We know the biblical teaching (and arguments) for the sanctity of marriage. We also know the biblical teaching (and arguments) stating that homosexuality and same-sex marriage is sinful. But we don’t often understand how to engage with people who argue against the biblical teaching about marriage or homosexuality. We don’t understand how best to engage with culture, without, on the one hand, separating ourselves from culture, or, on the other hand, compromising or accommodating ourselves to the culture.
Douglas Wilson, pastor of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, is one who stands firmly on biblical truth and engages with unbelievers, skeptics and atheists. A few years ago, he and Christopher Hitchens carried on a debate, which began as a book and a response to the book, that ended up with a debate that ending up being taken on the road. Wilson is a very capable and gifted apologist.
April 13, 2012, Wilson addressed the topic of Sexual by Design at a Conference at Indiana University. It is explained in this way:
Douglas Wilson, of Christ Church, Moscow, Idaho, was invited to Indiana University by Clearnote Church to talk about sexuality from a Biblical perspective. Bloomington, Indiana is home to the Kinsey Institute, started by Alfred Kinsey who is famous for his experiments in sexuality. The videos below are the full lectures, as well as the very long Q & A that followed. A large crowd of “dissenters” gathered to demonstrate their disapproval of Wilson’s message in word in action.
You can find the lectures on this website.
Here is the explanation of the lectures:
Lecture 1: Creation Sexuality (43 minutes)
God is our Creator, and so we should pay close attention to how He established the world in the beginning. One of the first things we should notice is how God divides things in order to shape them into a higher unity later. He divides heaven and earth, sun and moon, land and sea, and, of course, male and female. What is meant by all this? Why is heterosexuality essential to us being bearers of God’s image?
Lecture 2: Redemption Sexuality (35 minutes)
Because of the sin of our first parents, we cannot simply look at the world to determine what we should do, and this is because the world has been marred by sin. In the good purposes of God, He intended to put everything right by means of His gospel. But it is striking that in the New Testament one of the images of this gospel is that of Christ the Bridegroom and the Church as His bride. A rejection of God’s pattern for marriage is therefore a rejection of much more than that. Why is this?
Question and Answers (2 hours [40 questions, 40 answers])
Denny Burk makes the following observations about Wilson’s lectures and interactions with those in attendance, who were quite hostile at times. I concur with Burk; I applaud Wilson.
The gay activists shouting for “tolerance” are the most shrill, intolerant personalities in the room. The irony seems to be completely lost on the protesters and naysayers who are quite disrespectful and cruel to Doug Wilson throughout his presentations. They demanded Wilson to give them logic and respect, but they gave him none in return.
- Thanks be to God for Doug Wilson who rose to the task and answered their questions biblically and with good humor! He actually looks like he enjoys the sparring. That kind of winsomeness goes farther than winning every argument (though he also seems to win every argument too). Christians, take note. When reviled, do not revile in return (1 Pet. 2:23). Instead, bless those who curse you (Luke 6:28). Sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness (Prov. 16:21). A gentle answer turns away wrath, and the tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable (Prov. 15:1-2).
- Post-modern gobbledygook thinking is on massive display here. The students aren’t interested in attacking the reliability of the Bible on scientific or historical grounds. Traditional apologetics would have been useless here. Almost to a man, they were concerned with judging the morality of the Bible. They deconstructed the Bible and manipulated texts to their own ends but then also stood in judgment over the Bible where it didn’t fit their views. In everything, their intuitions and feelings about the nature of reality defined everything.
- It is not difficult to see how the hostility on display in this video might be turned into open persecution of Christians. I do not mean to be an alarmist, but it is hard to ignore the level of vitriol that more and more seems to be directed toward Christians for their views on homosexuality. This encounter with Wilson is just a single instance of a disdain that is becoming more widespread in the culture. What will be the public implications of that disdain in the next 10, 20, or even 30 years? It seems to me that the vitriol on display in this video is on its way to becoming the majority view. For Christians, this is not likely to get any easier for us going forward.
- The Lord’s arm is not too short to save (Is. 59:1). Our culture’s spiritual decline is not inevitable. Who knows what God might do if we bear witness faithfully to the gospel of Jesus Christ? Let’s do that, and pray for God to have mercy on us and our neighbors.
Our EFCA Theology Conference (January 30-February 1) will address this very issue under the Conference title/theme, “Sex Matters.” I will share more about this in days to come.