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Topic: The Nashville Statement

Owen Strachan: The Nashville Statement “is a moment of remarkable unanimity of spirit”

September 1, 2017

Writing at The Federalist, Owen Strachan, Professor of Christian Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and former CBMW President, answers several critiques of the Nashville Statement:

“The Nashville Statement made national news this week, even though it represents not a scintilla of change from historic Christian orthodoxy. The document, signed by a globe-spanning, denomination-crossing list of Christian theologians, ethicists, and ministry leaders, calls for fidelity to biblical sexuality. This means that one cannot embrace a homosexual or transgender identity as a believer, any more than one can be an “alcoholic Christian” or a “white-lie-telling Christian.”

“The secular pushback to the document was altogether expected. But an article in the Washington Post—bearing the gentle title “Why even conservative evangelicals are unhappy with the anti-LGBT Nashville Statement”—argues that “conservative evangelicals” are opposing the statement. Not many are, it turns out; Katelyn Beaty quotes all of five evangelicals, most of whom agree with the document’s core commitments, but object to its tone. Given that more than 170 men and women signed the statement, things seem a bit overblown on this point.

“Let me give a little context. I’m a conservative evangelical who signed the document, and I’ve rarely seen this much agreement on a theological matter, let alone over a culturally electrified area like this one. James Robison, for example, signed the document alongside John MacArthur. For those not riding the good ship evangelical, that’s like Patriots coach Bill Belichick handing over his practice footage to Jets coach Todd Bowles, or Taylor Swift operating a joint Instagram account with Kim Kardashian.

“This is not business as usual, in other words; this is a moment of remarkable unanimity of spirit, akin to the 1978 Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy or the 1934 Barmen Declaration. Anglicans, non-denominationalists, Pentecostals, Baptists, Presbyterians, charismatics, cessationists—all signed the statement. The group is so diverse, it sounds like one of those “how many evangelicals does it take to change a light bulb” jokes.”

You can read the rest of Owen’s article here.

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