What I Read Online – 09/27/2012 (p.m.)

28 Sep
    • In a tremendously brave move Vaughan Roberts, rector of St Ebbe’s, Oxford, and a prominent leader amongst English evangelicals has announced that he experiences same-sex attraction and yet he remains celibate since this is the clear teaching of Scripture.
    • I experience same sex attraction. None of the issues in the book define me. As a single man I am celibate, because I believe the Bible teaches that the right context for sex is only in marriage between a man and a woman.
    • In acknowledging that I know something of all eight battles covered in my book, therefore, I’m not making a revelation about my fundamental identity, other than that, like all Christians, I am a sinner saved by grace, called to live in the brokenness of a fallen world until Christ returns and brings all our battles to an end.
    • Vaughan’s interview, indeed the whole co-ordination of this release, is evidence of a continuing godly maturing not just in his own life but amongst evangelicals in general as they come to a more balanced and helpful position on this whole question. Insistence upon a God-given “cure” (something that, as Vaughan observes, the Scriptures never promise) has rightly been increasingly sidelined (but not rejected) in favour of the Biblical response of godly contentment in and through our struggles.  Which is the model of a godly response to any of our temptations.
    • For instance, it’s clear that Mr. Carter holds to what in the twentieth century would be defined as a neo-orthodox understanding of Scripture. When he speaks of the Scripture containing truth, and when he clearly speaks of the event of reading the Scripture as being an act of revelation, he is speaking the kind of language that was associated with Karl Barth and so many others. There were many complimentary things that the neo-orthodox said about Scripture. But they did not affirm that every single word of Scripture was verbally inspired, something that Scripture claims of itself.
    • When he holds it in his hand, he refers to it as the Word of God. But as he made clear in this conversation, he does not believe that is a word that is in terms of plenary verbal inspiration, true in every one of its words. But he also believes greatly what is found in the Bible. He says, for instance, that he does affirm the miracles of the Bible. I was very encouraged by his very bold affirmation of believing in the virgin birth and in other supernatural events recorded in the Scripture. But then he makes the odd statement that if those things were not true, his faith in Christ would still be intact. That is a separation of history and theology that I believe is destructive of the gospel. The gospel is predicated upon certain historical events, without which, there is no gospel. Jesus Christ is not who Scripture reveals Him to be.
    • When it comes to discussing the exclusivity of the gospel, President Carter said a couple of very interesting things. For instance, he speaks very specifically of the fact that he believes that a personal faith and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ is, as he said, necessary for full salvation. For full salvation and acceptance before God. He went on and said though, “However, those who never hear will be judged upon their faithfulness in some sense to what they do though.” And he said that “He will not consign them to hell.” Well, the good news for both Jimmy Carter and Albert Mohler is that neither of us is the divine judge. However, I believe that Scripture very clearly does say that there is a dual destiny. The differentiation of which has to do solely with whether one has come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    • He goes to commentaries and he reads, and as he teaches his Sunday School class, he wants to speak of what the text says. But what the text means, can’t be separated from what the text actually states and the divine authority with which the texts speaks.
    • Full disclosure: I am gay. A few years ago, I was on the other side of the fence on this topic. But the more I read, thought, investigated and attempted to defend my position, the more I realized that I couldn’t. I feel very strongly that gay relationships should be supported by society. I have grown convinced, however, that the term “marriage” should not be altered or adjusted in any way.
    • Let’s face it: We should not attempt to force into an old construct something that was never meant for same-sex partnerships. We should welcome the opportunity to christen a new tradition, beginning a new chapter in the history of gays and lesbians within American society. Same-sex relationships are different from heterosexual relationships, and gay men and lesbians need to accept that and design their own tradition.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Posted by on 28/09/2012 in Current Issues


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