13 Apr

"A Faithful Journey through the Bible and Homosexuality?"

Category: Sound Thinking
By: Amy L. Graeser
Published: 04/13/05

On Volume 68 of the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal, professor Robert Gagnon discussed the biblical texts concerning homosexual relations and various arguments that obscure the meaning of those texts. In a recent article "A Faithful Journey through the Bible and Homosexuality?" he again deconstructs poorly reasoned arguments that subvert the meaning of the biblical text regarding sexual behavior, this time focusing on two books commissioned by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), titled Journey Together Faithfully, Part Two: The Church and Homosexuality, and Background Essay on Biblical Texts for "Journey Together Faithfully, Part Two."

The introductory pages of Gagnon's thorough article set the context for the rest of the document. The remaining portions demonstrate, in his words, "how poorly Journey Two and Background Essay presented the biblical-theological case against homosexual practice and for a sexuality predicated on complementary sexual others."

The ELCA is meeting in August of 2005 to consider whether or not to enforce its current policy "that pastors and rostered laypersons are expected to abstain from sexual relationships outside of marriage, including homosexual relationships" ("A Faithful Journey through the Bible and Homosexuality?"). The denomination appointed a committee to assess biblical texts in order to determine if the current policy could be changed and still keep faith with biblical teaching on sexual behavior, and the committee produced the previously mentioned works. Gagnon responds to two of the books' non-biblical claims in his introduction, demonstrating why sexual proclivities are not matters of indifference to the soul and why pastors are not at liberty to counsel an individual to disregard traditional ethical and theological teaching about sexual behavior.

"A Faithful Journey through the Bible and Homosexuality?" is available on-line. [Posted April 2005, ALG]