On April 13, Justin Lee and I did a joint presentation, Let’s Talk about [Homo]sexuality, at Seattle Pacific University. Like previous presentations at Pepperdine University and Gordon College, we shared a bit about our own stories, offered some practical tips for building bridges in the midst of disagreement. We also each presented a brief overview of our own beliefs about Christian sexual ethics, Justin arguing that Christians should bless same-sex marriage, and me arguing that they should not. Rachel Held Evans recently highlighted this as the “Best Dialogue” on sexual ethics.
The SPU presentation came just a few weeks after a similar presentation at Pepperdine. At SPU, we did the whole presentation in a single evening. At Pepperdine, the presentation was spread over two nights.
The first night of the Pepperdine presentation was similar to the first part of the SPU presentation (though I did not make the joke about Washington’s bridge-building prowess at Pepperdine).
On the second night, however, Justin and I were joined by Richard Mouw, former president of Fuller Theological Seminary and author of (among many other books) Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World.
Because of the compressed format, the SPU presentation is probably the best to watch to get an overall picture of our approach. However, there are enough differences between the way that Justin and I presented our arguments that some readers may want to see both. At Pepperdine, we both focused on Romans 1, while the argument at SPU is more general. At SPU, Justin spent more time talking about parallels between theological arguments about slavery in the years leading up to the Civil War and about homosexuality today. And, of course, Richard Mouw made some really interesting contributions to the conversation at Pepperdine.