Is God Male?

Some good traffic and discussion on my post over at The Junia Project. Click here to read and join in the conversation.

Advertisements
Posted in hermeneutics, Theology and Culture, Women in Ministry | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mission & the Triune God (paper & response, open to the public)

Hey fellow pastors, church leaders, and theological thinkers in the Winnipeg and Steinbach (and broader Hanover) areas.

Come on out to Providence tomorrow to stimulate your mind and be refreshed, meet with others, and discuss your thoughts. Perhaps join us for chapel in the seminary first (11:10 a.m.) and make a retreat day of it?

Posted in church, ecclesiology, missional, Theology | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

In Need of the Spirit to Pray

“Paul’s ‘we do not know how to pray  as we ought’  has probably never been as relevant as it is today. We live at a time of spiritual drought. The images of the world which in former times spoke of God have become obscure ciphers and riddles, the words of scripture have been whittled away by rationalistic skeptics, human hearts have been so crushed and trampled on in this age of the robot that they are no longer sure that contemplation is possible. Prayer finds them basically full of doubt, insecurity and despair; they creep along close to the ground and dare not stand upright. They feel drawn to every negative act; ready not only to doubt God but also to resist him, perhaps even to hate him for letting the world carry on as it does, for being so high and aloof, above the need to intervene. For he is so sure of himself that he can expose his children to fear and darkness in this vast, unbounded universe, giving them no hope but nothingness, no consolation but the certainty of death. . . .  Nowadays the temptation to say No, to yield to weariness, is very strong.  Anyone with any receptivity to the question of the meaning of existence is put under such temptation that he has to strain every sinew to resist the current.”

– Hans Urs von Balthasar, Prayer, pp. 99-100.

Posted in quotes | Tagged , , ,

Hans Urs von Balthasar – In the Son

Read this awesome passage today and thought I’d share it:

“In the Son, the Father contemplates us from before all time, and is well pleased. It is in the Son that the Father can predestine and choose us to be his children,  fellow children with the one, eternal Child, who, from the beginning of the world, intervenes as sponsor for his alienated creatures. It is in him that the father justifies us, viewing and valuing us in the context of his Son’s righteousness which pays all our debts; he ascribes the Son’s righteousness to us; he gives it to us as our very own. Finally, it is in the Son that the Father glorifies us, by permitting us to participate in the Son’s resurrection and finally, by grace, setting us at his right hand, the Son’s rightful place.” (Hans Urs von Balthasar)

Posted in christology, quotes | Tagged , , , , ,

Is Christian Faith Obsolete in a Scientific Age?

Is Christian Faith Obsolete in a Scientific Age?

I’ve just uploaded my CSCA lecture, delivered in several locations last year, including the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre in Morden, University of Manitoba, SEMC Church in Steinbach, and Transcona Christian Reformed Church in Winnipeg.

The purpose was to generate conversation about the relationship between science and faith, and to promote the new local chapter of the CSCA (Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation).

Hope you enjoy it and find it helpful!

 

Posted in Philosophy of Science, Science and Christian Faith, teaching / lecturing, Theology and Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

THE ROAD TO CALVARY PASSES THROUGH FLOSSENBÜRG

My friend, Dr. Robert J. Dean, has just published a wonderful collection of sermons.

He invited me to contribute a blog post interacting with one of them.

You can read my post here:

http://thinkingafter.com/the-road-to-calvary-passes-through-flossenburg/

Posted in book reviews, preaching, reflections | Tagged , , , , , ,

I’m Convinced that the Evolutionary Paradigm of Human Origins is True. Now What?

I’m Convinced that the Evolutionary Paradigm of Human Origins is True. Now What?

If one becomes convinced that evolution is real – it happened – what then is one to do with the Bible? With traditional Christian beliefs and doctrines? With personal faith in Jesus that affirms his bodily resurrection from the dead?

If you are someone who finds the scientific evidence for evolution compelling, but wonders how an evolutionary perspective can accord with Christian faith (or, more specifically, with a faithful and intelligent reading of the Bible and a commitment to robust theological orthodoxy), there are some really great resources available out there.

At a recent talk on faith and science, I was asked a question about how one is to understand the Genesis account of Adam (Gen 1-3) in light of recent genomic evidence (e.g., population genetics), which is telling us that humans did not descend from a single, original pair and that the early human population consisted of something in the area of 10,000 people.

This data is threatening to some interpretations of Genesis, but not to all of them (even amongst conservative evangelical theologians and biblical scholars, there are many who don’t see a problem with this because they believe that Genesis was not written to address the kinds of questions raised by modern science). There are many scholars who hold to traditional Christian belief and the authority of Scripture who also find the evidence for evolution compelling.

Many people just have not been exposed to good resources by reputable scholars who are also devout Christians. So, I thought I’d post some resources here. This is just a quick and brief sample of the resources available, but if you read some of these, the footnotes and hyperlinks will open up even more resources to you.

This list not intended for those who are wrestling with the evidence for/against evolution (for Christians who want a good, balanced and fair resource to start with, I recommend Gerald Rau’s book Mapping the Origins Debate published by InterVarsity Press). On the other hand, I still recommend this reading if you are in the midst of searching and thinking through the issue, because our assumptions and pre-commitments about how Genesis ought to be read can impact (even bias) our approach to the scientific evidence (there are always philosophical, theological, and hermeneutical factors that frame and determine the way we move from observation of data to inference about the significance of the data).

This brief list is (mostly) for those who have already become convinced by the scientific evidence for evolution and who want to know how one then reads the Bible (esp. Genesis) and thinks theologically about the challenges evolution raises for certain traditional doctrines (e.g., universal sinfulness of humanity/original sin, the image of God, the nature of Salvation, miracles and divine providence, randomness and meaning/purpose, and so forth).

Websites:

BioLogos website: probably the best place to start – lots of good blog series, resources, videos, and a great Q&A section.

The American Scientific Affiliation: an organization of Christians working in the sciences (usually in higher education). Their journal, Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, posts its back-issues online and there is a search feature to search for articles according to the topic you are interested in. Click here to read an article I wrote for the journal about reflecting theologically (making theological sense of) evolution. And here is a gem of an essay on Genesis 1 written by Rikk Watts, of Regent College, for the ASA website (published in book format elsewhere).

Some Books I’ve Found Helpful

Here are some books which I have found helpful on Genesis, Adam & Eve, Biblical Interpretation, etc. that are relevant to the topic (there are lots, this is just a sample):

  • Brueggemann, Walter. Genesis. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010.
  • Charles, J. Daryl, ed. Reading Genesis 1-2: An Evangelical Conversation. Peabody: Hendrikson, 2013. For my summary and review of this book, click here.
  • Enns, Peter. The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say About Human Origins. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2012.
  • Franklin, Patrick S. Being Human, Being Church: The Significance of Theological Anthropology for Ecclesiology. Bletchley, Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2016. [In this book, in three chapters, I unpack three lenses through which I understand what it means to be human theologically (relational, rational, eschatological). Chapter 5 explores the biblical and theological resources for understanding human beings as eschatological (end/future-oriented) beings whom God created not only with a beginning (creation) but also a destiny (consummation/perfection) in mind. Consummation and perfection were not “plan B” which God put in place only after the “fall” in Genesis 3. Rather, God always intended an unfolding, developing creation (and for humans to be a part of this and even play an active role in it).]
  • Greenwood, Kyle. Scripture and Cosmology: Reading the Bible between the Ancient World and Modern Science. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2015.
  • Lamoureux, Denis. Evolutionary Creation A Christian Approach to Evolution. Havertown: The Lutterworth Press, 2014.
  • Longman, Tremper. How to Read Genesis. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2005.
  • Rad, Gerhard von. Genesis: A Commentary. London: SCM, 1991.
  • Venema, Dennis R., and Scot McKnight. Adam and the Genome: Reading Scripture After Genetic Science. Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2017.
  • Walton, John. The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2009.
  • Wenham, Gordon J. Genesis 1-15. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014.
  • Westermann, Claus. Genesis 1-11: A Continental Commentary. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1994.
Posted in evolution, hermeneutics, Science and Christian Faith, The Bible, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Encouraging words from Carl Braaten about my book

psf book_front cover official“The theme of this book is that a theologically adequate doctrine of the church presupposes an equally adequate doctrine of the human person. The meaning of being human has a decisive bearing on the meaning of being church. This insight alone makes an important contribution to the contemporary discussion about the nature and mission of the church, no matter which part of the ecumenical mansion happens to be one’s home….

Franklin’s book on the nature of being human and its relation to the nature and mission of the church is a worthy gift to the ecumenical quest for a deeper and broader ecclesiology whose goal is to restore unity to a badly divided Christian world…. Readers would do well to receive with gratitude the insights Franklin’s book offers their own search for a richer understanding of the church.”

– Carl E. Braaten, Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and Founder of the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology

Click here to read what others have said about the book.

Posted in book reviews, ecclesiology | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Public Lecture on Faith & Science in Steinbach (Feb. 15, 7pm)

poster_franklin_steinbach

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Now Serving as VP of CSCA

photo

I recently accepted the role of Vice President for the executive council of the Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation. I and proud and honoured to serve this great organization. Genuine, honest, mutually enriching dialogue between science and Christian faith is so important today. And I have found such dialogue to be intellectually gratifying and spiritually enriching when done well!

csca-vp

Posted in Science and Christian Faith, Theology and Culture | Tagged , , , , , ,