From Hippo to Nashville

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AndyE's picture

I'm sure this reflects poorly on me but I can't make heads or tails of what Trueman is trying to say.  I have no idea what his point is.

Bert Perry's picture, I think, that Nashville is addressing sexual behaviors, but in the minds of many/most who practice them, their sin has crossed over into a sexual identity.  Think the first chapter of Romans.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Donn R Arms's picture

Thanks AndyE. I thought I was simply too obtuse to follow this. That still may be true, but you have given me hope.

Donn R Arms

WallyMorris's picture

Perhaps Bert can clarify his connection between Rmns 1 and sexual identity. I think I know what he means, but maybe some clarification.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

Aaron Blumer's picture


On this topic, Trueman should move on. The purpose of the whole document was to present something biblical to help carve out a clear stance in the midst of growing confusion. What he's complaining about.... would have to be a different sort of document entirely and couldn't serve the same purpose.

Romans 1 is pretty abused these days. One key to getting it right is to pay close attention to the context, especially how the sequence begins and ends.

  • It begins with a declaration that God's wrath has been revealed Rom 1:18
  • It discusses why the expression of wrath (judgment) was justified and how it progressed: Rom. 1:19-32
  • God's activity in the judgment involves mostly removal of restraints (Rom 1:24, 1:26)
  • The judgment ends in a group of people guilty of "envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness" who are "gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless" who, despite their blindness, somehow still know better  (Rom 1:29–32)

The list of sins these folks commit includes homosexual indulgence along with lots of other stuff. It's not really about "identity" or "orienation."

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

AndyE's picture

WallyMorris wrote:

Perhaps Bert can clarify his connection between Rmns 1 and sexual identity. I think I know what he means, but maybe some clarification.

I’m not clear on what Trueman is saying and don’t want to speak for Bert, but here is how I view the connection.  Paul refers to homosexual lusts as dishonorable passions in Rom 1:26. This is significant because some people want to identify themselves according these lusts or this orientation.  But Paul says in Col 3:1-7 that a believer’s identity is now hidden in Christ. As such Christians are to put to death what is earthly, including these passions, lusts, and evil desires.  It’s not enough to say, I’m a gay Christian but I live a life of purity by abstaining from the lusts of my orientation.  Scripture says we are to go further because our identity is not what our old man was in his actions or thoughts but who we now are in Christ.  So we don’t just live with these evil desires, we seek to put them to death.  This, of course, goes for all evil desires, not just unnatural ones.  This is where I think the Nashville statement is weak and maybe, but who can tell, this is Trueman’s point, too.

TylerR's picture


AndyE - I think you've captured Trueman's point. I suspect he was rushing to write the thing, late one Sunday night, and didn't put the time into it that he usually does!  

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government.

M. Osborne's picture

I'm going off memory here, so hopefully I'm not conflating Trueman with other speakers. If I recall correctly, in other contexts...

Trueman has said that sure, preachers always call sinners to repentance, and always call sinners to give things up and deny themselves. But for those who have subscribed to the homosexual identity narrative, that call is a call to give up and change their very identity. When you call on a man to give up lying and adultery and drunkenness and fraud, you're indeed telling him to repent and humble himself and change, but he doesn't often push back and say, "But this is who I am." So those who subscribe to homosexual "identity" feel the call to deny themselves in a way that many others might not.

Michael Osborne
Philadelphia, PA

Bert Perry's picture

It's fairly simple; Trueman is asking readers to address the causes, not just the symptoms.  Well, if you follow Romans 1 back from the verses about homosexual acts, you find that, whether or not the person with the sin knows it, that the ultimate cause is that people chose not to know and honor God, right?  This is also what many Reformed thinkers are linking to ESS; if we are going to address the integrity of the family structure properly, the nature and character of God needs to be foremost in our minds, not an afterthought. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.