The Newest “Threat” to Evangelicalism? Matthew Vines

The Newest “Threat” to Evangelicalism? Matthew Vines May 20, 2014

About two months ago I began to hear chatter in the evangelical blog-o-sphere about a new book that was going to be released called God and the Gay Christian by a 24-Year old gay evangelical named Matthew Vines. Based on all of the chatter, I assumed that this young guy must be another progressive evangelical who was skillfully exploiting the label to get his voice in the evangelical world. I assumed that his book would use the same tried-and-failed tactics to undermine the Biblical texts and use the many heart breaking stories of LGBTQ abuse by evangelicals in an attempt guilt evangelicals into changing their opinion. I assumed that this new book would come and go very quickly without much of a splash. I assumed that no one in Evangelicalism would actually care much about this young man or what he had to say.

And then his book was released.

Within a few days of Vines book releasing, The Gospel Coalition had launched a full force attack against the message of the book. Dr. Albert Mohler, the “reigning intellectual of Evangelicalism” released an e-book response to Vines one day after the book hit the shelves. Popular radio show host Michael Brown called for a boycott of his publisher, Multnomah and Waterbrook Press, because of their association with Convergent Publishers, the house that released Vines’ book. And just yesterday, the National Religious Broadcasters Association forced WaterBrook Multnomah to resign from there convention because some of their staff worked to publish Vines’ “unbiblical” text.

What has made Matthew Vines such a threat to evangelical Christianity? Why is there such uproar over one young gay evangelical and his book?

I discovered the answer about three weeks ago when I was speaking with Matthew at a conference in Los Angeles. After Matthew and I had spoken on our panel, we had the opportunity to sit down over lunch. As we began to get to know each other a bit, it became so apparent to me why Matthew was so dangerous to Evangelicalism. You see, what I discovered was that Matthew is actually an evangelical Christian. A real, legitimate, evangelical. Matthew holds a very evangelical theology of the Bible, Salvation, and Sexuality. He believes the Bible is the inspired Word of God. He believed that salvation was through faith in Christ alone. He believed in a literal hell and a literal heaven. He admired the popular reformed preachers and theologians like John Piper, Al Mohler, and Timothy Keller. And he wasn’t bluffing. He wasn’t towing a party line to get a platform. He is the real deal.

As Matthew was describing his theological disposition to me, I stopped him mid-sentence multiple times and asked- “Wait, are you serious?!” And every time he was. Every time he spoke to a non-evangelical person, his message stayed the same. He is a committed, Bible-believing, born-again evangelical Christian who happens to be gay and happens to take the Bible seriously and happens to believe after much prayerful study that homosexuality is not a sin. And that is something you just simply do not find in evangelicalism. That’s not to say there aren’t many LGBTQ evangelical Christians- I am sure that there are! But Matthew Vines is the first to gain a public platform as a gay evangelical with a robust commitment to the authority of Scripture and to the belief the homosexual sex is biblically not a sin. And this makes him a threat to all evangelical leaders who have tried to use the issue of homosexuality as a determining factor of one’s orthodoxy. Because Matthew is coming from the same theological disposition as all of them. He shares all of the same core theological commitments that they do. He’s not going to be caught speaking some sort of “progressive-liberal-heresy”. He’s truly one of them. He has gained his skills and theology from them. He’s a product of their teaching and communities. And he is lovingly committed to embracing them. To remaining one of them. And to changing their minds on this issue using the Bible as his foundation.

In short, Matthew Vines is a game-changer.

As I left the hotel that the conference we were speaking at was held, I stopped Matthew and thanked him. I thanked him for loving our people well. I thanked him for not giving up on a community that has often so readily given up on LGBTQ Christians. I thanked him for his commitment to work within our community for the long haul.  I thanked him for his honesty and witness to both evangelicalism and to Jesus Christ himself. Matthew Vines is a truly remarkable young man who is filled with the love and passion of Christ and a deep commitment to the word of God. Whether you agree with his theology or not, Vines is someone that you must stop and listen to. He offers a biblical case that must be considered. He is not allowing us to simply sweep this issue under the rug. It must be discussed and rediscussed. And that’s something I support whole-heartedly. He is truly one of us. And I have a feeling he’s going to be stirring the waters for a long time to come. May it be so.


"Understatement! LOL Truly, right out of Orwell..... or Stalin's/Mao's/Franco's dreamland. Yuk!"

There Is No Fear In Love: ..."
"Brandan - Thank you for writing this. It took a lot of courage and strength ..."

There Is No Fear In Love: ..."
" What could I possibly be angry about?"

Rethink Sex: A Progressive Christian Perspective
"James: Wow! Mr. "Still Hiding Behind His Anonymity" (i.e. D.M.S.), certainly is angry.... AND clearly ..."

Rethink Sex: A Progressive Christian Perspective

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • If he is a “real evangelical”, it’s not obvious from any of his interviews.

  • I’m curious what your thoughts are on Justin Lee’s relationship to evangelicalism. Seems to me like he fits there as well, even though he’s playing a different role in the conversation (bringing sides A & B together for dialogue). What’s your take?

    • Brandan Robertson

      I love Justin Lee. I think he’s doing great work. But I am not sure that he is quite as Evangelical as Vines. At least, that’s not the vibes I get from him. But could be wrong!

      • Paul

        He’s about as conservative as Vines, although I think he’s a bit more liberal on gender roles.

        Honestly, if I was an evangelical against homosexuality, I’d be more persuaded by Lee’s arguments than Vines’. No offense to Vines, he’s a great guy who’s quite articulate. That being said, Vines is pretty much a theological novice who could use a bit of training in a few theological areas and could use a bit of prep for handling himself in discourse with those who disagree.

  • Timothy Dalrymple

    Nothing against Vines personally, but the arguments he makes are the same arguments I heard 12 years ago at Princeton Seminary. I’m not sure having someone who holds essentially evangelical convictions on fundamental matters make the progressive set of arguments on homosexuality is really a game-changer. He sounds like a great guy, but the question will be whether he has faithfully applied orthodox Christian convictions to this issue.

    By the way, although the response from Mohler et al was released a day after the book hit the shelves, review copies had been floating around for quite some time.

    • Brandan Robertson

      Vines arguments are certainly not new. But he is a game changer in the sense that I have never met a Gospel Coalition-esque person who supports homosexuality. Until I met Vines.

      • Timothy Dalrymple

        That is certainly new. Where it’s a game-changer or not…only time will tell, my friend!

    • So are you taking a position that Vines is engaging in a sort of unorthodox/liberal heresy or that he is trying to pass off valid liberal theology as being acceptable to evangelicals? I can’t tell if you are for our against whatever you were taught in seminary.

      • Timothy Dalrymple


        • So I assume you mean the first, but you answered an “a or b” question with “yes.”

          • Timothy Dalrymple

            No, I was responding to the last sentence in your post. If I wanted to be clear on the matter, I would be clear 😉

  • epurkey

    He may be a born-again, evangelical Christian…but he has still been blinded by the enemy in regard to homosexuality. And he may have homosexual urges and tendencies, but that does NOT mean he has to give in to those temptations. That is where “take up your cross…” comes in. Giving IN to those tendencies and temptations is when it becomes sin. The Bible is very clear…sex outside of a monogamous, man/woman marriage, is sin. Period.

    • And here is where I don’t think Vines went far enough. Morality is not a long series of commands dictated to us from the Bible. The Bible sometimes gives abhorrent commands that could not possibly have been written by a perfect God. Misogyny and xenophobia litter the Old Testament and still parts of the New. We need a better way of relating to the Bible, or else if we were consistent, we would be moral monsters.

      • What do you suggest then?

        • VirginiaJeff

          I suggest we acknowledge that the Bible is imperfect, and deal with that knowledge as best we can, in prayer and in community with one another. It’s a scary proposition, I know. But Martin Luther survived it.

          • I’m less worried about the emotional effects but more interested with how one now trusts an errant text and errant writers.

            PS. Martin Luther also ‘survived’ living with some pretty serious anti-Semetic views but that doesn’t make them a virtue!

          • One has to wonder how a perfect deity could have had a hand in creating such an imperfect, divisive document. If the Bible were as declarative as some evangelicals have made it out to be, I wonder why there are so many interpretations, so many denominations, and why all of them claim that they have the “one, true” interpretation.

            I pondered this idea when I was a believer. I continued to ponder this idea when I became an atheist. My only conclusion is that people will interpret the Bible to fit their existing prejudices, ideologies, and hatreds. This can be identified very easily: Ask if the people you don’t like, the people you secretly hate, are the same people your god openly dislikes and hates.

          • I think that’s the point. Your criticism is more telling on progressives. They are the ones who try to fit the ‘Bible’ (by that we mean just the little bits they like) into what modern culture says is acceptable. It is the religious conservatives who try to resist that.

            I honestly don’t think I “hate” people on the whole but I dislike progressives and yet I think God loves them. In fact, that’s the whole point. God loves everyone – even the people I wish he didn’t love. This is completely contrary to my existing prejudices and cultural upbringing. My culture tells me to look out for myself and to treat people badly if they treat me badly. Jesus tells us to do the opposite of that. “Love your enemies.” What could be more counter-cultural than that?!

            Do you think the beliefs you have become less likely to be true if they coincide with what you desire to be true?

          • In the same vein, religious conservatives choose the opposite approach: holding onto scripture-based ideas that are anachronistic and without merit in the modern age. Any book, even the supposedly timeless works of literature, must be looked at through the prism of the age in which they were written. From my vantage point (both coming from conservative religion and now as an atheist), I tend to see religious conservatives as trying to hold back progress in favor of keeping the status quo, regardless of how harmful that status quo may be to others.

            The deity portrayed in the Bible (both Old and New Testament) would be considered a terrible tyrant were it flesh and blood. Demanding obedience on penalty of death, policing of thoughts contrary to his wishes, and constructing elaborate games to prove one’s devotion. If conservative Christians wish to see what their version of Heaven looks like, they need look no further than Stalinist Russia, North Korea, or the fictional land from Orwell’s 1984.

            I tend to view American culture for what it is: a strongly individualistic culture that has moments of collectivist activities. We are largely driven by our desire to succeed, even at the expense of others. And yet, when tragedies occur we pull together in communities large and small. That is the nature of our species: fierce individual survival subjugated to communal health. That dichotomy can be seen in every major civilization humanity has ever created, to one degree or another.

            When Christ says “love your enemies”, he does not add hate their sin. That’s Paul’s words, which often carry far more weight than the words of the actual deity-figure Christ. Christ’s teaching was to love one’s enemies, to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and to concentrate less on what others are doing and on one’s own spiritual growth. Yet these lessons are lost on Christian Conservatives, who by and large feel a moral imperative to make everyone in America live according to their religious doctrine, whether the rest of us want to or not. If many of the Christian conservatives had their way, America would be a theocratic state, which would devolve into something little better than other theocratic states like Saudia Arabia or Iran. Theocracy cares little about individual freedoms so long as the illusion of piety is maintained, particularly for those in power.

            My desire for something to be true does not mean something is true. What is true, demonstrably and evidently true, remains the same regardless of my feelings on the matter. I became an atheist because I cared whether or not what I believed was demonstrably true.

            I’ll give you an example. If tomorrow it was incontrovertibly proven, beyond all shadow of any doubt, that the supernatural was real and god or gods existed, I would no longer be an atheist. I would accept I was wrong because the evidence points to the conclusion that gods exist. On the other hand, if it was incontrovertibly proven, beyond all shadow of any doubt, that the supernatural is not real and none of the gods we’ve ever invented exist, I doubt the religious people of the world would accept it and change their position.

            The reason: their beliefs are not based on whether or not something can be demonstrably shown to be true but because they desire it to be true to the exclusion of all other considerations. These beliefs are ground in a comfortable lie. Personally, I prefer a harsh truth. At least then, I know where I stand.

          • Well then that would be simply the matter of contention between you and I. You think they are anachronistic and I don’t agree that they are.

            Obviously I don’t agree with your conclusion about the nature of God either. You appear to think God is some kind of fascist but fascists don’t usually give people a choice about what kind of life they will live. The God of the Bible does that but, of course, he warns that one path leads to life and another leads to death. A being who looks out for our eternal well-being and yet who gives us freedom to choose makes for a very odd ‘fascist’! Fascists also don’t tend to have a moral code which is in line with the teachings of Jesus.

            I don’t live in the US so I cannot comment too much on that issue. I would be opposed to Christians who seek forms of theocratic government so I suspect that’s an issue we would have lots of agreement on. Fortunately, here in the UK, very few Christians are like that. We tend to be politically more secular.

            Actually Jesus DOES talk about judging sin. You must have read what he had to say about hell and judgement surely? When the woman caught in adultery is brought before him he forgives her but he urges her to go and sin no more.

            You said:

            “My desire for something to be true does not mean something is true. What is true, demonstrably and evidently true, remains the same regardless of my feelings on the matter. I became an atheist because I cared whether or not what I believed was demonstrably true.”

            That is the point I’m making. Therefore the test of whether a belief is contrary to our desires is not a good bar for deciding whether something is either true or logical.

            I’m not sure what “incontrovertibly proven” means? I take it you mean in such a way that there is no controversy or disagreement on the matter anymore? I’m not sure how many things belong in that category however. Not too many I would guess. I think it’s possible you have a standard of evidence for God that you don’t have for anything else and I wonder if that’s fair?

            Best wishes.

          • “The God of the Bible does that but, of course, he warns that one path leads to life and another leads to death.”

            Which is the same choice totalitarian dictators (fascists or not) give their populace. Follow me, adhere to my every command, or you can spend the rest of your life in a hellish gulag (or you might get lucky and we’ll just shoot you in the head, along with your entire family).
            Yep, not at all like the deity of the Bible.

            In the incident with the adulteress, Christ does not condemn her but rather saves her from the mob (who would be the religious conservatives of that time). His instruction to “sin no more” is also not condemnatory but rather an encouragement to live a better life.

            On the note of Hell, it isn’t until Jesus, meek and mild, that the notion of eternal separation from Yahweh is introduced. It is also Jesus who introduces the idea that if you even think about a sin, you have committed the sin. The essence of totalitarianism is thought-crime. You cannot think something the Dear Leader does not want you to think.

            Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I notice that you did directly address the subject of that scenario, though. I think we both understand that while my position on the nature of the supernatural and deities is open to be changed by evidence. I think we both also understand that were the stories of your deity proven to be completely false and there wasn’t any doubt they were false, you would still cling to those beliefs as some sort of security blanket.

            This is also what I meant by desire for something to be true. Christian conservatives, especially here in the States, NEED for the Bible to be true. If the Bible were just a collection of stories written by human beings, than they have nothing to cover themselves from the shamefully brutal ways they’ve treated their fellow human beings. It goes back to an old observation I came across in my studies:

            Left to their own devices, good people will try to do good things and bad people will try to do bad things. If you want a good person to do a bad thing, that takes religion.

          • I’m not sure you’ve read enough about totalitarians if you think them comparable. Totalitarians don’t tend to allow people to respectfully disagree with them and go and live their life the way they want to. They track you down and raze your church to the ground and kill anyone who disagrees. God obviously does not do this. He permits people to live their lives as they choose. If people should choose that they do not want to spend eternity with him he does not force them to. If God did then that would be totalitarian behaviour but he does not. So I don’t agree, at all, that you have a fair analogy there.

            The point is that in the story of the adulteress, there is sin which he urges he not to do anymore.

            Actually – most psychologists think there are things that it’s not helpful to be thinking about all the time. They believe that some thoughts, if constantly entertained, can be very damaging on people. Does that make most psychologists totalitarians? And the point is that a person can still think what they want to think – God gives them that freedom. What Jesus is explaining is that there are some thoughts which are sins against God.

            “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

            No offense but it’s beginning to feel like you’re just throwing out the standard New Atheist cliches at this point. Actually, if you look up academic version of arguments for the existence of God you will find that the vast majority of them employ Bayes’ theorem.

            If someone would hold to a belief despite it being shown to be demonstrably false then that would be damaging to that person for sure. I’m not sure what you think it is that has been demonstrated to be demonstrably false in the case of Christianity? Are you suggesting there is some such thing? If so, what is it?

            I think it is true that religion both can and has made some people do some pretty horrible things but then that’s true of lots of other things too. Holding to the view that the world should be democratic in its politics has led some people to do some pretty awful things would you not agree? I’m not sure that means that democratic politics are either evil or necessarily false. Politics, as a whole, has made some people do some awful things. Does that discredit all politics? Let’s face it – secular ideologies have made some, otherwise good, people do some pretty bad things too. Does that mean all secular ideologies are to be avoided?

            I would highly recommend David Bentley-Hart’s book ‘Atheist delusions’.

          • And what happens when one refuses your deity’s offer? An eternity in fiery pit for which even finite crimes do not warrant? It is no different from a totalitarian dictator putting a gun to someone’s head and telling them to choose obedience or immediate death. In this case, your deity holds you over a pit, filled with horrors beyond comprehension, and then tells you I can let you over to safety or you can choose to fall.

            You are not free to think if you are convicted of a crime for simply thinking it. Actions should be condemned. We may think of committing horrible deeds but until the action is taken, it is just a thought. A thought may only harm the person who thinks it (potentially). Your deity cares more about what people think than what people do. This is evidenced by the fact that the only unpardonable sin is rejection of the deity.

            In the case of Christianity, what has been demonstrably proven to be true? The gospels are not eyewitness accounts but written decades after the fact. None of the claims made in the Bible regarding the physical world have been shown to be correct, in fact quite the opposite. While there are moral lessons to be found in the Bible, the document has been used to cause far more death and destruction than it has provided boons for humanity’s benefit. Every hospital and university opened under the aegis of religion is built upon the skulls of heretics and non-believers.

            The cliche you dismiss is a maxim that holds true, whether you find disdainful or not. If one makes the extraordinary claim that a human being rose from the dead, one has to provide more than just stories in a book. Were that the only criteria to prove a point, all of the religious texts that speak of extraordinary figures would be true. it is a truth among religious thinkers that the criteria they think proves their case is dismissed when applied to other religions.

            Please inform me of secular ideologies guiding by the ideals of Plato, Socrates, Spinoza, etc have been actively used by a society and caused harm.

            Now go look at the societies that have embraced religion as the dominant expression, who have allowed dogma, superstition, and theocracy to dictate who we live. These nations fostered inequality, stamped down on any who dared to think outside the narrow box of the religion in power, and removed anyone it considered undesirable.

          • It looks as though we’re going to have to agree to disagree then.

            What God refuses to do is to force people to spend an eternity with him. I think, with CS Lewis, that makes him more of a gentleman than a tyrant. There’s a strong tradition of conditional immortality in Christianity so I don’t feel the need to defend an idea of eternal torment. But if God is the source of everything that is good and someone wishes to cut themselves from that then there is no possible world in which God can give such people a pleasant existence. If people choose death rather than God then that is their choice and God respects it (contrary to what totalitarians do). Of course, when you decide to judge what God is like or what he does you are judging against a standard. What is that standard and how do you justify it being an objective standard?

            I think you’re equivocating on the word free in your response. What I mean is that you are free to think what you want by God in the sense that you can. In the sense that you have the ability to. People are free to be gentle or violent but both have consequences of course. If one chooses to sin then there are consequences. I don’t see those consequences as being sufficient to claim one is no longer free to choose what one does. I live in a society where people are free to choose whether to be a criminal or not but if they choose to be one and they get caught they go to prison. This does not mean they were not free to choose whether to be a criminal or not. That simply doesn’t follow at all.

            You see you are now turning the statement around. You implied there were some things about Christianity which were demonstrably false. I asked you for an example and instead you reply by asking what has been shown to be demonstrably true. The lack of demonstrable truth does not count as evidence that something is demonstrably false. I cannot show you to a level which could be regarded as “demonstrably true” that I had a cup of tea this morning but not being able to do so does not make the claim demonstrably false. Then there is the epistemological problem concerning what things are “demonstrably true” at all? A lot of philosophers simply don’t think that’s a good requirement for whether something is either true or rational anymore. Verificationism is dead in philosophy.

            “The gospels are not eyewitness accounts but written decades after the fact.”

            Really? And you know this? Can you demonstrate this to me beyond all reasonable doubt? Why is it then that there are whole sectors of scholarship who disagree with you? What do you know that they do not? Also – the latter part of that sentence could be true and the former false!

            “None of the claims made in the Bible regarding the physical world have been shown to be correct, in fact quite the opposite.”

            Well John wrote about the pool at Siloam and they found that! There are hundreds (if not thousands) of other examples like that if you look up any book on biblical archaeology.

            “While there are moral lessons to be found in the Bible, the document has been used to cause far more death and destruction than it has provided boons for humanity’s benefit.”

            That’s an argument from misuse! Some people have argued this about Nietzsche’s work but does it discredit Nietzsche per se that his writings have been used and abused by others?

            “Every hospital and university opened under the aegis of religion is built upon the skulls of heretics and non-believers.”

            Good luck making that case!

            “Please inform me of secular ideologies guiding by the ideals of Plato, Socrates, Spinoza, etc have been actively used by a society and caused harm.”

            But why have you picked out only these three (some might say two)? You’re cherry picking. There are hundreds of different secular ideologies. Many of them have been extremely violent – do you deny that? The point is it does not discredit secular ideology as a whole to point out that some secular ideologies have systematically killed people. And plenty of historical and political scholars disagree with you on your (extremely broad brush) declarations on the relationship between religion, politics and freedom. Democracy has been popular in Christendom. Your approach here is very scatter-gun and lacks the nuances to make any serious case I’m afraid.

          • cipher

            What I mean is that you are free to think what you want by God in the sense that you can. In the sense that you have the ability to.

            So our limited ability to make choices in this life results in eternal consequences, because of this nebulous, barely definable faculty known as “free will”?

            Utterly and tiresomely typical.

          • It’s actually been quite well defined by many philosophers. I would recommend Kevin Timpe’s book on the subject.

          • cipher

            And of course, you completely miss the point. Again, utterly typical.

          • I don’t think you have a point. 😉

          • Andrew Dowling

            “It is the religious conservatives who try to resist that”.

            One has to “fit the Bible” into pieces that modern conservatism finds acceptable as well . . exegesis of the Bible can produce a liberal or conservative faith. Hence why believing your version of the Bible is “inerrant” requires huge blinders on.

          • You’re a bit late to this conversation I’m afraid.

            I guess it would entirely depend on exactly what form of ‘inerrancy’ one is adhering to of course (since there are many). But I think there are forms of it which don’t require “blinders” myself. Hence the fact that there are some outstanding scholars who hold such a high view of Scripture. So I don’t agree at all I’m afraid.

    • Karinetta1

      Vines had better study the Bible in depth, e.g. matters as easy to understand as the Ten Commandments (the Law that Jesus Christ adhered to). If he really folows biblical precepts, he would be wise to read Leviticus, Romans and verious other letters written by Paul, as well as a few Psalms and Proverbs, where a “man lying with a man” is invariably labaled an abomination and rebellion against God’s plan.

      • Robin

        But did not Jesus show us that the fulfillment of that law was to love God above all else and love others as our very selves? The whole purpose of the law is to show us that none of us can live up to it and we all need forgiveness. This applies to homosexuality as well as lying, envy, greed etc

    • Exactly. He’s playing the role of the “evangelical Christians” as a way to market his book and try to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing to deceive the flock.

      • Robin

        Thanks for judging someone’s motives. Honestly we should put ourselves in the shoes of Matthew and many others like him, if you had lived your life knowing that you had no desire for the opposite sex and that your sexuality was bent towards your own sex, wouldn’t you try to understand why this is so and see how this fits with your beliefs? I think we should give gay Christians this much credit, the way I see it if a gay Christian suppresses his or her sexuality for God then they are worthy of extremely high praise and if the gay Christian tries with all to live up to the Scriptures but fail then they are deserving of our compassion.

  • Tenth Justice

    I read Matthew Vines’ book, and there wasn’t a single argument I haven’t heard made by at least two other authors. It was essentially a repackaging of all the liberal arguments made in the past three decades about why the six or so contested verses have been misinterpreted. To be honest, the expectation that a 24-year-old without theological or ancient language qualifications would suddenly discover some game-changing approach or hidden meaning behind the text that scholars have missed for centuries was always a little far-fetched to begin with.

    You can believe what Vines argues, or dispute it. But don’t try telling me it’s new or different.

  • Chris Jones

    From what I have read, Matthew doesn’t provide any new ideas here. I must say that as long as the evangelical elite remain supporters of the killing of the enemies of the US, they have absolutely no moral or biblical high ground from which to critique Matthew. Abstaining from military violence or supporting it, is a far greater issue for what it means to be human than gay-marriage. Let Matthew and other gay-Christians work out their salvation with fear and trembling just like the rest of us.

  • 4thegloryofgod

    I would encourage you to read Christopher Yuan’s well written review of the book. Here is one link to it:

    Winsome personality, evangelical spirit and values, high regard for Scripture do not necessarily mean that the exegetical work is trustworthy, believable or accurate. Pray for Matthew. Treat him with respect. But in the end, it doesn’t matter how much “like us” he is or seems. Doctrinal deviation and misinterpretation of Scripture is still dangerous and should not be endorsed.

  • top8305

    Until one reads and rationally refutes “Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything”
    (ISBN: 9781586178338 Author: Robert Reilly, 2014), I will remain convinced that their position is mere rationalization, even if cloaked in a Gospel other than the one preached to us (Gal 1:6-11). This work is irrefutably cogent, using reason and tacit faith support (since so many reject faith-based arguments in our Post Christian Neo-Pagan Godless Nation) and reaches the same Gospel Truth.
    May God Save us all.

    “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth – in a word, to know himself – so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.”

    St. Pope John Paul II, Fides Et Ratio: Encyclical On the Relationship Between Faith and Reason

  • happiness1535

    Everyone one should visit part 2 of Preston Sprinkle’s review.

    Historical evidence shows that the ancients did, in fact, know that some people were persistently and predominantly or exclusively attracted to the same sex and were perhaps born that way.

    It is foolish to have thought otherwise. In a culture where same-sex activity is celebrated, how would it not be noticed that some were exclusively interested in such?

    The idea of same-sex marriage existed as well. If the bible never intended to reject that idea, why did the early church not perform them?

    What Paul was saying is that homosexual unions are inherently outside god’s design. They may feel natural to some, but the desire results from the fall.

    Even if god did not dictate every word of scripture, it is not believable to think he would have allowed scripture to be written with exclusively negative references to Same-sex activity with no qualification.

  • cipher

    You see, what I discovered was that Matthew is actually an evangelical Christian. A real, legitimate, evangelical. Matthew holds a very evangelical theology of the Bible, Salvation, and Sexuality. He believes the Bible is the inspired Word of God. He believed that salvation was through faith in Christ alone. He believed in a literal hell and a literal heaven

    I’ve found this repeatedly with gay evangelicals and gay Orthodox Jews. They still adhere to literal understandings of their belief systems, except for the one aspect that applies to them. That one, they manage to reason their way around.

    Vines has worked out a way that he can indulge (for lack of a better word) his sexuality and not have to question the other repressive aspects of his belief system. I’m sure he takes pleasure in the knowledge that he and his fellow gay evangelicals will be among those hanging out on a mezzanine in heaven with Jesus and Dubya, enjoying the torments of the damned in hell.

    And by the way, calling Mohler an “intellectual” is like calling a fry cook a chef.

    • Andrew Dowling

      “And by the way, calling Mohler an “intellectual” is like calling a fry cook a chef.”

      Ha, couldn’t agree more.

  • Brian P.

    Personally I think the challenge with Vines is that he is more Evangelical than most Evangelicals. When his video came out, I researched the key passages best I could as a lay person. Extracting meaning out of a text into its context is hard. Extracting meaning out of a text and its context and then to place this meaning into a separate context, is very hard. Perhaps this can’t be done without committing a postmodern’s violence to the text or without performing an ancient act of prophecy. The reflections made Sola Scriptura even more cumbersome to me. Personally, I can see how Christianity can reach some of its traditional teaching on marriage through the lens of Church Tradition. However, I can’t really do it Sola Scriptura. When the Reformers combatted clerical abuses of the Church, they had some very real problems at hand. The Solas seemed necessary to undermine the perverse ecclesiology at hand. But I’m not sure the Reformers saw into our future or thought through all the unintended consequences of their theologies. The other day I read Mohler and he very openly appealed to the authority of Christian Tradition. To me, his position seemed in marked theological contrast to the Baptist Four Freedoms. Anyhow, this is why I think Vines creates fear. More than the moralistic topic at hand, there is a deeper current flowing past, maybe evening loosening, the theological and ecclesiological foundations upon which Protestantism and Evangelicalism have built their centuries of edifice.