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From Around the Internet 3-25-12

Luke Gerity has written a good post on “Homosexuality in the Ancient World.” Many arguments about the New Testament passages that condemn same-gender sex turn on the question: Were there committed, loving same-sex relationships in the ancient world? Are such ever mentioned in ancient literature? The answer (of course) is: Yes there were, and, yes, they are mentioned. For an overview of the sources, check out Luke’s post. Thus, the arguments that the only kind of same-sex relationships known in the ancient world were pederastic, or exploitative, or related to pagan idolatry, etc. are false.

Derek Maris has begun a Wolfhart Pannenberg series of posts here:
“Pannenberg 101: God & Ontology.” I’m not sure that Ontology is the best (in the sense of: easiest to comprehend) place to begin, but I appreciate the fact that he will be attempting to blog his way through Pannenberg’s Systematic Theology. And he does include this very fine Pannenberg quote:

Unity is a subject of eternal interest to the philosopher. Unity is the most comprehensive characteristic of being … the quest for the ultimate unity which integrates and thus unifies everything is the question reaching for God … For us, too, the way in which we must test any concept of God is by asking whether it can account for the unity of all reality. If an idea of God fails that test, it does not comprehend the power dominating everything and is, therefore, not a true concept of God.


Ed Stetzer has some interesting reflections on whether statistics bear out the idea that there has been a resurgence of hard-line Calvinism in the Baptist Church here: “Calvinism: New Research and a Discussion with Roger Olson & Michael Horton.” He also includes a video of an interview with Roger Olson and Michael Horton. I skipped the video myself (it’s about an hour long), but maybe some of my readers might find that interesting. At one point Stetzer says: “when looking at a large national sample of Protestant pastors, we cannot find a surge of young, restless, and reformed pastors.”

Derek Ouellette has a very good post on the New Perspective on Paul view of the doctrine of Justification here: “The Basis of Justification.” I think he explains it very well, and I personally agree with that view. He says: “What Paul is saying very specifically is that our justification is based upon Jesus’ faithful obedience to the Father in the very specific surrendering of himself on the cross. That is, our justification is based upon Jesus’ faithfulness, via Philippians 2, and declared upon us when the Judge sees the evidence he is looking for. Not a perfect man (he already found one!), but faith in the Faithful One.”

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