What Is Our Reaction to Sexual Sin? (1 Corinthians 5:1-2)

  For Christians, the norm of sexual behavior is simple: fidelity within marriage, chastity without it. Because of the current debate over same-sex marriage, that norm has been clarified by making explicit the traditional understanding of marriage as a lifelong heterosexual union. This norm is rooted in the creation narrative (Genesis 1:27, 2:24) and reaffirmed by Jesus Christ (Matthew 19:4-5, Mark 10:6-8) and the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 6:15-16, Ephesians 5:31). New Testament authors use the word porneia specifically in reference to prostitution (1 Corinthians 6:15-18) and broadly in reference to any violation of the norm, whether premarital sex (1 … Continue reading What Is Our Reaction to Sexual Sin? (1 Corinthians 5:1-2)

For Others, Under God (1 Corinthians 4:18-21)

  In 1 Corinthians 4:14-15, Paul describes the Corinthians as “my dear children” and himself as “your father through the gospel.” The tenderness underlying these images is obvious. What is unexpected is the toughness. Consider what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 4:18-21: Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but … Continue reading For Others, Under God (1 Corinthians 4:18-21)

Five Characteristics of a Christian Leader (1 Corinthians 4:17)

  Search through Amazon.com’s offering on books using the word leadership, and you’ll find 60,530 results. Perform the same search using the word followership, and you’ll find 149 results. Even the more common word follower only nets you 2,099 results. Though most of us follow, or precisely because most of us follow, we crave better leaders and seek guidance to find them or become them ourselves. There is a crisis of leadership in our country. Church leaders overlook child sexual abuse among their peers. Political leaders write laws they fail to follow themselves. Business leaders make a buck even as … Continue reading Five Characteristics of a Christian Leader (1 Corinthians 4:17)

Do As I Do (1 Corinthians 4:14-16)

  Parents, when caught by their children in some hypocrisy, often say, “Do as I say, not as I do.” I haven’t said that to my 18-month-old son yet – mostly because he doesn’t speak English and I don’t speak gibberish. But I will say it someday. Imperfect a father as I am, I know that I will need to uphold the authority of life’s rules even as I occasionally (and inadvertently) break them. Of course, it would be better by far for me to say to my son, “Do as I say precisely because I say as I do.” … Continue reading Do As I Do (1 Corinthians 4:14-16)

Happy St. George’s Day

Today is St. George’s Day among Western Christians. It’s celebrated on May 6 by Eastern Christians because they follow the Julian rather than the Gregorian calendar. You can read about my namesake here. Here’s the St. George Cross, which was the flag of England before its union with Scotland. George, it turns out, is the patron saint of England, as well as Palestine, interestingly enough. Continue reading Happy St. George’s Day