Resources for UCC Bible Study

At the University Church of Christ, we’re discussing “Men and Women in Scripture.” My site was given as a resource, but I know it’s not always easy to locate the articles. So here’s a list of the main ones:

Thinking about the thinking about women in the church
Women, men, and what the church is supposed to be focused on
My understanding of gender roles in the church
The Bible, Culture and Gender Roles
Gender roles and the cultures of the Bible
Does Paul go against the rest of the Bible on the topic of gender roles?
Does Galatians 3:28 provide the final word on gender roles in the church?
Do we dare appreciate wives and mothers in the church?
What does the creation story tell us about gender differences?
Miscellaneous thoughts on gender roles in the church
Women speak to the value of motherhood
Submission and gender
Phoebe, Junia, and the women of Romans 16
Microphones do not a leader make
Form versus function, revisited
Form, function, and passages about gender differences
Men, women, and the resurrection
Ephesians 5 for husbands and wives
What 1 Peter says about husbands and wives
How we live out submission and leadership in our marriage
Veils and heads, men and women
Women in the church: Silence is golden?
Holy hands and simple clothes
Silence or quietness? What does submission call for?
Spiritual giftedness and gender
Baptism, gender, and Galatians 3
The discussion of gender in the church is more than a two-position conversation
Jews, slaves, women, and baptism
Gender by design
The woman desiring her husband in Genesis 3… it might not mean what I thought

Pray for Argentina

protestRecent events have reminded us of how limited a view of the world U.S. news media give us. While the terrorist attacks in France dominated headlines, bigger attacks in Nigeria went virtually unnoticed.

Because of that, I’m fairly confident that most who read this will know next to nothing about the drama unfolding in Argentina. In 1994, a Jewish mutual aid society (AMIA) was bombed in Buenos Aires. 85 people were killed and hundreds were injured. Since it didn’t take place in New York or Paris, you probably never heard about it. But many remember and have been investigating ever since. The trail seems to lead to Iran, but full information has not come forth.

Recently, the prosecutor in charge of the investigation, Alberto Nisman, filed a 300-page document accusing the current president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, of being part of a cover-up; allegedly, Fernández and others conspired with Iran to frustrate the investigations in exchange for oil from Iran.

Nisman was due to present his accusations in court last week, but he never made it. He was found dead in his apartment with a gunshot to the head. Initial reports called it a suicide, but strong public outcry made officials admit the circumstances were suspicious. Fingers were later pointed at the Argentine intelligence community. Last night Fernández announced a dismantling of the current intelligence agency and the creation of a new one.

I won’t take sides in all of this, nor will I claim to have inside knowledge as to what all has transpired these last 20 years. I’d just ask you to pray for the people of Argentina, who are living through a great time of insecurity. There’s a feeling that justice won’t come about in this or many other situations.

photo from Pulsamerica

Links To Go (January 27, 2015)

Missed Motherhood: A Casualty of the Sexual Revolution

Susan Shapiro’s article at The New York Times is as sad as anything I’ve read in a long time. She is the quintessential modern woman, having pursued a career and a life in the city through her childbearing years. Twice she got pregnant, and twice she aborted her children. She didn’t want to be pregnant before her life and finances were stable. She would “have it all” eventually–so she thought.
After entering her forties in a more secure situation, she decided to try and get pregnant only to find that she couldn’t.

Public Schools Aren’t the Enemy

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from both attending public school and teaching in it, it’s that public school is far from godless. Sure, it may not allow for teacher-led prayer or morning devotional, but these schools are not soulless places. In fact, they’re typically buildings full of deeply passionate, committed adults and kids who are always in need of love—just like any Christian school might be.

‘En Taxei’— Quickly or Soon?

Indeed, I am prepared to say that there is no promise in the whole of the NT that Jesus is coming ‘soon’, in other words, a promise about the timing of the event. This is entirely a result of misreading the Greek text.

The App of God

Not too long from now the Bible will transition from being The Good Book to being The Good App. As information migrates to digital media, the Bible will make the shift, just as it as has through every other literary media. But through our little glimpse at history we know that we have nothing to fear from the appification of information. Since the dawn of the printing press, the Bible has been the most dominant book. We have no reason to doubt that in time it will prove the dominant app. And when apps have had their day and we move to whatever is next, the Bible will remain and will dominate.

Pointing At The Same Thing From Different Angles

Similarly, a worship leader is always pointing to Jesus. And to help his congregation see more of the beauty of Jesus, he takes them on a journey from song to song. They don’t just stand in one place and sing from the same angle. The glory of God, revealed in the face of Jesus Christ, can’t be captured from one spot.
You can point to the same thing from different angles. That’s what a gospel structure ensures!

Journalist Who Reported on Argentine Prosecutor’s Death Flees to Israel

In an account published on Monday in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Mr. Pachter said he concluded late on Friday that he was being followed by an Argentine intelligence officer who “wore jeans, a jeans jacket and Ray-Ban sunglasses,” and decided to leave the country immediately. He said that he flew to Israel by way of Montevideo, Uruguay, and Madrid.
“They are using their security forces to chase me,” Mr. Pachter told reporters at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv when he arrived Sunday evening. “I just had to move fast and quick, as fast as I could.” Mr. Pachter added in the televised remarks that he held Israeli citizenship.

What’s the best media for long-term storage?

But you can’t stop there. You don’t want to be the person who stored their media on floppy disks, later moved it to Zip disks, and then figured they’d done everything necessary. You have to pay attention and be ready to take advantage of new storage and archival options as they appear.

Danish archer takes aim at ‘Hollywood archery’ myths

Lars Anderson, whose archery video went viral with more than 4.5 million views in its first 24 hours on YouTube, demonstrated in the video how he used ancient depictions of archers and written accounts to rediscover the technique of holding his arrows in his firing hand and placing the arrow on the outside of the bow, instead of the more common position on the inside of the bow.

Links To Go (January 26, 2014)

The Greatest False Idol of Modern Christianity

Dig just beneath the sunny “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Bible covers, and the “God’s judgment is coming” bullhorn warnings and you’ll find that much of America has imagined a powerless God who’s mostly just keeping Heaven tidy until all the Christians get there. In the meantime, we live in perpetually frightened freak-out mode.
The truth is, Fear has become a false God, one too many of us worship with complete and undying devotion.

More Than A Dream

Churches and church leaders who dream of racial harmony have found a great starting point. What they do next is vital.

  • Will they seek out other races and listen to their stories?
  • What books will they read?
  • Will they involve themselves in their communities?
  • Will they learn new languages?
  • Are they willing to make adjustments in the feel of their worship services?
  • Will they accept new leaders in the church and treat them as equals?

Mummy Mask May Reveal Oldest Fragment of the Gospel of Mark

A text found on papyrus used on a mummy mask may be the oldest copy of a gospel known to exist—a fragment of the Gospel of Mark that was written during the first century, before the year AD 90. Until now, the oldest surviving copies of the gospel texts date to the second century (the years AD 101 to 200).

The Bible isn’t my newsfeed

But, we must allow Him the time, the attention, and the focus He deserves — none of which is learned by squandering time on social media.
We must be more intentional with our time and habits. We must swap scrolling for disciplining, liking for loving, and clicking for thinking.
So, here’s to the New Year! May it be full of less scrolling and more doing!

SOTM: Matthew 5:17-20 (Torah)

Jesus is very capable of a double meaning, and I think both Vander Laan and McKnight are right. Jesus fulfills the Law and the Prophets both by correctly interpreting them and by personally fulfilling what they have all been pointing to. It’s the same thing.
Jesus doesn’t explain this fully in these few verses, but the rest of the SOTM — as well as the rest of Matthew — offers a series of lessons in reading the Old Testament in and through Jesus.

Seven things that worry me when we disagree…

  1. Be careful about anyone who insists that Scripture is clear about every issue.
  2. But also be wary of those who think we cannot agree on anything.
  3. Be very concerned about people who claim to speak for God in areas He did not speak.
  4. I am never comfortable with proof texts.
  5. Watch out for one verse wonders.
  6. Stop the conversation when anyone implies — or says — that you would agree with them if you just cared enough about what God says.
  7. Never judge someone’s heart by saying they do not love God or his people if they do not agree with you.


It made think about why I am the way I am. Could it be that my mother instilled this in me growing up? That you help people in need? That you visit the widow and help her around the house? Here I was with my son passing this valuable lesson along.
I worry that we are not training our children up today. How do we expect them to become servants if we don’t develop it? How are they going to see the value when they think they are the center of the world?

The Department of State Warns Against Visiting the United States

Today’s post is meant partly in jest to show how easy it is to make any country sound unsafe. I used the information page for Thailand, which has no current warnings or alerts but does have a pretty scary-sounding introduction in its dedicated overview. I kept to the original language of the Safety and Security section as much as possible, replacing events in Thailand with similar events in the U.S., and from this perspective it almost seems like visiting Thailand would be safer than staying home.

Five-year-old boy gets a bill for missing school friend’s birthday party

A FIVE-year-old boy has been handed an invoice – for missing his friend’s birthday party.
And now his parents claim they have been threatened with the possibility of court action if they don’t stump up the cash.