Tim Otto, pastor of The Church of the Sojourners in the Mission District of San Francisco, interviewed Ken Wilson on Third Way for his Oriented to Faith Podcast. Tim is the author of Oriented to Faith: Transforming the Conflict over Gay Relationships. He describes Third Way as “a way of including LGBT Christians while not excluding conservatives.” He gives Ken Wilson the opportunity to clarify Third Way as a faithful path through this painful conflict. They explore critiques from people on different sides of the issue and bring light on matters of moral approval, power and privilege as they dig deeper into the Gospel.
In Part 1 of this series I responded rather critically to the historical claims in Part 2 of Dr. Preston Sprinkle’s 3 Part Review of Ken Wilson’s A Letter to my Congregation. In this post, I will be responding to Dr. Sprinkle’s theological critiques in Part 3 of his review. As in the last post, I have little positive to say about the substance of Dr. Sprinkle’s review so I want to begin by appreciating his approach. Dr. Sprinkle writes with both grace and love, and gives every impression of a brother in Christ who, despite some serious disagreement, genuinely respects Ken Wilson and his project in ALtmC. Such respect for and grace towards those with whom we disagree is a rare commodity in the internet age and I very much appreciate this review for its consistently generous tone and approach. Continue reading
Dr. Preston Sprinkle has written a three part review of A Letter to my Congregation and it is, in many ways, a remarkably gracious review. Dr. Sprinkle goes out of his way to affirm Ken Wilson’s heart and faith and throughout the review he maintains a courteous, even warm, tone. To be sure, while he appreciates the heart, goal, and tone of ALtmC, he disagrees with much of its argumentation and content. But his disagreement is both respectful and (mostly) clearly stated. Dr. Sprinkle is exactly the sort of person you would want to have a disagreement with. He neither raises his “voice”, nor resorts to the ad hominem attacks which have become so unfortunately common in the Church’s contemporary conversation.
I responded earlier to the Tim Keller review of my book, A Letter to My Congregation, noting aspects of the review that I found wanting. But Keller mentioned two things that required further reflection on my part. First, he noted the importance of William Loader, a New Testament scholar who has written extensively on sexuality during the New Testament period and whose work I missed. Second, Keller, citing support from Loader, disputed my view of Romans 1 as an attack on pederasty, temple prostitution, on the grounds that these were not consistent with the “mutuality” implied in Paul’s choice of words, “men…were consumed with passion for one another.” So I ordered Loader and read it to see for myself. And here is what I discovered. Continue reading
I was honored to have my book, A Letter to My Congregation (along with God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines) reviewed by Tim Keller. Keller is an influential pastor and pastor of pastors. It wouldn’t take much humility on my part to regard him as my better. As far as I can tell we share similar passions in ministry: making the gospel accessible to the growing ranks of the religiously unaffiliated and those in cities where church attendance is low, dealing with disputable matters (like science and faith) as though a world hungry for God is watching us. Keller’s concluding remarks about the tone of my book were therefore especially welcome. I am also honored to be associated with Matthew Vines, a courageous gay Christian who has written a powerful book. (See Vines’ response to Keller’s review.) I’ll focus on Keller’s critique of my book. Continue reading
Robert Gagnon condemned the recent decision of a large evangelical congregation, City Church in San Francisco, to receive gay couples into membership without discrimination. In a recent article in the highly regarded journal, First Things, he also offered criticism of my book, A Letter to My Congregation. Continue reading