Research and Development

What is the Nashville Statement and Why Does it Matter?

On August 29, 2017, The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood released a statement affirming a conservative evangelical view of gender and sexuality. It has been endorsed by a wide variety of evangelical leaders. Containing a preamble and fourteen articles, the Nashville Statement is labeled as a Christian manifesto on human sexuality.  The statement asserts that marriage is  defined as a union between one man and one woman and that sexual intimacy should only pursued within this context. The statement addresses the issue of transgenderism by asserting that, “the differences between male and female reproductive structures are integral to God’s design for self-conception as male or female.” The statement clearly expresses that regardless of sexual desire or genital abnormalities, those desiring to follow Christ and submit to His scriptural mandates regarding gender are capable of living a fruitful life pleasing to God.

Although this statement does not make any explicitly unbiblical claims, there was significant media coverage and backlash. This is no doubt in part due to those who signed this statement. Notable signees are as follows: John Piper, Christopher Yuan, Wayne Grudem, John MacArthur, Francis Chan, Rosaria Butterfield, along with many other well-known professors and theologians.

The House for All Sinners and Saints in Colorado responded with their own treatise they call the Denver Statement. Mirroring the structure of the Nashville Statement, it denies that God restricts marriage and gender identity to cis-gendered, heterosexual definitions. Variety in gender and sexual expression are not a result of the Fall but are rather a component of human flourishing. They affirm that same sex attractions are part of God’s original intent for creation and that gender is not bound to biological sex characteristics.

Most conservative evangelicals agree that the Nashville Statement does not present any new information regarding the intersection of Christianity and sexuality. However, the content is not the only element of the Nashville Statement that is to be considered. Some have criticized the statement for being contradictory to Jesus’ command to love. Nashville's mayor Megan Barry tweeted that “[the] so-called ‘Nashville Statement’ is poorly named and does not represent the inclusive values of the city & people of Nashville.” Though the statement does not reflect the views of Nashville it large, historic Christian documents have always adopted the names of the cities in which they were adopted. Additionally, taking a stand for something as true is not un-loving. Jesus never stopped loving people but was often condemned for taking “unpopular” positions. The Nashville statement stands on strong biblical grounds and was communicated graciously with hope for all people.

 

 

What is a gay man’s role in the church?

Christopher Yuan, speaker, author, and Bible teacher, is a man who’s journey has taken
him from academia’s best and brightest to prison and eventually into the arms of Jesus.

His parents were first-generation immigrants from China who raised him with traditional Chinese
values. He abandoned them after he was suspended from his university, a mere three months
away from receiving his doctorate, for drug possession and distribution. This, however, did not
stop him from continuing in his preferred lifestyle. Yuan sold drugs on a mass scale and spent
his free time in clubs hooking up with men and getting high. When he was eventually caught
possessing the street equivalent of nine tons of marijuana in his apartment, he was sent to
prison. While there he discovered he was HIV positive and at the lowest point in his life found a
bible in the trash which changed him forever. He became a believer and follower of Christ.

Now he tours the world, along with his mother, sharing his story with whoever will listen.
He advocates for the gospel’s call to all people to be holy, and for what this holiness looks like
on all fronts. He is particularly vocal about the topics of “sexuality, singleness, addictions, HIV
and the gospel,” because of where he has been on his life’s journey.

He has recently signed—and vocally supports—the Nashville Statement; given his
struggles with same-sex attraction, his story offers a unique perspective on the issue. He signed
it “for the sake of gospel clarity among evangelicals;” he believes the document is an accurate
assessment of the biblical position on issues of gender and sexuality. He affirms that God loves
people with gender dysphoria and same-sex attraction and his grace covers all stripes, but he
does not approve of all actions. There has been some significant bite-back against the
statement itself but Yuan welcomes questions and interaction from all sides. He believes that
remaining firm in biblical truth is crucial and that it must be communicated with love to all
people, particularly to those who have similar struggles to his own. He has found his role in the
church to be the same as everyone else’s: to spread, with love, the saving truth of Jesus Christ
to the world.

A Single Man's Guide to Relationships

A Single Man's Guide to Relationships

I think being in a relationship is like a writing a novel. You become inspired with the idea for your story and at first writing it can be easy, but once you realize you have to finish the whole thing you’re like “what the heck have I gotten myself into?” Anyways, I think dating and marriage have a lot of stigma today so I want to share some of my thoughts on them. I hope it helps.

 

The Gospel According to America

In the past few years, Christian leaders like Platt have challenged Americans to consider how cultural worldview impacts our understanding of the gospel. Entire books have been written and studies has been constructed to explore how values that have become deeply rooted in society, the values that drive social behaviors and expectations, shape spirituality.

What is a Real Man?

  The idea of masculinity is complex and often paradoxical. It is not a one size fits all kind of thing. A blanket statement cannot be made to define what is masculine and what is not. Men are unique and different from one another. Throughout this article, I will present two extreme examples of masculinity and then attempt to nail down a Biblical definition of masculinity that takes the positives from both extremes but meets somewhere between the two.

Childlike Adulting

Leyda quotes M.I. Wilkins who says, “Childlikeness is a characteristic of all true disciples, because it is only through God’s mercy that a person can enter the kingdom and find the greatness that comes from having one’s sins forgiven and being invested with kingdom life (p. 613 qtd in Leyda, 325)”. Thus, as Christians, it is exactly our acknowledgement of our lowliness that lets us see our need for him.

Jesus' Command: Our Culture's Taboo

esus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). Christ commanded his disciples to disobey our cultures rule of self-obedience. From major life decisions to minor life decisions, God calls Christians to consistently deny themselves.

Christians and Mental Illness

As I got older, my parents got divorced, and I struggled with body image issues, and my anxiety went through the roof. My family knew that something was wrong, and I was very resistant to outside help. I thought that good Christians should not struggle with anxiety, that if I had more faith I could just make it all go away

Creating Communities of Grace

The most important and most foundational is practicing the art of listening. While it may sound simple at first glance, the kind of listening I’m referring to here rarely happens naturally in our culture. I’m talking about creating a space where people genuinely find that their voice is being heard. This king of listening is a discipline.

Learning from Culture: A Lesson from 'Hamilton'

When cultural phenomena happen, we have several options of how we are going to respond: condemn, critique, copy, or consume (Andy Crouch, Culture Making). The danger, however, comes when we only view culture through one of these lenses (Andy Crouch, Culture Making). Therefore, there are aspects of culture that we should be willing to view with an open mind because they can ultimately have a positive impact on culture.