I picked up an interesting book, "Liberating Black Theology," by a guy I follow on Twitter, Dr. Anthony Bradley. He says something about black liberation theology that struck a chord in me:
"many [black liberation] theologians denied orthodox starting points such as the final authority of scripture, biblical definitions of sin and redemption, the doctrines of God and redemption by means of substitutionary atonement" p.28
What I found particularly interesting is that this same thing can be said about United Methodists. Our quadrennial General Conference is coming up in 2012, and we will again be torn apart over the issue of homosexuality. And yet, homosexuality is not the real issue. It is one of many, simply the one that is the flashpoint.
The issue really is the places in our church and theology where we depart from "orthodox starting points such as the final authority of scripture, biblical definitions of sin and redemption, the doctrines of God, and redemption by means of substitutionary atonement."
The issue of accepting homosexuality as a legitimate Christian lifestyle is merely one place where we deny the authority of Scripture and biblical definitions of sin. Other places are where we want to claim that Wesley did not teach "sola scriptura" but rather "prima scriptura" or maybe even "sorta scriptura." Or, when we claim that we are saved by faith AND works we also reject Scripture and the substitutionary atonement of Jesus' death on the Cross.
The real issue is, finally, scripture. Is it the final authority for us? Answer that question and you will see much more clearly what we are really fighting about.
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