Are we in Babylon or Rome? Atheists need a theology + the debate on transgender identity


Saturday 6 June 2015

What we’re reading this weekend:

Babylon or Rome? 

Stephen McAlpine, a pastor at Providence Church in Perth wrote a blog post that went viral last week, asking if Christians are ready for the second exile. He believes we’re in Babylon (as an analogous culture). Nathan Campbell, a presbyterian minister blogger in Queensland thinks we’re in Rome. Read the two insightful blog posts and decide for yourself:

– Christian: Are you ready for Exile stage two? 

– When in Rome: Reframing our expectations as the post-Christendom church

Wanted: A theology of atheism

The New York Times Sunday Review visits the Sunday Assembly, a meet-up of non-believers every Sunday and ponders what it is the atheist movement want to achieve.

“The average nonbeliever may know even less about his tradition’s intellectual debates than the average Christian does — because its institutions, like Sunday Assembly, tend to be tiny, relatively new and allergic to anything that resembles dogma. But nonbelievers should pay attention. Atheism, like any ideological position, has political and moral consequences. As nonbelievers become a more self-conscious subculture, as they seek to elect their own to high office and refute the fear that a post-Christian America will slide into moral anarchy, they will need every idea their tradition offers them.” Read more…

The real Christian debate on transgender identity

The Atlantic explores what lies beyond the name-calling and superficial reactions to Caitlyn Jenner, an American transgender TV personality who this week graced the cover of Vanity Fair, sparking further debate about how America (and the world) responds to the transgender community. “There’s a strong element of tone-deafness, even trolling, in calling someone who goes through this kind of vulnerable, public transition “sick and delusional.” But these negative reactions also suggest an important difference in understandings about what gender identity and sexuality actually mean—and indicate how difficult it will be to reconcile transgender identity with the beliefs of certain Christians, both culturally and politically.” Read more…

Dear politicians: if you claim the Christian God as your own, here’s your benchmark

“Here’s something I’d like to hear in election years: ‘I don’t believe as these Christians do, but I sure do want them running our government!'” Peter Enns on Euangelion explores the list of what makes Christianity ‘good news’ for a secular society. Read more…

Saved from the streets

The rescue of a prostitute and brothel-keeper was typical of the early work of the Salvation Army, which is 150 years old this year. Church Times tells the story of just one such rescue. Read more…

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