Greg Strand is EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, and he serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. He and his family are members of Northfield (Minnesota) EFC.
As you read yesterday, our 2013 EFCA Theology Conference, (January 30-February 1, 2013, Southern Gables EFC, Littleton, CO), will address the theme of “Sex Matters: A Theology of Human Sexuality.”
One of the speakers at our Conference will be Robert A. J. Gagnon. He has done some of the best exegetical work on this in the past 25 years, cf. The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics (Nashville: Abingdon, 2001). He also engaged in a dialogue/debate in a two-views format with Dan O. Via: Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2009). In addition to these books, he has written numerous articles and essays, many of them can be accessed on his website. Gagnon teaches at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (PC-USA). He has been at the forefront of this discussion in the PC-USA, a denomination that has progressively moved on this issue such that the denomination now accepts same-sex marriage.
Earlier this fall, Tony Reinke interviewed Gagnon on this very topic: “Homosexuality and the Modern Church,” Desiring God blog (October 30, 2012).
There were two parts to this interview, and Reinke helpfully outlines the questions that were asked.
- What are the biblical and the structural prerequisites for a sexual union that magnifies God and honors his created design?
- From that, what constitutes sinful sexual practices?
- Does the Bible say anything about gender reassignment surgery?
- Is homosexuality a modern phenomenon? Just how pervasive was homosexuality in the Greco-Roman world of the Apostle Paul?
- By voting yes to the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, are Christians oppressing the freedoms of the gay and lesbian community? Why or why not?
- What advice do you have for churches seeking to preach against the sin of homosexuality, and make sure the church doors are wide open and welcoming to all those in the homosexual community?
- What role does the Church play in demythologizing sexuality in modern culture?
- In the life of a professing Christian, what makes homosexual practice “an act of unbelief”?
- Should we be okay with a professing believer who self-identifies as “a celibate gay Christian”?
- What advice do you have for Christian parents who are fearful that their children will experience same-sex attraction in the teen years?
- What are churches doing well in engaging those who struggle with same-sex attraction? What are churches doing poorly?
- What guiding principles will help us to love and reach out to our homosexual neighbors?