Since I have been asked about why I will be presenting at the Revoice conference, I thought it might be helpful to provide a brief explanation.
Several months ago, I wrote an article on Lev 18:22 and 20:13, the two verses in Leviticus that prohibit homosexual activity. There are many people today, even those identifying as evangelical, who argue that these verses have nothing to say about God’s intent for sexuality today. In the article, I argue the opposite, trying to show why the prohibition in these verses is rooted in God’s intent for sexuality as laid down in creation and thus has ongoing application today. The article will be published in one of the leading evangelical academic journals of the day (the Bulletin for Biblical Research). At over 16,000 words, it will be the most substantial argument in print as to why these verses support the historic Christian understanding of God’s intent for marriage and sexuality. I have already published such views in much shorter format elsewhere (see pp. 237–38 of my Leviticus commentary). Hopefully, this makes my affirmation of the historic Christian understanding on these matters very clear.
Within a week of submitting the article to the publisher, I was contacted by an organizer of the Revoice conference. He had already heard me present once on these verses (in which I presented what I’ve outlined above) and invited me to do so again. He was completely unaware of the work that I had been doing on the article and I took the timing of his invitation as providential.
In this context, it may be helpful for me to note that when a seminary professor accepts an invitation to speak at a conference, it is not at all an indication he agrees with everything said at a conference. It is not at all an indication that his school agrees with everything said at a conference. Seminary professors regularly partake in conferences of all sorts – whether they agree with other speakers in the conference or not – as long as they have the ability to present God’s truth. Like all Christians, a part of a professor’s job is to try to minister God’s truth wherever we can. In this instance in particular, it was made known to me that the majority of the audience will be people who experience attraction to members of the same sex and yet are following Christ, find their core identity in Christ, and are striving to be faithful to Christ by upholding and abiding by the historic Christian understanding that sexual activity is to be carried out only in the context of heterosexual marriage. This means difficult and often very lonely obedience for them. If the Lord would be pleased to use me to encourage them in their faithfulness through the faithful ministering of God’s Word, it would be a tremendous privilege and honor.
To this end, if you think of it, I value your prayers, that I might present with biblical faithfulness and pastoral wisdom. Those are the things that drive us at Covenant Seminary – for God’s glory and the world’s good!