Yet More Answers to Questions

Even more answers from my Curious Cat account:


How would you describe your theological method, in terms of moving from text to theology? [Answer]


The first thing called holy in the Bible is neither a person nor a place, but a unit of time–the seventh day. Is there any significance to this? Do you know of anyone who deals with this question? [Answer]


When I read Wright on the Sabbath, he seems to be saying that its purpose was to point to Christ, full stop. But you seem to understand it as a creation ordinance on par with marriage. If so, what is required of us in this regard as God’s new humanity? [Answer]


Why did God accept Abel’s offering and not Cain’s? [Answer]


I’m not familiar with high-quality exegesis of Genesis 4, but the Hebrew for “offer” is “minchah”, which in Leviticus is a grain offering. Why would a minchah be bloody in Genesis? [Answer]


Do you think Leviticus has a positive take on sex? If yes, how? … [Answer]


Was polygamy sinful in the OT? [Answer]


When Jesus fed the 5,000, “the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.” Why? Why did the people leave it vs. take it with them, and why were the disciples getting it? To eat it later? Also, why do people not try to be like Christ by living in poverty (giving away to others)? If Christ was so poor, then why not Christians today? [Answer]


…How would you explain the rich young man who Jesus told to sell everything and give it to the poor before following him?… [Answer]


… I have been re-reading the accounts of the Annunciation and of Mary Magdalene’s encounter with the risen Christ at the tomb. What strikes me is that both women told the men amazing truths about the Lord *which the men did not know*. (Though these truths were confirmed later to the men by the Lord) I have some thoughts of my own about the relationships between these women and the men and also the relationships of both the women and the men with the Lord, but this is so big, and I really need to give more thought and prayer to it! I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on this…. [Answer]


… It’s relatively easy to see how the male focus on Christ’s mission could continue after the Ascension, it’s harder to see how a female focus on Christ’s body could continue. Do you see any space for a body focused piety after the Ascension?… [Answer]


… What are your thoughts on the ways in which men such as Simon of Cyrene and Joseph of Arimathea also attended to the bodily needs of Christ?… [Answer]


(How) should modern Christians follow the example of the early disciples who held everything in common? [Answer]


It is commonly stated that Paul and the early church believed in an imminent return of Christ. 1st – do you believe this is true? 2nd- was that belief satisfied in 70AD? It seems that many in the early church continued to see the Parousia as imminent after 70. [Answer]


What are your thoughts on the New Perspective on Paul? [Answer]


Romans 2:6-11. What’s going on? [Answer]


I understand the Ephesians 1, Romans 9 explanations you hold. But what about the Romans 8:28-30? Does that also talk about election or what? And How would you explain that in your position on election? [Answer]


Should we adopt the practice of women wearing head coverings? What is Paul getting at in 1 Cor. 11? If he meant to appeal to cultural norms, why would he not do so? Why appeal to “nature” instead? [Answer]


…[Texts like 1 Thess 4:13-18 and 2 Thess 2:1-12 hinder] me from fully embracing the AD70 perspective on Jesus’ teaching, which, if leaving Paul aside, makes good sense historically and textually. Curious to see your perspective on those Paul texts. [Answer]


If a biblical “truth” like “warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them” Titus 3:10 changes based on cultural context, just how true is it? [Answer]


There was a question on Revelation 12, this person seems to built a case. How do you look at his exposition of the text and this taking place in the skies the coming days? [Answer]


So you think Revelation is (in part) a post-70AD theological commentary on the fall of the temple/Jerusalem? [Answer]


What (if any) are the theological considerations of whether one should be buried or cremated after death? … [Answer]


… Would freezing a corpse show even greater respect for the body? [Answer]


What’s your view of organ donation? [Answer]


What do you think about the “intermediate state”? Does it make sense in light of einsteins discovery that time is a field and not linear? [Answer]


It seems like your main criticism of the federal vision would be its failure to embrace a classical Christian understanding of nature. How would you defend a classical understanding from the bible, as opposed to say the kind of position advocated by Leithart? … [Answer]


Given that a secular society does not recognise the Bible as having any sort of authority, do you think that when it comes to arguing in the public sphere on matters of policy, law etc, Christians should only be making secular arguments? For example, arguing against same-sex marriage on sociological grounds rather than on biblical grounds? [Answer]


The WCF says that its part of natural law to set aside time for worship of God. Would we and should we make natural law arguments for that claim any easier than natural law arguments for stopping same sex marriage? [Answer]


… I’m having a hard time understanding what is being referred to by the classical 2K people as Christ’s spiritual kingdom…. [Answer]


What is the role of the Scriptures in the life of the church and practically, how might / should that work itself out? [Answer]


…is saying “Baptism *is* a man being joined in covenant to Christ” [as Leithart does] what you might find in other reformed authors? [Answer]


… If [brain differences between men and women exist] … how can [certain] neuroscientists credibly say they aren’t any differences? Is it all skewed by ideology? [Answer] [A post giving LOTS of links to research on brain, psychological, and behavioural differences between men and women]


What’s your view on believers marrying unbelievers? How would you counsel someone considering taking that step? [Answer]


What are your thoughts on the way many people are currently using the word ‘misogyny’? … [Answer]


…1. What do you recommend to women who face prejudice on male dominated areas?
2. How should women handle this male/female tensions at home? [Answer]


Do you think it’s ok for a wife to work part time while raising kids if she does not need to do so for the money? How much time at work is too much time at work? [Answer]


“A woman working part time while raising children is understandable, if she is pursuing some of the goods alienated from her by the form of our society. However, the larger situation within which this choice occurs is really not good and we should be addressing it.”

What does that look like? [Answer]


Do you think it is imperative for wives to take husbands’ last names? [Answer]


What are your thoughts on natural family planning? Or, basically, of the use of contraception within Christian marriage? [Answer]


Could you speak to your opinion on Jen Wilkin’s advice that men in church leadership need to cultivate female leaders and hear from them/work with them more closely in order to keep the church from becoming a single parent family? [Answer]


A Christian baker respectfully declines a request to bake a cake with a message that goes against her conscience (and simply is a sinful message). That is commendable. But she then refers the would-be customer to a non-Christian baker who has no qualms baking such a cake. Isn’t the Christian baker complicit in that other baker’s sin? [Answer]


Why do text-to-speech services (e.g. Google, Siri, Alexa, Cortana) default towards female voices? [Answer]


…Do you mind to comment on what exactly is a healthy anthropology? [Answer]


To what extent do you think the historic teaching of the Church on men and women has a) involved seeing women as inferior and b) been massively distorted from the biblical vision by the huge influence of Aristotle? [Answer]


What exactly is hierarchy and how does it impact things like equality and human dignity? There seems to be a strong push to deny that any kind of ranking in society is biblical, or that such could only be the result of the fall, meant to restrain sin. Is this reaction to hierarchy biblical or born out of modern assumptions about humanity? [Answer]


Continuing with the idea of hierarchy, what do you make of the arguments presented in this article: https://www.heartandmouth.org/2017/03/09/complementarity-without-subordination/ [Answer]


Following up on your response to another on hierarchy and gender differences – do you think formulating a general social norm as something like – “women by nature have a general orientation towards the home and nurturing children, and men have a general orientation towards protection of and provision for family and home” – is helpful? Having that general orientation then allows for uniqueness and context of particular family situations without removing any natural force to our bodies and psyches. Or do you think that’s only *a* way to structure a social order, but it should not be something put forth as a norm across human societies? [Answer]


… How do I know what it means to live as my gender and not as the opposite? If we can’t distill any norms for nature or scripture for what it looks like to do that faithfully and not rebelliously, living with the grain of our gendered natures seems to become somewhat arbitrary and individually defined. Is there something we who believe gender is designed and different can say other than an abstract assertion that such is the case? [Answer]


“Manliness and womanliness are what it looks like to be good at being a man or a woman.”

Not to be a “demanding” reader, but what does this even mean? [Answer]


What are your thoughts on using feminine or neuter pronouns in reference to the Godhead or to the Spirit?… [Answer]


Should we retrieve the idea that chastity is a virtue within marriage, as conservative Protestants/evangelicals? [Answer]


If Junia could be called an apostle being the helper of her apostle husband, can we also regard the wife of a pastor as a pastor in some sense? [Answer]


Is there any evidence for a gay gene? [Answer]


I am not seeking a perfect church which I may “perfectly” submit to, but I am seeking some wisdom for laypeople in helping them be placed. Blanket statements such as, “stick with your church, even if you don’t like it” do well in curbing consumerist tendencies, but what do we do when we have (seemingly legitimate) doctrinal and formational concerns? [Answer]


How important is psalm-singing? [Answer]


Having just begun formal theological education, I’m wrestling with the place of the mind in the Christian life. I want to walk the path between over-intellectualism and anti-intellectualism. [Answer]


How do you convince non-believers to become Christians?… [Answer]


…What’s maybe most striking to me is _how_ you engage topics…. Where does this come from? [Answer]


…do you agree that race is a social construct? … [Answer]


Do you have any thoughts on the Flynn effect?… [Answer]


What are some of your pet peeves? [Answer]


How do you organize your personal library? By topic / genre? Alphabetical order? [Answer]


Several of my professors at Bible college have been telling me to build my theological library with ebooks. Do you think this is good advice? [Answer]


What are your favorite board games? Are you into Eurogames? 🙂 [Answer]


Where are you politically? [Answer]


Do you think the UK should have the equivalent of the first amendment? [Answer]


Send any questions you might have for me to my Curious Cat account!

About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
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