Local Church Sports Ministry and Gender Issues
The blogs in this series are excerpts from Dr. Linville’s yet to be released book. They explore the realities occurring in local church Sports Outreach Ministries in relationship to an evolving culture and shifting trends within sport, The Church and society in general. This blog examines the Creation Narratives as they specifically relate to homosexual activity and same gender marriage. The end goal of this Biblical exegesis is to aide local church Sports & Recreation Ministers comprehend, and proactively structure, their outreaches with theological clarity and relational love and sensitivity.
Introduction to the Process
The process for this series of blogs in terms of contemplating each of the passages, consists primarily of referencing the work of others: scholars, apologists, preachers, thinkers and then articulating the issues and drawing a few conclusions.
Creation Narrative Accounts –Genesis 1 & 2
There is a definite difference of opinion about the Creation Narratives when it comes to determining a biblical ethic regarding homosexual activity.
Dr. Mel While states the narrative accounts say nothing about homosexuality and therefore can’t be used to condemn homosexual activity and relationships. Kevin DeYoung has a completely different take on the Creation narratives. I believe DeYoung would agree with White to the point that the word homosexual is not used anywhere in the passage yet his main rationale for determining the passage condemns such activity is based on a much more significant biblical/theological foundation. In essence, DeYoung utilizes a valid theological principle in regards to hermeneutics (bible interpretation) called biblical apriori. This means the bible communicates doctrines, and the ethics that emerge from such doctrines, in overarching themes which are found throughout the bible. For DeYoung, the Creation Narratives clearly establish the foundation for the broader biblical support of hetero-sexuality and marriage being reserved for one man and one woman. On the importance of biblical aprioris, I believe White would agree with DeYoung, although not as DeYoung interprets this passage. As I understand White, he uses the apriori strategy to support his position for love being the highest ethic (see below). White would not agree Genesis 1&2 support traditional hetero-sexual marriage.
I would encourage everyone to read DeYoung’s clearly articulated 5 rationales for believing Genesis 1 & 2 support marriage to be reserved only for one man and one woman, and also read White’s equally clear articulation of the Creation Narratives in his 5th premise of his apologetic for homosexual activity and marriage. The stark contrast could not be more apparent.
Identifying the Issues
If the Creation Narratives do in fact provide the foundation for hetero-sexual, monogamous marriage and activity as DeYoung believes, then White’s argument faces an arduous uphill battle. If White’s argument is irrefutable then at best, it leaves room for his main rationale for homosexual activity and marriage….which rests significantly on his 7th premise which raises the biblical apriori “love ethic” above all others.
As will become apparent over the next weeks, what a local church determines to be biblical (Level #1 Theological Truth) will greatly inform how they organize (Level #2 Philosophical Principles) and eventually expedite their Sports Outreach Ministry (Level #3 Methodological Models).
Next week’s blog will begin to explore Genesis 19 in regards to homosexual activity.
This blog is an excerpt from Dr. Linville's yet to be released book. All rights reserved. For any reproduction right, including copying, computer reproduction, etc. contact:
Dr. Greg Linville at CSRM International C/O The World Outreach Center 5350 Broadmoor Circle N. W. Canton, Ohio – USA 44709 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Other blogs and articles on Local Church Sports, sports theology and ethics written by Dr. Greg Linville are archived at: www.csrm.org
A Plea For Grace
This set of blogs discusses the most socially charged issue of the current day. The author is seeks truth; desires to provide both questions and answers to further the discussion; engage in civil discourse; and most importantly provide a haven for love and grace. I encourage all readers to: “know your mind, but not have your mind made up.” As Martin Luther stated, I believe we should be open to being persuaded by Holy Scripture and evident reason (logic). I start by asking for grace when I don’t use the right term to describe something or someone, and I plead for forgiveness when I offend someone due to my own fallen nature which may lead to unintentional insensitivity, ignorance or hurtful language. My intent is not to hurt or injure anyone, but rather, it is to seek Christ’s will for all of us who are attempting to follow Jesus as we travel this path together.
Recommended Books & References consulted for this series of Blogs – A select list…
Dr. Greg Linville was one of the founding members of CSRM and has served as the Executive Director since 2000. He served for 15 years as a local church sports and recreation minister and coached over 30 years at the junior high, high school and collegiate levels as well as 30 years in rec. leagues. Dr. Linville has consulted with churches from Australia, Africa, Asia, Australia, Caribbean, Europe, New Zealand and North America. He was awarded the world's first honorary Doctorate in Sports Ministry and holds an earned Doctorate as well. He is the author of Christmanship: The Theology of Competition & Sport. Dr. Greg has been married for over 35 years, is the father of two married children and the grandfather of a growing number of grandchildren.