Posts by Denny
EVALUATION OF NEW ENGLISH TRANSLATION BIBLE ON GENDER

EVALUATION OF NEW ENGLISH TRANSLATION BIBLE ON GENDER

May 15, 2020 By dwayman

In her ongoing study of the gender appropriate translations of the Bible, Dr. Laura Hunt provides this study of the New English Translation (NET) of the Bible.  Completed in 2019 the authors claim: “With the first edition completed in 2001, ongoing revisions based on scholarly and user feedback in 2003 and 2005, and a major update reaching its final stages in 2019, the NET’s unique translation process has yielded a beautiful, faithful English Bible for the worldwide church today.”

Specifically focusing on this version being a true translation without gender bias, Dr. Hunt gives this analysis.  She says, in part:

“The first thing to look at is the list of translators. I found it here, at the very end: https://bible.org/netbible/index.htm?pre.htm Note that these are exclusively men, and that Dallas Theological Seminary is heavily represented…

Next, I want to look at a series of verses that are helpful to get a sense of the translators’ gender biases. There are many options, but these are mine:

Gen 3:16: There are two issues here. The beginning of the verse says, in Hebrew, “I will greatly increase your pain and your conception/pregnancy.” Most translators combine this idea with the next line and assume that the pain referred to is specifically pain in childbirth. That is quite possible, and a hendiadys is something that Hebrew does do quite often. However, in the footnote, the translators justify their choice by saying “there is no pain in conception.” That comment could only come from an exclusively male perspective.

DOING JUSTICE IN AN UNJUST WORLD

DOING JUSTICE IN AN UNJUST WORLD

May 11, 2020 By dwayman

Superintendent Charles Latchison of the Free Methodist Church in Southern California (FMCSC) writes this as both a personal and pastoral response to the murder of Ahmaud Arbery as he was jogging near his home.

Supt. Latchison writes:

“In the midst of this quarantine, with all of the new challenges and new realities around us, it almost seems unthinkable that the world ‘out there’ continues. In that world, we continue to see the reality that injustice continues not just afar but in our nation, states, counties, and cities.

On February 23, 2020, a young Black Man named Ahmaud Arbery was murdered by three men (Gregory and Travis McMichael, the men who shot him, and William Bryan who perversely filmed the incident) who believed they had the right to deprive him of his life and right to due process simply because they believed he was involved in robberies in their neighborhood. This is frustrating and heartbreaking.

We know during this pandemic that people have lost jobs, lost loved ones to this virus, and are afraid of our new realities. We also know that even during this time racism is not only alive but thriving. Ahmaud is not the only Black Man murdered in our country in the past couple of weeks and racist actions towards the Asian / Asian American communities have increased rapidly as well. Our personal worlds might feel like they have come to a halt during this shelter-in-place but fear and anger have continued to move forward.

CAPITALISM AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD

CAPITALISM AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD

May 11, 2020 By dwayman

The people of God have long had a struggle with the acquisition of wealth.  From the statement of Jesus  that no one can serve two masters (Luke 6:13) to the concerns of BT Roberts when he said “Never was a saint a millionaire. Never was a millionaire a saint. Men who get rich aim at getting rich. They live for that. To this one purpose their thoughts and their energies are directed”(The Earnest Christian, Vol. XXVIII, Pgs. 37-38, August 1874), our biblical and Wesleyan tradition points us toward a wise path. To continue that journey, two Free Methodist scholars present their guidance in a recent article. asking the question “Should Christians endorse or reject capitalism.”

Drs. Kent Dunnington (Biola University) and Ben Wayman (Greenville University) give a thorough exploration of the question in their May 11, 2020 article in ABC Religion and Ethics.  Explaining that there are four definitions of Capitalism, with each having their specific Christian critique, they conclude their study by making four specific recommendations to us within our economic lives.

Witnessing (to) a different economy

“We propose the following four economic postures to mitigate against the sinister power of contemporary neoliberal capitalism, a capitalism whose animating features are captured in the descriptions of (C2), (C3) and (C4) above. Our idea is that these postures adhere to the teachings of Jesus, participate in God’s shalom,

PORNOGRAPHY USE INCREASES LONELINESS

PORNOGRAPHY USE INCREASES LONELINESS

May 3, 2020 By dwayman

One of the pervasive dangers of the modern technological age is the ever-present device that can access pornography.  Though the science is clear that pornography use is addictively destructive, society as a whole and some entertainment outlets in particular ignore this.  In this study Dr. Mark H. Butler, et.al, presents clear evidence that the use of pornography is related to loneliness as loneliness is related to the use of pornography.  Two factors were found to mitigate against the use of pornography: marriage and religious attendance.

These researchers write in part:

“Technological advances of the last half-century have made media a dominant cultural and developmental presence. Media provides powerful behavioral and relational scripts. Sexual media is pervasive, diverse, and highly accessible, bringing sexual content into the cultural forefront of society….”

“Social scientists are in the vanguard in identifying theoretically and empirically the dynamic influences of sexual media scripts on the formation and functioning of human pair-bond relationships. Social scientists also are on the cutting edge of contemporary examination of whether behavioral habituation and compulsivity surrounding pornography viewing and sexual pursuits may fit the addiction template and represent a serious relational and hence public health concern….”

“Loneliness arises from deficiency in key, meaningful relationships, more particularly attachment relationships. Deficiency may be in terms of quality or quantity, or both (Peplau & Perlman, 1982). Joining Weiss (1973) and Mikulincer and Shaver (2007),

VIRAL TRANSFORMATION – What could change due to COVID-19

VIRAL TRANSFORMATION – What could change due to COVID-19

April 30, 2020 By dwayman

There is no doubt that the Covid-19 virus will change the world.  The question in everyone’s mind is:  How will we change?  The Free Methodist Healthcare Fellowship (FMHF) offers these thoughts as a way of opening that conversation among us.  The author of this article, is the President of the FMHF, Dr. Norman Wetterau, M.D.

He says, in part:

“At this point, everything seems negative: staying at home, worried that we or a family member might die from the virus, and the economic collapse that our nation seems to be entering into. This epidemic is uncovering some weaknesses and unaddressed problems in our land. Will we decide to address these? So far it appears we might…”

Dr. Wetterau then explores several issues that he thinks may change as we now recognize both the need and the solutions. Of those possible areas for change is the need for medical care for those who are not insured, the need for equity in resources for homeschooling with everyone having internet and computer access, and the difficulty of those without homes when sheltering is the only solution to viral mortality.

The physician ends with an issue of preparedness for disasters and diseases such as this pandemic.  He says in part:

“…our basic economic system is fine in good times but not for a crisis such as this one. Dr Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University and 2001 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics wrote an opinion piece in the April Time magazine: Vol 195,

CHURCH AND STATE FROM A CATHOLIC PERSPECTIVE

CHURCH AND STATE FROM A CATHOLIC PERSPECTIVE

April 24, 2020 By dwayman

One of the more difficult relationships is that of Church and State.  The reasons are many and must be explored from a variety of perspectives.  In this article, Dr. Jeff Mirus presents a thoughtful understanding of this relationship, and its present difficulties, from a Catholic perspective.

He says, in part:

“The Catholic position has always been what Pope Gelasius described in the late fifth century as the doctrine of “the two swords”. The State (the temporal order) is a natural society over which government presides with a natural authority, exercising that authority for the common good of the community it rules. This is the “temporal sword”. The Church, on the other hand, is a supernatural society which presides with a supernatural authority over souls, exercising that authority for the spiritual welfare of the community, both as a contribution to the common good and so that all its members may attain their final end, which is eternal life with God. This is the “spiritual sword.”

It follows that the Church is our authority for defining moral truth (which is inscribed in natural reality by the Creator) and also the truth which God discloses to us solely through Revelation. To expound these truths is the purpose of what we call “Christian doctrine”. It also follows that the State is our authority for devising and implementing the measures necessary to enforce the moral law most effectively for the good of the commonwealth, as well as the many other measures which will be needed to secure and advance the common good of all under its jurisdiction.”…

SOCIAL MEDIA EFFECTS ON TEENS

SOCIAL MEDIA EFFECTS ON TEENS

April 23, 2020 By dwayman

There is clear indication that the use of social media is impacting us all, but especially our children and youth.  In this article provided by the CHILD MIND INSTITUTE, we have important and helpful information on how our teenagers are being impacted and what we can do to mitigate the harm.

The author, Rachel Ehmke, says in part:

“…adolescence is an equally important period of rapid development, and too few of us are paying attention to how our teenagers’ use of technology—much more intense and intimate than a 3-year-old playing with dad’s iPhone—is affecting them. In fact, experts worry that the social media and text messages that have become so integral to teenage life are promoting anxiety and lowering self-esteem.

Young people report that there might be good reason to worry. A survey conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health asked 14-24 year olds in the UK how social media platforms impacted their health and wellbeing. The survey results found that Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all led to increased feelings of depression, anxiety, poor body image and loneliness….

“As a species we are very highly attuned to reading social cues,” says Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, a clinical psychologist and author of The Big Disconnect. “There’s no question kids are missing out on very critical social skills. In a way, texting and online communicating—it’s not like it creates a nonverbal learning disability,

WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE – 2019

WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE – 2019

October 16, 2019 By dwayman

A primary consequence of the Fall in Genesis is the subjugation of women throughout history and throughout the world.  A  primary Gospel implication is that in the Kingdom of God this curse will be reversed back to God’s original intention of equality and mutual responsibility to care for God’s world.

However, even in the places where Christianity has been imbedded within the culture for centuries the echo of the curse continues.  In an article in the WSJ the author digests an exhaustive study of Women in the Workplace – 2019 with these observations:

“The numbers tell a stark story: Though women and men enter the workforce in roughly equal numbers, men outnumber women nearly 2 to 1 when they reach that first step up—the manager jobs that are the bridge to more senior leadership roles. In real numbers, that will translate to more than one million women across the U.S. corporate landscape getting left behind at the entry level over the next five years as their male peers move on and upward, perpetuating a shortage of women in leadership positions.

Few efforts are likely to remedy the problem as much as tackling the gender imbalance in initial promotions into management …   If companies in the U.S. continue to make the same, tiny gains in the numbers of women they promote and hire into management every year, it will be another 30 years before the gap between first-level male and female managers closes, McKinsey estimates.

ARTIFACTS DEPICT WOMEN CLERGY IN EARLY CHURCH

ARTIFACTS DEPICT WOMEN CLERGY IN EARLY CHURCH

October 14, 2019 By dwayman
‘Women are seen at the church altar in three of the most important churches in Christendom’

JULY, 2019

by Sarah MacDonald

“New research recently unveiled in Rome suggests women had a greater role in the early church’s ministries and liturgies than previously thought and were present at church altars as deacons, priests and even bishops.

Ally Kateusz, research associate at the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research, presented her findings July 2 to the International Society of Biblical Literature, drawing on iconography from ancient Christian art.

A specialist in the history of late antiquity, she has taught at both Webster University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She told the conference, which was held at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, that three of the earliest surviving images of Christians worshipping at church altars show women in official liturgical roles.

One of the artifacts she bases her findings on is an ivory reliquary box dating from around A.D. 430 that depicts a man and a woman standing on either side of an altar, each raising a chalice. The altar is that of Old St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The gesture of raising a chalice is recognized as a liturgical act performed by priests.

Two other artifacts also depict women at altars: One is a sixth century ivory pyx of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, and the other is a stone sarcophagus front from the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople,

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE:  Second Chances in an Unforgiving Society

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE: Second Chances in an Unforgiving Society

September 10, 2019 By dwayman

By Rev. David Thompson

Rev. David Thompson is a retired Elder in the North Central Conference of the Free Methodist Church, a retired U.S. Navy Chaplain and mental health counselor, and former Superintendent of the former Minn-I-Kota Conference. One of his sons is one of the 70 million Americans with a record, for a decade-old misdemeanor that has been a barrier for meaningful employment, housing and credit for the past eight years. Only recently was he offered, as a veteran who served seven years on active duty, a second chance in employment with a good job with the VA to help other veterans like himself, get on their feet after suffering wounds of mind, body, and spirit in war- time service.

Supt. Thompson presents an important and profound call on all of us as compassionate Christians who ourselves live by God’s restorative mercy.

Introduction:

Anytime one starts talking about restorative justice in a world where revenge and punishment are often the normal response for offenses against persons and society, it is to venture into controversial waters.

I am deeply sensitive to the pain and grief that is visited upon victims of crime and the challenge to forgive, feel safe, and rebuild trust that has been lost. This is no small task of mind and spirit requiring sometimes years of counsel and support from friends and caring clinicians. It takes a real touch from the Lord to help many move on in life after such a trauma and not remain captured by fear and anger.