Christian Theology, Psychology, & Homosexuality :. Foundations for Loving Your Neighbor. Dallas Theological Seminary World Evangelization Conference March 12, 2013 C. Gary Barnes, ThM, PhD [email protected] Adapted from Stanley Grenz, Mark Yarhouse and Tim Keller.
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Four Stages of Redemptive History in the Bible:
For our present purposes, two themes for each of the four stages will be identified.
In the creation account we uniquely see what life was like before the negative effects of the fall. In the creation account we see that:
1) Sex is Glorious
2) Sex is Greater than the Individual.
As a result of the fall, all of creation has been tarnished. Under this condition, sin disconnects all things that God designed to be connected and disconnects all things from their deeper true meaning and purpose. As a result of the fall:
1) Sex is not dirty
2) Sex is derailed.
Christian theology teaches us that God in His mercy did not leave us in our sin. The good news of the gospel is that God intervened through His Son Jesus Christ. This redemption has transforming power on the natural ill effects of sin on sex, and now, we may see
1) Sex as a Celebration
2) Sex as a Crucible
Glorification is the last major act of redemptive history, culminating with Jesus returning as rightful ruler over all things. Since the negative effects of the fall will be fully redeemed, we can see
1) Sex as an Earthly Reminder
2) Sex as a Heavenly Pointer
The most significant and useful psychological end point is sexual identity. Under this primary focus of sexual identity, four points will be discussed
“There is no consensus among scientist about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings emerged that permit scientist to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.” (www.apa.org/topics/sorientation.html#whatcauses)
A partial list of factors contributing to one’s identity may include:
Generally, researchers agree that young people who experience same-sex attraction will find themselves going through three stages:
The church must
understand and facilitate,
this difficult developmental process.
When the church attempts to control it,
They complicate it!
Identity in Christ Script.
Identity in Christ Script.
In a set of studies conducted by Yarhouse, Christians who adopted a gay identity label were compared to Christians who chose notto adopt a gay identity label.
The key question for all of us is this:
Exclusion can occur in three different ways:
“I have the truth and you don’t and we can’t
relate until you get my truth.”
compels us to apply connecting grace in four ways:
“In contrast, the Gospel Person says:
compels us with the ultimate example of
connecting gracein the Cross of Christ.