Reflections on Christian Community: An Interview with Gilbert Bilezikian -- By: Glen G. Scorgie
PP 21:4 (Autumn 2007) p. 8
Reflections on Christian Community:
An Interview with Gilbert Bilezikian
Glen G. Scorgie (Ph.D., St. Andrews), a Canadian, is Professor of Theology at Bethel Seminary San Diego. He also preaches and teaches at Chinese Bible Church of San Diego, Calif., and lectures regularly in Asia. His recent publications include The Journey Back to Eden: Restoring the Creator’s Design for Women and Men (Zondervan, 2005) and A Little Guide to Christian Spirituality (Zondervan, 2007). His wife Kate is a professor of graduate education at Azusa Pacific University’s San Diego campus.
Glen Scorgie: Dr. Bilezikian, I think we are all curious to know how you today, as a theologian, might be in any way different from the Dr. B we might have known back in the mid-1980s when your book Beyond Sex Roles first came out. You’re the authoritative insider here. What, if anything, has changed?
Gilbert Bilezikian: You know that I wrote Beyond Sex Roles not as a young man, but in my mature years, after I had pondered the issue quite thoroughly. So, in terms of my egalitarian position, I haven’t changed much. Some of the thinking and argumentation has been refined, but, essentially, I hold to the same beliefs that inspired me at the time when I wrote the first book.
GS: I know this could look like a loaded question, but do you think you are becoming more or less conservative as the years go by?
GB: Because of my high view of Scripture as God’s word, I’ve always held to a conservative theological position. And, because I adhere to a conservative view of Scripture, I take biblical imperatives very seriously. Christ summarized those for us as follows: love God with everything you have, because he loves you with everything he has. Then, he gave us the complementary principle: love your neighbor with everything you have, because God loves your neighbor with everything he has.
If we take these commandments to the letter, we become obligated to adhere to values that are usually not labeled as conservative, such as commitment to peace and social justice issues. Precisely because I am theologically conservative and because I take biblical truth as binding, I find myself with the progressive wing of the evangelical spectrum in terms of the application of biblical truth to current life situations. A conservative theology compels me to assume an activist position on social issues.
GS: After all these years of studying the Bible, do you look at it any differently than you used to?
GB: I was trained in seminary under two outstanding scholars for whom I will always be grateful. One was Roger Nicole and the other George Eldon Ladd. Roger Nicole is...
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