For the Bride: Special Report

Since last April, when I wrote ‘For the Sake of the Bride,’ I have read more on the subject of human sexuality than during any comparable period in my life.  Maybe it is the scholar in me, but I have intentionally read across the spectrum: Non-Affirming (e.g.Michael Brown, Robert Gagnon, Albert Mohler), Moderate (e.g.Stanley Grenz, Richard Hays, N.T. Wright), and Affirming.  I continue a reading plan that increases both my depth and breadth.  That is not only fair; it is a mandate for me as I seek to have a credible voice on the subject.

I want to focus this post on the Affirming authors, because I recently took note of a Conservative source that implied–again–that it is impossible to hold a non-traditional view and be orthodox, and certainly not evangelical.  Well, this is another of those myths that keeps maintaining a life of its own, despite the fact that it is not true.

I know that what follows will not change the minds of those whose binary thinking only gives them two categories to work with: biblical/unbiblical.  But for those of you who sincerely want to read and ponder the works of credible (even esteemed) scholars who hold together their orthodoxy and affirming convictions, I offer the following resources…

(1) Dr. Mark Achtemier, ‘The Bible’s Yes to Same-Sex Marriage’

(2) Dr. James V. Brownson, ‘Bible, Gender, Sexuality’

(3) Dr. David P. Gushee, ‘Changing Our Mind’

(4) Dr. Jack Rogers, ‘Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality’

(5) Dr. Dan Via, ‘Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views’

I have intentionally kept this list short and focused on scholars in the academy.  But I would hasten to recommend the books and writings of Matthew Vines, Ken Wilson, Kathy Baldock, John Shore, and Rachel Held Evans–again, to name a few.

Whether your exploration of these resources changes your mind, at least it should put to rest the notion that you have to choose between being orthodox and being affirming.  You do not.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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