The Nashville Statement addresses a burning issue of our day: human sexuality. The social and political pressures to deny the biblical teaching on God’s intent for our sexuality are immense, and we believe the statement’s creators clearly grasp the need to stand firm. This is not merely an ethical debate about what one can and cannot do in the bedroom; in fact, on this issue rest crucial aspects of the doctrine of Scripture and theological anthropology.
Unfortunately, in attempting to clarify classic orthodox belief, the Nashville Statement ended up confusing some issues and has divided advocates of biblical sexuality. This is in part because it was largely driven by The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (although the group had conversations with other organizations) and lacked broader participation, failing to garner a consensus among those most deeply sympathetic to its main affirmations.
And now to Denny Burk:
At the end of the day, the success of the Nashville Statement will not be measured in how many people signed the statement. It was never our aim to make signing the statement a test of orthodoxy. In fact, the point of the signatures was merely to enable us to commend the statement to as broad a swath of evangelicals as possible. The statement will be a success if its affirmations and denials find resonance in the hearts of ordinary Christians–if they recognize in the statement a faithful representation of scriptural teaching. That success will take time to accrue, but we are already seeing evidence that it is happening.The Nashville Statement is not a culture-war document. It is a church document. It stakes out no public policy positions. It advocates for no particular piece of legislation or political program. Rather, it was drafted by churchmen from a variety of evangelical traditions who aim to catechize God’s people about their place in the true story of the world. And fundamental to that storyline is our “personal and physical design as male and female.”
Galli’s right; Burk’s naive if he thinks this is not a “culture-war document” and ” church document.” This was not a church document; it was not shaped by denominational leaders coming together, it did not represent anything more than a group of (almost entirely male) leaders who already agreed and they formed the statement. It’s naive to think otherwise.