Jim's political articles that he invites you to read and respond to.
The latest discussions and topics that are being talked about.
Articles about Religion in general or recent religious news.
Check out Jim Reiher's published books.
...and for something a little lighter.
About Jim Reiher
We all know that there are two taboo topics we are not meant to talk about - Religion and Politics. But, they are two of Jim’s most passionate interests. He has been a candidate in various elections between 2004 and 2010, and he was a founding member and the first President of the Casey Multi-faith Network in 2007 (and remains an active member to this day). Jim has a Bachelors of Arts (double major in history) and a Diploma of Education, and also a Masters of Theology (with honors). In recent years he has had a number of journal articles (historical, biblical, and the gender debate) accepted and published after peer review.
The thesis of this paper is that I Timothy 2:8-15 is primarily concerned with training up people to be good teachers and leaders, before allowing them to participate in those functions in the Church. Newly converted wealthy women who had some kind of previous influence in the city of Ephesus, had come into the church there, and were seeking to be influential in the church: they wanted to be teachers before they had been properly trained. Paul wants them to be trained - he insists that they do necessary time, learning more, first. But he also wants them to learn in the right attitude and to be patient and not jump in and usurp the teaching role of their current instructors, who happen to be male.
The Trinity. The following is "put out there", as a conversation starter. I am not saying that I am 100% convinced of all that I have written here... I am still on a journey and trying to grapple with something much much bigger than me, and my capacity to decide about it! But I would love an honest and non-judgemental discussion on this issue. See what you reckon.
I find it suprising when Christians seem so confident that the Trinity as a doctrine, can be "easily" demonstrated in the Bible. I must be missing a whole lot of clear and unambiguous stuff! It is one thing to discuss the teaching of the Bible that talks about Jesus being “God in flesh”. The divinity of Jesus is a part of the doctrine of the Trinity, but just a part of it. The Trinity is a much larger and more complex doctrine than just ‘Jesus being God in flesh’. There are other aspects as well: the Holy Spirit is a distinct ‘person’ who is also God but who is not God the Father or Jesus the Son. There are three persons in the Godhead, all equal in essence. What an amazing doctrine. The Trinity is comprehendible, for the most part. It is not too hard to get the essentials: one God, three persons, but one essence, equal in authority, equal in being, different in function.
This book is now my best example of how scholars go to the most desperate lengths to promote a view. It typifies how one can manipulate evidence and arguments, to promote a position, and the extremes of dogmatism that can be packaged as if it is even-handed research. The scholars who contributed to this volume know that there are many sound arguments that could have been raised against their material, but they do not tease them out with any genuine attempt to weigh the evidence. No, this book is dogmatic theology at its worst. It has an agenda to promote, and it pretends to be studying all the evidence in so doing. There are so many examples of how this particular book argues poorly, ignores evidence, and pushes a predetermined view that it is hard to decide which specific issue to highlight by way of example. But let me settle for their discussion of Junia(s) – the person mentioned in Romans 16:7. It is a manageable length in their book, allowing us to evaluate it in a relatively short article.
‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’
Gordon Fee rightly sums up the major controversy about this passage when he writes: ‘Is the equity, or the oneness, of the three pairs – Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female – to be limited to the justifying work of Christ alone, or does it include other aspects of life in the believing community as well?’ These two key options are clearly at loggerheads: it is either talking about a wide application including both salvation and social relationships, or it is limited to a narrow theological application that restricts itself to our salvation alone. Every reader has to make a decision which ‘school’ they will choose to belong to.
I have put off writing this for a while... but you know what? It needs to be said. The following is a paper I have put together that explains why it is that some of us who call ourselves Christians (Christ followers) actually do support gay marriage. Happy for discussion so long as you actually read it first! :-)
"Never put off helping simply because you can't address every issue and every problem. Never put off helping because you can't help everyone who needs it. If everyone just did something, everything would get done. Do your part without regard for those with idle hands."
- Jim Reiher