Robert A. J. Gagnon

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For online links to audio or video presentations by Dr. Gagnon on the Bible and homosexuality click here and scroll down.

 

Christian Singer Vicky Beeching Appeals to God's Love to Justify Her Lesbianism

Christian Post Op-Ed (Aug. 19, '14)

Also: A Follow-up Piece to Ms. Beeching's tweet:

Message to Vicky Beeching: The Logic of Creation, Not 'Psychoanalysis by a Stranger'

Christian Post Op-Ed (Sept. 1, '14)

 

She contends, "I feel certain that God loves me just the way I am." I feel certain that God loves me because Jesus handed his life over to death on behalf of the world, including on my own behalf. I do not think he loves me only if he makes life easy for me by removing any or all of the deprivations and difficulties of life. Nor do I take the image of the cross to mean that God loves all my innate urges. Yes, God loves me in spite of my sin-saturated self but, no, he does not view me as a biological robot, the sum total of my biological urges. I know that Jesus loves me enough to require me to take up the cross, deny myself, and lose my life.

 

"Jesus, Scripture, and the Myth of New Knowledge Arguments about Homosexual Unions"

A Presentation given at the Family Research Council

Washington, D.C. - June 18, 2014

Can be viewed either at the FRC website or on YouTube

 

A video, with PowerPoint slides, that provides a good overview of my work on some critical issues regarding the Bible and homosexual practice. It is not possible to encapsulate everything of significance into an hour-long presentation but I hit the main points from Jesus, Genesis, and Paul, addressing too the exploitation, orientation, and misogyny "new knowledge" arguments. If I were to recommend one hour-long video of my work it would be this one. There is also a nice 20 minute question-and-answer time beginning at the 57 min. 30 sec. mark.

 

A New Testament Professor at Fuller Seminary Promotes Views Surprisingly Open to Homosexual Unions

(A Response to J. R. Daniel Kirk)

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J. R. Daniel Kirk, professor of New Testament at evangelical Fuller Seminary has a chapter on “Homosexuality under the Reign of Christ” in his book Jesus Have I Loved, but Paul? (Baker Academic Press, 2011), 175-92. It is a work that causes me some concern and to which I invite his response. In it Dr. Kirk presents himself as someone who (1) does not yet believe that homosexual practice is right but (2) could still be persuaded that committed homosexual unions are right. In the meantime, he already endorses state-sanctioned marriage or “something like marriage” for homosexual unions and thinks the church should keep listening to the very “stories” of “gay Christians” that erode the church’s resistance to such unions. My own experience in the past with self-professed evangelicals who say things like this is that it is only a matter of time before they switch views to an outright acceptance of homosexual unions or make public a switch previously made in private. Let us hope that it is otherwise here.

 

 

Open Letter to PA Gov. Tom Corbett to Appeal "Gay Marriage" Decision by Rogue Federal Judge

Click here

 

Videos on the Bible and Homosexual Practice

(July 2013)

Part 1: Genesis 1-2

Part 2: The Sodom Narrative

Part 3: The Levitical Prohibitions

Part 4: David and Jonathan

Part 5: The Witness of Jesus

Part 6: The Witness of Paul

Part 7: The Hermeneutical Relevance of the Bible

Thanks to Rev. Jim Garlow, courageous pastor of Skyline Church, for having these videos produced for the global church.

 

 

Prof. David Instone-Brewer's Response to My "Divorce and Remarriage-After-Divorce in Jesus and Paul" and My Rejoinder

May 2014

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Video of comments on the Duck Flap for Anglican Unscripted

(starts at 1 min. mark and goes to 18 min. mark)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkuz9lAqBUU&feature=youtu.be

 

Video of presentation on the Bible and Homosexual Practice at Mere Anglicanism Conference in Jan. 2010

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4vc-xP0N2k

 

Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

 

The Presbyterian (PCUSA) Hymnal Controversy around the Doctrine of the Atonement

[Published in The Presbterian Layman online]

Part 1: Getting at the Truth:

Why the Committee Rejected the Popular Worship Song “In Christ Alone”

Click here

Part 2: Irony and Lunacy:

A Presbyterian Hymnal Committee Rejects a Song for Promoting a Reformed View of Salvation

Click here

Part 3: Scripture and Substitutionary Amends:

Nine Members of the Presbyterian Hymnal Committee Lacking Expertise in Biblical Studies Defy the Biblical Witness

Click here

 

 

A majority of the Presbyterian Church USA hymnal committee rejects the song "In Christ Alone" after already accepting it because they discovered that the original lyric was not "the love of God was magnified" by Christ's death but rather "the wrath of God was satisfied." They censored a song for containing a core scriptural view of the atonement that was also a major theme of Reformed soteriology in both John Calvin and the Book of Confessions of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.  Churches should send a message to the publisher: Add the song or we won't buty the hymnal.

 

"Truth That Transforms: The Message of Mark's Gospel as Applied to Christians with Same-Sex Attractions and All the Rest of Us"

Message delivered at the Second Annual Restored Hope Network Conference, Oklahoma City, OK (June 22, 2013)

Link: http://vimeo.com/73830791

 

 

Julie Rodgers

An Open Letter to a Young Ministry Leader:

An Open Letter to a Young Ministry Leader: Should Christians Oppose “Gay Marriage”?

 

July 1, 2013

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A Response to a Julie Rodgers blog, They’ll Know We’re Christians by What We Oppose

 

"The Truth about Grace: Scriptural Insights for Restoring Hope"

Presentation at the 2012 Restore Hope Network Conference (Sept. 23, 2012)

Video

 

 

 

Rise from the Dead or Play Dead? Christians and the Public Debate on Homosexual Practice

http://new.livestream.com/uu/saltandlight/videos/18012709

 

At this link you will see a video of a talk delivered on May 4 for the 2013 Salt & Light in the Public Square Conference at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. You will also find other talks of interest if you click on the address link below rather than the attachment, including talks by Robert George of Princeton on today's threat to religious liberty and by Timothy George of Beeson Divinity School on caring for the unborn. Sponsored by the Center for Politics and Religion at Union University and the Witherspoon Institute. Thanks to Micah Watson, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Politics and Religion at Union University, for putting together the conference.
 

 

Does Leviticus Only Condemn Idolatrous Homosexual Practice? – An Open Letter from Robert Gagnon to Justin Lee

A Patheos guest post

Mar. 28, 2013

Is Justin Lee Now Misrepresenting the Fact That He Misrepresented My Views on the Levitical Prohibitions? – An Open Rejoinder to Justin Lee

A Patheos guest post

Apr. 16, 2013

Justin Lee, head of the "Gay Christian Network," writes a book in which he cites my work once and in a misleading way.

 

 

Entries in The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization (ed. G. T. Kurian; Oxford, U.K.; Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishing, 2011)

"Baptism" (1:190-206)     PDF

"Cross" (1:637-45)     PDF

"Lord's Prayer" (2:1384-87)     PDF

HTML page

 

 

For further information on the encyclopedia go to http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1405157623.html

 

Homosexuality, Marriage, and the Church

Why We Know That the Story of Sodom Indicts Homosexual Practice Per Se

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Summer 2010 [put online 1/18/13]

 
 

This discussion was originally part of a larger essay later published:  “The Scriptural Case for a Male-Female Prerequisite for Sexual Relations: A Critique of the Arguments of Two Adventist Scholars,” pp. 53-161 in Homosexuality, Marriage, and the Church: Biblical, Counseling, and Religious Liberty Issues, eds. Roy E. Gane, Nicholas P. Miller, and H. Peter Swanson (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2012). It was removed from the essay because of overlap with another article in the same book and to reduce the length of an already long discussion. The articles in the book came out of a Seventh-day Adventist conference held at Andrews University in 2009.

 

 

Divorce and Remarriage-After-Divorce in Jesus and Paul:

A Response to David Instone-Brewer

June 2009 [put online 9/26/12]

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Cheap Grace Masquerading as Pure Grace: The Unfortunate Gospel of Rev. Clark Whitten —Alan Chambers’ Mentor, Pastor, and Chair of His Board

Sept. 8, 2012

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The Statement of Basic Beliefs by the Members of the Restored Hope Network Presupposes the Inseparability of Faith and a Spirit-Led Life, Not a Rejection of the Doctrine of Eternal Security

Sept. 1, 2012

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For the video of this event go to http://vimeo.com/47223269

(My presentations appear at 1h 7m – 1 h 11m, 1h 28m – 1h 33m, 1h 42m – 1h 46m, 1h 48m, 1h 51m – 1h 53m, 2h 4m – 2h 7m, 2h 22m – 2h 25m, 2h 31m – 2h 36m)

 

“The Dogs Bark But the Caravan Moves On”:

My Response to Jean-Fabrice Nardelli’s “Critique” of The Bible and Homosexual Practice

July 26, 2012

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In process as time and interest permits.

 

 

Being a “Simple-Minded Jesus Lover” Is No Excuse for Really Bad Theology

Alan Chambers dodges the real issue at hand and inadvertently plays the role of judge.

July 19, 2012

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On July 12, 2012 Christianity Today published an online news story by Weston Gentry entitled “Exodus International's Alan Chambers Accused of Antinomian Theology, which interviewed both Alan Chambers (president of Exodus International) and me about my concerns regarding Alan Chambers' leadership of Exodus, especially as pertains to his repeated public assurances to homosexually active, unrepentant "gay Christians" that they will "go to heaven" (see “Time for a Change of Leadership at Exodus?”). Christianity Today also published two online responses to the situation, one by a Reformed theologian, Michael Horton (“Let's Not Cut Christ to Pieces”) and the other by a Wesleyan-Methodist New Testament scholar, Ben Witherington (“‘Behavior Doesn't Interrupt Your Relationship with Christ’: A Recipe for Disaster”). Despite holding very different views of whether a believer can ever lose salvation, they both agreed that self-professed Christians who embrace gravely immoral lifestyles such as homosexual practice reject the gospel and are excluded from the kingdom of God. Christianity Today then gave Alan Chambers an opportunity to respond, which he did with an essay entitled, “Thoughts from a Simple-Minded Jesus Lover” (July 16, 2012). Two days later I sent Christianity Today my response to Alan's response, which CT declined to take and I now post here.

 

It’s Silly to Compare Homosexual Practice to Gluttony

A Response to Craig Gross’s CNN Belief Blog Op-Ed

July 19, 2012

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Rev. Gross's Op-Ed, "My Take: Will there be gays in heaven? Will there be fat people?" can be found here.

 

Time for a Change of Leadership at Exodus?

Alan Chambers Assures "Gay Christians" That Unrepentant Homosexual Practice Is No Barrier to Salvation … among Other Gospel Distortions and Bad Moves

Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D.

June 30, 2012

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This article led to interviews or comments in the New York Times, National Public Radio, and the Christian Post.

 

 

Radio Interview on the Bible and Gay Marriage

Link here

Interviewed by Todd Wilkins for the Issues, Etc. show on Aug. 23, 2011

 

Lee Jefferson

The Bible and the "Gay Marriage" Question

A Response to Prof. Lee Jefferson's op-ed piece for the Huffington Post

A 3-part op-ed piece for the Christian Post (July 8, 2011)

Link to the Chrisitan Post site here (Part 1), here (2), and here (3)

Or for the 3 parts in one piece on Dr. Gagnon's site click here for html and here for pdf

What does the Bible actually say about “gay marriage”? That question is the title of a a recent op-ed piece in the Huffington Post (June 29, 2011) written by Lee Jefferson, a visiting assistant professor of religion at Centre College. According to Jefferson the answer is: “Nothing,” or at least “Nothing negative.” Jefferson used the recent passage of “gay marriage” by the New York legislature as a springboard from which to denigrate appeals to the Bible against homosexual practice. I will use Jefferson’s article as a springboard from which to answer the question that he and many others have raised.

 

 

 Jennifer Wright Knust

Asst. Prof. of New Testament, Boston University

 

The Bible's Surprisingly Consistent Message on a Male-Female Requirement for Marriage

A Response to Jennifer Wright Knust

(combining my earlier CNN article and on-site addendum)

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Email correspondence on my critique of Knust          

 

On Feb. 9, 2011 CNN's Belief Blog published an op-ed piece by Prof. Dr. Jennifer Wright Knust (Boston University) entitled The Bible’s surprisingly mixed messages on sexuality. The CNN Religion Editor asked me for a response, which he  published on Mar. 3 with the titleThe Bible really does condemn homosexuality (I had given it the title you see for the combined article). The word-count limitation led me to put out an addendum the same day, entitled "More on Knust's Blunders about the Bible and Homosexuality" on my website (PDF and HTML). I now offer a combination of the two responses, slightly edited for athe convenience of the reader.

 

Audios of two presentations at the Ruth Institute (Aug. 13-14, 2010)

Jesus & Sex - here

(58 min.)

The Secular Case against Homosexual Practice & Paul's Teaching - here

(55 min.)

Presentations were made at the Ruth Institute student conference "It Takes a Family to Raise a Village" held Aug. 12-14, 2010 at the Murietta Conference Center in Murietta, California. The links are to Podcasts but you can also listen online by clicking the little blue link after "direct download."

 

 

Audios of three sermons on the Gospel of John

Two were given at Eastminster Presbyterian Church (Pittsburgh, PA):

"Come and See: The Picture of Jesus in John 1:1-2:11" (31 min., Aug. 22, 2010). To hear this sermon click here.

"Birth from Above: Jesus and Nicodemus in John 3:1-21" (41 min., Aug. 29, 2010). To hear this sermon click here.

Or for the two sermons above go to http://eastminsterchurch.net/index.php?option=com_sermonspeaker&task=latest_sermons&id=10007&Itemid=57

The third sermon was given at the Pittsburgh Seminary chapel on Thursday Sept. 9, 2010:

"Messiah, Marriage, and Mission: The Samaritan Woman at the Well Meets Jesus (John 4:3-42)" (18 min.)

The sermon begins with a 5-minute antiphonal reading of John 4:3-42 that didn't come out clearly on the tape; the sermon proper begins at the 5 min. 40 sec. mark and goes for 18 min.

To hear this sermon click here or go to http://www.pts.edu/Chapel_Audio

The first two sermons kicked off a Sunday School series on the Gospel of John that I began at Eastminster Presbyterian Church two weeks later. The third was a single chapel talk at the seminary; faculty are encouraged to give at least one chapel talk during the academic year. The service and sermon at the seminary chapel is significantly shorter than that of the church service at Eastminster; hence the different length of the talks. You may notice in the third talk that I have a bit of a cold.

 

 

Marin Responds to Critique with Character Attack and Circle-the-Wagons Approach; Followers “Share the Love”

Sept. 6, 2010

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Little did I know when I wrote “Truncated Love: A Response to Andrew Marin’s Love Is an Orientation, Part 1” that the reaction of Marin and his followers would itself become something to assess.

 

Truncated Love: A Response to Andrew Marin’s Love Is an Orientation

Part 1: PDF

 

 
 

 

 

Is Faith in Christ Optional or an Operating Premise for Salvation?

Written Jan. 2008; posted online 7/13/10

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     Addresses the question through a critique of the document “Hope in the Lord Jesus Christ,” produced in 2002 by the Office of Theology and Worship of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and affirmed by the 214th General Assembly (2002) by a vote of 497-11-5.

 

Photo: Stacy Johnson

Weak Case: A Critical Review of Stacy Johnson’s “Law and Politics” Section in His Book A Time to Embrace

Written 2008; posted online 7/13/10

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"A Second Look at Two Lukan Parables: Reflections on the Unjust Steward and the Good Samaritan"

Horizons in Biblical Theology 20 (1998): 1-11

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A scanned copy of an article of mine published in 1998, put on the web in July 2010.

 

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Click here for a link; then click on the picture of me presenting, which will start the video (it is erroneously labeled "Marriage and the Bible," which was a second talk that I gave at the Ruth Institute, not posted as a video). I also commend to you the other videos on this page by Profs./Drs. Jennifer Roback Morse, William C. Duncan, Gary Rose, and Brad Wilcox.

 

Paul and Homosexual Practice: A 50-minute Video Presentation for the Ruth Institute in California

Aug. 9, 2009

(first made available on the web on June 3, 2010)

 

Here is a video of a 50-minute presentation that I gave at the Ruth Institute (a project of the National Organization for Marriage, located in San Marcos, Calif., near San Diego) on Aug. 9, 2009 that makes a case for why we know that Paul's indictment of homosexual practice in Romans 1:24-27 was absolute, inclusive of committed homosexual unions and orientation. It includes images of the slides that I use when making this case in a public presentation.

 

A Romans Rap

A Seminary's Professor's Attempt to Put Paul's Letter to the Romans into Rap Verse

May 19, 2010

Video posted July 9, 2010: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtgJX_jWJYk

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Students at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary had an End of the Year Awards event, the point of which was a to act a bit goofy and have a good laugh. I was approached to do a rap since the previous year I had done a short rap called "Luvination" for a spoof entitled "Calvin Does Casablanca" (replacing Humphrey Bogart in the famous movie with John Calvin). For this year's event I decided to write a rap that summarizes the message of Romans. The mode is humorous but I did make a serious effort to represent the distinctive message of Romans accurately. Slightly long perhaps for a rap song (at 6 1/2 minutes, though many rap songs approach 5 min.) but not long enough, certainly, to do full justice to Romans. The second stanza was supposed to serve as a refrain but the text was already too long for it to serve that purpose. The exercise was fun.

 

Dr. Ted Grimsrud

 

Why I Could Not Recommend the Mennonite Book Reasoning Together: A Conversation on Homosexuality (Herald Press, 2008)

Nov. 18, 2009

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In May 2008 Levi Miller of Herald Press and Mark Theissen Nation (professor of theology at Eastern Mennonite Seminary) asked me if I could provide a blurb for the Mennonite book Reasoning Together: A Conversation on Homosexuality written by Mark (whom I respect and count as a friend) and by a homosexualist professor of “theology and peace studies” at Eastern Mennonite University, Ted Grimsrud (pictured above). I concluded that I could not provide a blurb for the book unless certain changes were made (much of which was not made) and gave my reasons in the letter that I sent to Levi Miller, which I here make public.

Readers not particularly interested in this book or in a rebuttal of ad hominem attacks that Grimsrud makes about my character can still benefit from seeing my response to four claims made by Grimsrud with regard to my work: (1) that I am projecting my own feelings onto Paul when I claim that Paul viewed same-sex intercourse per se as a disgusting practice; (2) that I have allegedly ignored the context for the reference to man-male intercourse in 1 Cor 6:9, which (Grimsrud alleges) is not the incestuous man in 1 Cor 5 but the law court dispute and social justice in 1 Cor 6:1-8; (3) that I have allegedly erred in claiming that Paul regarded homosexual practice as an instance of porneia (sexual immorality); and (4) that I have allegedly distorted the Sodom story by not limiting its indictment to coercive forms of same-sex intercourse. Grimsrud attributes all four of these alleged failings on my part to my “antipathy” and “hostility” toward homosexual persons and claimed that I provide no scholarly evidence for my conclusions. Here I show that the evidence from historical and literary context for my claims is, in each instance, overwhelming. Grimsrud simply ignores all the evidence.

 

Back to the Oppressive Future:

Homosexualist Attempts at Suppressing Rational Debate at Bowdoin College and the Maine “Gay Marriage” Referendum

Nov. 3, 2009

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Lessons from my talk at Bowdoin College.

Also:

An Open Letter to the Leaders of Stand for Marriage Maine: A Strategy for Winning the Battle While Losing the War?

Nov. 4, 2009

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What Should Faithful Lutherans in the ELCA Do?

 

 

Sept. 30, 2009

 

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The picture at the left is of the steeple of the Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis. Note the cross at the top, which snapped on Aug. 19, 2009 after it was struck by a tornado and then dangled upside down. Central Lutheran Church was at the time being used by the ELCA during its Churchwide Assembly (held in the convention center across the street) as the home base church for the assembly delegates. It was also a gathering place for homosexualist groups. The tornado that touched down in downtown Minneapolis was the first to do so in 90 years. It touched down at approximately 2 PM, the time slated at the assembly to begin discussion to approve the new sexuality statement. The weather forecast for the area that day did not expect severe storms. The Churchwide Assembly adopted the new sexuality statement permitting the blessing of homosexual unions and the enrollment as active pastors persons who engage unrepentantly in homosexual practice by a vote of 66.6% (recall--and here I am being a bit tongue-in-cheek--the number of the beast in Rev 13:16-17). Rich symbolism indeed, for the upside-down cross is a profound image of the inversion of God's will for human sexual pairing promoted by the ELCA in its transitional allowance of homosexual practice (with full acceptance now inevitable in the not-too-distant future). My article above explains why the legitimacy of the ELCA as a denomination may now be at stake.

 

 

Why a Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity “Hate Crimes” Law Is Bad for You

 May 28, 2009; June 17, 2009

Part 1: Promoting hatred of people opposed to homosexual practice and transgenderism          PDF     HTML

Part 2: The irrelevant and inaccurate claim that this bill will not abridge your freedom of speech     PDF     HTML

Part 3: Inroads against personal freedom already made in the United States by homosexual and transsexual political activism      PDF     HTML

For all three parts in a single PDF document click here.

 

 

 

 

Why Homosexual Behavior Is More like Consensual Incest and Polyamory than Race or Gender 

A Reasoned and Reasonable Case for Secular Society

May 18-20, 2009

Part 1: The Initial Case      PDF     HTML

Part 2: What Disproportionately High Rates of Harm Mean    PDF     HTML

Part 3: The Illogic of Homosexual Unions      PDF     HTML

Part 4: Responses to Counterarguments       PDF     HTML

For all four parts in a single PDF document click here.

 

The attempt of recent "hate crime" legislation to place "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" alongside race and gender is logically misguided and dangerous. A much closer analogy is one between homosexual practice on the one hand and consensual (adult-committed) incest and polyamory on the other.

 

What the Evidence Really Says about Scripture and Homosexual Practice: Five Issues

Mar. 14, 2009

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This was written as a resource for presbyteries to use in the current discussions about the proposed amendment to remove the male-female sexuality standard in the PCUSA (though it is also applicable to the discussions in the ELCA and elsewhere). The five issues are: Jesus, Eunuchs, Romans 1:24-27 and the Erroneous Exploitation Argument, Analogies, and Significance.

 

 

Statement to the Allegheny County Council in Opposition to the Homosexual “Non-Discrimination” Bill No. 4201-08 

Jan. 16, 2008

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More than “Mutual Joy”: Lisa Miller of Newsweek against Scripture and Jesus

Dec. 10, 2008

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Lisa Miller, Religion Editor, Newsweek

Jon Meacham, Managing Editor, Newsweek

 

Religious proponents of gay marriage routinely ignore or twist the major arguments in Scripture and philosophy against homosexual practice. The cover story by Religion Editor Lisa Miller in the Dec. 15, 2008 issue of Newsweek, wholeheartedly endorsed by Managing Editor Jon Meacham, is a perfect case in point.

Also posted (and nicely formatted) at OrthodoxyToday.org

 

 

What Does the Bible Say about Homosexuality?

A 28-Minute video presentation produced on Apr. 11, 2008 by Mastering Life Ministries for the Pure Passion television series, available for viewing online at http://www.vimeo.com/2126309

Also available for purchase as a 16:9 Widescreen, High-Definition DVD here at www.purepassion.us for $15 plus $5 shipping and handling. Or call 1-615-507-4166 to order.

If you live outside the U.S. you must order by phone. Note that the DVD set is in NTSC form, which works in North America and a few other regions.  I believe that Europe uses PAL format and this DVD set won't work on that format. However, Europeans who have DVD machines that will play both formats can play these DVDs.

The DVD also contains a 28-minute presentation by Jayson Graves, a Christian Psychotherapist specializing in Sexual Addictions Recovery and unwanted Same-Gender Attractions; co-producer of the Pure Passion series.

Also available for purchase from Mastering Life Ministries is a 4-hour 3 DVD presentation (not HD) by Dr. Gagnon entitled "Love, the Bible, and Homosexual Practice" ($35 plus $7 shipping and handling). Order here or call 615-507-4166.

(Note that Dr. Gagnon does not receive any remuneration from the sale of these DVDs; profits go to Mastering Life Ministries)

 

 

Obama

Obama's Coming War on Historic Christianity over Homosexual Practice and Abortion

Nov. 2, 2008

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Or for a real html version, minus a few minor updates and corrections, go to the Orthodoxy Today site here.
 

Click here for a response to an evangelical British biblical scholar who had strong reactions against the article.

Even though the Iraq War and the economy are often cited as the main issues in this election the only assured, long-term "sea changes" that will arise from this election involve homosexual practice and abortion and then only if Obama is elected. If the latter happens, the outcome will be a national policy of persecution against persons who believe that homosexual practice and abortion are immoral acts.

 

audacity-of-hope.jpg

Barack Obama’s Disturbing Misreading of the Sermon on the Mount as Support for Homosexual Sex

Oct. 23, 2008

Click here for article

Published on the Republicans for Family Values website.

 

Regardless of how one votes on election day, it is important to be aware of how this presidential candidate interprets Scripture to fit his political views and what kind of impact this will have on his policies regarding government endorsement of, and incentives for, homosexual practice should he become president. For Obama's policy objectives on these issues see the article just above this one.

 

Photo: Stacy Johnson

 

A Book Not To Be Embraced:

A Critical Review Essay on Stacy Johnson’s A Time to Embrace

 

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completed Mar. 2008; posted online Sept. 30, 2008

 

This essay will appear in a very slightly revised form in Scottish Journal of Theology (Cambridge University Press), likely in vol. 62:1 in Feb. 2009; © 2008 Scottish Journal of Theology Ltd.

 

Also:

 

More Reasons Why Stacy Johnson’s A Time to Embrace Should Not Be Embraced: Part II: Sodom, Leviticus, and More on Jesus and Paul

 

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completed Mar. 2008; posted online Sept. 30, 2008

 

The material in this essay could not be included in the Scottish Journal of Theology article, owing to word count limitations; but it shows how poorly conceived Johnson's arguments are in a range of other biblical texts not covered in the SJT article.

 

 

More Reasons . . . : Part III: Science, Nature, History, and Logic

 

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completed Mar. 2008; posted online Sept. 30, 2008

 

 

 

The mean-spirited homosexualist website, boxturtlebulletin.com, is aptly named, for the box turtle is easily confused and frightened by reality (though I don't attribute meanness to the poor box turtle). A main writer for the site, Timothy Kincaid,  underscores his own difficulties with logic, truth, and civil discourse in his multiple caustic postings regarding me. The more that I show, through rational argument, that his claims are baseless, the more he lashes out with bitter ad hominem attacks, referring falsely to my alleged "anti-gay" bigotry, "frothing indignation," "homophobia" and "rants," "laughable proclamations," "pomposity,"  "tortured logic," "wacky way of thinking," "wild presumptions," and "blatherings on." In puerile fashion he asks where I went "to grammar school," and what "junior high writing class" I had. Then he whines that he is a victim of "personal insults and hostility" simply because I patiently show why every one of his claims is without merit. Remarkable stuff.

 

 

Is Box Turtle Kincaid Logic-Challenged?

A Response to His Claim That I Used "Tortured Logic" in Evaluating the Effect of 2008 PCUSA General Assembly Actions on Ordaining Homosexually Active Candidates

July 30, 2008

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Why Box Turtle Kincaid Continues to Be Logic-Challenged and Now Also Principle-Challenged

On the High Court’s Role in Interpreting the Actions of the 2008 PCUSA General Assembly regarding Homosexually Active Candidates

Aug. 3, 2008

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Box Turtle Kincaid Peddles Distorted Orthodoxy Test While Promoting Immorality

Part 1: The Problem with the Call for Retranslating the Heidelberg Catechism

July 31, 2008

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Part 2: Jesus’ Distance Healing of an Official’s “Boy”

Aug. 2, 2008

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Box Turtle Kincaid Continues to Attack with All Heat, No Light on the New “Authoritative Interpretation”

Aug. 11, 2008

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Box Turtle Kincaid's Failure to Address Arguments on the Heidelberg Catechism and the Centurion Story

Aug. 12, 2008

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Note: Compare Kincaid's regular vitriol with his website's "principles": 1. "We are compassionate." 2. "We are tolerant." 3. "We are civil." 4. "We are honest." 5. "We are hopeful" (honest, I'm not making this up). Based on the kind of remarks noted in the left column and their regular insults  of others (to name just a few, "nutbaggery," "frothing lunacy," "lunatic ranting," "despicable coward," "bigot," "incoherent," and "paranoid"), apparently the only things that they left out of their "principles" are: 6. "We are modest"; and 7. "We are self-deceived." Kincaid and other similarly abusive proponents of homosexual practice should be loved while not tolerating their abusive ways and deliberate distortions.

 

 

Now available online:

Robert A. J. Gagnon, "Scriptural Perspectives on Homosexuality and Sexual Identity" in Journal of Psychology and Christianity 24:4 (Winter 2005): 293-303.

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Thanks to the editor Prof. Dr. Peter Hill for permission to put the material on my website. I quote here from the introductory paragraph of my article and the conclusion:

"The purpose of this article is to address specific themes from Scripture and theology that might be helpful for Christian psychologists who work with men and women who experience same-sex attractions. I shall begin by first discussing the relationship of Christian identity to biologically based orientations: does the latter necessarily determine the shape of the former? Then I shall look at the implications of this exploration for whether there is justification, or indeed necessity, for Christians who experience same-sex attractions to construct an identity distinct from such attractions. Finally, I shall suggest three additional scriptural principles for Christian psychologists."

 

 

Archbishoparmagh_5

The Faulty Orientation Argument of the Anglican Primate of Ireland

July 6, 2008

Posted on the British-Anglican "Open Evangelical" Website Fulcrum (www.Fulcrum-Anglican.org) here

 

Archbishop Alan Harper, Anglican Primate of Ireland, has produced a paper that misreads the rejection of homosexual practice in Rom 1:24-27 in an effort to promote a “revisionist” interpretation favorable to committed homosexual unions. The paper is entitled, “Holy Scripture and the Law of God in Contemporary Anglicanism in the Light of Richard Hooker’s ‘Lawes’” (online here). My response shows how far off the mark is the Archbishop's "orientation argument," unknowingly a rehash of John Boswell's argument from thirty years ago.

The London Times has given major coverage to Harper’s work, posting his full paper and giving first-article coverage online to it in an article by Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent for the Times, entitled “Archbishop of Armagh invokes scripture in defence of homosexuality” (July 4, 2008 here). Here is an excerpt from Gledhill’s article: "The Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Rev Alan Harper, who is one of 38 primates in the worldwide Anglican Communion, said today that if 'reason' were applied to the Bible texts that seem to condemn homosexuality, a different interpretation would be found. He challenged the intellectual rigour of conservatives who use St Paul's epistles — in particular the first chapter of his Letter to the Romans where the Apostle condemns men who commit 'unnatural' acts with other men — to bolster their argument that homosexuality is wrong." In her blog (here) for July 4, 2008, Gledhill exuberantly states: "Archbishop Alan Harper ... has perhaps not received the attention he has deserved since taking over from the high-profile Robin Eames, lead author of the Windsor Report. My mission today is to change that. He has this morning delivered a powerful and, I have to say, rather convincing address making the intellectual case for a new look at St Paul's texts on homosexuality."

 

Why a New Translation of the Heidelberg Catechism Is Not Needed: 

And Why Homosexualist Forces in the PCUSA Seek It

June 19, 2008

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Advocates of a homosexualist agenda seek a retranslation of the Heidelberg Catechism so that they can remove references to homosexual practice not present in the original German but certainly present in the New Testament text of 1 Cor 6:9 that the Catechism cites. The Reformers would not have omitted the references out of any affirmation for homosexual practice but rather out of a desire to protect naive children from knowledge of what was then viewed universally as "monstrous" behavior. 

 

Going in the Wrong Direction:

A Response to David Atkinson

June 14, 2008

Available at Fulcrum, an online British Evangelical-Center Anglican website here (as pdf here)

Extensive interaction about the article between Dr. Gagnon and others at Fulcrum Forum here

For just Dr. Gagnon's comments on the Fulcrum Forum go here

Bishop Atkinson's comments can be viewed here

 

David Atkinson is an evangelical scholar-cleric in England who in 2006 contributed an article entitled "The Church of England and Homosexuality: How Did We Get Here? Where Do We Go Now?" for the apparently one-sided book Other Voices, Other Worlds: The Global Church Speaks Out on Homosexuality (ed. Terry Brown; Church Publishing, 2006), 298-313. In the article Atkinson briefly critiques my first book. A leader in the Episcopal Church informed me that the book may have been sent to all Episcopal bishops as "preparation" for the upcoming 2008 Lambeth Conference--part of a plan by the left to make their stance on homosexual practice look centrist. The leader asked me to do a response, which I here supply.

 

 

Did the Archbishop of Canterbury's Remarks on Romans 1:24-27 Undercut Somewhat the Historic Christian Teaching on Homosexual Practice?

A Friendly Dialogue with Prof. Ephraim Radner Fulcrum Article "The Present Purpose of the One Anglican Communion"

June 2008

See my postings on June 19 and June 30, and Radner's response on June 20 here

For Radner's original article go here

Prof. Dr. Ephraim Radner (Professor of Historical Theology at Wycliffe College, Toronto), who is of solid faith, argued in a recent Fulcrum essay that the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams in his 2007 Stuart-Larkin Lecture in Toronto did nothing to "undercut the overall reality of the Scriptural prohibition" against homosexual practice in Rom 1:24-27. He found my argument in a previous article ("Rowan Williams' Wrong Reading of Romans" [below]), which made the opposite point, "unconvincing." I wrote a response on the Fulcrum Forum on June 19; Radner responded on June 20; and I offered a rejoinder on June 30.

 

Ms. Crystal Dixon, Associate Vice President of Human Resources, University of Toledo

President Lloyd Jacobs, University of Toledo

An Open Letter to a University President regarding the Suspension of a Black Female Administrator Who Challenged a Comparison between Homosexual Practice and Being Black

May 6, 2008

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Plus see my response to a critic of my letter, along with the critic's change of heart here

Also my comments to a WorldNetDaily reporter here

... and my response to another critic who charged that Dixon had to be fired because of conflict between her position and the goals of the school here

Note that Dixon was fired on May 9.

 

 

Update: Jacobs later fired Ms. Dixon (go here). She is being legally represented by the Thomas Moore Law Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Ms. Dixon was apparently offered a reassignment out of Human Resources that involved both a demotion and a pay cut (May 5). She refused on the grounds that she had done nothing wrong. On May 9 she was notified of her termination (go here). For those who argue that the termination was justified on the grounds that she could not do her job properly in Human Resources see my response here.

Ms. Dixon needs your financial support. I received the following message from her:

I am represented by local counsel at my own expense on several elements and the Thomas More Law Center on the constitutional front. Please take a moment to visit my website – your support is greatly needed for this cause:
http://www.crystaldixon.com There are two ways that you can help. 
 
To contribute to help defray our survival expenses while engaged in this fight, you may send contributions to:
 
Crystal Dixon
P.O. Box 140062
Toledo, OH  43614
 
Or to make a tax-deductible contribution to our 501(C)(3) legal defense fund, you may send contributions to:
 
Grace In Action
Crystal Dixon Defense Fund
2902 Auburn Avenue
Toledo, OH  43606
(You will receive a tax-deductible receipt from Grace In Action for contributions to this defense fund).
 

 

 

New Book with an article by Robert Gagnon:

God, Gays and the Church: Human Sexuality and Experience in Christian Thinking

eds. Lisa Nolland, Chris Sugden & Sarah Finch (London: Latimer Trust, 2008), 249 pp.

 

A good new book has come out in England on the subject of the church and homosexuality. It contains narratives, including a philosophical piece by J. Budziszewski, personal testimonies by those coming out of the homosexual life, and a personal testimony about male homosexual promiscuity by someone who has come out of the homosexual life (Dr. Ronald Lee); articles on how homosexuality develops (by Neil Whitehead, Jeffrey Satinover, and Joseph Nicolosi); biblical theology articles by my colleague Edith Humphrey ("Women's Ordination, Homoeroticism and Faithfulness") and myself ("A Faithful Church: The Bible and Same-Sex Sex," a response to a professor of philosophy [John Thorp] whose article on "Making the Case: The Blessing of Same Sex Unions in the Anglican Church of Canada" was circulated to all the delegates at the 2007 General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada); an article on pastoral care by Mario Bergner; and several articles by Lisa Nolland on the social and medical impact of endorsing homosexual practice. Some of the articles have been previously released (including my response to Thorp, available on this website) but it is convenient to have even these in a single collection.

 

Photo: Stacy Johnson

The Bible and Homosexual Practice: A Critique of Stacy Johnson's A Time to Embrace

Three Lectures Delivered at Princeton Theological Seminary (Mar. 4-5, 2008) on CD or through online download

Talk 1: "Did the Apostle Paul Reject Only Hedonistic and Exploitative Forms of Homosexual Practice?"

Talk 2: "Genesis and Jesus on a Male-Female Prerequisite for Sexual Bonds"

Talk 3: "What Nature Arguments and Science Have to Say about Homosexuality"

Each lecture runs about 1 hr. 15 min. plus an additional half hour of questions and answers

Available through Educational Media at Princeton Theological Seminary

Contact: media@ptsem.edu

 

 

Price:  There are two options available to purchase the recordings— 

CD Format

The cost of each recording/lecture is $5.00 in CD format.  Payment can be made by check made payable to “PTS” and mailed to Princeton Theological Seminary, P. O. Box 821, Princeton, NJ 08542-0803; or payment can be made by credit card online via PayPal.  The cost for the three lectures would be $15.00, plus a shipping and handling charge of $7.50 per order, within the U.S.  NJ residents would be subject to a 7% sales tax. 

Downloads

The cost per download is $1.99; for all 3 lectures $5.97.  Downloads are provided in wav, mp3, and wma56k (Windows dial-up) formats.  A “Read This First” is included which provides information about PTS downloads. Once media@ptsem.edu receives your request, Princeton Seminary will initiate an invoice through PayPal. PayPal will forward the invoice to you and request payment, which is made by credit card. PayPal will then notify Princeton Seminary of payment and Princeton Seminary will forward the links for the downloads to you at your email address.  

To download you must first contact media@ptsem.edu. This allows them to process requests and payments.

 

 

No Ordination Essentials “For All Time and All Persons”? Ten Reasons Why the Achtemeier Overture Is Extremist and Invalid

Feb. 24, 2008

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Do you believe that when presbyteries and sessions examine individual candidates for ordained office they should have a right to declare faith in Christ and abstinence from adultery nonessential requirements? If you are among the overwhelming majority of reasonable persons in the church who think otherwise, you disagree with Mark Achtemeier, a professor of theology at Dubuque Seminary, and the majority of voting members attending the Feb. 16 meeting of the John Knox Presbytery. For such would be the theologically insane effect of the overture that Achtemeier pushed for and the John Knox Presbytery passed, if the overture were interpreted according to its Rationale.

This article previously appeared in installments as a guess Viewpoint on www.presbyweb.com

 

 

General Assembly Court Scraps Scruples on G-6.0106b But Constitutional Amendments Still Needed

Feb. 18, 2008

On the Presbyterian Outlook website here and click "printer friendly version" (where there are fewer errors in formatting)

For properly formatted PDF version click here

 

The high court of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission (GAPJC), has rightly struck down attempts to "scruple" the "fidelity and chastity" portion of G-6.0106b in the Book of Order; namely prohibiting to candidates for church office sexual relations outside the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman. But the GAPJC failed to recognize the implications of its own logic, specifically, that the determination of essentials is not limited to ordaining bodies in the act of examining individual candidates for ordained office. Some essentials are already predetermined in the Book of Order and, moreover, presbyteries and sessions have a constitutional right to affirm as essentials standards whose essential status in the Constitution is unclear.

 

Was Jesus in a Sexual Relationship with the Beloved Disciple?

Feb. 10, 2008

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Some homosexualist readers of Scripture are so desperate to find anything supportive of homosexual bonds in the pages of Scripture that they even propose that Jesus was in a sexual relationship with the "disciple whom Jesus loved" mentioned in the Gospel of John. Here are seven arguments why this claim is false.

 

Three Clear Indicators in the Book of Order regarding Ordination Essentials:

A Plea for Theological Sanity and Constitutional Honesty

A Presbyweb Viewpoint Article

Feb. 5, 2008

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If you can believe it, there are actually a lot of people in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), especially in the leadership, who think that standards in the Book of Order that are put in ordination vows (i.e. confessing Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord) or explicitly singled out from amongst all other confessional standards to stress compliance (i.e. the requirement that ordained officers not have sexual relations outside of marriage between a man and a woman) or repeatedly mentioned in diverse contexts (i.e. the affirmation of women's ordination) are not necessarily being portrayed in the Book of Order as essentials. This is constitutional dishonesty and theological insanity.

 

 

How Bad Is Homosexual Practice According to Scripture and Does Scripture’s Indictment Apply to Committed Homosexual Unions?

January 2007; slightly modified December 2007

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This 11-page essay was previously published online in January 2007 as two appendices to a similarly entitled article responding to some remarks by R. Milton Winter in a Presbyterian journal entitled Perspectives. Because the appendices were self-standing, not making any reference to Winter, and treat two very common questions in the church about homosexual practice, I offer them here as a separate piece so that the arguments therein will not be overlooked.

 

 

Don’t ENDAnger Your Liberties in the Workplace

 Oct. 23, 2007

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Why the so-called "Employment Non-Discrimination Act" should be strongly opposed.

 

Debating Barry Lynn and Jimmy Creech on Barry Lynn's "Culture Shocks" Radio Show

Sept. 28, 2007

Go here to listen

(If this does not work go to http://www.cultureshocks.com/archives.html and scroll down to Sept. 28.)

Go here for a follow-up letter to Barry Lynn

On Sept. 28, 2007 I was invited to speak on the issue of the Bible, Politics, and Homosexuality by Barry Lynn (executive director of "Americans United for the Separation of Church and State") on his radio show, "Culture Shocks" with Jimmy Creech, executive director of the misnamed homosexualist group "Faith in America." Lynn and Creech pushed the homosexualist line. Listen to the talk and read my follow-up letter to Lynn (neither Lynn nor Creech, who was cc'ed, has responded).

 

 

Transsexuality and Ordination

Aug. 2007

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Calvin on Unity and Sexual Immorality 

A Comment on a Presbyterian Coalition Document

Aug. 13, 2007

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Some even in the renewal movements of the PCUSA think that John Calvin would not have sanctioned departure from a Christian denomination that affirmed homosexual practice. Here's why I think that assumption is wrong.

 

 

PCUSA Moderator Goes Awry in Her Claims of a "Deeply Pernicious Heresy"

Aug. 10, 2007

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Rev. Joan Gray, current moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., declares that refusing membership to persons who are actively and unrepentantly engaged in homosexual relations have committed a "deeply pernicious heresy." She even goes so far as to charge that the apostle Paul himself would support her view. One little problem exists with her pronouncement of "heresy": The evidence from Scripture and even from the PCUSA's Constitution does not support her view. In fact, her declaration makes the apostle Paul a heretic.

 

CHURCH POLICY AS REGARDS HOMOSEXUAL PRACTICE: MEMBERSHIP AND ORDAINED MINISTRY

A 'lost' chapter of my first book

(written 1999; publicly released Aug. 2007)

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The following chapter was written for my first book The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2001) back in 1999. Because the powers-that-be at Abingdon Press were predominantly supportive of homosexual unions, they did not want me to become “too practical.” They disagreed strongly with the policy decisions that I took in this chapter and so refused to publish it. I did nothing with the chapter because I was headed for a tenure decision and knew that my stances on these policy issues would further jeopardize my tenure—a tenure already (and ironically) jeopardized by publishing a book on the Bible’s view on homosexual practice that supported the official stance of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. (with which my seminary was and is affiliated). After being awarded tenure in 2002 I more or less forgot about the chapter. However, a recent editorial in Presbyweb.com by the moderator of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. labeling as “A Deeply Pernicious Heresy” (Aug. 4, 2007) any attempt at withholding membership from persons who repetitively and unrepentantly engage in homosexual practice has served as a catalyst for me to release this chapter. It’s long overdue.

 

 

Letter to an Evangelical Leader on Exploring “Gay Rights”

Aug. 7, 2007

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In late June 2007 an evangelical leader contacted me with the questions about "what rights [I] believe that gay and lesbian people should have." The questions were asked in view of my opposition to so-called "hate crime sexual orientation" legislation. Here is the response that I sent on June 21, 2007.

 

 

Case Not Made:

A Response to Prof. John Thorp's "Making the Case" for Blessing Homosexual Unions in the Anglican Church of Canada

June 19, 2007   

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Also: A response to a critic of my argument against Prof. Thorp here.

 

 

A week or so before the 2007 General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada a paper by Prof. John Thorp, professor of philosophy at the University of Western Ontario, was sent to every delegate to the Synod, timed to push the case for blessing homosexual unions. Thorp's paper, which can be viewed at the Anglican Church of Canada website, is not well done but it might convince some of the uninformed. Here is my response.

 

Jack Haberer

Putting one's money where one's mouth is?
Jack Haberer's editorial supporting "Sexual Orientation Hate" crime legislation

May 30, 2007

(A Presbyweb.com Viewpoint article)

Click here
 

     The editor of the Presbyterian Outlook has written a poorly reasoned and poorly informed editorial in support of the "Sexual Orientation Hate" Crimes bill already passed by the U.S. House and currently being considered by the U.S. Senate. Here is my response.

 

Let the “Sexual Orientation Hate” Bill Pass and Invite Your Own Oppression 

May 2, 2007

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Also: A letter to members of Congress: here

Also: An exchange will a homosexual man upset with this article: here

For an excellent legal analysis see the memorandum on this "hate crimes" bill by the Alliance Defense Fund here

Also: Questions and Answers about the Federal Hate Crime Bill here

 

 IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED: CONTACT CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT

 

"Jesus and the Centurion" by Veronés (1528-88).

Did Jesus Approve of a Homosexual Couple in the Story of the Centurion at Capernaum?

Apr. 24, 2007

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A rebuttal of the oft-repeated but historically baseless argument that Jesus approved of a homosexual relationship in the story of centurion at Capernaum. Contrast the baseless billboard message to the right:

 

Rowan Williams' Wrong Reading of Romans

(. . . and John 14:6)

Apr. 21, 2007

Click here for PDF version, here for HTML

An abridged version is now available in the May 4, 2007 edition of The Church of England Newspaper, pp. 22-23 under the title "Is Rowan Williams Wrong on the Meaning of Romans?" Go here to the "The Record" section and select the 04/05/07 edition for download. It's free.

 

A response to the Archbishop's claim that Paul's primary point in Romans 1-2 was to critique the self-righteous who judge others, a point that challenges the position of persons today who judge those engaging in homosexual relations. With due respect to the Archbishop, Paul never argued that believers should not judge sexual immorality committed by those inside the church. To the contrary . . . . He also truncates and misapplies the context of John 14:6 ("I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me") to suggest that we can go into interfaith dialogue with the view that salvation does not depend on explicit confession of Christ.

 

 

Dale Martin's Poststructuralist Persona and His Historical-Critical Real Self

An Exchange Between Robert Gagnon and Dale Martin over Martin's Critique of Gagnon in Sex and the Single Savior

Oct. 2006 (posted 3/6/07)

Click here

Click here for some responses

Click here for the beginnings of a more detailed response to Martin's book: Dale Martin and the Myth of Total Textual Indeterminacy

 

 

 

Dale Martin, professor of New Testament at Yale University and a self-identified "gay man," devotes six full pages of his recent book Sex and the Single Savior: Gender and Sexuality in Biblical Interpretation (Westminster John Knox, 2006; released Sept./Oct. 2006) to criticizing me as a poster boy of "foundationalism," which for him is a dirty word. What is my crime? My crime is thinking that some things written in Scripture are relatively clear and that, on the whole, a Christian is probably better off submitting to the core values of Scripture than deviating from them.

Produced here is the e-mail exchange that I had with Martin in Oct. 2006. A fuller critique is already in process (click here). Although (1) Martin claims that no certain meaning can be extrapolated from texts and indeed criticizes me strongly for thinking otherwise, and although (2) Martin knows me only through "text" (my books and this email correspondence), he (3) shows remarkable textual certitude about what he thinks I know and don't know and even what my motives are behind what I write. How is it possible that Martin can put on a persona of textual indeterminacy when he criticizes me but then, in that very critique, operate out of a conviction of complete textual certitude? Indeed, how can he even critique the "textual Gagnon" apart from some confidence that he can determine meaning from texts? Why even write books and articles as he does if texts are as ambiguous as he claims them to be? Read on.

 

Rev. Dr. R. Milton Winter

 

How Bad Is Homosexual Practice According to Scripture and Does Scripture’s View Apply to Committed Homosexual Unions?

A response to R. Milton Winter’s Perspectives article:

“Presbyterians and Separatist Evangelicals”

 January 2007

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A response to an attack article on evangelicals that appeared in the Jan. 2007 online magazine of the Office of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) called, ironically, Perspectives (plural). The editor, Sharon Youngs, refused to publish my response to Winter.

 

 

The Haggard Episode and the Case for “Gay Marriage”:

Why the Two Have No Connection

Nov. 6, 2006

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For responses to the article and my comments go here.

 

 

Answers to an AP Reporter's Questions about the Church's Debate of Homosexual Unions

Nov. 7, 2006

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A reasonably concise (under 1500-word) explanation of why the issue of homosexual practice is such a problem for most mainline denominations. I wince at the number of substantive arguments that I had to leave out in order to pare down to this length. But if you want something short from me on this issue, I recommend this.

 

 

Can One Be a "Gay Evangelical"?

My answer to a New York Times reporter and how she reported it

Dec. 16, 2006

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Also: A letter from a homosexual man angry that the Times quoted me--and my response      HTML

On 11/29/06, Neela Banerjee, religion reporter for The New York Times, emailed me to ask my views on “gay evangelicals” and about whether I thought "such a term can be honestly used." On the same day I emailed my response. Two quotes were taken from my response and put in her article in the Times on Tuesday, Dec. 12, entitled “Gay and Evangelical, Seeking Paths of Acceptance” (front page, continued on p. 18; temporarily available on the web here). She was pleasant in her email. However, her handling of my response merits some comment and qualification.

 

Jesus, the Bible, And Homosexuality: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church

 

Jack Rogers's Flawed Use of Analogical Reasoning in Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality

Nov. 2, 2006

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A critique of Jack Rogers's deeply flawed attempt at comparing today's opposition to homosexual practice with yesterday's oppression of African Americans and women.

 

 

"What Happened at the 217th General Assembly? The Import of the New 'Authoritative Interpretation' of G-6.0108" 

Presentation given at the New Wineskins Initiative Convocation

July 20, 2006

For Audio click http://www.robgagnon.net/RGagnon.wma

 

 

 

"I Am of the Middle": The Subgroup of the "Middle" and Its Accommodation to Sexual Immorality

A Response to Mark Achtemeier

July 12, 2006

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Dr. Mark Achtemeier, professor of theology at Dubuque Seminary, contends that identification with renewal groups in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. may be a case of conducting church by "subgroups" comparable to the situation at Corinth that Paul rebukes in 1 Corinthians 1-4 ("I am of Paul, Apollos, Cephas, or Christ"). Unfortunately, Dr. Achtemeier does not consider that his stance on accommodating homosexual practice on the part of officers of the PCUSA may be comparable to the Corinthians' toleration of consensual adult incest in their midst--in which case the repudiation of factionalism in 1 Cor 1-4 does not apply. Nor does he consider that he himself has become a member of a de facto subgroup within the PCUSA: the subgroup of the so-called middle that does not represent the majority of Presbyterians. Nor does he acknowledge that the PCUSA is already a subgroup whose status in relation to Scripture, the historic church faith, and world Christianity he has helped marginalize by his own work in the PUP Task Force and accommodation to sexual immorality among officers of the church.

 

New article in print:

A 5-page entry on "Homosexuality" in New Dictionary of Christian Apologetics (eds. C. Campbell-Jack, G. McGrath, and C. Evans; Intervarsity Press, 2006), 327-32

 

I was asked for this entry to explore the apologetic basis for a two-sex prerequisite for sexual unions, with only minimal reference to Scripture in order to make my contribution effective in dialogue with unbelievers. I structured the entry as follows:

I. A nature argument for structural prerequisites

A. The problem of confusing generic love with sexual intimacy

B. Foundational linkage between heterosexuality and monogamy

C. Analogical linkage between homosexuality and incest

D. The point of these linkages

E. The nature argument in story form: Genesis 1-2

F. The core problem: sexual narcissism and/or sexual self-deception

II. A consideration of counterarguments

A. Doesn't homosexual orientation validate homosexual behavior?

B. Isn't long-term commitment a solution to the primary problem?

C. Isn't the sex of the partners secondary to self-constructed sexuality?

D. Isn't an other-sex prerequisite a superficial obsession with 'plumbing'?

E. Doesn't speaking of two halves of a sexual whole mean that single people are less than whole?

 

 

Material Related to the 217th General Assembly

    

 

     The main article:

     The General Assembly Breaks Trust with Its Own Denomination:       HTML     PDF

     Other articles:

     Formal Protest to Assembly's Approval of PUP Task Force Rec. 5:    HTML     PDF

     Defending the Plain Meaning of the Sexuality Mandate in G-6.0106b: HTML    PDF

 

 

 

Jesus, the Bible, And Homosexuality: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church

Does Jack Rogers's New Book "Explode the Myths" about the Bible and Homosexuality and "Heal the Church?"

Installment 1:   HTML    PDF

Installment 2:   HTML    PDF

Installment 3:   HTML    PDF

Installment 4:   HTML    PDF

Response to Rogers's Response, Part 1:  HTML    PDF

 

The subtitle of Jack Rogers's new book, Jesus, the Bible and Homosexuality is Explode the Myths, Heal the Church. The question is: Does the book accomplish either goal?

In Installment 1 I show how Rogers, in a tendentious manner, makes very meager and highly selective use of biblical scholarship to achieve his desired ends. In particular, Rogers consistently avoids remarks from scholars who, though sharing his affirmation of homosexual unions, disagree with his central conclusion that “the Bible does not condemn all homosexual relationships.”

In Installment 2 I demonstrate two things. First, Rogers doesn't realize that one of his two main arguments for establishing that the Bible doesn’t oppose all homosexual practice, the misogyny argument, actually contradicts this central contention. Secondly, the examples that Rogers gives in his book for demonstrating the importance of knowing the historical context actually demonstrate that Rogers himself doesn’t know well the historical context. Here I focus on his orientation argument, his idolatrous sexuality argument, and, most of all, his misogyny argument.

In Installment 3 I show how Rogers lies about my work to cover up for the deficiencies in his own argument. Here I focus on perhaps the biggest lie that has ever been said about my work; namely, Rogers's twice-repeated contention that I "simply assert, with no supporting evidence," that the Bible in general and the Pauline corpus in  particular express strong opposition to all forms of homosexual activity, including those of a committed sort. I use Rogers's lie as an opportunity to lay out from previous work some of the significant "supporting evidence" for my assertion as regards Romans 1:24-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9, and 1 Timothy 1:10; that is, to lay out my rebuttal to the "exploitation argument" used by Rogers. I raise questions about how Rogers and, by implication, the official publishing house of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster John Knox, can "heal the church," much less "explode the myths," by lying about the work of scholars with whom they disagree and attempting to cover up the failings of their position.

In Installment 4 I show how Rogers lies about my views on same-sex attractions when he attributes to me the absurd belief  that "homosexuality is a willful choice" and "that all people who are homosexual" can change into full heterosexuals. This is another instance where Rogers bears false witness about my work in order to cover up deficiencies in his own work, here as regards science matters. I use the opportunity to say something about the science side of the homosexuality issue. In the midst of this discussion don't miss the gem about Jesus' reference to "born eunuchs."

 

 

 

Letha Dawson Scanzoni

               David G. Myers

   

 

 

Why the Disagreement over the Biblical Witness on Homosexual Practice?

A Response to David G. Myers and Letha Dawson Scanzoni, What God Has Joined Together?

112 pages, Feb. 5, 2006

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From: Reformed Review 59.1 (Autumn 2005): 19-130

 

 

This is my best and most updated "short" treatment--relative, that is, to a 500-page book--on the subject of the Bible and homosexuality. This 112-page article appears in the online journal Reformed Review, a publication of Western Seminary (affiliated with the Reformed Church in America). Click here for the quickest way to see the article. To get to the article from the Reformed Review site along with other articles from the same issue you have to click on Autumn 2005 Vol. 59. No. 1). To print a table of contents for the article click here.

Readers will find treatments here of every major issue in the debate, including discussion and analysis of:

  • The different hermeneutical scales or interpretive grids used by proponents and opponents of homosexual practice (pp. 19-25).
  • The difficulty in neutralizing Scripture for a pro-homosex agenda (pp. 25-30).
  • The nature argument (pp. 30-46).
  • The relevant biblical texts and the arguments used to limit their relevance for today's debate: Old Testament (pp. 46-54) and the New Testament (pp. 54-85), including Jesus (pp. 56-62) and Paul (pp. 62-85).
  • The three main "new knowledge" arguments for dismissing the biblical witness against homosexual practice: the exploitation argument (pp. 65-76), the orientation argument (pp. 77-79), and the misogyny argument (pp. 80-82).
  • Whether homosexual practice is the diet and circumcision issue of today (the Gentile inclusion analogy; pp. 86-90).
  • The alleged analogies to slavery, women's roles, divorce/ remarriage and other changes to marriage over the centuries (pp. 90-97) vs. analogies to incest, polysexuality, and pedosexuality (pp. 98-101).
  • Manipulative rhetoric in the church debates about homosexuality (pp. 103-114).
  • The science side of the debate (pp. 114-30),  including the question of the moral relevance of congenital influences and claims to an unchanging orientation (pp. 116-19), the question of whether culture can affect the incidence of homosexuality (pp. 120-25), and the question of whether "gay marriage" is good for society (pp. 125-30).

I use the book by Myers and Scanzoni as a stage from which to assess these issues and show how Myers and Scanzoni have not done their homework well in grappling with them. In fact, Myers and Scanzoni have, for the most part, ignored the wealth of counterarguments that can be arrayed against their positions by simply not engaging what I and others have written on the subject of homosexual practice.

David Myers is a prominent professor of social psychology who has an office and appointment (though neither teaching duties nor salary) at Hope College (a college affiliated with the Reformed Church in America) and has written a number of standard textbooks on psychology (including the biggest selling textbook on psychology in the country?), as well as a number of general interest books. See his website at http://www.davidmyers.org or click here. Letha Dawson Scanzoni has written such books as All We're Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today (with N. Hardesty) and Is the Homosexual My Neighbor? (with V. R. Mollenkott).

 

 

 

Announcing a new published article:

"Scriptural Perspectives on Homosexuality and Sexual Identity" in Journal of Psychology and Christianity 24:4 (Winter 2005): 293-303.

Postscript: Now available here: PDF

 

 

"The purpose of this article is to address specific themes from Scripture and theology that might be helpful for Christian psychologists who work with men and women who experience same-sex attractions. I shall begin by first discussing the relationship of Christian identity to biologically based orientations: does the latter necessarily determine the shape of the former? Then I shall look at the implications of this exploration for whether there is justification, or indeed necessity, for Christians who experience same-sex attractions to construct an identity distinct from such attractions. Finally, I shall suggest three additional scriptural principles for Christian psychologists."

Other articles in the same issue, which is a Special Issue devoted to the subject of Sexual Identity:

Stanton L. Jones (Prof. of Psychology, Wheaton College) and Alex W. Kwee, "Scientific Research, Homosexuality, and the Church's Moral Debate: An Update," 304-16.

[An excellent update of scientific research since the publication of Stanton Jones and Mark Yarhouse, Homosexuality: The Use of Scientific Research in the Church's Moral Debate [InterVarsity Press, 2000], mostly on the origination of homosexuality but also on psychological distress and Spitzer's study on reorientation.]

Heather Looy (Assoc. Prof. of Psychology, The King's University College in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), "Gender and Sexual Identity: A Critical Exploration of Gender Inversion Theories of Sexual Orientation," 317-31.

Warren Throckmorton (Assoc. Prof. of Psychology, Grove City College) and Gary Welton (Prof. of Psychology, Grove City College), "Counseling Practices as They Relate to Ratings of Helpfulness by Consumers of Sexual Reorientation Therapy," 332-42.

Heather L. Brooke, "'Gays, Ex-Gays, Ex-Ex-Gays: Examining Key Religious, Ethical, and Diversity Issues': A Follow-up Interview with Douglas Haldeman, Ariel Shidlo, Warren Throckmorton, and Mark Yarhouse," 343-51.

Mark A. Yarhouse (Prof. of Psychology, Regent University), et al., "Project Inner Compass: Young Adults Experiencing Sexual Identity Confusion," 352-60.

H. Newton Malony (Prof. of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary), "Pastoral Counseling  and Sexual Identity," 361-7.

Lisa Graham McMinn (Assoc. Prof. of Sociology, Wheaton College), "Sexual Identity Concerns for Christian Young Adults: Practical Considerations for Being a Supportive Presence and Compassionate Companion," 368-77.

For those interested in ordering a copy of the journal for $10 (includes shipping and handling) go to http://www.caps.net/jpc.html. The journal is published by the Christian Association for Psychological Studies.

 

 

Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible

 

Announcing Two Newly Published Articles:

"Sexuality," in Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible (ed. K. J. Vanhoozer, et al.; London: SPCK; Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005), 739a-48b.

"The Old Testament and Homosexuality: A Critical Review of the Case Made by Phyllis Bird," Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 117:3 (2005): 367-94.

 

 

My entry on "Sexuality" in Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible is an 18-column discussion broken down into three main sections:

1. Jesus and Scripture on Sexuality

     a. Making the Creation Model of Marriage Normative and Prescriptive

       b. Closing Loopholes and Inconsistencies in the Law of Moses

       c. Intensifying Sexual Ethics

       d. Making Sexual Ethics a Life-and-Death Concern

       e. Reaching Out in Love to Violators

       f. The Value of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage

       g. The Penultimate Value of Sex

2. Jesus and Scripture on Homosexuality

       a. Jesus' View

       b. Paul's View

       c. Genesis and Rationale

       d. The Rest of Scripture

3. The Hermeneutics of the Gentile Inclusion Analogy

To purchase the book for 34% off the list price of $50, go here. To see a full description of the dictionary and a list of endorsements go to Baker Academic at http://www.bakeracademic.com

My 27-page article on "Old Testament and Homosexuality" appears in one of the world's premier scholarly journals on Old Testament studies, Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft. It is a critical analysis and refutation of one of the best pro-homosex treatments of the subject: Phyllis Bird, "The Bible in Christian Ethical Deliberation concerning Homosexuality: Old Testament Contributions," in Homosexuality, Science, and the "Plain Sense" of Scripture (ed. D. Balch; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), 142-76. My article is divided into the following sections:

I. An Overview of Bird's Article

II. Affective Bonds and Quality of Relationship Issues

III. On Omissions in Bird's Text Selection

IV. Bird on Homosexual Cult Prostitution

V. Bird on the Story of Sodom

VI. Bird on Lev 18:22 and 20:13

VII. Bird on the Genesis Creation Accounts

VIII. Bird on Wisdom Tradition and Appeals to Nature, Science, and Experience

IX. Bird on the Authority of Scripture

X. Conclusion.

For an Abstract of the article go here or, more directly, to:

http://www.extenza-eps.com/WDG/doi/abs/10.1515/zatw.2005.117.3.367

Neither of these articles is, as yet, available online.

 

 

Church Membership, Repentance, and the Transformed Life

(A Presbyweb Response to Rev. Richard Hong)

July 2, 2006

Click here

 

This Presbyweb.com response to Rev. Richard Hong addresses the question of whether serial unrepentant homosexual practice should have any bearing on membership in the church.

 

Discussion with Rev. Edward Koster, Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Detroit concerning the meaning of the new "Authoritative Interpretation" on determining essentials for ordination

On Presbyweb here, here, here, and here

June 28, 2006-

The Stated Clerk of Detroit, one of the more adept and responsible of the liberal state clerks in the PCUSA, has argued that the amended version of the PUP Task Force's "authoritative interpretation" of G-6.0108 (the freedom-of-conscience clause), passed by the 217th General Assembly this past June, does not permit the ordination of persons engaged in unrepentant homosexual practice. The amendment states that ordination decisions are still subject to review by higher governing bodies as regards compliance with the Constitution of the PCUSA. I agree that the amendment would preclude ordination of self-affirmed, practicing homosexuals if the administrative powers-that-be interpreted "compliance with the Constitution" correctly. I don't agree, however, that the if-clause is likely to be fulfilled. I also strongly disagree with Rev. Koster's assertion that women's ordination and the sexuality standard in G-6.0106b (prohibiting ordination of persons having "self-acknowledged" sexual relations outside the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman) are the only two church-wide ordination requirements.

 

 

Jack Haberer

Rev. Jack Haberer

 Jack Haberer's Scare Tactic on Women

A response to an editorial by the Presbyterian Outlook's editor, "A Woman's 'Where Else?'"

A Presbyweb "Viewpoint" (Feb. 7, 2006)

 

The editor of the Presbyterian Outlook, Rev. Jack Haberer, tells scripture-minded women in the PCUSA to beware of any denomination formed in reaction against the Peace, Unity, and Purity Task Force's Final Report, which is recommending virtual local-option on serial, unrepentant homosexual practice by ministers of the church (signed on to by Rev. Haberer). Such a break-away entity is likely to turn the clock back on women's ordination, Rev. Haberer claims. So Rev. Haberer trumpets, "We will urge the church to stay together" so that women will always have a "home" in which to exercise their ministry gifts.

But there are at least three problems with this call for unity: Why is Rev. Haberer promoting a policy on homosexual practice for ordained officers that will put women in this alleged quandary if he is so concerned about unity? Doesn't the Task Force's key recommendation on local option for ordination of homosexually active officers leave open the possibility of local option for women's ordination in the PCUSA? And what evidence is there to suggest that a new, more Christ-centered entity would abolish women's ordination? Click here for more.

 

 

 

An Open Letter Regarding the Current Hate Crimes Amendment

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Oct. 20, 2005

Plus: An Email Exchange with a "Loving" Critic

 

 

The greatest threat  our civil liberties and the future liberties of our children is once more upon us. . . . It is important that you call your U.S. Senators, and perhaps too the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Bill Frist, at the Capitol Hill Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to reject such a "hate crime" amendment to any bill. If it passes, "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" will become ensconced into U.S. law as valid civil rights categories. A hate crime amendment will not make any safer homosexual and transgendered persons who are the victims of violent crime. Such crimes are already prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. However, such a law will establish a legal precedent that leads inexorably to a range of other "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" laws. "Heterosexism" will be placed alongside racism and sexism as a social evil to be stamped out at all costs. A number of tragic results will follow. . . . Some of these will occur in a very short space of time; others will happen within a few years to a decade. Here is a sample of twenty-five things that are likely to happen if "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" are made specially protected civil rights classifications in the legal code. . . .

 

 

Link: Theological Task Force FINAL report

 

Evaluation of “The Final Report of the [PCUSA]

Task Force on Peace, Unity, and Purity of the Church”

 Part 1: A Local Option Trojan Horse    PDF     HTML

Sept. 5, 2005

 

 

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) appointed a Task Force in 2001 to devise "a process and instrument" to help the church deal with conflict over such issues as sexuality and ordination, Christology, and interpretation of the Bible. Unfortunately, the 20 members of the Task Force were not evenly balanced in terms of theological perspectives on the issue of sexuality and ordination. Although there are some good elements present in the Task Force's work, overall the "Final Report" is not a product to be recommended for the edification and encouragement of the church. The worst facet of the Report is the recommendation of a stealth local option model where, although standards are said to be retained, they can be functionally nullified and reduced to mere recommendations if any ordaining body chooses to regard them as nonessential. This includes requirements for ordination that the Constitution of the PCUSA expressly singles out for special mention among all the confessional standards of the church as particularly obligatory, including the ordination standard that limits sexual activity to the covenant of marriage between man and a woman (G-6.0106b in The Book of Order). The Task Force hopes to accomplish this radical change without even going through the amendment process of the church. 

Imagine a federal task force recommending that the U.S. Constitution remain our standard but allowing every governing body in the United States to determine for itself which parts of the Constitution were essential and thereby necessary to keep. That's the kind of "no change" coming if the PCUSA Task Force's key recommendation is approved by the General Assembly in 2006.

For letter exchanges on this article at www.Presbyweb.com go here, here, here, and here. The links are to my responses; the responses in turn contain links to the letters that I am answering.

 

 

 

Immoralism, Homosexual Unhealth, and Scripture

 

A Response to Peterson and Hedlund’s

Heterosexism, Homosexual Health, and the Church

Part I: Introduction and General Response     PDF     HTML

          Part II: Science: Causation and Psychopathology, Promiscuity, Pedophilia, and Sexually Transmitted Disease     PDF     HTML

Part III: Scripture     PDF     HTML

August 2005

 

 

In 2004 Charles R. Peterson (M.D., a retired physician) and Douglas A. Hedlund (M.D., a psychiatrist) wrote for an ELCA (Lutheran) audience a very nasty and distorted online critique of my book The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics (Abingdon Press, 2001), with a secondary focus (equally nasty and distorted) on work by Dr. Roy Harrisville III (Executive Director of Solid Rock Lutherans), Dr. Merton P. Strommen (author of The Church and Homosexuality: Searching for a Middle Ground [Kirk House, 2001]), and Rev. Russell E. Saltzman (editor of Forum Letter). Essentially Peterson and Hedlund accuse me and the aforementioned, repeatedly and explicitly, of being unethical, hateful, and lacking in integrity in talking about what Scripture and science have to say about homosexuality. However, the only way that they can make such an accusation stick is by misrepresenting not only what I say about Scripture and science on homosexuality but also what Scripture and science do in fact tell us.

 

 

 

Journey Together Faithfully, Part Two: The Church and Homosexuality

 

 

 

 

 

Background Essay on Biblical Texts for Journey Together Faithfully, Part Two: The Church and Homosexuality

 

 

 

 

 

A Faithful Journey Through the Bible and Homosexuality?

The Use of Scripture in Two 2003 ELCA Documents: Journey Together Faithfully, Part Two: The Church and Homosexuality and the Companion Background Essay on Biblical Texts

with

Responses to the ELCA Task Force's "Reports and Recommendations" (Jan. 13, 2005) and the ELCA Church Council's "Recommendations to the ELCA Churchwide Assembly on Sexuality Studies" (Apr. 11, 2005)

(April 15, 2005)

Click here for PDF Version

 

 

 

The Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in 2001 directed the ELCA to study the blessing of homosexual unions and the ordination of people in committed homosexual unions. The ELCA Church Council established the Task Force for the ELCA Studies on Sexuality. The Task Force, in turn, produced study guides, the most noteworthy of which were Journey Together Faithfully, Part Two: The Church and Homosexuality (in which Terence Fretheim, Professor of Old Testament at Luther Seminary, played a significant role in formulating the sections on Scripture's witness) and the companion piece Background Essay on Biblical Texts (written by Arland Hultgren, Professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary, and Walter F. Taylor Jr., Professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary). Both study guides skewed the biblical witness against homosexual practice in the direction of a pro-homosex reading.

The study guides, available in Aug.-Sept. 2003, were sent to all ELCA churches along with a survey. Over 28,000 surveys were returned to the Task Force. Largely on the basis of those surveys the Task Force recommended to the ELCA Church Council, on Jan. 13, 2005, that the ELCA retain its policy that ministers abstain from sexual relationships outside of marriage, including homosexual relationships, but that the policy not be enforced, at least on a local option basis. On the basis of this recommendation, the ELCA Church Council recommended on Apr. 11, 2005 that the ELCA permit candidates for ordained office and ordained ministers to be in committed homosexual unions, as "exceptions" to a general policy, so long as such persons receive synod support to do so and the Conference of Bishops concurs. If the Churchwide Assembly meeting in August 2005 approves this recommendation by a two-thirds majority, it will become official church policy. Although the Task Force and Council presented their recommendations as no change in the official church policy, it clearly creates a de facto new policy for the ELCA that will ultimately result in a full embrace of 'committed' homosexual activity.

This pdf file provides a 6-page critique of the Task Force "Report and Recommendations," a 12-page critique of the Church Council's "Recommendations," and a 30-page critique of the use of Scripture in Journey Two and Background Essay. As lengthy as the critique of the two study guides is, further material needs to be added on the interpretation of Pauline texts; the exploitation, orientation, and misogyny arguments; and the application of analogies. But already readers will find a critique of the interpretation (or lack thereof) of the creation texts and their reuse by Jesus and Paul, as well as a full critique of the Old Testament witness and the witness of Jesus.

 

 

Reflections on the Achtemeier-Layman Controversy

Mar. 1, 2005

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The recent controversy between The Layman's editor, Parker Williamson (go here and here), and Mark Achtemeier (a professor of theology at Dubuque Theological Seminary) has focused in large part around whether Prof. Achtemeier “told a seminary class . . . that his position on homosexuality represented a departure from the biblical tradition.” This focus is misplaced and reminds me of another story. . . .

For Dr. Achtemeier's "Response to Robert Gagnon" go here (for Presbyweb) or here (for The Layman).

For my "Reply to Mark Achtemeier" go here.

For a reply to two Presbyweb postings go here and here.

 

 

A Critique of Jacob Milgrom's Views

on Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13

PDF

(written Fall 2001; first posted on the web Feb. 2004)

 

Jacob Milgrom, professor emeritus of Biblical Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, has produced perhaps the finest commentary on Leviticus ever written--3 volumes in the Anchor Bible Commentary (Doubleday, 1991, 2000, 2001). However, his interpretation of the Levitical prohibitions of male-male intercourse in 18:22 and 20:13 is not up to the standard that he achieves elsewhere in these volumes. Milgrom argues that these prohibitions (1) have in view only the problem of wasting seed or lack of progeny, a problem that today can be solved by adoption; (2) have moral relevance only for male Jews and Gentiles who live in Israel; and, most strangely of all, (3) indict only incestuous male homosexual behavior. I show here why all three claims are untenable.

 

Is the Society of Biblical Literature Trying to Foist on Its Members a One-Sided Political Agenda?

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Jan. 13, 2005

 

The Executive Council of the Society of Biblical Literature has proposed to members a resolution stating the Bible doesn't consider homosexual practice to be a big deal; nor should Christians think that abortion is a big problem. See Dr. Gagnon's response.

 

 

The Threat of the Homosexual Agenda to Your Freedoms

HTML             PDF

November 2004

 

 

The one political concern where the greatest sea change in the federal government's policies is likely to come is not in social programs for the disadvantaged, the environment, taxes, or even the Iraq War. No, the greatest change is likely to come on the issue of homosexual advocacy and the oppressive hand of the federal government against those who resist the false conclusion that homosexual practice is a normal, natural, and acceptable form of behavior that society should promote. It is on this issue that there is a serious prospect of radical abridgement of your religious and civil freedoms, to the point of being fired or imprisoned.

Note to the reader: For a more detailed description of ways in which the homosexual agenda has abridged civic freedoms of believers see pp. 10-18 of my response to David Balch.

 

 

"'God and Sex' or 'Pants on Fire'? Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times on the Bible and Homosexuality"

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Oct. 28, 2004

 

Nicholas Kristof, a columnist for the New York Times, has produced an ill-informed op-ed piece on the Bible and homosexuality: "God and Sex" (New York Times, Oct. 23, 2004). Kristof states: "Over the last couple of months, I've been researching the question of how the Bible regards homosexuality." All three of the scholars cited in his editorial are homosexual persons with an obvious ax to grind, and two of these are not even biblical scholars. Clearly, Kristof needs to branch out in his research efforts more than he has. In an editorial loaded with sarcasm for "traditional" views, Kristof ironically offers up multiply flawed readings. The irony is heightened when one notes the title of his very next op-ed piece, "Pants on Fire?" (Oct. 27, 2004). The byline is: "Reality to George W. Bush is not about facts, but about higher meta-truths." Substitute the name "Nicholas D. Kristof" and apply it to his assessment of the Bible and homosexuality.

 

"Guess What's Coming to the American Academy of Religion This Year, Courtesy of the Gay Men's Group?"

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Sept. 30, 2004

 

The Gay Men's Issues in Religion Group has come up with an interesting theme for one of their sessions at the American Academy of Religion's (AAR) 2004 Annual Meeting (Nov. 20-23, San Antonio, TX). (For the uninitiated, the American Academy of Religion is the U.S. national umbrella organization for professors of religion--church historians, theologians, ethicists, scholars in world religions. Biblical scholars have their own national organization: the Society of Biblical Literature.) The theme is: "Power and Submission, Pain and Pleasure: The Religious Dynamics of Sadomasochism" (i.e., pleasure from afflicting pain on others or oneself).

Not that the Gay Men's group is one-dimensional. They also have another session, half of which is devoted to transgenderism, which includes both transvestism (crossdressing) and transsexualism (sex change). This theme is a nice complement to a theme adopted for one of their sessions at the 2003 Annual Meeting: "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing: Varied Views on Polyamory" (i.e., multiple sex partners at the same time). Why do people think that bringing male homosexual behavior into the mainstream is going to tame male homosexuality rather than destroy basic societal norms?

For the continuation of this essay go here.

 

 

"Ed Schroeder Parodies the Lutheran Faith"

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Aug. 30, 2004

 

A certain Ed Schroeder, a former Lutheran Church Missouri Synod professor who joined the Seminex walk-out in the 1970s and is a founder of an organization called “Crossings,” has gotten himself into a tizzy over my involvement in the homosexuality debate in Lutheran churches. Schroeder alleges that my “allies are the scholastic Confutators” who criticized the Augsburg Confession (AC). Here I show that, to the contrary, it is Schroeder who is the Confutators' best ally, since he unwittingly lifts up the very antinomian caricature of the AC's view of faith and works that the Confutators promulgated and Melanchthon, in his Apology, took pains to refute.

 

 

 

"Robert Gagnon to Stacy Johnson:

Two Positions on Homosexual Practice, Not Six (With Postscript)"

(Aug 6, 2004)

PDF         HTML

 

On Aug. 4, 2004, Dr. Stacy Johnson, professor of theology at Princeton Theological Seminary and member of the Presbyterian (USA) Task Force on Peace, Unity and Purity, gave a lengthy presentation to the Task Force on "Six Views of Homosexuality." His presentation was treated at length by the three main Presbyterian (USA) news outlets: The Presbyterian Layman, The Presbyterian Outlook, and the Presbyterian News Service. Although Prof. Johnson indicated he was giving a merely descriptive presentation, his own biases got in the way of a fair and balanced presentation. Johnson both badly represented the scriptural position against homosexual practice and obscured the great divide between positions faithful to Scripture and positions antithetical to that witness. My response was posted in The Layman Online on Aug. 6, 2004, with a postscript added on Aug. 10.

 

 

"Why 'Gay Marriage' Is Wrong"

(July 2004)

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This essay is an expanded version of an article that appeared in the September 2004 issue of Presbyterians Today.  It makes the case for regarding "gay marriage" as both a contradiction in terms and a threat to the genuine institution of marriage.

 

 

"PUP Task Force Report Distorts Unity/Purity Message of Ephesians"

 

(June 2004)

 

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The Presbyterian (PCUSA) Theological Task Force on Peace, Unity, and Purity of the Church submitted to the 216th General Assembly (2004) a Preliminary Report of its work that seriously truncates the message of Ephesians as regards “purity.” In so doing, it distorts the message of Ephesians regarding “peace” and “unity” as well. This article was published by the Presbyterian Layman site on June 26, 2004.

For a thoughtful response by a minister with a different view (Aug. 20, 2004) and my comments on the response (Aug. 27) go here. Click edit and find and scroll down for the names "Bucklin" and "Gagnon."

For a less thoughtful response to my article (Aug. 30, 2004), my rejoinder (Sept. 2), his rejoinder (Sept. 7), my second rejoinder (Sept. 29) go here and  here and  here. Click edit and find and scroll down for the names "Apel" and "Gagnon."

   

 

 

"A Comprehensive and Critical Review Essay of Homosexuality, Science, and the 'Plain Sense' of Scripture, Part 2"

Published in

Horizons in Biblical Theology 25 (December 2003): 179-275

 

Click Here for PDF Version

 

This is "Part 2" of my critical Review Essay of David L. Balch (ed.), Homosexuality, Science, and the "Plain Sense" of Scripture (Eerdmans, 2000). See "Part 1" below for further description. Here I critique the essays by Christopher Seitz (prof. of OT at University of St. Andrews, Scotland), Robert Jewett (prof. emeritus of NT at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and guest professor of New Testament at the University of Heidelberg, Germany), and David E. Fredrickson (assoc. prof. of NT at Luther Seminary).

Both Seitz and Jewett write from a "pro-complementarity" perspective (Jewett is a bit equivocal in espousing such a position). I use Seitz's article to address the question of an intertextual echo in Romans 1:24-27 to the Sodom story in Genesis 19 (pp. 180-90). My critique of Jewett's article (pp. 190-206) rebuts three contentions that Jewett seems to play with: (1) that Paul's indictment of same-sex intercourse stemmed from a desire to keep women down (misogyny); (2) that Paul confused nature with cultural norms; and (3) that Paul was condemning only exploitative bisexual behavior.

The key article in my critical review essay, however, is my refutation of Fredrickson's three main pro-homosex contentions (pp. 206-39); namely, (1) that Paul in Romans 1:24-27 did not have in view a divinely mandated male-female creation norm; (2) that for Paul in Rom 1:24-27 passion per se and not the sex or gender of the participants was the main problem; and (3) that with the terms malakoi ("soft men") and arsenokoitai ("men lying with males") in 1 Cor 6:9 Paul was not focusing on male-male intercourse per se but rather on issues of self-control and arrogance.

Also included in this review essay, on pp. 239-74, is a rebuttal of a lengthy vitriolic review of my book, The Bible and Homosexual Practice, by David Balch (more specifically, of Balch's review of less than 50 pages of my discussion of Romans 1:24-27). Balch attempts, in a most unconvincing manner, to argue against any allusions to Genesis 1 in Romans 1:24-27, to ridicule my complementarity argument, and to propose that Paul has in view in Rom 1:18-32 knowledge of God from special revelation rather than from observation of material creation in nature. I also respond to Balch's argument regarding Sabbath and hair and to Balch's strained efforts at demonizing me.

For "Part 1" of my Review Essay, see below.

 

 

 

 

"Bearing False Witness:

Balch's Effort at Demonization and His Truncated Gospel"

 

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In the Review Essay above, two sections in my response to David Balch's critique of my book, entitled “Bearing False Witness: Balch’s Effort at Demonization” and “Balch’s Truncated Gospel,” were too long to fit into the print edition. Here I offer the full-length version of these two sections (see the Review Essay above for the rest of my critique of Balch). This essay shows: (1) how Balch falsely attempted to portray my book as hate literature, deliberately neglecting the numerous references in my book that exhort the church to treat compassionately persons beset by homoerotic impulses; (2) how Balch obscures what the biblical authors thought about homosexual practice; (3) why limited analogies between homosexual practice and other forms of sexual immorality, especially adult incest and polygamy, are justified; (4) how Balch ends up either advocating that people engage in violence against persons involved in incest, polygamy, adultery, prostitution, and pedophilia or endorsing such behavior altogether; (5) how Balch, by his own rhetoric, supports coercive measures and violence against those who express loving opposition to homosexual practice; (6) how Balch denies the validity of Jesus' approach to sin and sinners, namely, intensifying God's ethical demands while reaching out in love to the chief violators of such demands; and (7) how Balch advocates a truncated gospel of cheap grace.

 

 

 

 

"Bad Reasons for Changing One's Mind:

 

Jack Rogers's Temple Prostitution Argument

and Other False Starts"

(Mar. 1, 2004)

 

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On Oct. 11, 2003 Jack Rogers, professor emeritus of historical theology at San Francisco Theological Seminary and the controversial former moderator of the PCUSA, delivered an address to the Covenant Network Northwest Regional Conference, entitled "How I Changed My Mind on Homosexuality." (Note: The Covenant Network of Presbyterians is a pro-homosex advocacy group working unofficially in the PCUSA. Rogers is a past co-president of the group.) The Covenant Network website was so enamored with the presentation that they posted the full 6000-word address, with color photo and side captions, and also offer a video presentation.

In his address Rogers argues that Paul's remarks against homosexual practice applied only to the kind of homosexual cult prostitution allegedly going on at the Corinthian temple of Aphrodite in Paul's day. He also attacks my book again, alleging that I adopt a view of nature that is anti-biblical (Aristotelian, in fact) and anti-Reformed. My essay here (published also at the Presbyterian Coalition website, without sidebars) gives fifteen reasons why the temple prostitution argument is unworkable. It also shows how Rogers misunderstands the argument in Romans 1-3; how it is Rogers, not I, who ironically promotes a kind of natural theology that both the writers of Scripture and the great Reformers would have rejected; and what Scripture's real reason for opposing homosexual practice is. See also my earlier essay, "Gagnon on Jack Rogers's Comments: Misrepresenting the Nature Argument," which responded to an address by Rogers at the 2001 Covenant Network Conference that likewise misrepresented my nature argument.

 

 

 

"Slavery, Homosexuality, and the Bible: A Response"

(Feb. 5, 2004)

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A response to a "Viewpoint" article posted on www.Presbyweb.com on Feb. 4, 2004 by Rev. Jeffrey K. Krehbiel, pastor of the Church of the Pilgrims in Washington, D.C. Rev. Krehbiel insisted that the Bible's stance on slavery is analogous to the Bible's stance on homosexual behavior. He added: "Dr. Gagnon's arguments notwithstanding, the Bible is simply silent on the issue of loving, faithful, monogamous relationships between two persons of the same sex." My response, which appeared as a "Viewpoint" on Feb. 5, 2004, shows why slavery is a very bad analogy.

 

"Slavery, Homosexuality, and the Bible: Part II"

(Feb. 12, 2004)

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On Feb. 9, 2004 Rev. Jeffrey Krehbiel responded to my response (see below). He states: "Like his article, his book is based upon questionable exegesis and dubious psychological analysis." My "Part II," posted at Presbyweb on Feb. 12, 2004, further explores why the slavery analogy represents faulty reasoning and treats such issues as committed homoerotic relationships in antiquity, why the temple-prostitution argument is a bad one, what makes for a good analogy to the Bible's stance on homosexual practice, and the contention that homosexual behavior as sexual narcissism or self-deception.

 

 

 

Walter Wink lecturing

 

"Are There Universally Valid Sex Precepts? A Critique of Walter Wink's Views on the Bible and Homosexuality"

Published in

Horizons in Biblical Theology 24 (June 2002):

174-243

 

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Walter Wink's main arguments regarding the Bible and homosexuality can be found in his essay "Homosexuality and the Bible" in Homosexuality and Christian Faith (ed. W. Wink; Fortress Press, 1999), 33-49. Wink contends there that only four of the Bible's twenty positions on sexual behaviors are still in force for Christians today. From this he draws two main generalizations: "the Bible has no sexual ethic" but only "sexual mores"; and that the "four out of twenty" statistic "dashes the notion of absolute sexual precepts universally valid in every time and place." In this critique I show (1) why the Bible does have a distinctive sexual ethic that is right to include absolute prerequisites for sexual behavior; and (2) how Wink's list of 16 defunct biblical sex mores  not only miscounts and misreads much of the biblical material on sexual ethics but also fails to distinguish between close and distant analogies to Scripture's proscription of same-sex intercourse. Included here is my most extensive discussion of why the church's stance on divorce/remarriage is an inappropriate analogy for rejecting Scripture's teaching on same-sex intercourse. Also included are discussions of why levirate marriage, polygamy, and the prohibition of sex during menstruation constitute bad analogies.

 

 

 

"A Comprehensive and Critical Review Essay of Homosexuality, Science, and the 'Plain Sense' of Scripture, Part 1"

Published in

Horizons in Biblical Theology 22 (December 2000): 174-243

 

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One of the more important collection of essays on the Bible and homosexuality, chiefly from the pro-homosex side, is this volume edited by David L. Balch and published by Eerdmans Publishing Co. in 2000. The book came out at a time when I was working through proofs for The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics. My publisher, Abingdon Press, allowed me to interact in a limited way with the essays by William Schoedel, Phyllis Bird, and David Fredrickson--the three pro-homosex essays by biblical scholars. This first part of a two-part review essay was written just after I had finished the proofs for The Bible and Homosexual Practice. It treats the essays written by scholars who are not specialists in biblical studies: those by Mark Toulouse on ecclesiastical trends in the homosexuality debate 1956-96 (pro-homosex); Stanton Jones & Mark Yarhouse on the Bible and science (pro-complementarity); Christine Gudorf on the Bible and science (pro-homosex); Nancy Duff on rejecting moral absolutes and utilizing a measurable-harm standard (pro-homosex); and Kathryn Greene-McCreight on the Gentile inclusion analogy and the logic of the interpretation of Scripture in the homosexuality debate (pro-complementarity).

 

 

 

"An Open Letter to the Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold"

(Sept. 2003)

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A brief response to claims made by the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church (USA) in an Associated Press interview (9/29/03), alleging falsely that the authors of Scripture had no knowledge of anything akin to homosexual orientation and were rejecting only non-committed homoerotic relationships. This letter appeared in a number of Episcopal/Anglican renewal websites, including www.americananglican.org.

 

 

"Four Myths of Pro-Homosex Propaganda: A Response to Tex Sample's 'What Do Bible, Tradition Say About Gay Marriage?"

(Oct. 2003)

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A response to an article posted by the United Methodist News Service (8/12/03) by a Methodist emeritus professor of church and society at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City. Four main issues are treated: (1) the homosexual-orientation argument for discounting the biblical witness; (2) the false claim that same-sex intercourse was a "minor concern" for the authors of Scripture, limited to a few ambiguous texts; (3) Jesus' view of same-sex intercourse; and (4) whether homosexual unions can satisfy the "ends of marriage" as understood in Scripture and tradition.

 

 

 

"The Apostle Paul on Sexuality:

A Response to Dr. Neil Elliott"

(Aug. 2003)

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A response to a Pauline scholar who argues, wrongly, that Paul in Rom 1:24-27 was thinking only of the extreme sexual excesses of the emperor Nero and a predecessor, Gaius "Caligula" and did not have in view "faithful and loving" homosexual unions. Reproduced on the web at www.americananglican.org, www.leaderu.com, www.anglican.tk, and other sites.

 

 

"A Review Essay of Faithful Conversation: Christian Perspectives on Homosexuality, edited by James M. Childs Jr. (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2003)"

(Aug. 2003)

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A review essay of a book edited by the director of the Lutheran (ELCA) study of homosexuality and commissioned by "the presidents of the eight seminaries of the ELCA, in concert with the Division for Ministry of the ELCA" as an important resource for this discussion. I show that this book tilts decisively in favor of a pro-homosex perspective and does not provide, on the whole, a good accounting of the biblical witness, theology, hermeneutics, or the socio-scientific evidence. Not recommended for balanced study of this issue in the ELCA. This article is linked at www.americanlutherancouncil.org and The WordAlone Network website.  An abbreviated version appears in Review of Biblical Literature (online).

For a far more detailed analysis of the article by Mark Allen Powell ("The Bible and Homosexuality," pp. 19-40) go to:

 http://www.robgagnon.net/ChristianSexualityArticle.htm.

 

 

 

 

"The Authority of Scripture in the 'Homosex' Debate"

(June 2002)

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This article is an expanded version of a presentation made to the Southeastern ELCA synod in Atlanta on June 1, 2002. The presentation was intended as "prolegomena" or preface to a discussion of the Bible and homosexuality. It treats: (1) what constitutes core values in Scripture; (2) the proper use of analogies; (3) Jesus on the double love commandment; and (4) Paul on law and grace.

 

 

"The Bible and Homosexual Practice:

Theology, Analogies, and Genes"

(Nov. 2001)

 

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This article is adapted from Dr. Gagnon’s workshop at the Presbyterian Coalition Gathering on October 1, 2001, in Orlando. It was published in the Nov./Dec. 2001 issue (vol. 7, no. 6) of Theology Matters: A Publication of Presbyterians for Faith, Family and Ministry. It is divided into three main sections: (1) A theocentric and christocentric preface to the sexuality debate. (2) The argument from alleged analogies for disregarding scriptural views. (3) The argument from the Bible’s alleged ignorance of the innate and/or immutable character of homosexual desire (including a discussion of the socio-scientific evidence). This article also appears online at www.theologymatters.com and has been picked up at www.churchmoraldebate.com, www.leaderu.com, www.orthodoxytoday.org, www.christianmentalhealth.com, and other websites. It should be read in conjunction with my recent response to the Presbyterian News Service's critique of the article, below.

 

 

 

John Filiatreau

Mr. John Filiatreau

 

"The Presbyterian News Service: The Need for Neutrality:

A Critique of a Reporter's Uninformed Bias"

(Oct. 2003)

 

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In Oct. 2003 the Presbyterian Church's (USA) Theological Task Force on the Peace, Purity and Unity of the Church met to discuss six articles on the Bible and homosexuality, including an article written by me on "The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Theology, Analogies, and Genes" (above). On Oct. 21, 2003 a reporter for the Presbyterian News Service named John Filiatreau reported on the comments made by members of the Task Force on each of the six articles ("Task force sex talk rated G: Group discusses scholarly texts, eschews 'caricature and stereotype'"). When Mr. Filiatreau came to my article he deviated from a reporting style for the other five articles and engaged in his own biting and uninformed critique under the guise of "news." My response, which appeared in the Oct. 25, 2003 edition of Presbyweb, shows how Mr. Filiatreau mischaracterized my article through a combination of ignorance of the subject matter and prohomosex bias.

Ironically, at its webpage the Presbyterian News Service states: "Under editorial guidelines adopted by the General Assembly Council, PNS  fulfills its mission and purpose by . . . reporting the facts accurately, ...fairly, impartially.... Operating with integrity creates trust, which cannot be conferred but must be earned.... Presbyterian News Service does not... write editorials."

See also my rejoinder to Mr. Filiatreau's response by clicking here.

 

 

 

ZENIT

"The Zenit News Agency Interview:

The Bible and Homosexual Practice: An Overview of Some Issues"

(Mar. 2002)

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This interview was published in the Mar. 21 and 28 2002 edition of the Zenit News Agency, an international news agency devoted to concerns of the Catholic Church. Published in www.zenit.org (Part 1 and Part 2) and picked up at various websites. Deals with the relevance of the Levitical prohibitions, intertextual echoes to the Genesis creation texts in Paul's treatment of same-sex intercourse, implications of sayings of Jesus, why the biblical prohibitions remain relevant, and the question of tolerance.