Tuesday, September 5, 2017

My non-response to the Nashville Statement

I've been hearing and reading a lot about The Nashville Statement lately. Our men's group read through it on Saturday morning. My pastor seems pretty supportive, but of course there are plenty of less favorable responses out there.

I'm a little skittish on several of the articles (esp. #10). Statements of this type come out from time to time on various issues from groups of pastors who seem to see themselves as authoritative. They draw their strict lines, defining who is in and who is out with regard to orthodoxy as they see it. The statements come out, get lots of press, are discussed by prominent bloggers, etc. But many of us are distinctly aware that, if we're going to wrestle with this issue, we need to hear from all sides.

And, well, I haven't. I've read a few negative responses and they are somewhat helpful. The point is, while these Evangelical leaders see it as their obligation to make authoritative statements, the rest of us are not obligated to simply take their word for it. I suspect that there are many levels of nuance between the conservative position delineated in the Nashville Statement and the opposite (liberal?) position of, say, many mainline denominations.

One more point. It's hardly ever helpful to sign on to someone else's statement, because once the talking starts, the responses and counter-responses, you begin to hear things, even from the side you thought you supported, that you just can't go along with. For example, when matters of gender differences come under discussion, someone will inevitably begin to suggest differences that, as they see it, are God ordained, but may well be cultural developments only. For example, in the discussion in my men's group on Saturday, someone went to the God made women emotional and men mechanical trope. And you know what: something like that inevitably comes to the fore in these discussions.

The Nashville Statement
Scott McKnight's response
Geoff Holsclaw's response

btw, Geoff Holsclaw is doing this 20 for 20 writing prompt, where he writes for twenty minutes, twenty days running. Interesting. Should I try?

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