Matthew Vines’ new book God and the Gay Christian: A Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Marriage argues that “Christians who affirm the full authority of Scripture can also affirm committed, monogamous same-sex relationship” (3). As the previous quote demonstrates, what makes Vines’ book so interesting is that unlike many who have gone before him, he asserts that he has a “high view” of Scripture. He further explains, “that means I believe all of Scripture is inspired by God and authoritative for my life” (2).
These are remarkable claims. How then should we respond to Vines’ book? Has he successfully overturned the church’s 2,000 year theological commitment to marriage as consisting of a covenantal union between a man and a woman?
This morning Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, published a response essay to Vines entitled God, the Gospel, and the Gay Challenge—A Response to Matthew Vines. He states,
Readers of his book who are looking for an off-ramp from the current cultural predicament will no doubt try to accept his argument. But the real question is whether what Vines claims is true and faithful to the Bible as the Word of God. But his argument is neither true nor faithful to Scripture. It is, nonetheless, a prototype of the kind of argument we can now expect.
Mohler further explains that the types of arguments Vines’ makes throughout the book are simply inconsistent with a “high view” of Scripture.
When he begins his book, Matthew Vines argues that experience should not drive our interpretation of the Bible. But it is his experience of what he calls a gay sexual orientation that drives every word of this book. It is this experiential issue that drives him to relativize text after text and to argue that the Bible really doesn’t speak directly to his sexual identity at all, since the inspired human authors of Scripture were ignorant of the modern gay experience.
Mohler’s response also serves as the introductory chapter to a new free eBook edited by Mohler and contributed to by faculty members of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Boyce College—God and the Gay Christian? A Response to Matthew Vines. In this book, Mohler, as well as professors Jim Hamilton, Denny Burk, Owen Strachan, and Heath Lambert, respond to Vines’ claims on issues of Biblical interpretation, church history, systematic theology, and pastoral theology. This eBook is available for free at sbts.me/ebook and will soon be made available in Kindle, Nook, and iBook formats.
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