Loving LGBT Neighbors in the Hatmaker Conversation

All of the sexual confusion and controversy of our age can be understood simply as an impasse between two different approaches to ethics, based on two different visions of the Good. One approach, the traditional one inherited from 2,000 years of Christian history, sees the external world as having a certain “givenness” to which my inner self should seek to conform. The world has been designed to operate a certain way, and not by me, and one of the ways I bow in submission to the Lord who designed and created the world is by seeking to conform my inner desires to the way things actually are in the external world. If I find a point of discord between my heart and the world, then I must assume the problem is in me and address it accordingly. If I have male anatomy but feel like I should be a woman, I assume that something has gone wrong with my feelings, and the best option to pursue is working through the difficult process of changing my feelings to match reality. If I have female anatomy but am sexually attracted to women, and thus attracted to a union that cannot, by definition, be oriented toward the fruitfulness of procreation and family, I must assume that my desires have become disordered and begin the difficult process of working to control them. Continue reading

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Jen Hatmaker and a Christian Sexual Ethic

It was unfortunate to see this week Jen Hatmaker publicly affirm support for same-sex relationships in her interview with Jonathan Merritt. Her support is clearly not limited to a pragmatic consideration pertaining to public policy but also includes the affirmation that a sexual relationship between same-sex partners can be holy, and thus morally legitimate.

As we continue to witness, one-by-one, Christian leaders and public figures embrace the legitimacy of homosexuality, it is important to recognize the reality of what we are witnessing, which is nothing short of the gradual abandonment of the Christian faith. I know that Christians have always had in-house debates about this issue or that, and that we land on various points on the spectrum on everything from the mode of baptism to the nature of the Israel-church relationship. But there is no such thing as a Christianity without a Christian sexual ethic, and the current attempt of left-leaning Christians to create one simply cannot succeed. Here’s why: Continue reading

The Trinity Wars 2016

So here is what happened. Liam Goligher made some strong charges against some theologians who have argued that, within God’s own being, the Son eternally submits to the Father, and the Spirit eternally submits to the Father and the Son (see here and here). According to Goligher, theologians who make this move have abandoned Nicene orthodoxy, promoted idolatry, and subsumed their doctrine of God under a social agenda by looking to the Trinity as an analogy on which to ground their understanding of men and women (for record, Goligher himself affirms the complementarian view of male headship in the home and in the church). Carl Trueman added his own contribution along similar lines. The two theologians who are probably most in the crosshairs of these charges are Bruce Ware, who responded here, and Wayne Grudem, who responded here. Denny Burk, who shares the Ware/Grudem perspective, also offered these words in response. Carl Trueman has made three brief responses to Ware, to Grudem, and on the question of 1 Corinthians 11:3. If you want to take the time to read all of that, go ahead. I’ll wait. Continue reading