A Certain James F. McGrath

A Certain James F. McGrath September 11, 2015

A recent article by Robert Gagnon is the only occurrence on the internet of the phrase “a certain James F. McGrath.” In the article, Gagnon makes the unsubstantiated accusation that “liberal” institutions penalize conservative scholars for doing genuine research (the scare quotes are also his and also unjustified). Ironically, Gagnon teaches at a seminary which embraces his stance as well as that of others who disagree with him. In the Spring 2011 issue of the seminary’s magazine Panorama, one of his fellow professors wrote, “The faculty of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary disagrees about many important contemporary issues, such as homosexuality…” (p.3).

Gagnon apparently views the liberality of his own denomination and institution with disdain even while expressing himself freely without recriminations from them. In his article, Gagnon also refers to marriage equality as “unconstitutional.”

There is definitely an irony about Gagnon’s presenting himself as a defender of morality, while quoting something I said in a Facebook group without even seeking my permission to do so, never mind obtaining it. But perhaps that fits naturally with his view of sexuality as about the “Creator’s intentional design” and having no place for that modern liberal concern about equality, respect, and above all else consent.

I don’t think his article will do anything to persuade anyone to adopt his point of view – but give it a read if you want to see for yourself.



"You're about to make Canon: The MMO aren't you?"

Graphic Canon and Chronology
"The journal will be open access online, and so one can at least assign one's ..."

Call for Names, Editors, and Contributors: ..."
"Good question about the dean. I've found that, as long as I am productive in ..."

Call for Names, Editors, and Contributors: ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Gagnon . . . hahahaha . . . well, consider the source.

  • Anthony Lawson

    Wow, what a horrible article that Gagnon wrote. Where to start? In the first two paragraphs we are told by a professed scholar that Daniel Kirk’s view does not “comport with Jesus’s view” and that it is “at odds with Jesus’s own” view of sexual ethics as if we can know of a certainty what Jesus view was, ignoring the entire body of work done in regards to historical Jesus research. Gagnon ends the article with a persecution complex, warning what he thinks will soon happen.

    This is exactly why if I ever return to Christianity it will not be of the evangelical type, at least not like what Gagnon and others like him espouse. It also shows to me the sub par nature of much of today’s evangelical “scholarship.” Much of it used to serve the purpose of apologetics.

  • John MacDonald

    The historical Jesus probably would have laughed out loud if anyone asked him if homosexuals should be allowed to marry.

    • Andrew Dowling

      You are trolling.

      • John MacDonald

        I’m not trolling just because I’m posting opinions that you disagree with. If you don’t like my opinions, just ignore them.

  • Chuck Haberl

    It’s illustrative of the kind of world in which Gagnon lives when he presents the claim that “many leftwing “liberal” institutions associated with SBL/AAR “penalize [conservative] scholars for doing genuine research” that leads to a negative assessment of homosexual practice” as a self-evident fact, without any effort to substantiate this claim.

  • Phil Ledgerwood

    “A Certain James McGrath” sounds like the title of a Jane Austen novel.

    Also, who are all these conservative scholars allegedly being thrown out of seminaries?

  • For quite some time, I worked at Fuller, although I left before this stuff with Kirk came to light. Having an admittedly imperfect window into what’s happened as a result, I’ll limit my remarks to saying that, although there are obviously differences between Fuller and Kirk these days, the Gagnon article didn’t articulate EITHER side’s position particularly fairly.

    • John

      A gelding with a hyphenated name – how pathetic.