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Fuller Seminary profs support gay couples and affirm heterosexual marriage in classroom and IVP book

August 9, 2006

Is it possible for a Christian to affirm monogamous heterosexual marriage as the biblical pattern and simultaneously argue that a monogamous, gay union is “authentic sexuality?”

Is it possible for a Christian to affirm monogamous heterosexual marriage as the biblical pattern and simultaneously argue that a monogamous, gay union is “authentic sexuality?”

Fuller Theological Seminary professors Jack O. Balswick and Judith K. Balswick by their teaching and writing at least insinuate that it is possible.

The husband and wife tandem teaches courses in gender and sexuality at Fuller and offer their view of these issues in a book published by InterVarsity Press (IVP) entitled Authentic Sexuality: An Integrated Christian Approach. The work was published in 1999.

WORLD magazine founder and columnist Joel Belz reported on the Balswicks’ relativistic approach to sexuality in a column (“Relativism at Fuller”) in the July 1/8 edition of WORLD. In that article, Belz showed how the professors confused students during a class on gender and sexuality by affirming homosexual couples while at the same time upholding a biblical view of marriage that views homosexuality as sinful.

Belz details the experience of one Fuller student named Kim who took the Baswicks’ class and heard the couple affirm that homosexuality is sinful, but also “go out of their way to defend and show understanding toward those who want to go on living a homosexual lifestyle.” Kim told Belz that the Balswicks often provided practicing homosexuals with a platform in various classes.

“One guest lecturer derided heterosexism as a social construct rather than a historical or biblical norm,” Belz reported.

“Using the story of the prodigal son, he likened the older brother to heterosexual Christians in their unjust treatment of homosexuals, whom he likened to the younger brother. The guest told students, however, that ‘I don’t do theological debate;’ no feedback or discussion was permitted.”

The Balswicks’ relativistic approach to sexuality also bleeds through in Authentic Human Sexuality. Though they apparently see heterosexual marriage as the biblical norm, “compassion,” the Balswicks assert, drives them to affirm gay couples.

“We acknowledge that some gay Christians may choose to commit themselves to a lifelong, monogamous, homosexual union, believing that it is God’s best for them,” the authors write. “They believe that this reflects an authentic sexuality that is congruent for them and their view of Scripture. Even though we hold to the model of a heterosexual, lifelong, monogamous union, our compassion brings us to support all persons as they move in the direction of God’s ideal for their lives.”

Gender-News contacted IVP for its response to the above paragraph from the Balswicks’ book. The publisher released an official statement that stopped short of critiquing the incongruity of their affirmation of both heterosexual and homosexual marriage:

“We have published many books on a biblical understanding of homosexuality. All of them, including the Balswicks affirm that homosexual practice is sinful and that the biblical standard is that all sexual relations should be within the blessing of a heterosexual monogamous marriage union.”

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