Roles – Construct vs Command

Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (ESV)

Anyone who has spent time researching the Myers-Briggs personality typing system will know that the life of the xNTP types revolves around the question “why?”. To the xNTP, tradition and convention are, on their own, utterly inadequate at providing justification; no number of years of history is sufficient without a reason that is applicable in the present. I am a fairly archetypal xNTP (probably ENTP, but my E/I has proven difficult to determine), and have a strong distaste for the arbitrary. As irrelevant as my personality type may seem to a discussion on gender roles, I begin here for a reason. A large proportion of the roles and conventions taken for granted in society are entirely arbitrary, justified by nothing more than tradition (I am yet to find someone who can explain why a piece of material tied in a particular style of knot around a man’s neck should, objectively, be considered a sign of formality); this is an endless source of frustration to me. So, when it comes to the suggestion that there are fixed, defined gender roles, I am not a witness biased in their favour; I could not even be described as a neutral witness. Due to my personality, I am very much a hostile witness. Nevertheless, as a Christian who strives to place myself under the authority of God’s Word, I find myself persuaded that gender roles are very much part of how we are commanded to live, not merely a construct of society. Continue reading Roles – Construct vs Command


Relationships – Bilateral vs Unilateral

Romans 12:17-18 “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (ESV)

Doesn’t it feel unfair when someone harms us and they get away with it? There seems to be some innate acceptance within the human heart of the “eye for an eye” principle. After all, if people don’t get what they deserve, how will they know that they’ve done the wrong thing? Never mind Christ’s inconvenient teaching about turning the other cheek (Matthew 5:38-42) and the immense grace that he has shown us; our nature far more readily seeks to dispense vengeance than it does grace. This attitude of retribution affects our relationships in a number of ways, some more easily recognisable than others. One particularly insidious effect is easy to miss, but completely alters our functional model of what a relationship is. Continue reading Relationships – Bilateral vs Unilateral

Gender & Power – Selfish vs Servant

Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (ESV)

Even though I’ve been living under a metaphorical rock called “university work” for the past few weeks, it has been difficult to miss the recent resurgence in discussion on gender. The horrifying sequence of murders in Santa Barbara, motivated by one man’s horribly warped understanding of the relationship between men and women, has prompted many people, women in particular, to speak about the broader distortion in gender relationships. As I finally resume posting on this blog, I feel drawn to temporarily deviate from my planned series to write a mini-series zooming in on gender as it fits into the Christian worldview. Continue reading Gender & Power – Selfish vs Servant

God’s Nature – Safe vs Good

Hebrews 10:31 “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (ESV)

When I first decided to write a series on the effect of Christianity on worldview (of which this is the third entry), I did not plan to cover this topic. Following the outline in my previous post, I knew that I was going to be covering something to do with the relationship between God and man. Initially, I intended to discuss man’s right orientation towards God as subject, not sovereign. Of course, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with this as an entry in the series; all going according to plan, I still intend to use it for my next post. Nevertheless, I found myself uncomfortable with the idea of using it as the first topic in the series. I had to wrestle with this for quite some time before realising the problem: it is a topic primarily focused on defining who man is when in right relationship with God and, therefore, I would be starting my list of topics with a man-centric post. Anytime we centre our thoughts on man, we risk losing sight of who God is; it felt wrong to start the series on that tone. I realised that the solution to my problem was to start the series by contemplating who God is, and what that means for our worldview. Continue reading God’s Nature – Safe vs Good

Good Friday

Matthew 26:39 “And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”” (ESV)

I love this verse. To be fair, I love the Bible as a whole, but there are a few passages that say so much that I can’t help but love them a little bit more than the rest. Romans 12:2, Galatians 1:10, 2 Corinthians 12:9, Philippians 1:21; these are but a few of the verses that I treasure. As amazing as they are, Matthew 26:39 is the best of the lot. Continue reading Good Friday

Shalom – A word can paint an entire worldview

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for shalom and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (ESV)

Jeremiah 29:11 is a rather well known verse. As much as it is a verse often taken out of context, it is nevertheless a comforting verse; it is the promise God gave Israel as they were about to be taken into exile by the Babylonians, one of the darkest chapters of their history. Because of how well known the passage is, the majority of readers are likely to recognise the word that I have substituted shalom for in the quote above. Depending on translation, one might expect “welfare” (used by the ESV), or perhaps a more complex construction such as “peace and prosperity”. Continue reading Shalom – A word can paint an entire worldview

Worldview – Experiencing renewal of the mind

Romans 12:2 – “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (ESV)

Very soon after becoming a Christian, there was an area of my life that I found myself very uncomfortable about. Well, there were many of those, but one in particular that I hadn’t entirely expected, and that was to take me on a challenging and confronting journey. It first manifested itself in an overwhelming conviction that my political views were entirely wrong (it is irrelevant, for now, what those particular views were). This was rather significant for me; I’ve been passionate about the political arena for many years and held the position that I did fervently. While I didn’t immediately know what I was meant to be changing them to, I knew they had to change. Fairly soon, I found this conviction spreading into other areas of my life – areas that I hadn’t even realised had any link to my political views. As I dug deeper and deeper, I realised that the issue, at its core, wasn’t my politics; it was something far more fundamental. This marked the beginning of a journey into my worldview; realising how far from God’s character and the Bible it was, and how widespread the same issue is in the church today. Continue reading Worldview – Experiencing renewal of the mind

Analysing and reflecting on the radically different path found by following Christ.