Thursday, Dec 14, 2017
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Gonzaga to break ground on $14 million retail, parking facility

09/14/13This week Gonzaga University announced plans to break ground this spring on a new four-level, $14 million mixed-use facility with a ground-floor campus bookstore, meeting rooms and flexible space designed for dining and future retail, as well as 650 parking spaces. The building will occupy the block bounded by Hamilton and Cincinnati Streets and DeSmet and Boone Avenues. In addition …

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Church will have to step up, help the poor

09/14/13 “You will have to talk to the state.” That's what an Iraqi woman was told Thursday afternoon after she was informed the State of Washington no longer covers eye glasses for adults on state assistance. We had spent an hour at the optometrist's office, after being referred there by the woman's doctor. She was assured that insurance would cover …

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Whitworth professor to discuss challenges in contemporary Africa

09/14/13 The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa, religious violence in Nigeria andthe indictment of four high — profile Kenyans for post — election violence will be the topic of the second lecture at Whitworth University's 55th annual Great Decisions Lecture Series on March 8. Whitworth Assistant Professor of Political Science Megan Hershey will be the speaker. She specializes in African studies …

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Is homosexuality OK in Jesus’ eyes?

Dr. Heller,

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I have a question about something that was brought up at Judy Shepard’s recent presentation on her son Matthew’s death. Her son was gay and was killed by two other young men out of hate for homosexuals. Judy is a Christian, and with a son whose sexual orientation is by the Bible’s definition a sin, this woman is caught between love for her son and the truth of the Bible. At one point in her presentation a question was voiced over how she felt about this contradiction. Her answer confused me. She said, “the New Testament gives us permission to move away from the teachings of the Old Testament.” She believes that Jesus’ call to love our neighbor regardless of their sins makes homosexuality OK. What are your thoughts on this? I’m a bit confused on how to feel about homosexuality and how to love these people without accepting their way of life as one approved by God.

Thanks for any insight on this issue,

- Travis

Your message raises a question on the way we very often come to a conclusion on biblical texts. Is it my personal experience that determines how we should interpret texts? Or does a right interpretation of a biblical text depend on interaction between the author of the text, its reader and the larger Christian community? Martin Luther went with the first option. Only personal experience counts. This choice led to the Reformation and a splitting up of Christians in thousands of different denominations.  The Roman Catholic and the Orthodox churches continue to stick to principles of biblical interpretation represented by the second option.

It’s not my goal to displease the lady whose son died in such horrible circumstances. But the harshest words on homosexuality can be found in the New Testament (Romans 1:26-27). Yes, according to God’s law and Jesus’ new commandment (John 15:12), we are called to love one another as Jesus loved us. Now, what does “to love” mean? It does not mean to disregard sin, any sins, including homosexual acts. Homosexuality is a human condition just as heterosexuality is. Both, homosexuals and heterosexuals, have a sinful nature; both can sin. To love people is not to accept whatever they do or hold. To love as Jesus loved is to show homosexuals and heterosexuals a path to life where all are offered healing from sin, including homosexual acts and sexual sins related to heterosexuality.  This lady just wants homosexuality to be OK! Does she want she and for her son to be totally healed from whatever sin? That’s the ultimate question.

- Karin

Dr. Karin Heller is a professor on the theology faculty at Whitworth University. Her blog, Table Talk with Dr. Karin Heller, features her responses to questions that students have asked her over the years.  Check back each week to see new posts, and if you have a question leave it in the comment section below.

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Court says pharmacists can’t be forced to dispense morning-after pill

09/14/13 A federal court on Wednesday struck down a Washington state rule that requires pharmacists to dispense the morning-after pill even if it violates their religious beliefs. Religious liberty advocates cheered the decision. They have decried the 2007 state regulation as a violation of pharmacists' First Amendment rights, which guarantee freedom of religion. “Today's decision sends a very clear message: …

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Dehumanizing the outsiders, elderly, disabled and poor

09/14/13 I have been working with refugees since October of 2006, when our family agreed to host a family of five Karen refugees from Burma through World Relief, an international refugee resettlement organization with a great office in Spokane. These were the first Karen people to come to Spokane and because of that we worked to move them right around …

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