Christ and Culture Update class which will be held on Wednesday evenings at Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle April 2-May 14 from 7:30-9 in Conference Room 1.

The Christ and Culture Update class offers an opportunity to “come up to speed” with what is happening where Christ and culture intersect. In reality, it is the intersection of the church and the culture that brings about such a clash of values, ccu logo 2014 classmore specifically the Bible believing church. But as we will find out and discuss together, there is as much clash happening within Evangelicalism as there is between the church and the culture!

This semester, after laying the foundation for our discussion by defining tolerance, heresy, and the dynamics of an ethics of Christ and culture, we will focus on two things: the faulty and at times laughable logic found in secular arguments against Christian values, and something called the new atheism.

As we did last year, we will use this blog as the hub of the class’s curriculum.

Christ and Culture Update: Session 3 Reflection

I enjoyed our class last evening! So far we are on track and sticking with the plan to talk each week about the ethics of Christ and culture, heresy (including a discussion about some of the personalities involved), tolerance (definitions and examples), and current event/case study examples like the Name Withheld letter and the Biologos article.

Next week we will begin looking at Niebuhr‘s five scenarios, the first of which is Christ Against Culture. We will talk about the pros and cons of taking a Christ against culture approach to the ethics of Christ and culture.

For next week it would be great if you could read Concerned Parent of Gay Man Speaks Out. As you read, take note of the logic and the theology that the letter promotes.

I will see you next week!

Christ and Culture Update: Session 2 Reflections

Thanks to all who were in class last night! I thoroughly enjoyed our time together. I feel like we covered some important ground pertaining to an ethics of Christ and culture.

We talked about the concept of “the good” and the idea that the Church is called to step forward with answers about what the “good life” looks like. It seems arrogant to the world, but Jesus has commissioned us to win this world to Christ and that entails more than just the job of evangelizing people and plugging them into a local church. It also involves living prophetically in the culture and casting vision for the divine life and demonstrating how that divine life fits in to our daily lives in the real world.

We talked about one of the presumed chief complaints the culture has against Christians, namely that we focus on Christ and not on humanity; that we say we care about people but we don’t prove it by embracing humanitarian visions for this present life. There is always the siren voice luring the Church to simply embrace humanity in its glory to the exclusion of God.

We discussed the concept of heresy and looked at the definitions, old and new, of tolerance and how we the concept of tolerance had moved from the idea of allowing an undesired thought or opinion to accepting every thought and opinion as valid!.

Next week we will continue with our discussion of an ethics of Christ and culture, talk a bit more about the new tolerance, and look at some current examples of intolerance. We will also inch closer to looking at some real life examples of th heretical teachings that seem to be cropping up everywhere.

It seems like some may still be in disbelief (or shock) concerning the things I am sharing. It is a lot to take in, I know. Nevertheless, this is what responsible Christianity looks like: being aware of the times and prayerfully considering what the Lord would have us to do when it comes to the culture.

Remember, the reason these things are so important now, and thus the reason for this class, is that the pull toward these errant doctrines and philosophies is coming from inside the evangelical church.

Be sure and read through the various articles and don’t forget to check out ccithink as well. See you next week!