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The Position of Encounter Christian Church Regarding Gender Dysphoria

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Abstract
Post-Modernistic Western culture and the issues surrounding gender have become a politically 
charged and complex for the community of Jesus’ followers. There are obvious differences regarding the origin of gender and subsequent medical and/or psychological path forward, with very little tolerance afforded to ideas different than those of the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans, and Questioning (LGBTQ) community. Beyond the political and cultural polarization, there seems to be common ground regarding desired standards of treatment. The recent spike in identity dysphoric conditions seems to bear a correlative relationship with the propagation of broadly accessible social media, suggesting either a passive sympathetic replication or an active advocation via intervention. Encounter Christian Church adheres to the Biblical position on identity as presented in Genesis, predicated upon the concepts of human creation in God’s Image, the intrinsic and infinite worth attributed to each human life at conception, purpose of humankind to work as agents of God’s will reflecting His purpose in our own lives, and culminating in the perfect example of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels. This position is that any worldview counter to these principles about identity is not God’s intent and that we as a church are called to love and serve all human beings, regardless of their present state, and introduce the good news of forgiveness and redemption, and to love them into a life with Jesus.

Keywords: dysphoria, gender, identity, disorder, body-image, self-mutilation, self-harm, suicide, child development, adolescent development, Biblical purpose, Biblical identity

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Review of The Sanity of Belief by Simon Edwards

Subtitle: 
Book review by Sam McKee
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Review of The Sanity of Belief by Simon Edwards

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Simon Edwards, The Sanity of Belief: Why Faith Makes Sense (London: SPCK, 2021). 210 pp. $14.99. (Paperback) ISBN: 978-0281084890

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The Salvific Global Mission of Jesus: A Biblical and Apologetical Interpretation of Matthew 15:24

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The purpose of this paper is to refute claims from non-Christian groups and opponents of the Christian faith, such as Muslims that the mission of Jesus was parochial and not global. In doing this, this writer provides three context clues as anchor texts coupled with copious texts to give sufficient condition, history of salvation as promised by God, a walking theory, and conceptual analysis as springboards to correct interpretation of Matthew 15:24 through the lens of context and synthesis principle of biblical hermeneutics approach pneumagogically

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The Real Reason's Why Darwin's Theory Became Very.\, Very Powerful

Subtitle: 
The Political Economy of the Nineteenth Century
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Abstract: Darwinism became scientific, political and social dogma in the 19th and 20th Centuries. This happened despite the theory’s serious scientific weaknesses. To deal with these weaknesses Darwinism has shifted from Classical Darwinism to Neo-Darwinism to the current Neo-Darwinian Synthesis. Darwinism’s current iteration resembles nothing like the original Survival of the Fittest argument Darwin made in the mid 19th Century. So why does the theory go from strength to strength despite its demonstrable massive shortcomings, errors and need for constant revision?

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Truth Amidst Tension

Subtitle: 
The Practical Apologetic Methodology of Francis Schaeffer
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The book this paper is connected to in its namesake, Truth Amidst Tension: The Practical Apologetic Methodology of Francis Schaeffer. The premise thereof, is that despite Francis Schaeffer’s apologetic having been considered by some to be one of the most significant contributions to the Christian defense of the faith in the Twentieth Century, in many ways, and rather surprisingly, the fine details of his methodology is still largely unknown by many in the Christian world. Some may know that Dr. Schaeffer is significant, but they may not realize how helpful he is. In this paper, the author takes time to connect the aspect of our conference theme to Dr. Schaeffer’s thought, then provided a summary of some of the relevant portions that relate directly to the book. Then, finally explains some new material that addresses our current cultural condition.

Author: 

Dan Guinn

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Christ’s Death as the Perfect Sacrifice for Sin: An African Context

Subtitle: 
Culled from "The Uniqueness of Christianity: Presenting Jesus to non-Christians in Africa", pgs 100-8
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Sacrifice plays a central part in the traditional religions of Africa. Traditional Africans offer sacrifices as means to either obtain divine favour, to appease the wrath of an angry deity, as a means of fellowship, to prevent or avert impending doom, or for gratitude-sacrifices are offered for different purposes. There are also other types of sacrifices that are similar to Old Testament system of sacrifice: substitutionary, propitiatory, votive, expiatory sacrifice, etc. However, the supreme form of sacrifice in most African traditional societies is the human sacrifice-though this happens occasionally. Animals are mostly used for sacrifices. Human sacrifice is done when there is epidemic, death among young people in the community or other exigent rituals to be done. However, in this paper, the author explains why the sacrifice of Jesus the Son of God is the final, perfect and only adequate sacrifice for the sins of humanity.

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer on Doubt in the Scope of the Work of Apologetics

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When one thinks of the word doubt, it is often with a certain level of concern. Doubt, especially in the scope of Apologetics, is not only questionable, but taboo. We question it, in the persons we debate, and in persons we may even encounter who are believers, and especially in other apologist. The lack of doubt, conversely, is often seen as a level of spiritual strength. Moreover, doubt is often generally seen as sinful. Thus, it might beg the question, how should it be understood in the scope of Apologetics and even in the life of the apologist. Dr. Schaeffer, thankfully, brings much of the matter to light, not just in his teaching, but moreover in his apologetic methods. To this end, I want us to examine his teaching on the subject together and thereby, I believe we will find strength in ministry.

Author: 

Dan Guinn

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Six Big Problems With The New Apostolic Reformation

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The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) can be characterized as a postmillennial restorationist movement which seeks to restore the so-called lost office of apostle and prophet with the goal of establishing the kingdom of God upon the earth.  Six broad values and beliefs of the movement are evaluated in the following order: postmillennialism, restorationism, manufactured continuationism, reconstructionism, experientialism and pragmatism.  It is argued that postmillennialism is a weak biblical position and that NAR’s brand (“dominionism”) wrongly places the responsibility of the kingdom on Christians rather than God.  It is argued under restorationism that the office of apostle was never lost to begin with.  With manufactured continuationism, there is a forcing and a faking of spiritual gifts resulting in charismania.  With reconstructionism, Christians are precariously pressured to directly engage in warfare against the forces of darkness to restore dominion lost from the Fall.  With experientialism, experience is placed above the Word of God.  And finally, with pragmatism, attempts are made to justify NAR by its rapid growth, but this is shown to be a weak argument.  All six beliefs and practices are unbiblical and should be avoided along with the movement itself.

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The Book of Enoch: Canonical, Authoritative or What?

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Douglas E. Potter

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