Yesterday, I was invited onto the According to Christ podcast to discuss gender and the struggle to be men and women in the contemporary world. You can listen to the episode here.
I recently delivered a series of talks on the subject of Christian witness concerning male and female, sex, marriage, sexuality, and gender in the current Western world. There are four lectures and two question times. You can listen to them all here.
In this episode of the Theopolis Podcast, Peter Leithart and I are joined by Dr David Field, to discuss his work in the area of psychology and counselling. Dr Field’s work has been vigorously discussed on the Theopolis blog (see this opening post and the responses linked at the top) and elsewhere over the last month.
You can follow the Theopolis podcast on Soundcloud, iTunes, and on most podcast apps. You can read show notes over on the Theopolis podcast website. You can also see past episodes I have contributed to by clicking the ‘Theopolis Podcast’ link in the bar above.
How should Gentile Christians situate themselves when listening to the New Testament’s many sections which were originally directed towards Jewish Christians, but seem now in many ways to apply to Gentiles who have been raised in the the faith?
For example, large sections of Romans are clearly directed at Jewish believers (e.g. Romans 2:17-29), with the basic thrust here and elsewhere being the dangers for those who use the law to justify themselves whilst condemning others.
However, with most churches across the world now being predominantly or wholly Gentile, there will be few, if any, converted Jews in the congregation to create this tension. These passages, then, are usually reapplied as a warning to mature Gentile believers not to look down on others.
The logic of this “re-application” is obvious, as mature Gentile believers, standing atop centuries of Christendom, do find the religious Jews addressed by Paul easier to relate to than the recently converted, formerly idolatrous Gentiles he addresses elsewhere – and yet to identify with them seems to do a violence to both the text, and the categories of Jew and Gentile which God has created. Even though the dividing wall has been torn down in Christ, both categories still exist and matter in some sense. As a Gentile Christian, though my felt experience may be as an “older brother”, the reality and categories of salvation history inescapably categorise me as a “younger brother”.
However, if one preached and taught these sections with exclusive reference to Jewish Christians in congregations where you will never actually have any Jewish Christians, I imagine the result would be a lot of sermons directed at people who aren’t there!
How then should we Gentiles situate ourselves when applying these texts?”
I’ve followed Paul VanderKlay’s YouTube channel for some time. Paul is a minister in the Christian Reformed Church of North America, based in Sacramento. Seeing a profound interest in deep conversations with young men in particular following the rise of Jordan Peterson, he has made such conversations a key dimension of his ministry and now has a large following and extensive engagement with a demographic that so many other ministers are uncertain of how to reach. He recently invited me to have a conversation with him on his channel. We had a long call yesterday and this was the result.
I was invited to speak on the Generations podcast a few weeks ago. They have just posted the episode, in which Kevin Swanson and I discuss issues related to gender dysphoria, intersex, and transgender identities.