Return to Fruitfulness, that’s an Order

By their fruits you shall know them. Matthew 7:16The hermeneutics of suspicion have made us barren. To be expected though, since the world is structured in a particular way and  disregarding its structure should make us sterile. I suppose the haters are gonna hate, and if you hate the world, why would you want to be fruitful?The first chapter of Genesis gives us an account of the structuring of the world: God broods over the primal sea and then he applies the knife, dividing, then … [Read more...]

Why the cultural mandate comes first

Genesis 1:26-28 (ESV) 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”27 So God created man in his own image,     in the image of God he created him;     male and female he created them.28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth … [Read more...]

Theological Foundations of the Family: Father Abraham

The spirit of Marcion is with us to the present day. Marcion you may recall was a heretic. He was also urbane, spiritually minded, and he believed in a loving God.That's why he thought the God of the Old Testament with all the wrath, blood, and intolerance had to go. He took it upon himself to expunge Christianity of all its Jewishness.The relationship of the Testaments has always been a subject that divides Christians. I recall as a young Christian being encouraged to spend all my time … [Read more...]

Bombadil at Home

When it comes to what the Bible means by taking dominion Tom Bombadil comes to mind for me; but I think what comes to mind for most people looks a lot more like Saruman.If you're a reader of Lord of the Rings, you got those references. But if you've only seen the films, you probably didn't--at least not the reference to Bombadil.Poor Bombadil, what's he in the story for anyway? (Peter Jackson, the director of the films thought he was expendable.) That whole episode in the Old Forest … [Read more...]

Theological Foundations of the Family: Family as Image of the Covenant

We live in a world where the givens of family life no longer can be received as givens. They must be justified to modern people.Longtime readers of this blog know I am an apologist for traditional ways, especially home ways. I've long felt that more is at stake with the loss of traditional ways than is generally believed. Some of my co-belligerents defend them strictly to preserve the goodness of creation--natural law and all that.But I believe that the new creation is also at stake. … [Read more...]

Freedom: I don’t think it means what you think it means

One of the conceptual blocks I ran into as a young convert was the notion that freedom is subject to morality.Like just about everyone else I considered freedom to be amoral, or even better the highest moral value only grudgingly hemmed in by the freedom of other people.Only later would I come to see that my convictions (if they could even be called convictions) were the same as the Utilitarians--people like Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill--who saw the world in materialistic terms. … [Read more...]

Theological Foundations of the Family: Priestly Fatherhood

Christian family-based religious life is so dissimilar to the practices of biblical patriarchs there are times I wonder if we can consider them patriarchs at all. (Patriarchs are ruling fathers after all, and we certainly don't seem to submit to them or resemble them.)My previous posts in this series of reflections on Joseph C. Atkinson's Biblical and Theological Foundations of the Family show just how much the patriarchs expected of family life and just how little we do in … [Read more...]

How Ordaining Women Harms Ministry to Men

The problem with Progressives is they don't have a subtraction key on their calculators. Those of us with a more cyclical view of history know that for every apparent gain there is something lost.What follows isn't speculative. These are observations. I ministered for 20 years in a denomination that ordains women. (While it is not the primary reason for my departure, it certainly was a secondary one.)So here are just a few of the unintended consequences I've seen follow the ordination of … [Read more...]

Theological Foundations of the Family: Corporate Personality

I have long suspected that the real reason American evangelicals are so ignorant about the Old Testament is because it doesn't support the individualistic and private religion they prefer.Often when you hear someone say something like this you may safely assume that an advocate of the welfare state is about to use evangelicals as a foil for increasing the soft-totalitarianism progressives prefer. If that's your fear, not to worry. For me Sweden is hell on earth (like Dante's lowest level in … [Read more...]

Masculinity and the Church (I am interviewed by Radio Free Christendom)

 I am pleased to present a podcast of Radio Free Christendom in which I am interviewed by my friend Steven Wedgeworth.The interview addresses reaching men, why the Industrial Revolution precipitated the crisis of masculinity, why Mark Driscoll is sort of goofy, and why the traditional role of men in the household is important for understanding how salvation works.(In other words, more rides on masculinity than a man's ego.)The interview is about 45 minutes long and is … [Read more...]