Richard Mourdock: misogyny, poor taste, or bad theology?

“I struggled with it for a long time, but then I came to realize that life is a gift from God. And I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.” That’s the quote from Richard Mourdock that lit the blogosphere on fire. So what’s going on here? Is it misogyny, poor taste, or bad theology, or some combination of all three? It really depends upon how we define misogyny. I don’t think this quote proves that Richard Mourdock hates women; I have no reason to think he isn’t a perfectly humble and compassionate gentleman to all the women in his life. But I do think that his bad theology caused him to think in abstract, ideological terms about a delicate issue with the result that he said something in extremely poor taste that does real emotional violence to the rape victims who read it. And since I’m a theologian, I’m going to focus on the theology. Continue reading

God’s love in 4-D: Ephesians 3:14-21

This weekend, I preached on Ephesians 3:14-21, which talks about the “height, length, width, and depth of God’s love.” I have no idea what Paul actually had in mind with these terms (neither do any of the commentaries), but it gave me an opportunity to be creative in talking about different aspects of God’s love according to geometric dimensions. I decided that I would interpret the “depth” of God’s love as the way in which God zeroes in on every detail of creation with infinite intensity, which is what I tried to capture in the diagram to the left. I found scriptures that talked about each of these four dimensions of God’s love. And I explained why this love requires the cross of Jesus Christ in order to perfectly fulfill itself. Continue reading