Thursday, December 19, 2013

Getting our ducks in a row

  • Frank Turk I'm not sure the entertainment stars in the media are for Christ, either.

    Frank Turk
    Let's be clear on my statement - I don't doubt Phil's faith in spite of his dubious denomination. I doubt he's on A&E for the Glory of God or the promulgation of the Gospel. His job, if we can say it that way, is to make duck calls and make us laugh -- and make money.
  • In that, he's neither a theologian or a missionary: he's not reformed (small "r") like you and me, Michael. He doesn't have a theology of vocation -- or even, it seems to me, a decent ecclesiology. With all of that stacked up, I can't see how his "preaching" (or maybe more accurately: punditry) is "for Christ." It's "for Phil".
  • I have to admit that I am also not a fan of dehumanizing people to tell them they are sinners. I agree with the statement that homosexuality is a sin, but let's face it: is it a sin simply because of plumbing issues? I think that's actually the culture-loser and the person-loser.

    Michael Foster
    Where is this dehumanizing? Did I miss something (seriously)? Robertson's focus on body parts and how they work is in line with Scripture consist abominating of homosexuality as unnatural.

    Frank Turk
    I agree that homosexuality is unnatural. Reducing it to body parts is dehumanizing.

    Aaron Snell
    Wait, Frank, I'm confused. I thought you said Thabiti nailed it in his gag-reflex post. Isn't Robertson's interview merely an application of that argument?

    Frank Turk
    a bad application of that argument, but one application.
  • just because the used a principle I would endorse doesn't mean he did out well. he chose poorly.

We need to sort out a number of issues here:

i) One can raise legitimate issues about some of Phil's theology:

ii) One can also raise issues about his mixed motives. Is he in it for the money? Of course, making money is not inherently sinful. He's a businessman. That's how he supported his family. A more charitable interpretation is that he does the show for the money, but once it became a hit, he seized the opportunity to use it as a Christian witness. 

iii) One could object that cast members have a worldly lifestyle. One could also object that the show reinforces the Hollywood stereotype of Southerners as redneck buffoons. 

iv) But all that misses the point. If the homosexual lobby is attacking him because, rightly or wrongly, they perceive him to be a Christian, then an attack on Phil is an attack on Christians:

"Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil's lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe," said GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz.
Whether or not he's a true Christian representative, if that's what he symbolizes to the homosexual lobby, then they are attacking Christian sexual morality in the person of Phil Robertson. Even if their perception is off-target, that's what they are aiming for. It doesn't matter what he is, but what he represents (from the viewpoint of GLAAD et al.). 

Now, if he said something essentially wrong, that would be different. But since he said something essentially right, we should support him. 

v) I don't know why Frank takes issue with the "plumbing" comparison. Seems to be that Phil's comparison is just a graphic illustration of Paul's natural law argument in Rom 1. 

1 comment:

  1. Also, the Robertsons, as far as I know, are laymen. The standard of theology for a laymen is less than a minister or other person involved heavily with theology. Furthermore, I don't see anything in the Church of Christ's stance on Baptism that is inherently different than Lutheranism, which also teaches that Baptism is "necessary for salvation," and I doubt that many Protestants want to say Lutherans are committed believers in works-based salvation. Now, that isn't to say Church of Christ theology is good, or even that it makes any logical sense, but I don't think you can judge a lay person based on the rather confused theology of their denomination.