The New Orthodoxy and Me

rainbowcrossFor the last few years, I’ve been impressed with a growing number of writers and bloggers, mostly from Methodist circles, but from some other traditions as well who seem to be carrying the Neo-Orthodox/Post-Liberal banner that had seem somewhat dormant for a while. I’ve been attracted to this stream of Protestantism after finding both evangelicalism and liberal Protestantism wanting in different ways.  Writers like Allan Bevere, David Watson, the boys over at Via United Methodists and others echo some of the same feelings I’ve been thinking about God, Jesus and the church.  They show a different way of being within mainline Protestantism.  It is more focused on the importance of salvation, atonement, sin and grace which sadly has become a counter-movement against the spiritually relative ethos in the mainline (at least among the elite).

But while I am thankful for this small movement, I am also left with some wariness about this movement when it comes to the issue of sexuality.  Is there room for LGBT people in this movement?

I’m probably an odd duck: a gay Christian that has an orthodox theology. That’s not how it usually goes: most churches that tend to be gay-friendly, also tend to be quite progressive in their theology.  Many gays would tend to have a more liberal theology.  (Small-o orthodox doesn’t mean conservative.) But I’ve never felt comfortable with the standard liberal theology.  Post-liberal theology is a far better fit for me. ( I know that I’m not the only gay person that doesn’t fit the usual profile.)

But a good part of these writers haven’t said much about sexuality.  Some writers, like the late William Placher, were gay friendly.  But what about other bloggers?  I understand there is still disagreement on this issue and I’m not asking that this movement start excluding those who have different views on sexuality.  But I am wondering if there is room for me.  So, how does sexuality fit in this neo-orthodox/ post-liberal milieu?

I’m looking forward to your answers.

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What Am I?

question markA while back I had a discussion with a fellow pastor who is an evangelical.  I shared some of my own frustrations within mainline denominations and he suggested that I am still an evangelical in many ways.

This has me wondering at times what best describes my theology.  In many ways I do exhibit more evangelical tenets, but the general stance on homosexuality means I couldn’t be a pastor in that context.  However, I really don’t fit liberal Christianity either.  I agree that social justice is important, but at times I feel that God gets pushed aside for what ever issue taking center stage.

So, I’m a gay guy that doesn’t see being a gay a sin, but who has a very traditional theology when it comes to the nature of God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit?

This makes me a rainbow colored unicorn.

There are some adjectives that come close.  Maybe post-evangelical.  I did have a keen interest in reading some of the post-liberal and neoorthodox theologians while in seminary.  Over those three, neo-orthodoxy tends to be the term that best describes me because it seems to be a mediating theology between evangelicalism and liberal theology.  The downside, is I don’t know if anyone is considered neo-orthodox anymore.

As usual, I tend to not fit the perceived definitions.  Maybe that’s okay.