Friday, September 1, 2017

Alastair Roberts: Nashville Statement “like a flare shot up over a darkened field of debate”

Alastair Roberts, author of the forthcoming “Heirs Together: A Theology of the Sexes,” is one of the most thoughtful evangelicals of our time writing in the area of marriage, gender, and sexuality. He is also one of the initial signatories to The Nashville Statement from the United Kingdom. In an article he wrote for Premier Christianity, he explains why he signed The Nashville Statement and why he is encouraging other UK Christians to do the same. The post is excerpted below:

“The statement defends the importance of our creation as male and female, as it relates to key matters pertaining to marriage, our relation to our sexed bodies, and our sexual conduct. The moral questions surrounding the nature and meaning of marriage, same-sex attraction, relations, and self-understanding, and transgender persons and transgenderism are all incredibly live ones in the current context.

“Much confusion and error is to be found even in conservative Christian circles on these matters. As we are pressed by the culture to examine matters that we may have formerly taken for granted, many have lost their footing, uncertain of what to believe, or why we believe it. A statement that simply yet firmly presents an orthodox position can be both clarifying and emboldening at such a time, giving Christians a clearer apprehension of the truth, of the lines that need to be defended, and of the willingness of their leaders to nail their own colours to the mast. Also, like a flare shot up over a darkened field of debate, it reveals where different people are positioned and where troubling movement has occurred.

“The Nashville Statement is a reassertion and defence of the creational reality of humanity, of the basic anthropological difference: that humanity is created and divinely blessed with fruitfulness as male and female. It is this reality that is under assault today on various fronts, as the natural order of creation is challenged by those who variously deny this difference, whether they reduce the sexed body to a superficial façade that can be changed, abandon substantive sexed selfhood for radical gender performativity, studiously downplay the ways in which the sexes are naturally physically and psychologically ordered to each other, or detach marriage from any procreative end or form. In standing against these developments, we aren’t expressing some peculiar or eccentric claims of Christian theology, but upholding creational realities that have been generally recognised across human ages and cultures.”

Other notable signatories from the United Kingdom on the growing list of endorsers of The Nashville Statement include:

  • Vaughan Roberts, Rector of St. Ebbe’s Church, Oxford
  • Michael Reeves, President & Professor of Theology, Union School of Theology
  • Dick Lucas, Reverend Prebendary, Rector Emeritus, St Helen’s Bishopsgate
  • William Taylor, Rector, St. Helen’s Bishopsgate

To read and sign The Nashville Statement, click here.



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