Author: Clay Libolt

  • IS THE CHURCH’S STANCE ON HUMAN SEXUALITY A CONFESSIONAL MATTER PART 2: THE CLARITY OF SCRIPTURE

    Let’s go back to where we were (for more introduction, see the previous post: “Is the church’s stance on human sexuality a confessional matter? The status confessionis question”). The study committee on human sexuality (a committee charged by the Christian Reformed synod of 2016 “to articulate a foundation-laying biblical theology of human sexuality”) was asked whether the […]

  • IS THE CHURCH’S STANCE ON HUMAN SEXUALITY A CONFESSIONAL MATTER? THE STATUS CONFESSIONIS MATTER

    A brief introduction In June the synod of the Christian Reformed Church, my denomination, will take up a long (175 pages) report of a study committee charged five years ago (Synod 2016) “to articulate a foundation-laying biblical theology of human sexuality.” In an earlier series of posts, I asked whether there is such a thing—“a […]

  • The Bible and Critical Race Theory

    We need historians. Especially now. Especially in traditional liberal arts colleges. Especially in Christianliberal arts colleges. We need historians because History—how to write it, teach it, and think it—is at the center of a current culture war. Often thought to be the dustiest of all academic subjects, History is now determining elections, causing people to behave […]

  • CAN YOU STEAL A BLESSING? RIFFS ON THE STORY OF JACOB

    Because we often read the Bible woodenly, especially those of us who have been taught that the Bible is mostly about teaching religion, we often miss the point, especially if the point is in story rather than theological discourse. And especially if we are not inclined to see the humor and the humanness of these […]

  • THE TOWER OF BABEL: THE DIVINE PREFERENCE FOR DIVERSITY

    The intriguing, funny, and cutting story of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9) is the last in the collection of stories that makes up the preface to the book of Genesis and, therefore, to the Bible itself. We do well to attend to these stories, not as histories, which is to distort them and lose […]

  • 1 Timothy 2 and Women in Leadership: a Reading of the Text

    Those who oppose the recognition of women as pastors and elders in the church often suppose that they have the biblical high ground. They accuse those who welcome women into church leadership of denying the literal meaning of the texts, playing fast and loose with scripture. To open church office to women, they argue, undermines […]

  • WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER FALL STORY IN GENESIS?

    Fall stories are important (fall stories of the theological sort; not stories about the season). They account for what has gone wrong in our world. Perhaps, that’s not quite the right way to put it. “Gone wrong” implies that there was an earlier time when things had not gone wrong. But not all stories accounting […]

  • WHAT ABOUT PAUL?

    I began this series of posts with the question, “Is Genesis 3 a fall story?” The question can be answered in two ways. The first would be to say, yes, it is a fall story, but not in the usual sense. Better, and what I suggested in the previous post (“Is Genesis 3 a Fall […]

  • CARL

    The announcement came electronically, as they do now, in the mail I regularly receive from the denomination. It was a death notice, this one like so many lately, of someone I knew. The announcement said that Carl Kromminga had died at age 96. Carl was my teacher in seminary. He taught Practical Theology, the applied […]

  • IS GENESIS 3 A FALL STORY AND DOES IT MATTER II

    They paved paradise and put up a parking lotWith a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swinging hot spotDon’t it always seem to goThat you don’t know what you got ’til it’s goneThey paved paradise and put up a parking lot Oh, bop, bop, bopOh, bop, bop, bop – “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell […]