Gender Debate Blues

New Warhorn Media post by Nathan Alberson:

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I wish I could say I groaned at the orchestra joke, but instead I laughed out loud. Anyway…

Thank you for this episode.

Really, all you did was deal with rhetoric. What people don’t realize when they latch onto an article like this and love it is that it is always a setup for the sort of terrible thing he said in the middle, even when the author is smarter and avoids saying it.

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It really is Orwellian doublespeak, and that’s all there is to it.

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This was really good:

Nathan: You even say “fetuses are destroyed”–I have a visual picture that I can latch onto that’s icky. I understand “fetuses are destroyed” isn’t good; but you even go that far and suddenly I’m imagining something. But you say, “pregnancy is terminated,” it becomes abstract. And that’s how liars lie, by making things into abstractions… And so for Case Thorpe to just use the world’s abstractions–

Ben: Yeah yeah yeah, I think what gets me the most is the lie inherent in just doing that, in making your language abstract, which is, “If you mask your language in a way that’s nice, the other people will play nice too.” But all that’s happening is that their abstractions are hiding the violence of mutilating children and killing babies.

Nathan: They’re not playing nice.

Ben: They’re not playing nice, and you are rendering yourself impotent to oppose them by pretending there’s no violence here, we’re nice people, these are abstract things, we can discuss them in a reasonable way–and by reasonable I mean, “What sounds reasonable to you? Because I want to talk in a way that I think will please you.” And once you give that over, you’re done.

(Emphasis mine)


@bstormcrow is an intelligent fella. :slight_smile:

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I’ve been in that conversation where the other person is so cool, so smooth, speaking in favor of such violence and wickedness (kidnapping children in this case) and the whole game is the rhetoric. Somehow it seems like they’re the reasonable one and you’re the madman.

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What I don’t understand about TGC is this: exactly whose agenda are they promoting here? I’ve met several contributors to TGC and none of them would go anywhere near promoting the LGBT/trans agenda. They are as actively committed to biblical sex roles as anyone here.

So what’s going on - are Moore, Mohler, Keller, Dever, and whoever sitting in a dark room somewhere trying to figure out how to undermine biblical anthropology?

Why isn’t this obvious to the board at TGC? And if it is, what’s the end goal here? Why?


I don’t think they are in a dark room. They are right out in public. Mohler has embraced “sexual orientation.” Keller’s wife is a leader in the PCA. Russel Moore says stupid things about how we need to “have room for Beth Moore.” And he “doesn’t know anything about Revoice.”

I think the end-game is acceptance in the eyes of the Christ-hating academic and political worlds. They will never get there. That’s not how it works.

It’s sad.


Sometimes it feels like pure carelessness. Like they’re just desperate for content. Like their editors don’t even read the articles that they publish. That’s the best, kindest spin I can put on it.


I think this article is actually a great piece of the puzzle in answering that question. Back up a bit and ask yourself what position this article espouses big picture. The answer is “a biblical sexual ethic” to the undiscerning. More than that, it does so in a way that is “positive and winsome,” not to mention sounding capital I “Intelligent” in the process. What’s more, it rallies a whole ‘nother denomination to your side in the defense of such an ethic with a man of importance and influence from the EPC writing it, and TGC publishing it. And most importantly, it does so without raising the hackles on any liberals, so you don’t get attacked for being a nasty “fundamentalist” or “ultra-conservative” or whatnot.

Add it all together and what you have is a set of commitments, which can be summed up with standing for truth without fighting. Sadly, a true biblical sexual ethic isn’t even in the list because they don’t have enough discernment to realize the difference between purity and celibacy. So they’ll publish anybody who says “I don’t believe in homosexuality” even if he’s actively promoting a form of homosexuality, just as long as he says it very nicely.


Yes and amen.

Another reality is that TGC’s original purpose, in my estimation, makes them prone to reductionism in theology. Topics get sorted out into “gospel-issues” ™ and "not gospel-issues"™. The difference between the two is often arbitrary and subject to change depending on how the culture is currently reacting to Evangelicalism (i.e. our “witness to the world”).

I have a working theory that, in the same way that the Emergent Church movement of the mid 2000’s was a (over)reaction against Evangelical fundamentalism, the ethos of TGC is a similar reaction, but tempered by having seen the Emergents fly off into full-blown-heresey. The result is a need to maintain “conservative” bona fides while ceding as much ground as possible (on non-gospel-issiues™) to the culture.

Edit to add: Has anyone ever done a deep-dive into TGC’s founding documents? I remember some hullabaloo a year or so ago over some SocJus language in them. If I’m not mistaken, Keller pointed out that the same language has always been in there since TGC’s founding around 2005 or whenever. I think it would be very instructive in distilling Kellerite theology with the added benefit of seeing how it’s actually worked itself out over the past 15 years.


I like all the answers already given, especially this one:

But I also think some of the blame resides with their understanding of ‘Contextualization’. Whole books and articles have been written about it but the fruit of it has been 1) a theological justification for imaging the culture and 2) ceding/compromising the truth in order to do it. Therefore 3) the culture becomes the filter for everything, which is another way to say it is now a functional authority.

Just a few days ago Keller tweeted out “It’s true that we must bring the gospel to the city. But we should also recognize how much the city brings the gospel to us.”

It’s true they are cowards avoiding a fight. But they are clever cowards. They don’t want to be seen as cowards backing down from a fight so they’ve positioned themselves to never have to fight. If the city brings the gospel to us then who are we to fight against anything the city says is gospel?


Totally agree. The drive for “respectability” is very destructive.

Of course you could replace “TGC” with “the Republican Conservative establishment” here and still be correct. :grinning:


I literally LOL’s when I saw that Keller tweet. Sometimes he’s like The Sphinx from the movie Mystery Men.

This is it in a nutshell.

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