Public Theology

13 Jan 2021 Jan 17, 2021 – ‘Statement Sunday’

  Bill C-6 regarding ‘Conversion Therapy’ has been moving very quickly through the various stages toward becoming law. We expect it will be sent to the Senate for review in the last week of January, then back to Parliament for final reading before likely becoming law.  There is a very real possibility that Bill C-6 will soon become law. This means that aspects of pastoral care for people with same-sex attraction or gender questions will become illegal. The government intends to use the Criminal Code to influence conversations on human identity, sexuality...

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10 Dec 2020 The Freedom to do as we ought! (FT Pt. 4)

Part #4 of 4 in an adaptation of the ARPA Canada Fall Tour 2020, Defending our Christian Legacy of Liberty. Part #1; Part #2; Part #3 by André Schutten In the third part of this series, we focussed on how our Charter of Rights and Freedoms works and how we can use it, while maintaining a Biblical posture of respect for civil authority. We’re wrapping up this series with a suggested five-step process for determining how to respond to infringements on your freedoms. Five-Step Analysis for Processing Charter Infringements So, how do we work through...

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10 Dec 2020 So what if we have legal rights – aren’t we called to just submit to the government? (FT Pt. 3)

Part #3 of 4 in an adaptation of the ARPA Canada Fall Tour 2020, Defending our Christian Legacy of Liberty. Part #1; Part #2; Part #4 by André Schutten Our last post in this series considered what is meant by freedom, and the Bible’s long influence on the development of freedom. We’ll now look at how our Charter of Rights and Freedoms works, while maintaining a biblical posture of respect for civil authority. When Charter Rights Are Being Unjustifiably Violated The Charter of Rights and Freedoms was added to our constitution in 1982. It owes...

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10 Dec 2020 Biblical Freedom ≠ Personal Autonomy (FT Pt. 2)

Part #2 of 4 in an adaptation of the ARPA Canada Fall Tour 2020, Defending our Christian Legacy of Liberty. Part #1; Part #3; Part #4 by André Schutten We began this blog series by presenting an overview of what scripture tells us about the topic of civil government, and our duty to submit to those in authority over us. We are now going to shift gears and focus on why our freedoms are fundamental, and how we can work to answer the prayer of our national anthem – a prayer for God...

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10 Dec 2020 God’s Commission to the Civil Government and the Church (FT Pt. 1)

Part #1 of 4 in an adaptation of the ARPA Canada Fall Tour 2020, Defending our Christian Legacy of Liberty. Part #2; Part #3; Part #4 by Mark Penninga Freedoms are often tested in the crucible of national turmoil: war and terrorism, plague and natural disaster. During the COVID crisis of 2020, we have seen unprecedented limits on our fundamental freedoms: freedom of religion and conscience, freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and association. So, it was fitting that we could address these issues during Fall Tour 2020 – Defending Our Christian...

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30 Nov 2020 The Regulative Principle and church lockdowns

BY: COLIN POSTMA PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 30, 2020 The Regulative Principle and church lockdowns Returning to gathered worship is of vital importance *** “All of Manitoba moves to CRITICAL (RED) on #restartMB pandemic response system” So declares a press statement from the Government of Manitoba. With those twelve words, Christians in Manitoba are once again being plunged into the murky realm of “virtual worship.” For several months in early 2020 a full lockdown was mandated in the province and churches there were forbidden to open their doors. Now, once again, “religious and cultural gatherings must close or be...

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27 Oct 2020 Post-Fall Politics

by John Sikkema “See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” (Jer. 1:10) My previous article, “Creation and Politics,” focused on God’s sovereignty as the creator and sustainer of all things. In His sovereignty, God gives authority to man. Therefore, while God’s authority is “original, eternal, unlimited,” man’s authority is always “derivative, temporary, and limited.” [1] By God’s design, His character is reflected in human relationships and authoritative offices – including civil authority, which He...

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08 Oct 2020 Creation and Politics

by John Sikkema “The God who made the world and everything in it is Lord of heaven and earth… He himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth.” – Paul in Athens (Acts 17). (Note: this article is part 2 of a series that began with "Christian Political Engagement in Light of Redemptive History".) “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” God was before all things and before time. God is eternal and self-subsistent....

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21 Sep 2020 Politics in Light of Redemptive History

by John Sikkema A pastor once asked me, “Is political engagement part of our calling as Christians? After all, Jesus and the disciples didn’t seek political power or reform.” The answer, in short, is yes (though it matters greatly how we engage politically). Christ is Lord over all, including civil government, and if we pray for His will to be done on His earth, we cannot neglect so significant a part of life on earth. In a secular climate, Christians are prone to restrict the Bible’s relevance to personal salvation, piety, and church...

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21 Jul 2020 State and church authority in a pandemic – An interview with Professor Koyzis

In We Answer to Another: Authority, Office, and the Image of God, David Koyzis explains that authority is intrinsic to humanity and everything we do, because “authority is resident in an office given us in creation,” and when we encounter authority, “we encounter nothing less than the image of God, which always points beyond itself.” Part 1 of ARPA’s interview with Professor Koyzis covered some of his book’s key ideas. Part 2, below, focuses on the nature and limits of political authority and tensions between political and church authority during COVID. PART...

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