Ed Pettibone wrote: Neil Heath wrote:
Dave Roberts wrote:I'm waiting to talk with two close friends who were there as to how they perceived the conference.
Me too, Dave. I have a good friend who led some group dialogue sessions, and I want to hear what she says.
As for the quotes William used, it sounds to me like she was saying this is what she sees and hears from Christians, more a reporting of "what's out there" than advocacy for any position. And if she's reading things accurately, then I'll bet it was a good way to get some discussion started in the small groups.
Ed; Neil, I would like to think that is what she was doing but having listened to her presentation and the interview of her, I am convinced that hers is an advocacy position.
Re the conference The Texas Standard offers
“Many people and congregations lack good models and useful tools to respectfully engage this conversation,” said Rick Bennett, director of missional congregations for the Atlanta-based Fellowship. “We will attempt to provide both.”
“I think it’s important for us to gather in worship, pray the questions, communicate with one another, listen deeply to everyone and be ever mindful that none of us has all the truth,” Bennett said.
I did not see the communication with one another, in the first days presentations. As I said in my first reaction and was confirmed by Aaron Weaver, One participant (Fanin Sp) did lean further away from advocating a blanket adaptation to cultural "norms" than any of the other speakers.
It never ceases to amaze me to hear those who support such adaptation holding up the"Civil Rights movement" as a model when that movement was just the opposite in it we confronted the cultural norm of white supremacy, nation wide but most evident in the south. Now a significant organization found largely in the south presents a panel of people supporting sexual license that for years has been more publicly prevalent in the north and kept in the shadows in the south.
Here is an article from Andrew Walker, a conservative and writer for the IRD.
I've known Andrew "a little bit" for a year or two now. Throughout the entire conference, we exchanged numerous e-mails. He was there for the conference as a reporter. I was here in Waco, watching most of the videos as they were posted online.
Andrew is obviously biased. Who isn't on this subject? There's no authentic neutrality when it comes to homosexuality, IMO.
Except for ONE word-choice of his, I thought it was a rather fair report-analysis
from a conservative perspective. Not a hatchet job at all. I base my thoughts on what I've heard from others, the videos and following the conversation LIVE on Twitter.
From the videos I watched (and I watched most), the conference failed to be "balanced." Coleman Fannin - [I very much dislike his love for Catholic theology that was evident throughout his presentation and the basis for his suggested solution] - was pretty much out there by himself. I didn't hear others present a straight-forward "traditional" perspective of celibacy in singleness and heterosexual marriage, etc. When I saw the speaker line-up, I expected to hear that "traditional" perspective from a couple additional individuals. Those presentations surprised me and it would be difficult to categorize those neatly in the popular "welcoming & affirming" vs. "traditional"
Now, what was said during the small groups? That would be interesting to know.
Nonetheless, I think it's safe to say that if you were interesting in seeing some sort of move away (to whatever extent) from the "traditional" perspective, you were probably more likely to attend the conference. Given the Twitter conversation and loud applause for Cody Sanders and awkwardness during Coleman's presentation, I got the impression that the majority was much closer to the perspective of Cody than Coleman.
Also, I'm not sure how Gushee thought he could avoid the political element. When you invite a gay minister in a covenant relationship with his partner, is it reasonable to think that the subject of gay rights, specifically marriage equality, is not going to come up? Of course it did come up. It's hard to talk about themes of "equality" and "justice" and not mention the lack thereof for same-sex couples in most states.