Archives For Preston Sprinkle

Some of you have been waiting for this for a long time. Our Silo courses on Homosexuality, the Bible, & the Church are now ready to go! Preston Sprinkle has created two Silo courses that will help you think through the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality and a gracious approach to interacting with the LGBT community and those in our churches who experience same-sex attraction.

Silo Bible Teaching for Normal PeopleFirst, a quick word about Silo. The Silo Project takes insights from our college level courses (I’m referring to Eternity Bible College) and presents them in attractive, self-paced mini-courses. Each course consists of 12–16 sessions, and each session features a 5–7 minute video with optional online discussion. It’s a perfect way to dive deeper into the Bible, theology, or ministry in the midst of a busy schedule. Each class is also affordable: $25 as an individual or $20 if you sign up with a group of 5 or more (each course also features a small group study guide). You can also license Silo courses for classroom settings at a significant discount.

Now about Preston’s courses on homosexuality. Preston’s study on homosexuality, which many of you have benefited from via this blog, is now being presented in two Silo courses. The first is entitled Homosexuality & the Bible. This course explores what the Bible says about homosexuality, gay marriage, and gender identity. Preston examines the key passages carefully and also dives into biblical principles that relate to the topic.

>> Sign up for Homosexuality & the Bible here, or start with a free trial.

Preston Sprinkle SiloThe second course is entitled Homosexuality & the Church. This course builds on the biblical foundation of the first course and explores how Christians should interact with the LGBT community and minister to and with those within our churches who experience same-sex attraction. He also explores a number of practical questions, such as:

  • Is same-sex attraction caused by “nature” or “nurture”?
  • How can I respond biblically to my same-sex attraction?
  • What do I do if a gay couple walks into my church?
  • What do I do if I think my child is gay?
  • What do I do if my child “comes out” gay?
  • Should I vote on gay marriage?
  • Should I attend my gay friends’ wedding?

>> Sign up for Homosexuality & the Church here, or start with a free trial.

Because we want all of you to be able to benefit from Preston’s careful study, we are offering both courses at a significant discount: $15 each for individuals, $12 each for groups of 5 or more. To get this discount, use the code “hbc” when you register for the course. Also, see below for preview videos and outlines for each course.


 

Homosexuality & the Bible

Session 1: Introduction

 

Homosexuality & the Bible: Introduction from The Silo Project on Vimeo.

 

Session 2: Gender & Marriage in Genesis 1–2

Homosexuality & the Bible: Gender & Marriage in Genesis 1-2 from The Silo Project on Vimeo.

 

Session 3: Sodom & Gomorrah

Session 4: David & Jonathan

Session 5: Leviticus 18 & 20, Part 1

Session 6: Leviticus 18 & 20, Part 2

Session 7: Jesus’ View of Homosexuality, Part 1

Session 8: Jesus’ View of Homosexuality, Part 2

Session 9: Jesus’ Posture Toward the Marginalized

Session 10: The Context of Romans 1

Session 11: The Argument of Romans 1

Session 12: Counterarguments for Romans 1, Part 1

Session 13: Counterarguments for Romans 1, Part 2

Session 14: Words Matter

Session 15: 1 Corinthians 6

Session 16: Summary

 >> Sign up for Homosexuality & the Bible here, or start with a free trial.


Homosexuality & the Church

Session 1: Introduction

Homosexuality & the Church: Introduction from The Silo Project on Vimeo.

 

Session 2: Does “Nature” Cause Same-Sex Attraction?

Does “Nature” Cause Same Sex Attraction? from The Silo Project on Vimeo.

 

Session 3: Does “Nurture” Cause Same-Sex Attraction?

Session 4: Theologically Speaking, Does “Nature Vs. Nurture” Matter?

Session 5: Living with Same-Sex Attraction

Session 6: Celibacy, Part 1

Session 7: Celibacy, Part 2

Session 8: When a Gay Couple Walks into Church

Session 9: What Do I Do if I Think My Child Is Gay?

Session 10: What Do I Do if My Child “Comes Out” Gay?

Session 11: Should I Vote Against Gay Marriage?

Session 12: Should I Attend My Gay Friends’ Wedding?

Session 13: How Should We Relate to Those Who Disagree?

Session 14: Developing the Proper Posture

 >> Sign up for Homosexuality & the Church here, or start with a free trial.

Hiatus

Preston Sprinkle —  March 5, 2012 — 4 Comments

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from blogging, but I wanted to let you all know that I’m still alive and am back to blogging. I took a break because I’ve been trying to finish a book I’ve been working on for the last few years (since 2008 to be exact) and I should submit the manuscript to the publisher sometime next week, Lord willing.

Anyway, I thought I’d let you know a bit about the book and ask you to pray for me (and for the book) as I get ready to send it away. It’s tentatively titled Paul and Judaism Revisited (no subtitle yet) and will be published by InterVarsity Press sometime in 2013 (it takes awhile for the word.doc to transform into a book). In it, I examine Paul’s understanding of salvation and compare it with the way the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls understand salvation (They were probably written by the Jewish sect known as the Essenes.) I examine several soteriological motifs, such as the curse of the law, the eschatological spirit, anthropological pessimism, and judgment according to works.

Did I lose anyone?

If I did, don’t feel bad. The book is very technical and academic; it’s loaded with tons of footnotes, Greek and Hebrew words, and references to passages in the Dead Sea Scrolls. So those of you who are on the edge of your seat waiting to find out what 4Q504 frags. 1-2 iv 10-11 and 1QHa 5:19-20 say about salvation, then you’ll be very pleased to see a thorough discussion in chapter 5 of my book.

Ok, so I’m pretty sure I lost the rest of you!

So why would I spend so many hours wasting my time on such nonsense? Believe me, there were times when I asked myself this same question! But, I do believe that there is value in writing technical books on the Bible, even if most people are not called to this. Here are three reasons why:

First, ideas matter. None of you are the way you are simply because you read the Bible by yourself and chose to follow Jesus. Every single one of you have been hugely conditioned by the philosophical treatises of Francis Bacon, the economics of Adam Smith, the psychology of Sigmund Freud, and, of course, the revolutionizing political and social theories of G.W.F. Hegel. Some of you are influenced by way of agreement, others by disagreement, but none of you are untouched by their thought (probably mediated through the teaching and cultural productions of many other people) in one way or another—even though you may not know who these people are.

Ideas matter and they usually trickle down from the ivory down and end up governing the way people think about life. So I think it’s important—essential, actually—that we have at least a few Evangelical Christians peeking into the ivory tower to see what’s going on; perhaps a few others actually living there.

Second, thinking and writing on a scholarly level has shaped the way I teach, counsel, preach, disciple, and even make mundane decisions about raising kids. In other words, the very act of thinking critically with a high level of precision (e.g., I’ve spent several hours hovering over and honing individual paragraphs in the book) trains the brain to think precisely and clearly about all areas of life. So it doesn’t really matter what the subject matter is—the Dead Sea Scrolls or Botany—devoting at least some time in your week to chewing on an issue, resolving a problem, or studying a piece of literature (like 1QpHab), produces many different unforeseen practical benefits.

Third, I believe that the Bible is the breathed-out word of God. I believe it’s powerful, infallible, inerrant, and life changing. In order to unleash it’s power, though, it must be interpreted—and interpreted accurately. And to interpret it accurately, we need to pay close attention to the language, context, and—here we go!—the historical situation in which it was written. But if an accurate understanding of history shapes a more accurate understanding of the breathed-out words of the Creator God—whose words are powerful enough to create a universe filled with 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars—thereby mediating the power of God’s word to God’s people, then studying, say, Paul and the Dead Sea Scrolls may not change the world, but it does (or could) contribute a small piece of clarity to what the Bible says about God, Jesus, the Spirit, and our salvation.

Not every Christian needs to do this. In fact, most probably don’t. But the church of God needs at least some Evangelicals who do.

So this is where prayer comes in. Very few people will read my book, but please pray (this is a genuine request). Pray that what I say in it will be historically accurate and biblically truthful. Pray that the ideas promoted in the book will trickle down into the pew so that the average Joe or Joann will live a more fervent and faithful life that magnifies Jesus through a better understanding of God’s historically rooted word.

Jonathan Edwards wearing a mini-scarf

Christians love their heroes. We always have. Whether it’s Moses, Paul, Athanasius, St. Francis of Assisi, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, John Piper, Francis Chan, or Preston Sprinkle (one of my personal favorites)—we love hearing about these heroes of the faith and being challenged by their zeal, knowledge, and unbreakable faith.

I’m not sure how big of a business Christian biography really is, but I’ve gone through a few biography stages in the last decade, and I know many others have as well. There is so much that is good and helpful about examining the lives of the godly men and women who have gone before us, but I don’t think I need to sell any of you on the validity of Christian biographies (If I’m way off on that, by the way, leave a comment and I’ll write a post to that effect). What I want to do here is offer a few cautions about reading biographies.

 

Don’t forget that even heroes are human. Some biographies are excellent at presenting heroes of the faith realistically. In other words, they present a hero’s weaknesses along with his strengths. This is incredibly healthy. Some biographies read more like hagiographies (writings about saints). They show all of the hero’s strengths and make him seem perfect. St. Francis of Assisi was worthy of imitation in many ways, but he wasn’t perfect. Neither is John Piper. So while we should look up to these great Christians, it is unhelpful and inaccurate to view them as superhuman. Nothing is gained by viewing a historical figure as better than he or she really was.

 

Don’t read biographies moralistically. There are moral lessons to be learned by reading Christian biographies, but we still shouldn’t approach biographies moralistically. I have often heard the sentiment (whether expressed explicitly or implicitly) that if we could only be as disciplined as Jonathan Edwards, if we could only be as bold as Martin Luther, if we could only be as prayerful as Hudson Taylor, then we would see revival.

Let’s imitate the discipline, boldness, and prayerfulness of such Christians, but we would be foolish to suppose that adopting a few character traits moralistically is going to change anything. True change comes through the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us. Don’t assume that you can discipline yourself into being the next Apostle Paul.

Hebrews 11 is commonly referred to as the “Hall of Faith.” Here the author of Hebrews holds up a number of faithful figures from the Old Testament for our consideration. But we must be careful to notice that it’s not the moral perfection of these men and women that is being praised as worthy of imitation—it’s their faith. Hebrews 11 is a call to faith, it isn’t a call to moral discipline.

 

Don’t forget that these heroes are dead. Okay, not all of the heroes I listed above are dead. But my point is that these men and women have all been used by God at unique times and in unique settings. You shouldn’t do exactly what St. Francis of Assisi did, because God called him to a specific type of ministry in the midst of a specific historical context. The same is true for all of the others, from Jonathan Edwards to Francis Chan. The value of Christian biography is lost if we merely imitate what our heroes did. Our task is to pursue the same God that our heroes pursued with the same passion and faith with which our heroes pursued him, and then to let the Spirit direct us and empower us for exactly what He wants to do in and through us in our unique historical and cultural setting.

Erasing HellI’m pretty sure this will be my last post on emerging Erasing Hell interviews. I’ve amassed quite a collection of these interviews. But I think this one is the best—at the very least it’s the longest interview to date. It was recorded at Cornerstone Community Church on June 19, 2011, and both Francis Chan (EBC founder) and Preston Sprinkle (EBC professor) were present. They each weigh in on a variety of issues related to the book, the motivation for writing it, and how the Bible’s teaching on hell should shape our lives. Since the interview took place on Father’s Day, there’s also a surprise ending as they share some fairly profound thoughts on how the Bible’s teaching on hell relates to our roles as fathers.

Purchase Erasing Hell here.

Special thanks to Cornerstone for letting me re-post their podcast:

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