Tom Gilson

A Conversation with Gay/Progressive Leader Brandan Robertson

I had a most interesting conversation on Thursday with Brandan Robertson, who’s a leading spokesman for gay and progressive Christianity, on everything from the character of Jesus, to the nature of the Bible, to Christianity’s connection to slavery. Not much on homosexuality; it wasn’t one of our topics this time.  We connected originally through an article I’d written at The Stream.

As always, there was more that could have been said. I’m still curious why he’s so critical of Jesus, whom he takes to be God in the flesh, and in the same light also, how he could think Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

He actually caught me off guard when he answered a certain question I’d asked, saying, “Inerrancy.” I hadn’t studied the history of that doctrine, but now that I’ve had a chance to look through it, I have trouble understanding how he could make the point he followed through on it with.  I believe he left the door open for more conversation, though, so maybe I’ll have a chance to ask him these things. I’d rather meet him over coffee, but I enjoyed the talk, and I’d do it again gladly this way, too.

I think he’s expecting we would talk about sexuality if we meet again this way. That’s been done a lot, though, and I don’t know what progress we could make without first walking through the one main issue he himself brought up near the end. Our differences really hinge on what we take to be our best sources, our authority, that which determines what we believe. I’m thinking that would be very interesting to talk about.

For enhanced audio — audio only, that is — visit the Thinking Christian podcast.


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5 thoughts on “A Conversation with Gay/Progressive Leader Brandan Robertson

  1. Tom, I have a daughter that is heading off to college. She is very intelligent and kind but she has been swayed by the lgtb culture. One of the big issues for her is the rejection of lgtb teens and the suicide rate among them. This is a blocker for her for Christianity. Philosophical arguments don’t have much sway for her. What does is social justice. We have agreed to read a book the other recommends. She wants me to read the one from Justin Lee, Torn, I think. She is also has a required text, “No Ashes in the Fire” by Darnell Moore, to read this summer before she heds to college. From what I can tell this author does not make any kind of an argument as to why the ltgb worldview is right. Rather, he focuses on his life story, the hardships of ltgb teens, the “oppression” that ltgb people suffer at the hands of conservatives and his effort to support lgtb community. I respond to philosophical arguments. So I would naturally pick a book that addresses that part of the lgtb worldview. But since she does not respond to that I was thinking your new book on “Too Good to be True”. What are your thoughts? Thank you

  2. Hi, Steve, and thanks for asking. My heart hurts for you. So much at stake, and I know you must really love your daughter.

    The “oppression” she’s opposed to is partly real, partly a matter of disagreement (they think it’s oppression when we say it’s wrong and harmful, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s true), partly a matter of confusion (people who aren’t Christ-followers but claim to be, for example); but I think mostly by far it’s a matter of PR manipulation by gay activists. They’ve been working it for decades. I don’t know how convincing it’ll be for her to hear that, though. It’s sad, to me. I look around at all the Christians I know, and I can’t think of a single one who’s a hater, yet we still have this reputation.

    My book Too Good to be False would be great for evangelism, showing her who Jesus really is and why we’d see him as worthy of worship. It takes skepticism very seriously, and offers a creative, story-based, reasoned approach to explaining how we know the gospel reports of his life are true. If you believe as I do that it all starts with one’s relationship with Christ, I think this would be a good book for her. Especially if she’s grown up in church, I think she may be disarmed by the approach it takes, one that got published a lot in the 17th to 19th centuries, but hasn’t been heard from since, for some reason; though I think (and the endorsers do, too) it’s a powerful apologetic. Part of its power has been in showing Jesus’ greatness in a surprising new light.

    If, on the other hand, you want a book that speaks directly to the LGBT issue, I’m a bit out of touch with the latest literature. I can contact Michael Brown or Sean McDowell for you, if you like, since I’m sure they’ll know the best current books to think about having her read. I’ll be happy to do that; just let me know. I’m praying, too.

  3. Yes, please reach out to them. I don’t like seeking help in this kind of forum but the church we were at left us high and dry with help.

  4. Good morning, Steve! I got an answer from Sean McDowell already, and Dr. Brown is researching some testimony-based answers that might be of help. Sean sent me a link to the second part of a series Preston Sprinkle wrote on the topic. There’s a link in there to Part One, and I don’t think there’s a Part Three.

    My book Critical Conversations would likely help you talk it through with her as her parent. I didn’t mention it earlier since you’d asked for something you could have her read, for which I don’t think it would be suitable.

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