Nadia Brings Queers, Gays, and Lesbians To an Evangelical Party

The above video was posted by Nadia on her Facebook page (If you can’t see it, click on “Post” above; WordPress doesn’t always load Facebook videos correctly). It’s her submission to The Nines, a online “conference” hosted by Leadership Network. In their request for submissions, LN wrote this:

There is no greater and faster shift in culture today than the swing towards the acceptance of same-sex marriage. Church leaders need to determine the right path moving forward; loving and ministering to the LGBT community, while at the same time holding-fast to a theological position (held by most)  that prohibits the practice of homosexuality.

So, as you can see, Nadia is cutting against the grain on this.

Kudos, friend.

Balance at the Top of Fuller Seminary [Book Week]

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I’m going to focus on books this week — some that I’ve read, some that I am reading.

When Richard Mouw announced his retirement from the presidency of Fuller Theological Seminary, I was nervous. I’m both an alumnus and a part-time employee of Fuller, and I’m very much a product of that place. In face, I’d say that who I am as a theologian is much more a reflection of Fuller (M.Div.) than of Princeton (Ph.D.). That’s as much because of my time of life (mid-20s vs. mid-30s) when I matriculated at each school.

Mouw was an emissary of evangelicalism, establishing dialogues with Mormons, Muslims, and others. He engaged in the religion-and-science debates, and he regularly debated fellow PC(USA) leaders who were more liberal than he. Although Mouw is fiercely Reformed (in the Kuyperian sense), he was always relatively generous and civil with his evangelicalism (marriage equality being one notable exception).

So when he was leaving, and Fuller was looking for his successor, I wondered who could fill that chair with the same generous spirit. Because, honestly, a moderate evangelical leader is hard to find these days.

As I reported at the time, I was pleased to hear that Mark Labberton was chosen to lead Fuller. In my previous encounters with Mark, he was just the kind of generous, centrist evangelical who embodies what Fuller should be on the landscape of American Christianity. And now, with his first book since assuming that job, we know a bit more about Labberton’s vision.

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The Art of Events

Putting together the roster of speakers for an event is an art, not a science. I’ve been working with Sarah Cunningham to put together Christianity21, coming to Phoenix in January. Of course, we strive to invite speakers who have something to say and are good at saying it. But one of the things that we most desire is that the 21 leaders who grace the main stage will represent the widest swath of the church. I’m very proud of the list we’ve put together for this year. It’s surely not perfect, for I’m sure we’ve missed some constituencies. Nevertheless, I think when you look at the names in the graphic below, you’ll see various diversities represented — theological, racial, gender, demographic, geographic, denominational.

If you’ve been hoping for a leadership conference that is truly committed to reconciliation among various factions of American Christianity, I hope you’ll join us.

C21PHX Banner

Click on the image to learn more.

Ken Silva Has Died

According to his website, Ken Silva died on Sunday. It states, He had succumbed to the strain of the pain he had been enduring for the past few years.”

Ken Silva was a longtime internet nemesis of mine, and probably the most singleminded opponent of the emerging church movement on the internet. But it wasn’t just me and emergent at which he took aim. Ken was against everyone — Rick Warren, the Catholic Church, John Piper, John MacArthur, liberals, Brian McLaren, women pastors, gays, etc. Ken was among those who first referred to my friend as Pastrix Nadia Bolz-Weber. He treated all of us with savagery and brutality.

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