Saturday, March 4, 2023

Sex is not a Hermeneutic & A Prayer for Truth and Unity: (Reflecting on The Gospel Coalition This Week)

I thought I'd mention some positive follow-up after my bombastically titled blog post a few days ago that spoke to problematic statements in a blog post at The Gospel Coalition (TGC) website. 

The post drew from content from the book written by a Fellow with Tim Keller's organization. Sadly, the controversy will help book sales, but several people have withdrawn their endorsements. Many have admitted that they didn't even read much of it and missed objectionable material in the first chapter which TGC published online, hoping that it would quell the growing controversy, but it had the opposite effect. I am so grateful for those who humbly, dutifully, and courageously pulled their endorsements of the book. (There is more than one at this point.) I pray that God will richly reward them for their actions.

Today's post is not a comprehensive survey of the public discussion, but I want to point out the commentary that caught my attention as this weirdness unfolded (and continues to do so). I'm largely unfamiliar with almost everyone in the discussion and have only recently started following Sheila Wray Gregoire through her Fixed it for You memes on social media. Also note that a well-rounded momentary on the book itself can only be published, allowing everyone to read it faithfully.  (I'm going to pass on it.)

Gregoire published a blog post with great links and released a podcast about the matter. I've followed her Twitter Feed which I highly recommend for snippet insights about many aspects of this telling set of events. I'll post some tweets here for those who want to pursue the topic further.  (I felt validated, too, when Sheila liked some of my tweets. Ha, ha, ha!) Christa Brown offered keen insights, including the fact that TCG is not a fringe group. I'm so glad that she's been involved in the discussion. I have yet read this article which has received lots of feedback.  (I'm sure I will think of a dozen more items to include here after I hit “publish.”). And Suzanne, formerly of NLQ, discussed it all in a Youtube video which is posted below.

As reflected in the title of this post, at least two folks on Twitter absolutely nailed what I suspect probably explains the whole discussion and causes this kind of rhetoric to get out of hand. Jennifer Michelle Greenberg summed things up nicely by noting that sex is not a hermeneutic or some rubric through which one studies Scripture.  James Eglinton, another Fellow at the Tim Keller Center (like the author), also gets at this same concept in a discussion on Twitter. 

I feel terrible for author Josh Butler in many respects. He followed the lead of those before him, following Keller's ideas further toward their logical conclusions. This rhetoric has been building for nearly 35 years within these gender agenda circles. Why do I feel for him? He's not only caught in the cognitive bias of the teachings of TGC, but he's also written a book. He's invested his name and honor and hard work into it. The hobgoblin of Commitment and a Foolish Consistency gets the best of us, and I know it is true for Butler.

Whether the Theobros offer or deny us consideration as fellow Christians in the sense of liberty and love, we should not make the same errors that they do. I continue to pray for this author, the other people who endorsed the book, and all of those Theobros. 

Father, we come boldly to Your Throne of Grace to ask tremendous and mighty things, and we believe in faith that we shall have what we ask according to Your Will.

Jesus prayed in Gethsemane that His followers would be one in unity (John 17), and that we are to be known by our love for one another (John 13). I pray that God works this in His Body (Philippians 2), the Church, especially when we deal with matters like this one, seeing that work through to completion (Philippians 1). I pray that they would know the hope of their calling and the limitless love of God for us that they would be filled with all of God's fullness (Ephesians 3). May God turn the hearts of the Theobros like He turns the paths of rivers (Proverbs 21), working what He alone can work in hearts and minds. May we love the truth (2 Thessalonians 2) so that we will hear Jesus speak to us all (John 18). May God work us together in love as the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth (John 16), for we are members of one another (Romans 12). Please continue to work in us that we might be without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5).

In Your Name, Lord Jesus, we pray and give You all the Glory,

Amen, amen, and amen!