Author: Luke Collings

Theology and Pastoral Harm

“This doctrine has the potential to hurt people.  I think that you should seriously consider changing it.” The challenge was made at a recent meeting of local ministers during a discussion of a topic involving a number of sensitive pastoral issues.  The person who made the challenge was aware of the biblical and theological reasons for the evangelical position but was concerned that there was potential to be easily misheard or misunderstood by some to the extent that faith could be critically harmed. It would be very hard to be a teacher of Scripture without being aware that the...

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Garrison Keillor and Public Theology

July 2 was a sombre day for American broadcasting.  On that Saturday night the long-running radio show A Prairie Home Companion broadcast its final episode with Garrison Keillor as principal writer and host. Keillor, who first created APHC in the mid-1970s, has become an icon of American media.  His show remained popular with millions through a combination of old-school radio vaudeville, a quality mix of musical guests representing the best of folk and blues through to classical, and a gentle satire on the amazingly resilient middle-American way of life which shaped Keillor’s view of the world.  Perhaps most famous...

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Should Christians Divorce to Protest Gay Marriage (Part Three): forever and ever, amen

This article is part 4 of 4 in the series Should Christians Divorce to Protest Gay MarriageFinally, we come to what I really wanted to talk about in the first place: what do we all do now?  I have been a little slow in getting this final post out there because I wanted to absorb the popular reaction to the recent decision by the US Supreme Court to see if it conformed to my analysis of the situation.  It has been interesting to see, at least, some of the public comment mirroring my concern for the challenge to religious practice...

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Should Christians Divorce to Protest Gay Marriage (Part Two): the culture wars

This article is part 3 of 4 in the series Should Christians Divorce to Protest Gay MarriageOkay, once again I have to start with some more ground clearing, or clarification.  It has been, rightly, observed that under the current Marriage Act, the Jensens will not be able to simply obtain a divorce without proving that their relationship has irrevocably broken down.  Given that they are not planning to actually dissolve their relationship, a judge would have no other legal option but to refuse their application.  So does this make the whole discussion moot? I don’t think so, and I have a...

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Should Christians Divorce to Protest Gay Marriage (Part One): three marriages

This article is part 2 of 4 in the series Should Christians Divorce to Protest Gay MarriageThis post will need to start with a few caveats.  First, it will be simply impossible to address all the nuances of marriage and culture in what I want to achieve, and in an effort to keep things clear I am going to lump a lot of seemingly contradictory social practices together without making any moral judgments.  This is not a post about ‘What Should Have Been/Should Be’, but more ‘What Was/Is’.  Second, this is not intended to be a theological defence of...

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