|Last semester I posted my thoughts and reflections from Biblical texts regarding sexuality and masturbation. This paper serves as a much-needed supplement to that post, for it (the post last semester) solely regarded sexuality apart from union with Christ and the effects of soteriology on the human person. But now attention is given to sexuality within its restored context, specifically considering the interweaving of sexuality and soteriology in the mind of the apostle Paul. I hope that this article shall not be quickly read then passed over, for the import of his subject can hardly be expressed. I would also ask the reader to dwell on and contemplate the movement of the narrative of Scripture as it relates to sexuality and union, and most certainly to examine themselves and their own conceptions of sexuality. I pray that this would be helpful and beneficial and would cultivate discussion and thought concerning human beings as sexual, but also that it would express the profundity and gravity of this topic. This I offer up work to God in service of his Church. May it be used by him!Sexuality and Union shall be considered in three movements within this paper, each movement consisting of two passages. The first movement examines sexuality in general and marital union in particular in the created ideal, thus Genesis 1 and 2 are the focus. Next, the implications of The Fall on sexuality and union are explicated through Genesis 3 and Romans 1:22-25. The final movement considers our topic in the context of redemption, specifically for those who are united to Christ, by inspection of 1 Cor. 6:12-20 and Eph. 5:21-33. Continue reading|
Wade was raised in a Christian church, and grew up never questioning its tenets. However, while Wade could explain that salvation from sin is only possible through Jesus Christ, it was not until his senior year of high school that he actually repented of his sin and put all of his faith and hope in Christ for salvation. His pastor played a major role in his conversion. Having truly found Christ for the first time, he exhibited zealous joy and conviction. He graduated high school and wanted to pursue whatever profession would allow him to love Christ the most, so becoming a pastor seemed the likely option. The more he thought about it, the more the ambition fortified in his mind. He would love the opportunity to be the influence on others that his pastor was on him, but he was also open to involvement in missions, biblical counseling, or any other full-time, vocational ministry. This desire became so strong the he was eventually convinced that he was called to pastoral ministry. His church was happy to see his newfound enthusiasm, and encouraged his desires. So Wade applied for the necessary student loans and enrolled in Bible college to begin pursuing his ambition of being a pastor. Continue reading
|With graduation quickly approaching I have the privilege of writing to you this final editor’s note for the 2012-2013 academic year. You could say that this is my farewell piece because very soon I will be graduating and moving on from MBI-Spokane. So, this is my final opportunity to address you as both your fellow student and as your editor-in-chief.
First, let’s deal with some business. I am pleased to announce that we are handing SOMA over to very capable hands. I want to introduce to you your new editors: Rebecca Kauffman and Sarah Spaur. They have played a vital role in the continued success of SOMA and are capable administrators and writers. I could not feel more confident in their ability to take what already exists and make it better. I hope that you support them with encouragement, prayer, and the finest articles you have ever written. When you see them please congratulate them.
I want to make my final exhortation quick and to the point, so here it is: believe the gospel. While this may sound simplistic it’s not. I am talking about truly, passionately, devotedly, putting your whole trust in the good news of Jesus Christ. For when many of my readers hear the term “gospel” they immediately think, “Jesus lived a perfect life, died the death I deserve, and rose on the third day, and if I put my faith in Him I’ll be saved,” which is great and true, but I am talking about something more expansive. The things listed above are the absolutely necessary historical components of which the gospel message is meaningless without, but it is not the entirety of the good news. What I am addressing here is primarily belief in the Christ and His accomplished work and receiving the outcome of that accomplishment through faith. Continue reading
My intention in this paper is to examine sexuality in its proper context by viewing it within the created ideal, then to examine the distortions that take place, resulting from the fall. Often the topic of sexuality is enigmatic for the Christian community, and results in confusion at its mention. Now, sexuality in the world’s economy is glorified, boasted in, and used as a selling strategy for most everything. Yet neither confusion nor exaltation are satisfactory and both disfigure God’s created and recreated intention for sex and sexuality. Therefore, this paper will exegetically survey Genesis 1-3 and Romans 1:21-25, with the hope of moving toward a theology of sex and sexuality for the benefit of Jesus’ bride. Masturbation shall also be examined; specifically in light of Romans 1, for this topic is hardly spoken of theologically. I do not desire to cast stones, nor do I want to be controversial, but rather I think that we must see what sin truly is and what it does to us and to our relationships with others. To that end, I write this first paper to view the deforming nature of sin regarding sex and sexuality. I hope to write a following paper that will examine sexuality within its re-created context, namely to inspect the sexual implications of having the image of God renewed in Jesus Christ, and how new life in Him changes the distortions of the fall, bringing about restoration, meaning and purpose for sex and sexuality.
“Dear Lord, Although I am sure of my positions, I am unable to sustain it without Thee. Help me, or I am lost.” -Martin Luther
“Now there was not far from the place where they lay, a Castle, called Doubting-Castle, the owner whereof was Giant Despair…Now in this place, Christian had double sorrow, because ’twas through his unadvised haste that they were brought into this distress.” -The Pilgrim’s Progress
Within the subculture called Christianity, there exists a perceived hierarchy of lifestyle up to which any person’s alleged level of spiritual maturity or depth of relationship with God should measure. Further yet, in the deeper subculture, of a Bible college, preconceptions are exponentially higher, as those pursuing a lifestyle of ministry are believed to have already reached a certain plane of righteousness prior to attending. However, a disconnect automatically follows when believers within this subculture of a subculture do not seem—even to themselves—to have attained the expected level. Unfortunately for us, there is no chance of being reincarnated into a higher caste within the Moody “bubble.” Thus, rather than striving to attain a deeper relationship with the only One who could genuinely bring change, acceptance, grace, or whatever respective desires provide adequate motivation for our often self-centered seeking, we begin to play an extravagant game of pretend. Though they are worthy topics, I am not merely examining hypocrisy, motivations, or even misplaced need for approval. Rather, I am addressing a deeper issue, out of which I believe these other issues flow: the tendency towards pursuing the ideal lifestyle, not the ideal God. I am addressing my own idolatry in attempting to be some unattainable version of a Christian. Ultimately, I am addressing why recently I decided to become an atheist.
Whether through nationally televised political conventions, church on Sunday mornings, or Facebook the rest of the week, it seems near impossible not to encounter an opinion about homosexuality everywhere we turn these days. Given the political state of affairs playing out, that is probably not a bad thing. We need to be discussing the issues of homosexuality, and discussing them well, now more than ever. Our generation is caught at a crossroad, and the decisions we make, both as Christ-followers and as citizens of this country, are likely to shape the landscape of policy and ethics for decades, perhaps centuries, to come. As our forefathers once stood at the intersection of issues like slavery, suffrage, free speech, and abortion, so we now stand with homosexuality, not sure where the road forward will lead.
This will not, however, be an article that attempts to persuade you to join one side of the debate or the other. Instead, I intend to make clear that the current nationwide discussion is not just about homosexuality and we cannot continue to pretend that it is. When we refuse or are unable to talk about sexual identity issues outside of homosexuality, we lose the opportunity to minister to those who need the love of Christ and his Church most. Continue reading
Let me first apologize for the lack of posts this past month. I was very excited for you all to be able to read one of Soma’s best writers take on another spiritual discipline for you to meditate and practice. But, unfortunately, Mr. Shepherd’s entire computer crashed while in the writing process and it has taken longer to restore. But whenever he can get his post in to us we will publish it immediately- I believe its topic is very valuable but I will let tension build for its arrival!
As some of you have noticed, there are several spiritual disciplines that were not discussed that are core to the Christian life. The initial aim of this small series was to post articles that dealt with spiritual disciplines that are less practiced or given less attention. But as we enter into the school year I wanted to conclude the series with those core disciplines that we oft take for granted.