Lesbian Duplex 138: An Open Thread

Sep. 24th, 2017 09:00 am
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Posted by Libby Anne

It’s time for another Lesbian Duplex thread! If you have a link or article or interesting thought that’s not relevant to an ongoing thread, you can share it here. If a conversation on another post has turned entirely off topic, you can bring it here also. Every so often, as the number of comments on a given Lesbian Duplex post becomes unmanageable, I put up a fresh post.Click through to read more!
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Posted by Libby Anne

Saturday Link Love is a feature where I collect and post links to various articles I’ve come upon over the past week. Feel free to share any interesting articles you’ve come along as well! The more the merrier.Click through to read more!

LBCF, No. 152: ‘In these shoes?’

Sep. 22nd, 2017 11:07 am
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Posted by Fred Clark

The misogyny is palpable, but we’ve had plenty of opportunity to explore that before now, so let’s set aside for the moment L&J’s warped understanding of gender and consider instead their warped understanding of footwear.
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Posted by Libby Anne

What makes Hadassah different? She goes above and beyond, and doesn't just do what she is told to, as a slave, because she has to. But there is no reason a slave like that would be noticed. Valued, perhaps, but not like this. She's quiet---that wouldn't get her noticed either. She's unassuming and doesn't think of her own needs---but again, that wouldn't get her noticed.Click through to read more!
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Posted by Richard Beck

Every week when David comes to the study he carries a huge folder of paper. It's about an inch thick.

It's full of piano music.

There is a piano in the prison chapel. It's only used for Sunday worship services. An inmate would never be allowed to visit the chapel to play the piano all alone, playing whatever music he wanted.

But sometimes David gets a chance to have the piano all to himself.

During the hours of our study the prison does their evening "count." Counts happen at regular intervals throughout the day. No one can move during count. You stay right where you are--our guys are obviously in the chapel--and the prison takes a census, accounting for every inmate in the entire facility.

Sometimes the count doesn't "clear." The numbers don't match up. So you keep counting and locating the unaccounted for inmates until the numbers are right.

The count can take upwards to two hours if it's having trouble clearing. Which means that, if the count hasn't cleared by the time our study is over at 8:30, the men have to stay in the chapel until the count clears. They might have to wait a few minutes, or they might have to wait for over an hour.

And if that happens, David is stuck waiting in the chapel.

Which just so happens to have a piano in the corner.

That's why David religiously brings his music to the study.

For those precious few moments to sit down at a piano, to pull out his music, and play.
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Posted by Fred Clark

We're continuing in Norman Geisler's 1975 discussion of "When Abortion Is Justified." Geisler, a conservative white evangelical, first wrote this in 1971. Two years before Roe and two years after, conservative evangelical views were the same.
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Posted by Guest Contributor

Since Harvey made landfall, I’ve been amazed by the courage of fellow Texans responding to the devastation. I’ve seen kindness and resourcefulness in the midst of a thousand details clamoring for attention—essential things like meals, potable water, toothbrushes, and clean clothes. I’ve noticed strength and patience as people have waited for power to be restored, […]
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Posted by Richard Beck

In the atonement debates theologians remind us that the New Testament writers don't give us a theory of atonement, and by that they mean a theory about the mechanism of atonement. That we are saved by Jesus' death on the cross is the crucial point. How we are saved by his death is a fuzzy matter.

I agree with that assessment. I don't think we get a clear picture in the NT about how atonement "works."

That said, I actually do think we are told about the mechanism of salvation in the NT, Paul especially.

How are we saved? We're saved by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the means and mechanism of salvation.

Rather than tour through all of Paul's letters, let's focus in on Romans 8 to see this illustrated.

According to Paul, the human predicament is that we are all slaves to Sin, death and the devil. We are dead, incapacitated and weak. Cut off from God's power, separated from God's life.

We are saved, liberated and rescued from our bondage by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are reconnected to God's life through the Holy Spirit.

Again, how are we saved? Answer: By receiving Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the mechanism, the means of salvation.

Here's how Paul describes it at the start of Romans 8:
Romans 8.1-6
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.

Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 

But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
The Spirit sets us frees from bondage ("Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Cor. 3.17). The Spirit gives us the capacity to please God by walking in righteousness. The Spirit gives power and life to our mortal bodies.

In short, if we were to ask Paul our questions--How are we set free? How are we given new life? How are we made into a new creation? How are we given the ability to walk in righteousness? How? How? How?--Paul's answer would be simple.

The Holy Spirit.

John Piper on Forgiveness

Sep. 21st, 2017 09:00 am
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Posted by Libby Anne

There's nothing here about making amends. Nothing. Piper says you should confess your sin to the person you wronged because "it is very healing for relationships," but that's it. You don't need that person's forgiveness. You don't need to make anything right. All you need is God's forgiveness. Sin is primarily a wrong done to God, not to other people. There is nothing that could go wrong with this line of thought, nothing at all.Click through to read more!
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Posted by Christian Piatt

About one in four Americans identify as a “None,” which means, when asked about their religious affiliation, they claim “none of the above.” And yet so many of them claim some form of spirituality, or at least a hunger for exploring the possibility of God. In his new move, “Becoming Truly Human,” Nathan Andrew Jacobs […]

We Are Being Governed by Fools

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:02 pm
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Posted by Fred Clark

Even if your individual self-interest or the interest of your ethnic or religious tribe is the only thing you care about, that self-interest should compel you to ensure equal protection and full accommodation for people with disabilities -- because you could become one of them in the twinkling of an eye.
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Posted by Richard Beck

Let's take a couple posts to note how salvation is equated with the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.

The basic thesis for this post is easily stated: In the gospels and Acts salvation is equated with receiving the Holy Spirit.

That might seem to be an obvious point, but let it sink in. Salvation in the gospels and Acts isn't associated with the atonement. Salvation is associated with being given the Holy Spirit.

In the gospels this association is most clearly seen in John:
John 3.5-8
Jesus answered [Nicodemus], “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Being saved is being "born again" in a mystical, spiritual, metaphysical sense. Simply: "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit." In John 6.63 Jesus says, "It is the Spirit that gives life."

Salvation is life, and the Spirit is what gives us life.

The Synoptic gospels are less mystical when it comes to the Spirit, but they agree with John that the coming of the kingdom is associated with the advance of the Spirit.

John the Baptist declares, “I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

Jesus' ministry of exorcism is viewed in the Synoptics as the Holy Spirit reclaiming enemy-held territory:
Matthew 12.22-28
Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw.

And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.”

Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you."
In Acts 1 and 2 the church--the community of the saved--is established at Pentecost by the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 10 the mission to the Gentiles is inaugurated when the Holy Spirit falls upon Cornelius and his household.

In fact, the entire book of Acts is simply the story of how the Spirit that filled Jesus now fills and guides the church. The Spirit is the hero of the book of Acts. How a person stands in relation to the Spirit in the book of Acts tells us how they stand in relation to salvation, the church, and the advancing kingdom of God.

So the main point: in the gospels and the book of Acts salvation is described as receiving the Holy Spirit
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Posted by Libby Anne

A recent blog post titled “Do You See Me?” is making the rounds in the survivor community. In it, “Jane” tells her story of being drugged and raped while studying at The Master’s College in California. Here is a section from the end of the post, where Jane returns to the school to find out what […]
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Posted by Fred Clark

Norman Geisler's use of the term "therapeutic" in this section turned out to be unfortunate. Back in the early 1970s, when he was writing this summary of the common accepted "stance" for conservative white evangelicals on "When Abortion Is Justified," that term was entirely benign. He had no way of knowing that, decades later, it would become something of an epithet.
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Posted by thingsthatareawful

It’s Bad Advice Tuesday over at the Establishment and throw this motherfucker into the sea, somebody 

Read the Bad Advisor’s response to this inveterate creep and two other pretty big assholes here.

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Posted by Richard Beck

The key insight we need to understand salvation is that salvation is ontological.

We tend to think that salvation is relational and moral. Specifically, to be saved is to have our relationship with God restored. Once, we stood condemned before God, now we stand justified. Salvation is a change in relationship.

And standing now justified, we also think of salvation as a moral status. Once, I was dirty and unclean, now I am washed and pure.

No doubt, salvation is both of these things. But what tends to get missed when we understand salvation in relational and moral terms is the ontological aspect of salvation. Salvation changes our being, the substance of our very selves and existences. We are, quite literally, a "new creation." Once, we were one type of being, and now we are a new type of being. A new creature. A qualitatively different type of human being.

It takes a lot of work to even imagine this, how salvation isn't just about a change in relationship or moral status, how salvation changes the very substance of your being.

To recount a lesson from Theology 101, Western visions of salvation have tended to be forensic in nature, focusing on legal status. Saved vs. Lost. This status highlights the relational and moral aspects of salvation, our legal situation before the Judgment Seat of God. By contrast, the Eastern vision of salvation is ontological. Salvation is union and participation in the Divine Nature. Salvation is theosis, ontologically becoming God. The saints are literally becoming divine.

To make the contrast clear, the saints are not being declared divine (holy, justified, righteous) by a judge in a forensic, legal sense. The saints are becoming divine, at the atomic level, if I can use those words. Metaphysically, mystically, and supernaturally the physical components of your being--the atoms and molecules, muscles and tendons, organs and blood--are being modified and changed, becoming something different. You are becoming, quite literally, a new kind of creature.

This is may be a crude way to describe it, but imagine every atom of your being being changed by exposure to Divine radiation. Sort of like what happens in a superhero movie, like how Peter Parker is changed into Spider Man.

Becoming like a superhero, a new type of human being, a new creature. That is the Eastern vision of salvation. That's what it means to say salvation is ontological.

This is why the Spirit is salvation, because it's the Spirit that is creating and re-creating your being, fusing your DNA with the divine in the process of theosis. The Spirit is the Divine radiation in the superhero movie of salvation. The Spirit is the means of new creation. Without the Spirit new creation cannot happen. And outside of new creation there is no salvation.
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Posted by Libby Anne

I appreciate Stetzer's concern about the negative effect our society's emphasis on beauty has on girls, and I am glad that he is aware of the 'confidence gap.' But if Stetzer truly wants to build Christian girls' confidence and sense of self-worth, he needs to do more than point the finger at 'society and culture.' He needs to look within.Click through to read more!


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