The latest Time Magazine cover story announces that “another social movement is poised to challenge deeply held cultural beliefs”; namely, that of the transgendered (men who feel they are women, and women who feel like men, often undergoing surgery accordingly).
A few years ago, seminary professor and now head of the Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission talked about how to minister to a transgendered convert or member of your congregation. I’m curious if you agree or have a better idea. But is it the pastor’s job to try to “fix” a particular kind of sinner, or is it sufficient to preach the Word in law and gospel, employ confession and absolution, and administer Baptism and Holy Communion, leaving the outcome to God as with everyone else in the congregation?
When we think of the mind, we tend to think of the intellect, our ability to reason and understand. But the mind has many other facets: We experience our emotions in our minds. Another mental faculty is the will. There has been quite a lot of theological reflection on those three, but not so much on the mental faculty that we use far more than any of the others: the imagination. When we do think of the imagination, we mystify it by associating it with creativity and the arts. Those do issue from the imagination, but what the term really means is simply the ability to form mental pictures in our minds.
Anyway, I’ve just finished a book on the subject with Matthew Ristuccia, which will come out in November. I spoke about this in Canada, recently, at Concordia Edmonton. Mathew Block, communications director of the Lutheran Church Canada, interviewed me for the Canadian Lutheran. I thought I’d run a series of posts built around his questions, starting today. [Read more...]
In the context of an article criticizing President Obama, George Will says that the president continually uses “the four basic teenage tropes” that characterize the way adolescents argue. I give them after the jump, with my emphases in bold. I don’t really want to discuss what Will says about the president. And I don’t want to cast aspersions on Adolescent Americans. But just consider these as logical fallacies. [Read more...]