Rowan Williams & N. T. Wright & Sharia Law

Some of you may have missed it but recently the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams suggested that Britain might need to consider adopting portions of Islamic law (Sharia) to govern in Britain, particularly in the context of Islamic communities within Britain. Now, Williams went out of his way to say that the bad parts of Islamic law shouldn’t be allowed, insisting that only the more benign parts be considered as potentially valuable contributions. It seems what Williams was contending for was the idea of a pluralistic society embracing supplementary jurisdictions, while still being, in some fuzzy unexplainable way, responsible to a overarching universal law. This would be, in Williams words,

a scheme in which individuals retain the liberty to choose the jurisdiction under which they will seek to resolve certain carefully specified matters, so that ‘power-holders are forced to compete for the loyalty of their shared constituents’

When someone introduces the notion of individuals retaining the liberty to choose the jurisdiction they will be adjudicated under one gets a vision of market place legal arrangements where individuals can shop for the best overall deal.

The Arch-Bishop ended his lecture by saying,

…if what we want socially is a pattern of relations in which a plurality of divers and overlapping affiliations work for a common good, and in which groups of serious and profound conviction are not systematically faced with the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty, it (supplementary jurisdictions) seems unavoidable.

Now here we have some observations and questions.

1.) Who or what determines the common good? An Islamic answer to what is the common good is going to be different than a Christian answer to what the common good is. A culture of feminism is going to define the common good differently then a culture of Muslims. Whose law or what law or which law will be used in order to decide that question?

The Arch-Bishop assumes a common understanding of a common good. That misplaced assumption is the sand in the gears of his thinking on this subject.

2.) The Arch-Bishop seems to be awakening to the difficulties of any culture being anything but homogeneous. The genesis of the Arch-bishops difficulty is that heterogeneous people are sitting up shop in the same geographic location and that is creating the kind of problems one would expect to find when people of vastly different worldviews become neighbors. His answer is to set up competing but complimentary law systems, which I would think in time would have to give way to competing religious systems, competing familial systems, etc. The Arch-Bishop seems to recognize the problems of the ‘secular’ State providing the totalistic structure under which diverse people are governed. The Arch-Bishop’s answer seems to be to try and find ways to set up competing law systems, but I have to wonder if competing law systems would lead to an amelioration within individuals of conflicted loyalties between culture and state but rather would lead to an intensification of competing loyalties between culture and state due to the inevitable balkanization that would of necessity occur.

3.) Williams seems to understand that if non-enculturated people have to choose between the culture they belong to or what they perceive to be the alien State that is ruling over them the culture will win every time. His suggestion to solve this is to make the State more alien culture friendly by introducing supplementary jurisdiction. One can’t help but wonder though if this becomes a story of the puppy who was allowed to sleep only on the corner of the bed, who, once he got older, ended up covering so much of the bed that the owner was the one sleeping on the corner. Having acquired a taste of ‘supplementary jurisdiction’ why won’t non-enculturated people keep demanding more and more and if they do how do the host people say ‘no’?

What Williams is realizing is that law is religious and that culture is totalistic and when alien cultures are introduced to homogeneous cultures what transpires is either conflict or change, and if change is what transpires then change has to come in the direction of the host culture or in the direction of the alien culture. Williams is, in effect, saying that the host culture must change in the direction of the alien culture.

Apparently many Englishmen, at some level understand that is what Williams is saying and have, understandably, raised a huge stink about what the Arch-Bishop has said.

Coming to the Arch-Bishops defense is another Anglican Bishop, N. T. Wright.

Wright offered the following in his defense,

Second, the fundamental issue Williams was addressing is the relation between the law of the land and the religious conscience of the citizen. For 200 years it has been assumed that these operated in separate spheres: the law regulates my public life, faith or religion operate in private. This was always a dangerous half-truth, since many of the great world faiths, including Christianity itself, actually claim that all of life is included within religious obedience. As some of us used to be taught, if Jesus is not Lord of all, he is not Lord at all. In recent years various governments, including our own, have pushed the other way, to suggest that the secular state is itself master of all of life, including religious conviction….Rowan was going to the roots of these problems and coming up not only with fresh analysis but fresh solutions, particularly what he calls ‘interactive pluralism’. The question of how we live together as a civil and wise society while cherishing different faiths is a deep and serious one and can’t be pushed away just because people take fright at certain misunderstandings. His point was precisely that neither the secular state nor any particular religion can ‘monopolise’.

First the great problem here (a problem that also exists in Williams Lecture) is the assumption that the State can be Secular. What Wright calls the secular State is not secular but rather is derivative of some kind of religious conviction. The problem is not one of the Secular state trying to be master of all of life, including the private sphere vs. alien religions trying to be master of all of life including the public square. The problem is that it is a contest between two different competing religions. The Secular State provides its own religion and that religion impinges upon the private realm of citizens causing conflict with citizens who don’t practice the civil religion of the State. On the other hand competing religions, being totalistic in their reach, will challenge the current State because it is not derivative of the alien cultures religions to which the adherents subscribe.

Second Wright’s problem is that he is still trying to carve out some kind of neutral realm where no religion or where all religions prevail. But even if he finds a arrangement where ‘neither the secular state nor any particular religion can ‘monopolise,’ he will have created the monopoly that requires that nobody can have a monopoly. Even if such an idee fixe could be created the requirements that it would take to maintain that idee fixe would constitute a monopoly that any other religion would not be allowed to go beyond. In short, totalistic arrangements or cultural monopolies are unavoidable and inevitable. The problem that Wright and Williams are rubbing up against is their reluctance to recognize that somebody’s religion must be in the ascendancy. The answer that they are offering to avoid this is to find a compromise religion (the ‘no monopoly religion’) that all can sincerely subscribe to while they pretend to give allegiance to their part time gods. Wright was correct when he said that ‘Jesus is Lord of all or He is not Lord at all,’ and to try and discover some system where Jesus wouldn’t be Lord of all, reveals that Wright has some problems in his Theology.

Third, Wright assumes that it is societally proper to cherish different faiths. That assumption is a religious one (the religion of multi-culturalism) and it may not be one that people of other religions cherish. Muslim societies don’t cherish other faiths and depending upon what Wright means by ‘cherish’ I’m not sure a genuinely Christian society should cherish other faiths either.

Look, when one gets right down to brass tacks some faith system is going to produce some law system. That law system will either reflect Muslim Sharia or it will reflect Christian Law categories, or as is most predominant in the West today, it will reflect humanistic law categories. The Islamic presence in the bowels of the West are presenting problems for the West precisely because they, unlike many Christians, have retained genuine allegiance to their God.

It sounds like the answer of Bishops like Williams and Wright is to yield to the demands of aliens in their midst. I don’t suppose that the option of turning away from both the law monopoly of Islam and the law monopoly of the pagan State and turning towards the Lordship of Christ in the area of law occurred to either one of them.

What’s Coming Down The Pike (Part II)

Of course Genesis hinted that the Gospel would be extended to the Gentiles, and if it turns out the traditionalist view of homosexuality is wrong I’m sure that our grandchildren will find lots of Biblical hints that we missed, too.

Are you arguing that homosexuality is a sexually compulsive behavior in a different sense than heterosexuality is a sexually compulsive behavior? Eating, drinking, and sleeping can all be compulsive behavior and if it’s compulsive, it’s a problem. If it causes harm to others, like Jeffrey Dahmer, it’s a problem. If it’s neither compulsive nor harmful to others, then I think you need to be sure you’re on solid ground before you condemn an entire group of people for having the same human desires for love and acceptance that you have.

First, we should note that Matt is playing with a relativistic Bible. It is not that the Biblical view of homosexuality is wrong but rather the traditionalist view. In Matt’s world the Bible has no objective meaning but rather its truth is reduced to ‘views.’

Second Matt has made the ‘no harm to others’ argument as being the foundation of why Buggery should be accepted without taking into account of how it harms people who are involved in it and without taking into consideration how the spread of it will harm others who get involved in it. Still, even were it true that mutually consenting Buggery doesn’t harm anybody Christians would still need to oppose it because God’s Word says it is sin.

Third, while people caught in Buggery do have the same human desire for love and acceptance that most people have they have twisted it and invoking the need for love and acceptance as a reason why that which is wicked should be brought into the Church is hardly convincing. Should love and acceptance from others in a twisted fashion be purchased at the cost of the hatred and rejection of God for defying His word?

I’m a fallen human with fallen human perceptions, so of course I can’t KNOW to a 100% certainty that I haven’t misinterpreted a particular text. Neither can you.

Once again Matt, you are revealing your relativistic undergarments. Since neither of us can allegedly have 100% certainty therefore we must allow for the possibility that anything could be true. The problem Matt is that you do claim 100% certainty in some areas. For example you seemingly are 100% certain that we can’t be 100% certain. How can you know with certainty that there is no certainty? I am not asking you to prove a negative. I am asking you to prove the affirmation that certainty can’t be had.

Can you give me some assurance that 22nd or 23rd Century Christians won’t be shaking their heads wondering how mainstream Christian thought in our time managed to miss the boat on homosexuality?I get your point that it seems obvious; well, so did “Ham shall be the servant of Shem forever” and Nehemiah’s ban on inter-racial marriage. And again, it wasn’t only the lunatic fringe that gave those passages a racist interpretation; 100 years ago it was mainstream.

Christians sometimes getting things wrong doesn’t prove that Christians don’t often times get things right. Following your reasoning would lead the Church to being ethically paralyzed. Maybe it really isn’t the case that pedophilia or bestiality is wrong. After all, we’ve been wrong about others things, maybe we are wrong about those things as well. Maybe we should take a wait and see attitude on moral questions such as grownups taking children into their beds. I mean, after all, those areas seem obvious also.

And you know what Matt? Your position demands that you allow for that since it is the only way that you can make wiggle room for the acceptability of Buggery. People no longer recoil at the thought of Buggery due to the success of mainstreaming that perversion but they still do recoil at the other perversions since those haven’t yet been successfully mainstreamed. The only way that people can even begin to take you half way seriously is because Buggery, due to cultural conditioning and political correctness, has eroded the Christian immune system.

Finally, this argument that we might regret not moving slower in our opposition to Buggery cuts both ways. You ask for ‘assurance’ that the Church of the future won’t be woefully regretting that the Christians of the present were so thick as to not see that we should have accepted Buggery in the Church. I could just as easily ask you for assurance that the Church of the future won’t be woefully regretting that the Christians today were so thick as to even begin to consider the legitimacy of Buggery in God’s Church. After all, Matt, there are also many cases in history also (The German Church between 1933-1945 comes to mind) where God’s people have refused to do what God clearly revealed should be done.

Maybe Matt we should ‘wait and see’ if this itching desire to embrace homosexuality in the Church isn’t more of that sort of nonsense?

Bret, you’ve just demonstrated why your side is losing this particular battle. You’re basically reduced to arguing that being gay is about nothing more than promiscuous sex and that it’s yucky, disgusting and repulsive. And that argument used to work before gay people started coming out of the closet. Now that most people actually know gay people and know that those stereotypes aren’t true, you may as well save your breath. It’s like arguments the Klan used to make about how Blacks are smelly and dirty and stupid and oversexed. Yeah, just enough Blacks fit that stereotype to keep it alive among racists, but people with Black co-workers and neighbors and Sunday school classmates stopped paying attention a long time ago.

I myself find the idea of gay sex repulsive. I also find the idea of eating sushi repulsive, but I don’t go around making doctrines about it.

No, Matt my side is losing the battle because they aren’t willing to call sin, ‘sin’ in the face of cultural pressure that opposer’s of God’s word, like you, bring. The Scriptures say do not be transformed to the World, and yet that is exactly what happens as the Church gives in to the voice of the serpent.

Let’s grant you your assumption above. Let us say, for the sake of argument that those who practice Buggery are clean, erudite, well-spoken, and a thrill to be around. That description fits some of my gay friends. Those facts don’t change anything Matt. God says all Buggery is sin, even the kind that finds lipstick on a pig. The fact that anybody would find Buggery repulsive or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is that God finds it repulsive.

Oh … and you’ll be glad to know that God hasn’t weighed in on sushi, therefore that is a red herring.

People see the blatant injustice of the regime you would impose. You yourself would never agree to live under the rules you would promulgate for gays; why should they?

I would never agree to live under the rules that God’s Word promulgate for pedophiles and pederasts either but the reason they should have to is because God’s Word says what it says. Sinners never want to live under the rules that God’s Word promulgates. That is one reason why they are called sinners. They desire there way above Gods.

Does the Bible say that all gay people go to hell 100%?

The Bible says that all who don’t trust Christ alone go to hell. The Bible also says that lifestyle Buggery is the kind of behavior that does not inherit the Kingdom of heaven. Those who struggle with the sin of buggery, like all sinners who are in Christ, must be constantly repenting of their sin.

What does it mean for a gay person to be repentant? It’s not exactly something you can turn on and off, if you follow me.

Somebody who is a kleptomaniac could make the same argument Matt. They could just as easily say, ‘stealing is not just something I can turn on and off,’ and yet we would say that the Holy Spirit of Christ can give us victory over sin. This would include the sin of kleptomania and the sin of Buggery. We would also say that there is forgiveness for where we fail in our struggle against sin.

My church has a gay couple. One of them started coming on his own after not coming to church for a while and, when we made him feel welcome instead of kicking him out, and he started to grow in the Lord. After he’d been coming for about a year he confessed that he had stolen some money from a former employer and needed to make restitution, and because of the growth he had experienced in our church, found the courage to do so. His partner got saved a while later and they started coming as a couple. His partner had a drug and alcohol problem which the Lord has delivered him from. I don’t see how anyone can claim that God isn’t working in their lives – a thief made restitution, and a drug addict is now clean and sober. And if we’d kicked them out, we would have missed the blessing of seeing it happen. If their relationship is sinful, maybe at some point God will deal with them about it. Maybe that won’t ever happen. But the fruits of new life in Christ are clearly evident. Yes, there were some righteous people in the church who were upset when they started coming. But the righteous were wrong in Jesus’ day, too.

Matt, can we come to Jesus while still embracing our sin? Does Jesus receive people who are willing to repent of some of their sins and not of other sins?

The fact that people become moral is no sure sign that God is working in their lives. Mormons, in many ways, are some of the most moral people you will ever meet but that doesn’t mean that God is working in their lives.

Matt if I had a young couple who were living together attending the Church I pastor and if one of them got saved I would tell them that they immediately need to either marry their live in or they need to quit being involved in that sinful lifestyle. I would tell them they could not serve to masters. And yet you want to suggest that because there is a little moral clean up, people knee deep in Buggery are model Christians.

Surely, we want to reach out to people struggling with the bondage of homosexuality but it is not reaching out or being kind to them by ignoring their bondage.

Besides Matt, why would you ever think that stealing and addictive habits are wrong? Maybe those are behavior patterns that we should take a ‘wait and see’ posture on. I am a little ashamed that your church might have brought pressure upon them to give up something that future generations of the Church might see as really being approved by God.

You’ve fallen into a trap often set by social conservatives that basically consists of thinking that because one standard is in error, that no standards are possible. No, being pro-gay has nothing to do with theft or substance abuse; each of those issues stands on its own merits.

It’s like the oft-repeated canard that liberals don’t believe in moral absolutes. Of course liberals believe in moral absolutes; they simply disagree with conservatives as to what they are.

And you are missing the reality that sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Perhaps it is the case that you would like substance abuse and theft to still be seen as sinful and wrong. But what of the ‘Substance abusers for Jesus’ lobby? Why shouldn’t we listen to their case that since the Church has gotten things wrong in the past that we should take a ‘wait and see’ posture about the sinfulness of substance abuse?

You want moral absolutes? Fine. Now prove them from Scripture. Do so would mean beginning to attempt what you haven’t even begun to attempt.

Lying is a sin, but in a case which someone sins by lying, there was another course of action they could have taken that would not have been sinful, i.e. telling the truth. But with being gay, there is no other way for them to go…they can’t just be straight. Since one sign of repentance seems to be stopping, as much as possible, the sin in question, then homosexuals can’t be repentant unless they’re just supposed to stop acting on it and ‘live a lie’ so to speak.

Are you actually arguing that stopping ones sexual urges is not possible? Are you actually arguing that being chaste isn’t possible?

Homosexuals can be repentant by not yielding their members to sin and when they stop acting on their sinful urges, they are for the first time ‘living the truth,’ so to speak.

What’s Coming Down The Pike (Part I)

The conversation started off with my making the following observation regarding homosexuality seeking to draw some comparisons,

What would people think if Wheaton College invited a pederast or pedophile or someone who likes to bed farm animals to come and declare that these kind of perversions are ‘justice issues.’ Now I think (definitely not sure) that people would freak out over such an invitation precisely because such perversions are clearly beyond the pale. After all, who is nut case enough to actually want to listen to that kind of disgust? Is an invitation, to come speak at a Christian college, extended to somebody who is pro-buggery, indicative of the fact that among Christians Homosexuality is no longer seen as beyond the pale – every bit as detestable as pederasty, pedophilia, or bestiality?

Matt the pro-buggery advocate chimed in,


If somebody wanted to argue that God smiles upon pedophilia I would be dying of curiosity to know what his argument is so I would be inclined to give him a hearing just to find out what he had to say, even while expecting to disagree with him.

To answer your question, my perception is that among most Christians, even conservative evangelicals, homosexuality no longer is beyond the pale. The conservative church isn’t quite ready to embrace it just yet, but that’s the direction in which things are moving.

And there are two possibilities. One possibility is that the traditional position is true, God hates it, and judgment is coming. The other possibility is that the Holy Spirit is moving and it is a justice issue, and fifty years from now the church will view its previous anti-gay prejudice with shame, much like racism. (The racists had a pretty impressive set of proof-texts too.) Since we can’t predict the future, maybe taking a wait and see approach isn’t a bad idea. The Holy Spirit has surprised us before.


Let’s get this straight… you’re saying that you would be willing to suspend disbelief that it is prima facie true that pedophilia is an abomination before God and you would allow that it is possible that there might be a legitimate Biblical argument that grown men having intercourse with children from the age of 3 and above is perfectly acceptable? You might expect to disagree with him but you are admitting that it is within the realm of possibility that you could agree with him.

Immediately we must hold as suspect everything you will now say in the future on any subject touching morality. If it is the case that your moral compass is so broken on the issue of pedophilia (and presumably pedestry and bestiality as well) why should we entertain what you have to say about buggery?

Second, I would say that Christians are likely apostate Christians if they accept buggery, though unfortunately I have to agree with you that the acceptance of buggery seems to be the direction the Church is moving. Still, you certainly wouldn’t argue that all because the German Church between the years 1933-1945 moved in the direction of seeing Jews as less than human that made the idea that ‘Jews are less than human’ to be true. Counting noses has seldom been shown to be a acceptable way at arriving at truth Matt.

Third, I categorically deny that there exists an equivalence between the issue of civil rights and homosexual rights that you are trying to introduce into the conversation. People are born black but there is not one shred of non-homosexual science anywhere that people are born buggers. Certainly the case can be made that differing amounts of skin melanin alone should not be the determining factor in how people are treated. People didn’t choose to be black, it is the way that God made them. However, people do choose to be buggers and if we start extending civil right to whatever perversion people choose what will happen is that the civil rights of people who don’t choose those perversions will be violated.

Fourthly, all because we can’t predict the future, that doesn’t mean taking a wait and see approach is a good idea. What should we, who oppose buggery, be waiting for? Should we be waiting until it becomes even more widely accepted before we accept it? Are we waiting for a homosexual Church to report a Pentecost experience thus proving the Holy Spirit is surprising us? Should we wait for the ‘Holy Spirit’ to whisper to us that God’s Word is wrong? What are we waiting for?

Good night, Matt, you could drive a Mack Truck through this reasoning. All because we can’t predict the future and all because the Holy Spirit has surprised us before we should therefore take a wait and see attitude towards prostitution, or towards mass murder, or towards pedophilia, etc.

Finally, the Holy Spirit has NEVER surprised us before by bringing into the Church sin. Even with the issue of race, which you are trying to glom on to in order to support this ‘line of reasoning,’ the Church, following the Scriptures and the Spirit, sought to fold the black man into the Christian faith.

Responding to another conversant Matt offered,

The attempted gang rape at Sodom is no more a fair reflection of all gays than Ted Bundy is a fair reflection of all heterosexuals.

But here’s what I see as the issue: If you had been asked to predict, in advance, that the Gospel would be extended to Gentiles, or that Messiah would have two comings, or the Protestant Reformation, I doubt you could have done it. In hindsight there were hints, but absolutely nobody saw any of those coming. How can you be so sure this isn’t yet another example of the same phenomenon?

Remember Gamaliel? When the Pharisees were wondering what to do about the church, he advised them that if it was of God they couldn’t stop it, and if it wasn’t of God it would die of its own accord. That’s not bad advice.

Actually Matt, the attempted gang rape as recorded in Genesis was intended to communicate that it was a fair reflection of all gays in Sodom. Also keep in mind that God’s anger was kindled against Sodom precisely because of the presence of sodomites — whether they were of the gang rape or non gang rape variety (Genesis 13:13). Still, perhaps you are right. Perhaps you can show me from Scripture that God’s disposition towards non-gang raping sodomites is different than His disposition towards gang raping sodomites.

Secondly, it was the Scriptures that were appealed to in order to teach the inclusion of the Gentiles and the two advent appearance of our Lord Christ. It was the Scriptures that were appealed to in order to bring about the Reformation. Are you suggesting that an appeal to Scripture will reveal to us that God is not only not opposed to Buggery but quite to the contrary, the Church having been wrong from Genesis onward, that God approves of Buggery? Is that what you are arguing? In short the way we can know that God being pro Buggery is not an example of another phenomenon like inclusion of the Gentiles is that Scripture doesn’t teach it.

Finally that God used Gamaliel’s advice to help the cause of His people doesn’t suggest that should be our response towards evil.

Here’s why I think it’s at least possible that Wallis may be right: the clear, unmistakable Biblical and historical trend is to include people who had previously been excluded. I know of no case in which God limits grace more narrowly than it had previously been understood; he always expands it and finds a way to bring people in. Wallis’s theology certainly fits that pattern.

What you’re missing here is repentance from Sin Matt. God always expands grace and determines to bring repentant people in. You are advocating a Gospel that has a God without wrath bringing people without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross (HT — Richard Niebuhr). Both you and Wallis are fitting into that pattern Matt.

Here’s what I think it will ultimately come down to: Is homosexuality something a person IS (like being a Gentile) that they have no control over, or is it something a person DOES (like fornicating). What exactly are we talking about here? Because if it turns out that we are talking about a fundamental part of a person’s identity – like being a Gentile – then I think it’s all over for the traditionalist position.

Well I will have to agree here Matt. If it comes down to finding a Buggery gene the Homosexuals will have won, temporarily. I say temporarily because if homosexuality is genetic and if homosexuals don’t breed then I’m not sure how they reproduce both themselves and their position. This is one reason I don’t believe that homosexuality is genetic because if it were genetic it would have largely died out and whatever presence it might have would be of such a minuscule report we wouldn’t be having this conversation. No, Buggery is either chosen or learned Matt. Ontologically speaking God did not constitute Man perverted though with the fall Man may certainly have predispositions to certain varying besetting sins.

What’s Coming Down The Pike (Introduction)

Recently I posted a link to an article on Wheaton College inviting pro-buggery Champion Jim Wallis to speak on their campus. After posting that link I entered into some conversation with a ‘Christian Homosexual’ advocate on the issue of Buggery in the Church. This is important because this issue has already torn apart the Episcopalian and Methodist Churches in the West and threatens to make serious inroads into other denominations. It is also important as it is being pushed in Government schools as I mention below. If pro-buggery arguments end up being successful in the Church and in the Schools and in the media then there will be no resisting a pro-buggery Church or a pro-buggery culture.

Now, I want to say at the beginning that an apologetic against these pro-buggery advocates on this issues isn’t going to make them go away, just as an apologetic against pro-Women in office advocates didn’t make that issue go away. I don’t make the arguments here with this gentleman (Matt) because I think that he is will see the light of day, though I certainly pray that he would. I make this argument because I think that it is possible that many Christians will end up accepting as reasonable some of the ridiculous arguments that Matt is making.

I also want to say that I believe sexuality is closely tied to the image of God in man. God made man male and yet as only male man wasn’t complete. In order to complete man as man God made woman. Together Adam and Eve were man and reflected fully the image of God, especially as that image reflected God’s intra-trinitarian communion. God made man and woman to correspond to one another in every way just as the members of the Trinity correspond to one another in every way. When we strike out at our sexuality we are striking at the way God constituted us. In my estimation when we attempt to crush and reorient our sexuality we are attempting to crush and reorient, in the most physical and tangible way possible both God and the image of God upon us. Sexual perversion then may be rebellion against God in its most thorough, highest, and complete expression.

This is why Buggery should be so adamantly opposed. We don’t oppose it primarily because it is ‘yucky’ (though it certainly is). We oppose it primarily because it may very well be the apex expression of the highest rebellion against God.

It is necessary for God’s people to familiarize themselves with this issue of socially accepted buggery, if only because it is being pushed on us from all quarters. Just today I came across the following news report,

Homosexual activists are making significant inroads in US schools, as a booklet titled, “Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation and Youth,” is set to be distributed to all 16,000 school districts in the country.

The 24-page booklet by the National Education Association and American Psychological Association, tells students that homosexuality is a “normal expression of human sexuality”.

The booklet particularly targets the idea that homosexuality is a condition that can be changed. It instructs educators, ‘Schools should be careful to avoid discussions of transformational ministry in their curriculum.’

Now of course the readers here the immediate fallacy of anything that begins it’s title with ‘Just the Facts…’ Readers here know that it is impossible to have ‘Just the Facts’ without a philosophy of fact and in the quote above we see that ‘Just the Facts’ is biased by the philosophy of fact that Buggery is acceptable.

With all that as introduction we move to the conversation that is coming to your Church just down the block, or from the college where your children are attending, or from your neighbor across the street.

The format here is what is called ‘fisking,’ which is a kind of point, counterpoint moving dialouge.

Natural Law And Cultural Engagement

But apologetic confrontation with unbelieving thought is not the only kind of interaction that Christians have with unbelievers. Christians are called not only to break down every pretension that sets itself up against Christ (2 Cor. 10:5) but also to live lives in common with unbelievers in a range of cultural activities. Christians may and even should make music, build bridges, do medical research, and play baseball with unbelievers. Believers are called to live in peace with all men as far as it lies with them (Rom. 12:18), to pray for the peace of the (mostly pagan) city in which they live (Jer. 29:7; 1 Tim. 2:1-2), and to interact in the world with people whom they would not admit to membership in the church (1 Cor. 5:9-11). There is a place for a believing musician to explain to an unbelieving musician that music is meaningless unless the triune God exists, but when they are rehearsing together in the community orchestra such a Van Tillian apologetic confrontation would be highly inappropriate—the task at that time is cooperation at a common cultural task. The same thing is true in regard to working on a construction site with non-Christians or grilling burgers with an unbelieving friend at a neighborhood cook-out or thousands of other ordinary endeavors. To try to put it briefly, we have different sorts of encounters with unbelievers at different times. Sometimes we have opportunity to engage in apologetic discussions, in which our modus operandi is confrontation and exposure of the futility of unbelief (though always in love). Other times (and probably most of the time for the ordinary Christian who is not a professional apologist) we have common tasks in which to engage alongside unbelievers, in which our modus operandi is trying to find agreement and consensus so that shared cultural tasks can be accomplished as well as possible in a sinful world.

Dr. David VanDrunen

Here VD offers as an appeal to Natural law the fact that it provides a means by which Christians and non-Christians can live their lives together. I’m not sure I understand how this serves as an argument for Natural law given that Christians who believe that Biblical law is to be the standard still manage to successfully engage in the kind of activities that VD mentions without embracing Natural law. Biblical law Christians understand that there is a time and a place for playing one’s flute in the local symphonic band and for invoking the law of anti-thesis when discussing how music has genuine meaning only if one presupposes the God of the Bible. I am not sure how believing in Natural law helps one to co-operate in common cultural task over and above believing that Biblical law helps one to co-operate in the common cultural task. Christians need to be salt and light and they cannot be salt and light unless they are positioned in places that are putrid and dark.

There is something else though that we need to mention here. The agenda of Westminster West teaches that the Scriptures do not speak to Musicology, Bridge building, Medical research, or playing baseball. According to the radical two Kingdomists the anti-thesis doesn’t exist in these areas and as such it is not possible to take captive thoughts in these areas to make them obedient to Christ because Christ doesn’t give biblically revealed thoughts on these disciplines. I am not sure that according to radical two Kingdomists that it is true that music doesn’t make sense apart the reality of the Triune God since the Scriptures are not about music.

As to VD’s statement that, ‘Christian modus operandi (must) try to find agreement and consensus so that shared cultural tasks can be accomplished as well as possible in a sinful world,’ we must emphasize that the agreement and consensus that we can find is only where the non-Christian is being inconsistent with their otherwise God hating Worldview. In other words, the fact that we can play beautiful music together with non-Christians in a local symphonic band is because the non-Christians, being gifted with common grace, have not yet worked out their God hating convictions to their inevitable conclusions. It is at least an open question if it would be biblically right, before God, to play in a symphonic band that was committed to preforming pieces and concerts that were dedicated in communicating that music was meaningless, just as it would be disobedience before God to support an art gallery that was committed to anti-art or stocked with works like Andrew Serrano’s Piss Christ.