Karin, During your talk in class last night I was very shocked to hear there were four major atonement theories: Ransom Theory, Perfect Satisfaction Theory, atonement as a manifestation of love which covers a multitude of sins, and atonement as a manifestation of God’s wisdom. As a Christian growing up …Read More »
Why do so many Christians spend time and money on false instruction based on the Book of Revelation?
Dr. Heller, Thank you for explaining the Book of Revelation to our class. I confess I have had little exposure to the book. Even church service readings from Revelation are rare it seems. With Revelation being touted as a book of prophecy for end times on earth by some Christian …Read More »
Dear Dr. Heller, My dad is a divorced man. He was married before he married my mother, and I have two half brothers. My parents have been married for almost 22 years and have a stronger relationship than anyone I know. In the bible it says that those who divorce …Read More »
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,
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.
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.Read More »
Dr. Heller, I’ve been raised a Protestant my whole life and have a strong faith. My family members are also very dedicated in their faith. My boyfriend, on the other hand, is Catholic. My dad constantly tells my brothers and I that we should marry someone who has the …Read More »
Hi Karin, I was wondering how you would compare Dorothy Sayers’ view on women becoming human through the work force, particularly in light of the biblical call to give one’s self up in the service of others? Is it not judgmental to say women who devote their energy to serving …Read More »