Reflections on the Nashville Statement
A few weeks ago a number of conservative evangelical leaders came up with the Nashville statement. It is a manifesto intended to summarise the traditional, biblical view on sexual identity. About 150 prominent evangelicals signed it, such names as R. C. Sproul; John Macarthur; Al Mohler; Rosaria Butterfield; John Piper; Wayne Grudem; J I Packer, and many others. It has created quite a stir and drawn a line in the sand. There have been many so called ‘Christians’ who have responded against it, it has brought the ‘progressives’ out of the woodwork in condemnation and is forcing Christians to choose between the traditional view, which is based on a careful understanding of scripture, as it has been understood on these issues for 2000 years, and the more culturally accommodating view of today. The statement has been criticised for fixating on one issue when so many other matters related to social injustice are not spoken to. However, this critique says more about the value system of the critic than the statement. Some have tried to knit pick on one or two points essentially failing to see the importance of the things affirmed.
Today I would like us to have a look at it. It is a gift of clarity and definitions in an age of shifting definitions. It is a good example of biblical faithfulness in an age of capitulation. It is not viewed as being perfect, nor is it being proposed as being adopted as a formal document for our church, but it is immensely useful for reflection in an age of confusion. The document contains a preamble, and 14 affirmations and denials. I will try and highlight the key notes being struck that need to be struck in our day as we seek clarity for our age.
‘“Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, (and not we ourselves… not in the ESV)” (NASB) -Psalm 100:3