The Bible in the Original Geek

Access to the Bible is no longer our challenge. We lack attention. Too often our engagement with the Scriptures happens in the midst of juggling other interactions. But what if our collective engagement with the Bible could be facilitated and enriched by technology?

In "The Bible in the Original Geek," technology seemed the territory of "geeks" on the margins rather than a key question for all of us. Interaction, engagement, and application are more important than ever. And digital platforms are beginning to enable these wonderfully.

Let us make every effort to correctly handle the Word of truth, taking advantage of new opportunities technology affords. This task is not just for geeks.

Paul Kulp, Director of Technology Strategy
Lindsay Olesberg, Director of Scripture Engagement
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA

My enthusiasm for digital Bible programs is well known to my students and I use each of the "big three" academic programs (Logos, Bible Works, Accordance). I was, however, disappointed that the benefits of using such programs were sacrificed amid discussion of marginal and sometimes inane subjects like the "Franken-Bible" in Christianity Today's cover story. You missed an opportunity to encourage your readers to get connected with the Word.

William Varner
Professor, The Master's College & Seminary
Santa Clarita, California

The Accidental Complementarian

I appreciated Jen Michel's Her.meneutics column, but am a bit saddened by the church's understanding today of male–female roles. Headship did not begin in Genesis 3 but as part of creation in Genesis 2:15. People miss the imperative for the human "head": Man is not the head of the woman to dominate her but to love her—just as Christ loved the church. The one who leads is the servant of the other (John 13:14). Anyone who says that any label allowing a man to dominate his wife and subject her to a lower, servant status has not read Ephesians 5 and, sadly, has a compartmentalized view of Scripture.

In a land and time where women were considered inferior, women in the early Christian community were to be treated differently. The husband was to love his wife and be her example in love. Through that, he would actually deserve the respect Paul calls for the wife to show her husband.

In my marriage of nearly 28 years, I am the primary cook. We share household responsibilities, and right now my wife works while I'm a student. In circumstances that can be difficult, I love her and she loves me in return. I sincerely desire a complete view of the marital relationship that began in Genesis 2 and is reflected through the words of Jesus and his servant Paul.

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Allan Harmening
Maryland Heights, Missouri

Open Question

March's Open Question on "How can churches reach nominal believers before they become 'nones'?" stated that nominals find Christianity "totally irrelevant." However, in the New Testament, the irrelevant Jesus is an oxymoron. The purpose statement of John's gospel puts forth the best case for Jesus' relevance: "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name" (20:31).

"Life in his name" cannot be irrelevant. The biblical word name means who that person is and what he or she did, does, and will do. Jesus' atoning work in our lives began "while we were still sinners" (Rom. 5:8). If someone finds Jesus to be irrelevant, the likely cause is that the nature of Jesus' work has never been fully ingrained.

Sermons, fellowship, communion, songs, and baptism must clearly communicate that there is nothing we can do to have life in Jesus' name; Jesus has done it all. All we can do is believe and respond by accepting the Spirit-led life in his name. That kind of church culture is our best hope for making nones obsolete.

John Torgerson
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Lament for a Divided Church

Sarah Hinlicky Wilson speaks of the evangelical and Pentecostal penchant for dividing and subdividing. This makes me wonder if the starting point for evangelical ecumenism is refusing to give up on a unifying dynamic among ourselves. If so, I'll offer three suggestions.

First, the most likely catalyst for unity among evangelicals (traditional, missional, emerging, Pentecostal, and so on) is our commitment to the mission received from Christ. Second, while learning to love the heretic while hating the heresy is necessary, surely it's possible for good-hearted evangelicals to arrive at a shared understanding of mission that's faithful to both Jude 3 (the biblical text) and 1 Corinthians 9:20–22 (the missional task). Third, given the way Jesus connects Christian unity with a missional fruitfulness in his "high priestly prayer" (John 17:20–21), the most poignant motive for evangelical ecumenism might very well be a passionate desire to render to Christ the missional faithfulness he desires and deserves.

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Gary Tyra
Professor, Biblical and Practical Theology
Vanguard University
Costa Mesa, California

What a well-written piece—cogent, sobering, yet hope-inspiring. Ecumenism is in my blood, and thanks to the article, I'm better equipped to resume my quiet ecumenical role in my corner of the body of Christ. Thank you, Sarah.

Kathryn R. Deering
Ann Arbor, Michigan

When Abuse Comes to Light

In Wilson's Bookmarks, John states, "much writing about missionaries either demonizes them or bathes them in the rosy glow of hagiography." As a longtime CT reader, I have noted a general demonizing of dorm parents, including in "When Abuse Comes to Light."

As a missionary kid, I grew up in Japan and chose to board at the Christian Academy in Japan during my last two years of high school (1964–66). I have great memories of my dorm parents as positive role models.

I believe God calls special people to the role of dorm parents. As I look back, I wonder how they were able to put up with the behavior and temperaments of so many young boys. I am most grateful for those willing to take on the difficult task of providing boundaries and spiritual guidance. To those who have been dorm parents in the past and the present, my sincere thanks. Your ministry is important and most appreciated.

Jim Youngquist
Burnsville, Minnesota

As a survivor of sexual abuse, I appreciate any recognition within the church for recovery. The most difficult thing for me to comprehend is that God didn't do that to me. I was not raised in a Christian home, but the person who facilitated what happened to me attended a Christian school and weekly chapel. He should have known better.

Becoming a Christian as an adult has taught me that because God is holy, what happened to me should not have happened. I should have been protected from it. But what is more difficult to understand is that God is good, kind, and loving. Even though God is in the business of healing and restoration, I still can believe that only in theory. And all of the insurance policies and lifting of statutes of limitations cannot change that for me.

Name Withheld by Request

Net Gain

Responses from the Web.

"Though I have a specific stance on this issue, I no longer think it is as relevant as the hate, insults, slander, selfish anger, and division that have been made because of this."
A L, CT online comment.
"World Vision Reverses Decision to Hire Christians in Same-Sex Marriages," by Celeste Gracey and Jeremy Weber.

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"And to think I was considering getting rid of cable."
Zabrina Kelly, on Jen Hatmaker's Facebook page.
"Woman Under Construction," interview by Kate Shellnutt, in which Hatmaker discusses her forthcoming reality TV series.

"I absolutely believe that there are crimes worthy of death. But I am less and less confident in governments' ability to judge justly."
Ben McClary, Facebook.
Past Imperfect: "Executing Justice?" by David Neff.

"The more I read about this man, the angrier I felt. Now I want nothing more than a chance to show others that God is not a god of hate but of love."
Naomi Tilley, CT online comment.
The Exchange: "Hate and How to Overcome It: How Should We Respond to the Tragic Death of Fred Phelps?" by Ed Stetzer.

"Thanks, Dr. Jenkins. As always, your knowledge of history and clear insights and analysis helped me gain a better understanding."
Michael Basham, CT online comment.
"The 160-Year Christian History Behind What's Happening in Ukraine," by Philip Jenkins.

"Occasional reliance on others isn't necessarily a sign of privilege: it's a sign of humility."
Laura Reu, CT online comment.
Her.meneutics: "When a Stay-At-Home Mom Needs Hired Help," by Marie Osborne.

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