Michael Bird on the Nashville Statement

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TylerR's picture


I disagree with Bird's position, and I think his fence-straddling approach is just what apostates are looking for to drive a truck through. On The Briefing ​recently, Mohler gave a good synopsis of the different categories of responses he predicts the Nashville Statement will receive:

So when you see something like the Nashville Statement released, you’ll see at least four different patterns of response, and we need to pay attention to what those four patterns of response are.

  1. On the one hand you have those who read it understand it immediately to have the ring of biblical truth. They understand that it’s not only true but that it needed to be said. And they will emphatically support it.
  2. Secondly, you will have those who are a bit more reticent. They’re going to say I know that’s what the Bible says. But do you really have to say that out loud?
  3. The third response is people who say I don’t think that’s right. I’m not sure why I don’t think it’s right, but I’m not comfortable saying that, and I wish you hadn’t said it.
  4. And the fourth response is we operate from an entirely different worldview. You’re absolutely wrong evangelicals when you set out the national statement, and we’re going to correct you, and we’re going to repudiate you.

That is what happened here, I believe. I actually place Bird's position between 2 and 3. Here is an important distinction to make:

  1. We respect the people ​who are lost as fellow image bearers of God, and we respect them enough to understand their point of view so we can better present the Gospel
  2. But, we should not respect their pagan positions and opinions on God, the Gospel, Christ or sin or morality, etc.

I respect the person. I don't respect their pagan views. This is why, for example, I've read Matthew Vines' book, and have James Brownson's book and plan to read it soon. I want to understand the opposing position so I can better witness to these people, but I don't concede that their apostate positions deserve respect. I respect the people affected, but not their views. That is a distinction.

I don't respect our culture's shrill, deluded take on sexual identity, and I won't concede an inch on this. I think Bird would like to, for noble but misguided reasons. He is soft all over on this. The only reason why he is soft, I believe, is because he is being influenced by the cultural confusion about gender and sexuality, and is willing to make huge ​concessions in the interest of "fairness" and "witness." He's trying to straddle the fence. You can't do that on this issue.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?