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Male and Female: Whose Church Is It, Anyway?

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The discussion so far: 1) In the Beginning
2) A Suitable Helper 3) Partners in Sin 4) Women in the Old Testament, part 1
5) Women in the Old Testament, part 2 6) Creation 2.0 7) Rockstar Women of the Early Church 8) Was Paul Sexist? 9) 99 Problems, the church in Corinth 10) Eve vs. Artemis .......
Full disclosure - I am Church of Christ born and bred. I went through the entire program. I was born to faithful, active parents. We were at church every time the doors were open. I went to private Church of Christ schools from 1st grade through college (Jackson Christian School, Columbia Academy, and Harding University). I have worked as a full time youth minster and worship leader in two different Churches of Christ over the past 8 1/2 years.

I can totally relate to Paul in Philippians 3 when he is listing off his resume. Oh you want to talk religious cred? How bout them apples? Paul says he was a “Hebrew of Hebrews.” Well, I guess that would make me… CoC of CoC. Paul’s point in saying all that was…

Male and Female: A Suitable Helper

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Read part one of this series here >> Male and Female: In the Beginning
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If you aren't aware, the Bible contains not one but two creation accounts. (Maybe even three if you count the first two verses of Genesis as a separate account entirely like some scholars do.) Genesis 1:1 - 2:3 is the great creation song, the epic poem of God creating something out of nothing. Well, not out of nothing per se, but rather out of his self-loving community and divine omnipresence.

Genesis 2:4 begins another account, zooming in on the creation of one man, one woman, and one garden. I appreciate that the Jews never tried to form a "reconciled" or "harmonized" version of the accounts by forcing them into one another. They are distinct. They are separate. And they are both telling a very particular story.

The Creation Song ends with God declaring his creation is "very good" and then taking a Sabbath rest (the 7th day doesn't "end," by the way). …

Male and Female: In the Beginning

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In the beginning...

As often as possible I try to do two things when studying the Scriptures. 1) Look back at the beginning for how God intended to world to be, and 2) Look forward to the world as Jesus set it in motion to become. One of my favorite hymns is This Is My Father's World. That song does exactly that - it looks around to the awesomeness of God's creation, but it also looks forward to the day when "earth and heaven" become "one" again. And Jesus is at the center of it all.

That's my hermeneutic. That's my modus operandi for discovering what the Scriptures are all about. Obviously, there's more to it than that, but this is as simple as I can make it.

Too often, discussions about the role of women in the church are too quick to jump to the passages in Paul (all two of them) that seem to issue an eternal ban on all female leadership in the church. And if we do that, then we run the risk of thinking Paul is saying something I don't be…

GOD IS LIGHT: John is more right than he knows

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How do you think about God? What image comes to mind?

Maybe you think of God as some cosmic grandfather, an elderly white man with a long, flowing beard reminiscent of Santa Claus.

Maybe God is some kind of universal policeman always on the lookout for people to mess up so he can zap them with lightning.

Maybe nothing in particular comes to mind.

John makes an interesting illustration for God in 1 John 1:5
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. We're probably all familiar with what John says later in the letter: God is love. But here at the beginning, John says that God is light.

One of John's favorite binaries is light and darkness. It's all throughout his gospel, his letters, and Revelation. The opening paragraph of John's gospel concludes this way:
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. I think Light …

John the Apostle, Doctor Who, Han Solo, and Intergenerational Discipleship

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I never knew my grandparents.

I am the youngest child of two youngest children (something I coincidentally share in common with my youngest son). All of my grandparents died before I could ever really get to know them. As I get older, that reality hits a little harder. I love that my sons get to grow up knowing their grandparents.

Why?

Because it connects them to the past. A relationship with their grandparents reminds them that the world was around before them and will be here after them.


Generations fascinate me. I think there is so much we could learn from each other if we would just take a second and listen. I wish I could have had the chance to ask my grandparents what it was like to grow up in the Great Depression. Or what it was like to live through World War II. Or what church was like in the South during the Civil Rights movements of the 50s and 60s. What was is like to hear the news that President Kennedy had been shot? How did people in church respond when Martin Luther Kin…

To Meme or not to Meme?

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Let's talk about memes.

I'm definitely no memetic expert (believe it or not, that's a real thing that exists now because internet). But I am one of those darn Millennials who's killing off all the good things your parents and grandparents tried to hard to build - like Applebee's. So I think I can speak on the issue a little bit.

I love a good meme. A GIF or a still image with a clever joke, pun, or subtitle that gives you a quick LOL before you scroll further down on Reddit. I have friends who I count on sharing some quick chuckle memes every time I hop on the Face Books.

They make for some good "Haha! Look at this!" moments, and they can really give others a glimpse into your specific brand of humor.


Harmless. No big deal. Moving on.

Right?

Until...

2015/16 happened. As a digital native, I was flabbergasted by the sudden infiltration of political memes into my otherwise mostly peaceful habitat. My entire online ecosystem was overrun with memes about Trum…

What If PAW PATROL Was Actually Good?

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Plot Synopsis:
In the very distant future along the coast of the former United States of America sits a city populated by the descendants of those who survived the great wars of the late 21st Century. The United States has dissolved. Local populations banded together to form city-states, which are mostly at peace with each other.
Leading up to, and during the great wars, corporations seized more and more power. Independent research firms, backed by government dollars, competed to become the first to create sentient human-animal hybrids. These hybrids usually retained the physique of the animal with the intelligence and communicative ability of humans. These sentient animals were given legally protected status and were trained in search-and-rescue and military operations.

Other corporations focused their research and development on multi-function vehicles (MFVs). These vehicles can transition from ground to water and air, playing a pivotal role in the great wars. Later, the remaining MFVs…

Dammed Faith

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Faith is an interesting thing.

I find it fascinating that as we trace back human civilization - for as far back as we can see there has been some kind of faith, belief, or religious ritual. From cave paintings and burial rites to ancient temple complexes that were built while mammoths still roamed the earth, mankind has nearly always reached out for something greater.

A complete disbelief in God or the gods is a relatively new phenomenon. Religious belief has only come into question within the last few centuries - just a drop in the bucket compared to the full history of humanity. The burden today seems to be placed on those who believe to explain why rather than for those who don’t believe to explain why not.
For myself, I think of my faith in God as a river system. Belief in God is the large river cutting large swaths through the countryside. But that river had to form somewhere. Along the way, there are five smaller streams and tributaries — some larger than the others — that feed …