There’s a lot of cultural prestige to be had and available platforms to stand on if you’re willing to be the sort of Christian who assures non-Christians and their liberal Christian friends that conservative Christians are cruel and misogynist and that their views on sexuality and the sanctity of life can be dismissed.
(LifeSiteNews)—Earlier this month, conservative evangelical Denny Burk, pastor and professor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, faced off on Twitter with progressive Kristin Kobes du Mez, whose book Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation has been the toast of the mainstream press for the past year. There is obviously much the two disagree on, and their back-and-forth on LGBT issues was an interesting exchange, with both penning blog posts to articulate their disagreements more clearly.
What struck me about this debate, however, is not that Denny Burk, a conservative Baptist and staunch pro-lifer, and Kristin Kobes du Mez, a progressive scholar who displayed thinly veiled contempt for pro-lifers through her recent book, have much to disagree on. It was du Mez’s implication that it was Burk’s theological views which were primarily shaped by culture rather than her own.
Now, to be fair, du Mez did not state that she has definitively concluded that she supports LGBT rights as such—although Jesus and John Wayne made it crystal clear where her sympathies lie. But she did state that she was re-evaluating her stance on sexuality, as is her denomination. Many churches, she pointed out, have been doing so over the past several decades. And she’s right—many major mainline Protestant denominations have abandoned the traditional biblical view of sexuality just before imploding.