Archive for the ‘Culture/Society’ Category.

Claim that Homosexuals are “Born that Way” not Supported by Scientific Evidence

A new study in the United States says that homosexuals are not ‘Born that Way’ as sexual orientation as an innate, biologically fixed property of human beings—the idea that people are “born that way”—is not supported by scientific evidence.
The 144-page study is written by Dr. Lawrence Mayer from the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Dr. Paul R. McHugh who is a renowned psychiatrist and former chief of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Link to the Executive Summary of the Study

Homosexual Study New Atlantis Executive Summary

Excerpts:
Part One: Sexual Orientation

  • The understanding of sexual orientation as an innate, biologically fixed property of human beings—the idea that people are “born that way”—is not supported by scientific evidence.
  • While there is evidence that biological factors such as genes and hormones are associated with sexual behaviors and attractions, there are no compelling causal biological explanations for human sexual orientation. While minor differences in the brain structures and brain activity between homosexual and heterosexual individuals have been identified by researchers, such neurobiological findings do not demonstrate whether these differences are innate or are the result of environmental and psychological factors.

Continue reading ‘Claim that Homosexuals are “Born that Way” not Supported by Scientific Evidence’ »

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Going Public with Lesslie Newbigin: Public Theology and Social Engagement in an Islamic Context

Thesis: Regarding both the commonality and the crucial difference in the way Christianity and Islam approach public doctrine and the ordering of society – “The issue of public doctrine cannot be evaded…Muslims and Christians share a common belief that life is not to be understood or managed without reference to God…Christianity and Islam have differing beliefs about how God rules in human affairs. The heart of the difference is in the fact of the cross. The Prophet rode into Mecca to conquer; Jesus rode into Jerusalem to die. The crux lies there. And that means that Christians cannot use coercion in the struggle between two different ultimate faiths. But struggle there must be. The field is the whole of our public doctrine.

That is to say, while Christianity and Islam agree on the theistic foundation for public morals, they disagree on how public morals should be exemplified and regulated, especially in a plural society. In particular, contemporary Christianity gives priority to embodying moral ideals rather than imposing moral rules and regulations backed by punitive measures. The basis for this Christian approach rests on the understanding that the church’s exemplary moral life best represents how the gospel redeems culture. Continue reading ‘Going Public with Lesslie Newbigin: Public Theology and Social Engagement in an Islamic Context’ »

Creation Care and Renewal

Prologue: CNN survey shows rural Malaysians find haze level acceptable!
CNN conducted a nation-wide survey among rural Malaysians with the question, “What do you think of the haze?” The overwhelming answer from the Malay farmers was, “Asap tebal”.

To assist Malaysians who are confused by the discrepancy between hazy news and reality, Creation News Network invites its subscribers to read and comment on this Op-ed,  “Creation Care and Renewal” written by its chief correspondent, Ng Kam Weng

Precis: Creation is not to be rendered secondary in God’s salvation. Creation retains its integrity as the present sphere of human stewardship; it is the sacramental reminder of the hope for glory.
We see the whole of creation infused with God’s presence and, indeed, the creation itself is sometimes understood as the “temple of God” in the broadest sense of that expression.  We care for the creation precisely because God’s presence fills it and he has made it the dwelling place of those created in his image.  By caring for the “house” we honor the “builder of the house.”  Creation care becomes a part of what it means to love and honor God.

Related Post: Co-Creator or Priestly Steward: Theological Perspectives on Biotechnology and the Perfectibility of Man LINK

Continue reading ‘Creation Care and Renewal’ »

Kairos Dialogue Network Conference on Shaping a Shared Future in Malaysia

Kairos Dialogue Network would like to invite Christians in Malaysia to a one day conference on Saturday, 11 July 2015 at Luther Centre.

The Facebook link is here:  https://www.facebook.com/kairosdialoguenetwork/posts/884292154960172  LINK

The purpose of this conference is to launch and share a Christian social vision for a shared future in Malaysia.  Kairos Dialogue Network invites all Christians from different denominations to support one another and commit themselves towards transformative actions at the individual, church, community, and national levels.

For more information on the programme and speakers please refer to the attachment with this email. Continue reading ‘Kairos Dialogue Network Conference on Shaping a Shared Future in Malaysia’ »

Homosexuality and Respect for Democratic Rights: YES, BUT – The Sociological Minimum

The Bible considers homosexual practice sinful since it violates God’s moral order (using Biblical language), or natural moral order (using language of public discourse). See earlier post, LINK.  Still, there is no need to single out homosexual activity for disapprobation as it is listed as one sin amongst many other sins. This theological truth is foundational for Christian moral teaching, but Christians need to supplement theological truth with sociological insights when they address the homosexual controversy in public discourse. In this spirit I offer the following propositions. Continue reading ‘Homosexuality and Respect for Democratic Rights: YES, BUT – The Sociological Minimum’ »

Homosexuality: Biblical Perspectives and Pastoral Concerns. Part 2

Homosexuality: Biblical Perspectives and Pastoral Concerns. Part 2. This article has two parts. For Part 1 – LINK

Homosexuality and the Church

Introduction

There are some theological and pastoral issues that are not approached with joy because of their tendency to polarise believers and even cause churches to split. Homosexuality is an example of such an issue. The debate on the question of homosexuality has been raging in many churches across the denominations for several decades. Sometimes these debates have been reduced to nothing more than heated sloganeering on both sides. Statements like ‘The Bible is clear …’ and ‘the Gospel is inclusive …’ are often repeated, while the substance of the debate is avoided or played down. Such approaches, which generate more heat than light, are often not only unhelpful but are also counter-productive and damaging. The assumptions that sometimes accompany such slogans are that Christian identity and the unity of the church has to do with this issue alone. There is a pressing need for discussion on homosexuality and the church to be located within the larger context of human sexuality and Christian discipleship. Continue reading ‘Homosexuality: Biblical Perspectives and Pastoral Concerns. Part 2’ »

Homosexuality: Biblical Perspectives and Pastoral Concerns. Part .1

Homosexuality: Biblical Perspectives and Pastoral Concerns. Part 1 This article has two parts. For Part 2 – LINK

While Malaysian Christian leaders have maintained a silent indifference towards the homosexual controversy, young Christians are daily exposed to aggressive homosexual proselytization by the Western elite through the Internet and global entertainment culture. Not surprisingly, young Christians today are increasingly sympathetic towards homosexual practice. To be fair, this tolerance among young Christians is simply reflective of their easy going attitude in moral and religious commitment.

The church does not need to react defensively to these developments and resort to censorious condemnation of homosexuals. It is more important that the church educate and exhort Christians, both young and old to uphold a sanctified life based on scriptural integrity and covenantal faithfulness. Following the full counsel of God’s Word would encourage individuals to maintain respectful, responsible and restraint courtship intimacy, fidelity in monogamous heterosexual marriage and challenge the church to develop pastoral models to address constructively the homosexual controversy.

I am pleased to share with you two papers that provide a scripturally and scientifically informed approach to homosexuality written by my friend Dr. Roland Chia. Dr. Chia is presently Chew Hock Hin Professor of Christian Doctrine at Trinity Theological College, Singapore. Continue reading ‘Homosexuality: Biblical Perspectives and Pastoral Concerns. Part .1’ »

Confessions: Temptations in Virtual Reality

“Are you looking for love?” For a moment, I was stunned . . . and flattered. Here I was alone with Roxy, a curvaceous lady. I had been with her for hardly a few minutes and she had whispered such alluring words to me. Shouldn’t I respond as any normal red-blooded male would and ‘play along’? Who knows what possibilities lay ahead? Furthermore, my wife was not with me, which was to be expected since it was one o’clock in the morning. I wrestled with a momentous choice. Thankfully, my sanctified self gained the upper hand. Struggling to make a supreme renunciation of ‘love’ I could only managed a bland response, “how can we talk about true love if we cannot see each other face to face?” Continue reading ‘Confessions: Temptations in Virtual Reality’ »

Sacred Language and Vernacular Translation of Scriptures

Sacred Language and Vernacular Translation of Scriptures:

Why Some Muslims Just Cannot Understand/Accept the Use of “Allah” in the Alkitab (Bahasa Bible)

I. Sacred Language and Religion of Diffusion

Some Muslim activists have repeatedly charged Christians for having ulterior motives when they use the word “Allah” which include attempting to “deislamize Malay language” and to proselytize confused Muslims. It is significant that these activists have not denied the fact that the Malay speaking churches have been using the word “Allah” in their liturgy and instructional materials for centuries. Still, these Muslim activists simply brushed aside the historical fact and the charge of ulterior motives is repeated ad nauseum. Wherein lies this visceral reaction that overwhelms, if not precludes rational discussion in the dispute over the use of “Allah”? Continue reading ‘Sacred Language and Vernacular Translation of Scriptures’ »