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Monthly Archives: October 2006

Homosexuality and the Mennonite Church USA

In 2001 the General Conference Mennonite Church (GC) and the Mennonite Church (MC) accepted a common set of membership guidelines and a plan to merge into a single denomination.  This union of two historic Anabaptist denominations of North America gave birth to the Mennonite Church USA.  While the vote counts for the merger exceeded the expectations of the Executive Board (Trollinger 9), the road to unification had been fraught with many years of tense debate over the divisive issue of homosexuality.

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Biblical Scholarship and the Creationism/Evolution Debates

In 1859 Charles Darwin published the first edition of his seminal work Origin of the Species, in which he presented his theory of evolution.  According to Darwin’s hypothesis, many organisms on our planet originated from other living things that have incorporated modifications over successive generations (Evolution).  In response to Darwinian evolution, Creationists presented an alternative theory, asserting that matter, the world and all life were created by God ex nihilo (from nothing).  Creationism today breaks into two primary strains:  Biblical Creationism, which invests the six-day creation story of Genesis with historicity, and Scientific Creationism, which attributes the role of creator to God but is less concerned with a literal six days of creation.  Both schools of creation thought eschew the notion that human beings may have evolved from lower animal forms. (Creationism)

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What to Call the Old Testament?

For centuries Christians have used the designations "Old Testament" and "New Testament" to organize works that they have included in the Bible.  Until recently these titles have been accepted within the Christian context without question.  But is there a need to examine our presuppositions?

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A Critique of Phyllis Trible’s "Eve and Adam: Genesis 2-3 Reread"

In 1973 Dr. Phyllis Trible delivered a lecture at Andover Newton Theological School in which she challenged her colleagues to take a closer look at the second biblical creation narrative found in Genesis 2-3.  The Women’s Liberation Movement, with its characterization of the Bible as a tool written by men and used to oppress women, provided the social and historical backdrop for her commentary.  As a pioneer in postmodern feminist theology, Trible called for a reexamination of the text, attempting to free it of the historical accretion of male exegetical work and extract a core message that recognizes the original role of woman as the peer of man (74).

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