Christopher Roberts: Creation and Covenant: The Significance of Sexual Difference in the Moral Theology of Marriage
One of the most helpful books for coming to grips with classic Christian theologies of marriage is Christopher Roberts’ Creation and Covenant: The Significance of Sexual Difference in the Moral Theology of Marriage. Prior to writing this book, Roberts was a research assistant to Bill Moyers and worked as a reporter for PBS’ show Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. More recently, he has taught ethics at Villanova University.
Roberts’ book is a survey of some of the primary things the Christian tradition has said about the significance of our creation as male and female for the theology of marriage. Beginning with early theologians like Gregory of Nyssa and continuing on to look at Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Karl Barth, Pope John Paul II, and others, Roberts concludes the book with a charitable discussion of some of the “revisionist” arguments for an explicitly Christian theology of gay marriage. Along the way, and particularly at the end, he offers sensitive pastoral reflections on both marriage and celibacy.
In this video, Roberts summarizes the book’s main argument and fields some questions from the audience (1 hr 15 mins).
Ron Belgau and Justin Lee: Practical tips for ending the culture war
Our culture tells us that gays and Christians are enemies, so how can we as Christians have loving dialogue on the issue of homosexuality that changes hearts and minds for Christ? Ron and Justin will use stories, humor, personal experience, and the Bible to discuss how they can be friends in the midst of strong theological disagreement, and how we as Christians can better show love to the gay community without compromising our convictions. Among the topics Ron and Justin will discuss: Common misconceptions each side has about the other; being missionaries with our language and avoiding the buzzwords that shut down conversation; understanding the difference between behavior and attraction; why dialogue is more effective than debate; and what Paul’s experience in Athens can teach us about representing Christ in the midst of disagreement (1 hr 37 mins).
Ron Belgau and Justin Lee: A conversation about the Bible
Here is Pepperdine’s description of the second night’s discussion: Of course, the biggest disagreement in the church is about how to interpret the Bible on this issue. On the second night, Ron and Justin will demonstrate the dialogue techniques taught on the first night by engaging in a public discussion of their differing views on the Bible. The conversation will resemble a debate, but with more grace, compassion, and understanding, designed to help attendees better articulate what they believe and also better understand those who disagree with them—to create a space for more loving conversation in the future rather than inflaming an already tense situation (1 hr 41 mins).