Kristen Kobes Du Mez has shaped a lot of Big Eva discussion on social media this past year with her book Jesus & John Wayne, a critique of how she perceives Evangelicalism in the age of Trump. Big Eva publications like Christianity Today, David French’s The Dispatch lauded her work, and she even got a Twitter endorsement from Beth Moore. Because of the high profile nature of her book, and the Big Eva status of Denny Burk, Burk was able to coax a “response” from her when he asked the simple question as to whether homosexuality is a sin.
Kristen Du Mez then proceeds to write a lengthy, superfluous, and ditsy blog post that answers the question enough for anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear. In fact, her answer is only a more convoluted version of what Max Lucado articulated earlier in 2021.
The blog post titled, “Because a Twitter thread this long would be annoying” is aptly named.
At the same time, I value honesty and transparency, and I hate passing up a good teachable moment, so in that spirit, let me address Burk’s question.
Do I personally affirm “the church’s teaching that homosexuality is sinful?” Which church? My own church (local & denomination) is actively reexamining this issue in light of tradition, interpretation, history, & science. I’m participating, but as a historian, not a theologian.
I grew up holding the “traditional” view, that same-sex sexual relationships were sinful. As far back as I can remember, though, I never believed that a theological view on this matter should dictate government policy in a way that abridges fundamental civil rights.
Du Mez makes it clear that she is actively participating a denominational effort to “reexamine” what the Bible says as a historian. From this point the writing devolves into inconsistent and unnecessary abbreviations for words she had not abbreviated prior.
Since that time, I’ve encountered compelling theological & historical arguments that challenge or complicate traditional approaches to this issue. I’ve read several but have several more to read, and am doing so in conversation w/ “traditional” perspectives.
I’m doing this all in community, w/ scholars, pastors, theologians, & LGBTQ+ Chrs, as part of my local church, as part of an officially sanctioned denominational process, and in an official capacity as a representative of my university.
Homosexuality as a sin is one of the clearest condemnations in Scripture. Not only is it condemned without caveat, the Bible provides no affirmative example of the practice, all negative. As she actively seeks to conjure enough heretical perspectives so as to reach a third way, likely in line with the Revoice camp, although this article makes her seem even more affirming than they. Note: she is a professor of history and gender studies at Calvin University. After a lengthy discussion of the merits of disagreeing on this issue, Du Mez concludes the article stating:
So back to theology. Burk points to I Cor 15:1-5 as the heart of the gospel. Agreed! So much so that I refuse to use views on gender, sexuality, atonement theory, baptism, spiritual gifts and the like as a way to preemptively exclude believers from fellowship in the Body of Christ.
We can spend our lives asking what right belief & obedient discipleship looks like in all these areas, & we should. But I’m going to do so in conversation & communion with my LGBTQ sisters & brothers in Christ. Because of the gospel.
This article should be seen as nothing more than a defense of homosexuality and a heretical attempt to nuance the issue. In the past, this would get Kristen Du Mez cast outside the mainstream of Big Eva, but now the authority of Scripture is a nuanced issue when God’s word contradicts what a gender studies professor would think. This article is also proof that feminism is cancer and that this is where it leads.