On the first day of a class I was teaching on how gender is expressed in the home, church, and society, I thought through the material I planned to cover. And honestly, I feared that some of what I’d prepared was too elementary for seminary students. Did they really need to hear again that both male and female were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26–27)?

Yet despite my doubts, I determined to cover even the basics. So, as I taught, I repeated what I assumed they all knew. But sure enough, a woman sitting on the front row sat stunned.

“Are you saying I myself am made in the image of God—without having to be married?” she asked.

I’m not saying that. Genesis says so.”

She turned to face all her classmates. “Did you know that?” she exclaimed.

They all nodded.

She looked back at me and burst into the tears of joy. She did not have to marry to fully image God. Nor did she have to bear children to ultimately image Him.

In the days that followed, this student changed her focus from seeking a husband to equipping herself for ministry.   

 At the time of our creation in the Garden, humans bore God’s image perfectly—simply by being. Today that image is marred but not erased (see James 3:9). We bear God’s image by virtue of being His creations. But we are also called and predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ. And what is that image like? It’s embodying love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22–23).

Sanctified Sexuality: Valuing Sex in an Oversexed World, by Sandra Glahn & Gary Barnes

Sanctified Sexuality

Dr. Sandra Glahn is professor of Media Arts and Worship at Dallas Theological Seminary. Her most recent book is a collaboration with 25 experts on marriage, divorce, same-sex attraction, gender dysphoria, and more, titled Sanctified Sexuality: Valuing Sex in an Oversexed World. Excerpt adapted from Sanctified Sexuality.

 

 

 

 

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Sandra Glahn

While I’ve often written for medical publications—both fiction and non—I am not myself a physician. But I’ve been on the receiving end of more than my share of surgeries and treatments, so I can definitely write from the patient’s perspective. When I wrote non-fiction medical information for the trade market, my editors usually viewed my “lack of knowledge” as a benefit. My ignorance meant I naturally said “miscarriage” instead of “spontaneous abortion” and  “bruise” instead of “contusion.”

But when I decided to branch into fiction to explore complex medical issues (Lethal Harvest; Deadly Cure; False Positive), I knew I had gaps in my knowledge that only years in med school, the exam room, and the surgical suite could make up for. So I partnered with an obstetrical-gynecologist. My last novel, Lethal Harvest,was a solo work of medical suspense, but he still edited it for medical accuracy.

One of the good doctor’s “catches” was my lack of knowledge about sterile surfaces. In one scene I had described a gloved-up physician, upon receiving shocking news, grasping the surgical table. But my actual-surgeon reader said, “No way. You just risked infecting the patient.”

But the doctor’s far more memorable catch was actually a typo. I meant to have my main-character physician, who was sitting in his research area, ask his assistant to bring him a glass of H2O. But I accidentally wrote H2O as HO2—hydroperoxyl radical, also known as the perhydroxyl radical. The margin note I received in response was simply this: “Congratulations. You just blew up the lab.”

 

Glahn photo

Sandra Glahn

Dr. Sandra Glahn is the author or coauthor of more than twenty books, including four medical suspense novels that explore ethical and theological complexities. Lethal Harvest, now in its second edition, was a Christy Award finalist.

 

 

Informed Consent

Informed Consent

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One summer I visited sites of the seven churches of Revelation (Rev. 1–3). A congregation at each of these sites received a message from Jesus Christ. And while two thousand years separate us, their messages from Christ are still relevant.

Ephesus: The Ephesians lost their first love. Think about this. Nobody has to tell a fiancée to avoid flirting. Her actions reveal her loyalty. Do your works give evidence of your love?

Smyrna:  Many think “Smyrna” is a Greek translation of the Hebrew “myrrh.” To make myrrh, one must crush a fragrant plant. In suffering, are you giving off a fragrant aroma to God?

Pergamum: Pergamum’s people worshiped at the temples of false gods. Yet sadly it was the words of their own teachers that pulled down the Christians. Are you discerning what is true?

Thyatira: Many experts think heretics encouraged Christian business owners here to join trade guilds that brought profits but involved immoralities. Are you compromising vs. enduring consequences for doing right?

Sardis: Smug citizens of Sardis felt nothing could reach them as they sat atop a 1,500-foot cliff. Yet Sardis fell to Cyrus after a soldier openly accessed a secret passageway. In what ways are you complacent about your strengths?

Philadelphia: Philadelphia had a long history of earthquakes. When the shaking stopped, only pillars were left standing. To people with little strength in Philadelphia, Jesus promised, “I will make you pillars.” Are you feeling weak in the faith? Ask God to help you endure to the end.

Laodicea: Water traveled six miles through an aqueduct to reach Laodicea. Mountain water arrived at “room-temperature” and steaming water from hot springs arrived lukewarm (see photo). Christ warned those in Laodicea against the “lukewarm” temperature of ho-hum faith. In what areas of your spiritual life are you passionless?

We need the same warnings as did our first-century brothers and sisters. And we also receive the same promises. Though poor, we can be rich. And we can dwell as pillars in the city of our God.

Sumatra with the Seven Churches by Sandra Glahn

Sumatra with the Seven Churches by Sandra Glahn

Sandra Glahn

Sandra Glahn

Dr. Sandra Glahn is a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary. She’s the author or co-author of more than twenty books including the Coffee Cup series. Learn more about the Book of Revelation by using her study Sumatra with the Seven Churches.

 

 

 

 

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The Bible’s Faith Hall of Fame is full of people with unimpressive resumes. God seems to specialize in using unlikely people to accomplish His will. Often, in fact, the least likely people demonstrate even greater faith than those who’ve witnessed God’s biggest miracles.

Rahab was a female Canaanite (Israel’s mortal enemy) with a disreputable occupation. She lived in Jericho, the first city slated for annihilation as Israel came to conquer the land. Jericho was an evil place. Yet spies who’d seen miracles listened as Rahab was the one giving the testimony about what their God had done—starting with a story about the Red Sea parting forty years earlier.

A priest (Zechariah) who knew of Sarah and Abraham’s conception in their old age still couldn’t believe God would allow his own elderly wife to conceive; yet a young teen who had never even heard of such a thing as a virgin birth said to the angel, “Let it be to me as you say” (Luke 1:38).

The Book of Esther is about a Jewish orphan girl who, with God’s help, outsmarted the racist advisors of a misogynistic king, thus saving an entire nation from genocide.

Abraham was a liar and Moses, a murderer. David abused his power with a woman and had her husband killed when he learned she had conceived. Zaccheus ripped off people as a tax-collector.

But all these people experienced the transforming power of God.

Some were powerless; some abused their power. We find both kinds on God’s varied list of lives transformed. Indeed, no matter what kind of people we are—maybe a bit of both—God can change us and use us. So let us come to him with palms open and say with the prophet Isaiah, “Here am I! Send me!”

Sandra Glahn

Sandra Glahn

Vindicating the Vixens by Sandra Glahn

Vindicating the Vixens by Sandra Glahn

Dr. Sandra Glahn is a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary. In her new book, Vindicating the Vixens:Revisiting the Sexualized, Vilified, Marginalized Women of the Bible (Kregel Academic), sixteen male and female scholars help readers see God’s heart for the marginalized. Dr. Glahn blogs for bible.org and at aspire2.com.

 

 

 

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