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What does the Nashville Statement mean? And to whom should we look to help us understand? Conservative evangelicals have been gripped by such questions since the CBMW released the statement two weeks ago. Yet while its advocates and defenders have touted its importance and its benefits, I fear the ensuing discussion has left conservative evangelicals as bereft of sound guidance on questions of gender identity and sexual orientation as we were prior to its release. My reflections here are variations on that theme.
The self-parody of the progressive ‘Christian’ response to the Nashville Statement is the place to start. While more sober criticisms contained enough truth to sound respectable, they were soon overwhelmed by farcical counterstatements that reaffirmed the progressive sexual ethic is not recognizably Christian. Their pseudo-theological dressings mean you have to squint to see what they really want: polyamory. Which is mildly disappointing, I must say. A paganism undefiled by the trappings of evangelical formalism would be more fun than the lukewarm, ‘respectable’ version on offer. Progressive Christians should put down their Enneagram charts and make paganism great again. After all, I can think more enjoyable ways of fighting to make polyamory permissible than releasing a statement.
Spectacle - Nashville - Statement - Defenders - Righteousness
Such a sad spectacle, though, merely confirmed the Nashville Statement’s defenders in the righteousness of their cause. As Albert Mohler told the Washington Post, “the vitriol in response to our document showed why such clarification is necessary.” Denny Burk claimed to be “astonished” by the attention, but suggested that it was a sign the world had heard the good news. Owen Strachan claimed the mantle of John the Baptist.
The effort to publicly downplay and dismiss conservative critics has gone hand-in-hand with exaggerated claims of the statement’s importance and the breadth of its signatories, in order to convey that it represents all of conservative...
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