Two Responses to Matthew Vines

For those of you who have been living under a rock, there’s a rather significant culture war raging right now in North America.  As the institution of marriage is destroyed by an elite minority under the guise of “equality” and homosexuality is made the new “norm”, Christians are facing tremendous pressure from multiple sides.  There is external pressure from homosexual lobbyist groups to “get with the times” and embrace…no, celebrate homosexuals as the disenfranchised minority that they claim to be.  Those that don’t accept the new paradigm and publicly ask for forgiveness if they ever didn’t accept the new paradigm aren’t allowed to do something as basic as pray for a political leader.  Those that don’t accept the new paradigm and publicly ask for forgiveness if they ever didn’t accept the new paradigm aren’t allowed to have high profile jobs.  That sort of pressure makes life rather difficult, but external forces don’t really tend to influence the church all that much…

Drucker

Uh, never mind.

So external forces are beating on the church like a tsunami, but the real threat comes from the internal pressure from the professing Christians who are trying to convince the church that the Bible doesn’t mean what everyone thought it meant for essentially the entire period of church history.  As a Christian, it’s painful but not shocking to see people being infected by the cultural zombies.  “Christian celebrities” are turning into cultural zombies and joining the search for brains, tossing out absolutely horrible arguments for their compromise.  “Christian scholars” are providing those horrible arguments, both on the academic and popular levels (and, uh, on whatever level this is).  On the popular level, one of the bigger books is the recently released God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines.

Vines

This book is the product of Matthew Vines’ study of the scriptures which first culminated in this lecture from 2012 where an arrogant 22 year old Harvard drop-out (who didn’t have any training in Hebrew, Greek, hermeneutics or theology) pronounced that “the point is that these texts have a meaning, and the traditional reading of them is wrong. It is incorrect — biblically, historically, linguistically.”  In other words, the entire translation committees of the NASB,  ESV, etc. (which included guys who actually graduated from Harvard and Bill Mounce, who may know a thing or two about Greek) as well as all the generally evangelical commentators on those passages (which is a similar list of people), didn’t know Hebrew, Greek, hermeneutics and theology as well as an undergrad who had never studied any of those.

Call me unconvinced.

Still, Vines’ book is making the rounds and causing a lot of people who haven’t given the issue serious thought to struggle with some hard questions.

If you’re looking for some help (and you should be since this issue is not going away), Dr. James White from Alpha and Omega ministries has given a 5 hour audio response to Vines’ original video lecture, and Al Mohler and a whole bunch of other smart fellows (who teach things like Hebrew, Greek, hermeneutics and theology at the doctoral level) have put together a free e-book response to Matthew Vines’ attack on the scriptures and it’s here.

Free.

You’re welcome for the info.

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “Stand firm” Unger

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “Two Responses to Matthew Vines

  1. Try THIS 🙂

    “Bible insists on a difference in roles. In order to overcome this impediment, biblical scholars and theologians committed to egalitarianism have made arguments that are hauntingly similar to those now made by Matthew Vines in favor of relativizing the Bible’s texts on same-sex behaviors.

    Matthew Vines knows this. He also knows that, at least until recently, most of those who have rejected gender complementarity have maintained an affirmation of sexual complementarity — the belief that sexual behavior is to be limited to marriage as the union of a man and a woman. He sees this as his opening. At several points in the book, he makes this argument straightforwardly, even as he calls both “gender complementarity” and denies that the Bible requires or reveals it.

    But we have to give Matthew Vines credit for seeing this wedge issue better than most egalitarians have seen it. He knows that the denial of gender complementarity is a huge step toward denying sexual complementarity. The evangelicals who have committed themselves to an egalitarian understanding of gender roles as revealed in the Bible are those who are most vulnerable to his argument. In effect, they must resist his argument more by force of will than by force of logic.”

    Brilliant! Razor sharp.

  2. I’ve noticed a link between the shift in view of the church and those whom have intellectualized and abandoned their faith. It always seems to start with questioning difficult passages to defend what they want to believe. Before long the commonly understood ones, and in turn scriptures authority is more put on par with a helpful suggestion.

    It’s sad to watch this same shift happening in the church as they are meant to be the ones advocating the sufficiency of scripture and teaching accordingly. It’s been harder and harder to find people that define their beliefs by biblical hermeneutic and exegesis rather than the other way around and I see the homosexual argument proving to be a precise scalpel that divides the two.

  3. Polite suggestion on the blog (I live in China, that is the way we say things here)…when you have a lot of links, it would be really nice if you set them to open in a new window. It is quite easy to do that in wordpress while in the insert link box, by just selecting the open in new window option below the Title. Perhaps it’s not such a big issue for other people, but since I live in China 🙂 and have very slow internet, it becomes quite annoying when I click on a link while reading and then realize I’m going to have to pause for ten minutes to get back to the blog post, because rather than opening another page which I could let open while I continued reading, I now have to wait for the pages to load twice. Sure, I can right click and do it myself after the first click, but that first one is annoying. But I bet other readers would prefer it as well. When I’m over on your side of the world, where internet is fast, I just click on them as I read, and then have them all queued up to read when I’m done with the blog post, or so I can quickly tab back and forth for reference.

    My husband and I really enjoy your blog by the way.

    • I’ll refer you to #2 and #11 on my rules of engagement. If you come here for interaction or discussion, then please bring the interaction here. Please summarize the content of those posts or interact with what I’ve said.

  4. Hi, Lindon.
    In twenty years, you may realise you were wrong. God’s work is being done, and with equal marriage in the UK and more and more of the US, the bigots and dullards are losing. Thank God.

    • Hi Clare.

      In twenty years, you may realize you were wrong too. God’s word doesn’t change (it certainly hasn’t in the past 20 years) or return void, and his Spirit is in the business of bringing hardened sinners to repentance all the time. Saul of Tarsus never saw himself as being a chief leader in “The Way”, but Christ had other plans and Jesus tends to get what he wants. I’ll pray that God does the same with you and thank God when he does. I look forward to seeing the Lord change your heart.

  5. I’m getting a little worried with how fast this movement has accelerated in the past couple of years, makes me wonder how soon it will be until freedom of religion will be legislated away with respect to this issue. It’s hard to believe that people in the church have the audacity to actually try to explain away passages that just simply can’t be in order to seek affirmation of their or their loved one’s behaviour, instead of heeding the intended warning of those passages and seeking forgiveness.

    • Yeah. The speed with which information moves these days means that ideas move quick and accelerate quicker. Social changes that used to take 100 years now take 10 or less…

  6. I have a niece who has openly come out as gay and married her partner. I sat down with her mother and listened to her desperately try to find her way around the clear teaching of Scripture to assure herself that her daughter was okay, that it really wasn’t wrong. I understand the dilemma. We want to be sure that our kids are safe, so we start to move the boundaries. Sort of like the parents’ response to the police when their kid gets picked up for shoplifting – “He would never do anything illegal. It’s those bums he hangs around with…” A number of years back, my father committed suicide. The general understanding of the family (though I don’t agree) was that those who commit suicide are lost without hope. That’s easy to say when it’s someone else’s dad, but when you wake up one day and find out suicide has a face and a name and is someone you love, suddenly you’re scrambling to find a different interpretation. We must always remember that those who have embraced the error of homosexuality are real people in real danger, and for the family, it gets very difficult to stay the course.

  7. Ed quote rightly says: “We must always remember that those who have embraced the error of homosexuality are real people in real danger, and for the family, it gets very difficult to stay the course.”
    Which is why those who are not directly emotionally invested in their loved one like they are MUST, to be sure with godly compassion and empathy, stay the course for them through that stormy rocky dangerous season. Inches turn into miles overnight today.

Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s