N. T. Wright at Oklahoma Christian University

This video is from a Q&A session at Oklahoma Christian University, which is affiliated with the Churches of Christ and historically has been fairly conservative. It’s truly fascinating viewing.

Among other topics, Wright discusses predestination, the organic church vs. the institutional church, justification by faith, social justice and politics, women in ministry, the “new creation,” the distinctiveness of Christian love, the Lord’s Prayer, the prosperity gospel, and non-Western versions of Christianity.

Enjoy.

Posted in Paul and the Faithfulness of God, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Apologetics: August 24, 2014 class (Jesus is the Messiah)

lapelmicSo this is the last class for the quarter, but less than half the classes have been recorded. I got a late start and I’ve had substitutes teaching while I’ve been on vacation or in the hospital.

But I start over in two weeks, teaching apologetics to the college class, and so we the audio lessons will continue for a while.

Here’s today’s class:

You can stream from the lesson from the above link or download it here.

Here are written materials that go with the class:

Living in a story bigger than justification by faith, by Mark Love

Apologetics: The Prophecies, by Jay Guin

Even if you don’t listen to the lesson and even if you’ve already read my post on messianic prophecies, you should read the Mark Love blog. It’s a good one.

Posted in Christian Evidences/Apologetics, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Contact System Broken

ContactUp at the top of this page, there’s a link called “Contact,” which in theory allows you to send me a private message. However, for some reason, the WordPress software stopped forwarding messages to my email.

And I’ve just learned that this system has been broken for the last several months. I’m very sorry for being so slow in responding.

I’ve been able to dig out the old messages, but the bug has not yet been fixed. I understand that the webmaster is working on it.

In the meantime, just contact me by email: jfguin(at)Comcast(dot)net. (The parentheticals should, of course, be replaced by symbols. I write this way to avoid having my email picked up by spammers.)

There are a couple of recurring questions I can answer here –

1. You are welcome to print and distribute copies of my e-books, such as The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace, so long as you do so at no profit. The same is true of the articles posted here. I’m not doing this for money.

In fact, if you give copies to your elders, Bible class students, family, or friends, I’d be thrilled. No royalty or further permission from me required — although I would enjoy hearing how the class or discussion went.

2. I just don’t have time to give individualized income tax advice. You need to see a CPA (not H&R Block or the like) and take printed copies of my articles on taxes and preachers or missionaries with you. Not all CPAs are up on this area of the law, but they should all be able to quickly figure things out with the help of my articles on taxation.

It really is astonishing how complex the tax law is regarding preachers — even more so for missionaries. Even very large, sophisticated missionary organizations struggle to advise on such things.

I’m not surprised that the articles on taxation have triggered so many requests for help, and I wish I had the time to do more.

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On Vacation

Inn at Crystal Beach - ExteriorI’m on vacation this coming week, in Destin, Florida. A very nice place to vacation indeed.

And I have all four kids, two daughters-in-law, and most importantly, two grandchildren here with me. So I plan to be a little distracted.

The week before last, I had back surgery to remove four screws and two rods. It seems the accusations were true: I had a screw loose. Four actually. And now that they’re out, I feel much better. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

1 Corinthians 7: Is Marriage Indissoluble Because Covenants are Indissoluble?

1corinthians[Mojohn: I’m convinced that "contract" is not the most accurate English word to describe the marriage relationship. God himself calls marriage a covenant (Malachi 2:14). As I understand covenants in the ancient Near East, a party was bound to perform his treaty obligations even if the other party defaulted. Only the death of a covenant party could terminate the covenant.

[We see this played out in the Prophetic books where it is recorded that God divorced his faithless wives Israel and Judah for their spiritual adultery (Ezekiel 23; Jeremiah 3:6-10), but, he did not get new wives. Instead, he restored the house of Jacob (Jeremiah 33) following repentance in Babylon. Continue reading

Posted in 1 Corinthians, 1 Corinthians, Divorce and Remarriage, Uncategorized | 50 Comments

1 Corinthians 7: When Jesus Speaks of “Adultery,” Is He Being Figurative?

1corinthiansReader Mojohn’s extensive and thoughtful comment questions my view that “adultery” in Jesus’ teaching on divorce in Matthew 5 is used metaphorically

[Mojohn: According to CWDNT, the Greek word moichao (Strong's # 3429) is translated “adultery” and “committing sexual acts with someone other than his or her own spouse." The same Greek word can also mean covenant-breaker, as in James 4:4. Because moichao can have both literal and figurative meaning, how do we know which to ascribe to “adultery” as used by Jesus in Matthew, Mark, and Luke?

[Presumably we all agree that as we read or hear communication, our default “programming” is to understand the communication literally, unless the context mandates that we should take it figuratively. Dr. D.R. Dungan incorporates this teaching as Rule 1 in Section 51 (page 195) of his book Hermeneutics. Thus, outside some of the prophetic writings and the verse in James, when one encounters the word “adultery,” one should assume it has its normal, literal meaning.] Continue reading

Posted in 1 Corinthians, 1 Corinthians, Divorce and Remarriage, Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Tom Petty: “Fault Lines” from Hypnotic Eye

Rock.

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1 Corinthians 7: Does “Not Under Bondage” Allow Remarriage? Part 2

1corinthians Is remarriage permitted? Now, the next question — although it’s really the same question — is whether the Christian may remarry. I mean, if the couple is “unmarried,” it follows that they may marry because they’re not married — unless Paul were to say otherwise. And there are several other reasons that the text says that the innocent Christian divorced by a pagan spouse may remarry – 1. Paul uses douloo to mean “bound.” It’s the verb form of doulos, meaning slave or bond-servant. Obviously, Paul is using it metaphorically. If “enslaved” doesn’t mean “can’t remarry” and can’t mean “must refuse to consent to the divorce,” then what on earth is the sense in which he or she might be enslaved? What is he or she being freed from? Continue reading

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1 Corinthians 7: Does “Not Under Bondage” Allow Remarriage? Part 1

1corinthiansI get emails. I respond to an edited version of reader Mojohn’s extensive comment in this and in the next few posts. The full text of the comment is linked here. This and the next post will deal with the meaning of “not under bondage” in 1 Corinthians 7:15 – in particular, Mojohn’s assertion that remarriage is not allowed after a Christian is divorced by a non-Christian spouse. Mojohn is referencing arguments I made in But If You Do Marry, available as a free ebook download in .pdf format. The question is important to me because it’s part of a larger argument as to whether divorced Christians may remarry at all, a topic that we’ll take up in future posts dealing with Mojohn’s thoughtful comment on the topic. Continue reading

Posted in 1 Corinthians, 1 Corinthians, Divorce and Remarriage, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

1 Corinthians 7 (The Early Church Fathers on Divorce and Remarriage)

[This is long enough for at least two posts, but given its nature, I thought it would be more helpful to the readers to post this all at once and then skip a day. And I'm posting this from the hospital. I have had kidney stones once again -- removed this morning by an unspeakable procedure using the only available orifice through which to one might remove such things. So any mistakes are the fault of the pills I'm on.]

1corinthiansIt’s commonly stated that the early church fathers (ECFs) (generally, orthodox uninspired Christian writers from the late First Century until Augustine in the Fourth Century) support the traditional view of the Churches of Christ of divorce and remarriage. Let’s see whether that is so.

Unless otherwise noted, my source is On the Divorce Teachings of the Early Church. Obviously, the early church fathers have no canonical or other authority, especially in a community that lives by “We’re silent where the scriptures are silent.” Nonetheless, the argument is often made to buttress certain conclusions about the biblical text and wouldn’t be brought up at all unless early church teachings were considered by its proponents to carry some exegetical authority.[1]

I am enough of a Campbellite to reject the notion that early church teaching carries any more authority than Calvin, Luther, Stone, Campbell, Wright, or Hauerwas, but I thought it would be a helpful exercise to see what truth there is behind the claim that the early church fathers support the Church of Christ interpretation. Continue reading

Posted in 1 Corinthians, 1 Corinthians, Divorce and Remarriage, Uncategorized | 42 Comments