Behind the Scenes on the Gay and Christian Debate, and A Major Key for Effective Apologetics

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Dr. Brown takes you behind the scenes with background information on his debate this past Saturday with Matthew Vines and then shares an important – but costly – prerequisite for effective apologetics. Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.

 

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Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: A baptism of pain for those we want to reach out to, it’s costly but it will be a gift from God!

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Other Resources:

Two Cutting Edge Interviews on Critical Social Issues

Dr. Brown Interviews Prof. Douglas Groothius on Christian Apologetics

Dr. Brown Interviews Prof. Robert Gagnon on the Bible, Homosexuality, and Counterfeit Grace

24 Comments
  1. My radio show today was prerecorded due to my flight schedule, otherwise I would have focused on the tragic news from Israel. Sadly, there is much tragic news from other parts of the world as well, especially Nigeria, where Boko Haram has continued its murderous acts (with more kidnappings as well), especially targeting Christians. And so, the good news from the last few Supreme Court rulings (re: buffer zones outside of abortion clinics being unconstitutional and the religious rights of a business trumping Obama care) is tempered by the pain of a suffering world. How we long for Yeshua’s return, and how we much make Him known as the hope of the world here and now.

  2. Dr Brown,

    Those are very sobering words! In the midst of of darkness and dispair around the world which brings forth weeping and tears, we do see a beacon of light shining forth in places that give us hope in these present day struggles for morality and righteousness. May the G-d of all grace continue to strengthen His people that we may perservere through the assurance of faith, knowing that the Day Star will soon return in all splender and majesty.

    Shalom

  3. While it bothers me that the Supreme Court just gave corporations religions rights, I understand their rationale: The conservatives justices believe that that CEOs should be able to enforce their religious beliefs on their employees.

    Fine.. this is a central tenet of conservatism — that the rich have more power in society and democracy than do the poor. It’s no surprise that this includes issues of faith, as well.

    But, how will the conservatives reaction when a Muslim CEO decides that he can enforce Sharia law on his employees?

  4. Greg, Isn’t rather that the conservative judges believe that the federal government should not force their beliefs onto the people who want their religious freedoms protected, whether they are plumbers, gardeners, restaurant owners, or owners of large businesses?

    If I have an insurance policy that doesn’t cover certain things, how is anyone’s beliefs forced upon me? It is not.

    It’s false accusation to say that it is.

  5. Greg,

    They’re not enforcing anything on anyone. Their employees can obtain and pay for their own morning after birth control and/or abortion. I don’t understand how a win for religious freedom in this country has you up in arms. It doesn’t violate the owners of Hobby Lobby’s consciences to worship and hold the religious convictions they do and it doesn’t violate their employees rights either. Maybe women will become more responsible in the choices they make. I don’t understand you on this one. I would think you’d be rejoicing!

  6. Greg, It’s like the homosexual activists who want the burden of immorality put on the backs of the moral public, whereas when marriage is only given a license between one man and one woman, there is no burden of immorality (on that basis) placed upon anyone, for such a thing in principle is not immoral.

    Why should it be considered so immoral if honorable things be accepted in a society, with a small burden of cost, considering the large benefit it contributes to that society, whereas a sinful thing given honor it is not deserving of, is a reproach to any godly people?

  7. Dr. Brown,

    I heard your debate with Matthew Vines, and I am deeply concerned about his use of background material. For example, in your discussion of Plato’s Symposium, Vines said that, in that famous speech from Aristophanes, you only have an approbation of pederasty. I almost flipped when I heard that comment. First of all, Aristophanes also mentions lesbianism. As far as we can tell, there is almost *no* evidence of lesbian pederasty in the ancient world. More than that, Vines assumed that, because the term “boy” is used and we are talking about pederasty, that we are speaking of some young boy with an adult. The problem is that pederasty in ancient Greece included relationships of that kind, but it also included relationships that started in what we would call adulthood. In fact, one of the most damning evidences of that is found in the very text you were citing. Aristophanes specifically mentions that he is speaking of a particular couple: Pausanias and Agathon. At the time of the writing of the Symposium, Agathon, the eromenos [the “boy” of the homosexual couple] was 30-31 years old. We know this because, at the beginning of the Symposium, he has just won his first major award for one of his tragedies, and we know the date of that award. What is interesting is that he says that he has been in this relationship with Pausanias for 12 years. Well, you do the math. He would have been 18 when the relationship started. In other words, this very relationship you were talking about in Plato’s Symposium would have been considered a legal sexual relationship in our culture. And yet, Vines dismisses it as pederasty.

    Consider the following book “Sex and Social Justice.” With a title like that, it his hardly a conservative tome. Yet, that book notes the following in regards to pederasty in ancient Greece:

    “We must now insist on the question of age. For Finnis repeatedly called the relationship of erastes and eromenos a “man-boy” relationship, alleging that nobody has bothered to inquire how young the “boys” actually were. But this is not so: Dover and others have commented on this matter at length, assisted by the clear evidence of visual art. To modern American ears the word “boy” suggests someone between the ages of, say, four and twelve. But the eromenos of Greek custom was typically, and ideally, a young man between the full attainment of adult height and the full growth of the beard: if we go by modern growth patterns, perhapds sixteen to ninteen, but more likely, since the ancient Greek age of puberty seems to have been slightely later than ours, the age of a modern college undergraduate.

    One should also consider what the typical eromenos was expected to do and to be, for our own children, although they may reach puberty earlier than ancient Greek youths, are in some respects far less mature and independent in their ways of life once puberty is at hand. Looking at famous couples such as Achilles and Patroclus, the tyrannicides Harmodius and Aristogeiton, and the famous Sacred Band of Thebes, and elite military corps made up of male-male couples, we can conclude that the eromenos is generally old enough for mature military and political action. (And because the popular thought of our day tends to focus on the scare image of a “dirty old man” hanging around outside the school waiting to molest young boys, it is important to mention, as well, that the erastes might not be very far in age from the eromenos. One can begin to play that role, as Halperin correctly insists, even while he is still playing the other role-though he will not play both roles in relation to the same person.) There is, moreover, some evidence of couples in which the eromenos was even old than the standard norm, especially in relationships of long duration. Pausanias and Agathon continued for at least twelve years a relationship that began when Agathon was eighteen. The Stoics apparently held that a relationship should continue until the eromenos was twenty-eight. We should also consider the relationship between Plato and Dion of Syracuse, which is at any rate widely (and sympathetically) represented in the evidence for Plato’s life as a sexual relationship, and which evidentally began when the parties were about fifty and thirty-five respectively. We have, as well, the fact that Plato’s Pausanias and Aristophanes speaks of their norm as that of a lifelong partnership; Pausanias insists that it should not begin until after the growth of the younger party’s beard. Aristotle, finally, following Pausanias, defends a long-term alliance as morally best.” Nussbaum, Martha C. “Sex and Social Justice.” Oxford University Press. New York, NY. 1999. [http://books.google.com/books?id=hHY_kjkAYKQC&pg=PT517&lpg=PT517&dq=%22Pausanias+and+agathon%22+eighteen&source=bl&ots=Ddl28FmXzu&sig=dDX3z8Qsxix-JEl03D7lP-tIXVw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=4WOxU8WsL5etyASw4IDgCg&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=%22Pausanias%20and%20agathon%22%20eighteen&f=false]

    Worse than that, people were married in the ancient world much younger than they are today. In fact, I even had one of my professors tell me that women would get married as young as 13 years old in the ancient world. Hence, the likelihood that the ancients would have considered these “boys” as adults is very high.

    In fact, what is interesting is that even as lazy a research job as simply looking up “Pederasty in Ancient Greece” on Wikipedia could have given him this information:

    Both art and other literary references show that the erômenos was at least a teen, with modern age estimates ranging from 13 to 20, or in some cases up to 30. Most evidence indicates that to be an eligible erômenos, a youth would be of an age when an aristocrat began his formal military training,[22] that is, from fifteen to seventeen.[23] As an indication of physical maturity, the erômenos was sometimes as tall as or taller than the older erastês, and may have his first facial hair.[24] Another word used by the Greeks for the younger partner was paidika, a neuter plural adjective (“things having to do with children”) treated syntactically as masculine singular.[19] [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pederasty_in_ancient_Greece]

    Now, I would never suggest using Wikipedia as a source of research, but the point is that this is how readily available this information is. It is laughable to think that Ancient Greece had the same concept of pederasty that we have today.

    As for the Assyrian law codes, I am well aware that the Assyrians were not exactly kosher in their treatment of women. However, to say that misogyny is the reason for their prohibition on homosexuality in the Assyrian law codes is, a possible minor influence, but hardly something that can be given as *the* explanation. For example, the Shumma Alu texts allow for male homosexuality within the cult. Are we seriously to suggest that the civil sphere was misogynistic, but the cult was not???????? Worse than that, Assyria, Egypt, and all of the civilizations we are aware of from the Ancient Near East allowed some form of homosexual practice, and the Hebrew Bible categorically prohibits it. Yet, [and I think Vines would have to acknowledge this] the Hebrew Bible is the least misogynistic of all of these cultures. Why does the strong prohibition on homosexuality come from the least misogynistic of all of these civilizations?

    Also, the demand for you to produce a first century text speaking of loving, committed homosexual relationships is a historically ludicrous demand. We can cite texts before the first century and immediately following the first century. Did people somehow magically forget about this concept once the year 1 AD hit, and then remember it again in 100AD?????? I was reading about Josephus who wrote against homosexuality in his work “Against Apion” in which he likens the practice of sodomy to the practice of “marrying” their own sisters [again, mentioning marriage meaning a lifelong, committed, homosexual or incestuous relationship]:

    Apn 2:273-275 and, indeed, what reason can there be why we should desire to imitate the laws of other nations, while we see they are not observed by their own legislators? And why do not the Lacedemonians think of abolishing that form of their government which suffers them not to associate with any others, as well as their contempt of matrimony? And why do not the Eleans and Thebans abolish that unnatural and impudent lust, which makes them lie with males? 274 For they will not show a sufficient sign of their repentance of what they of old thought to be very excellent, and very advantageous in their practices, unless they entirely avoid all such actions for the time to come: 275 nay, such things are inserted into the body of their laws, and had once such a power among the Greeks, that they ascribed these sodomitical practices to the gods themselves, as a part of their good character; and, indeed, it was according to the same manner that the gods married their own sisters. This the Greeks contrived as an apology for their own absurd and unnatural pleasures.

    Now granted that is a very early second century text, but, are we seriously to believe that these laws to which Josephus refers only came about after 100 AD? He speaks of this as the custom going clear back to their gods. Were these attributions only made in the last few years such that it would only be in the second century? Such an idea is utterly ludicrous!

    The real problem seems to be the paucity of texts that are relevant to the issue of homosexual practice in general, much less “caring, committed, etc.” relationships in the first century. The major authors are Philo, Josephus, the New Testament, and the rest is a bunch of papyri which have little or nothing to do with the topic at hand. Some texts are fragmentary. Hence, to demand such evidence as proof is utterly irrational.

    Also, as you are probably well aware, anytime you study the Bible in its relation to other cultures of the Ancient Near East, you have to be aware of the similarities as well as the differences. Just because something was the context for the prohibition in ancient Assyria, doesn’t mean the same will apply to Israel. The Ancient Near East is a huge place with many subcultures, and you have to be able to make cultural distinctions especially when you see a categorical prohibition in one culture, and an allowance for it in certain contexts in other cultures. You can’t force Ancient Israel to be ancient Assyria.

    Anyway, I wanted to take the time to comment, because I thought that what Vines was saying was grossly misleading, and I am concerned that he is being grossly misleading in the context of affirming his sin and in asking for others to affirm his sin. Hence, while I have learned over the years to let mistakes go by, the abuse of background material that I heard in that debate is something I just could not keep silent about given the life and death nature of this issue.

  8. Greg,

    What the supreme court ruled was that someones rights don’t go away if they open a business. This has nothing to do with businesses forcing beliefs on anyone. It keeps business people form being forced do things that they find morally abhorrent by the government.

    Doug

  9. Greg,

    Oh good grief, liberalism does the exact same thing. If the liberals would have won that court case, then their belief that abortifacients must be provided free would be forced on those of us who believe that abortion is wrong. I am tired of hearing liberals complain about religious beliefs being “forced” on them when they are forcing the religion of secularism down our throat, and don’t even care.

    The point is that the constitution provides for protection for religion [in the original context of the constitution, specifically Christianity], and allows us to freely practice it with no interference from the government. That means that Christianity can be taken into the public square, and even into the economic square as well. That’s the law.

  10. Adam,

    Thanks for your terrific comment. Absolutely so in terms of the nature of the deception involved on every level — and the ease with which it is refuted.

    In my book, I cited top scholars who provided further documentation and then left it there, without specifically memorizing the citations involved, so the more Matthew and his supporters made an issue of this, the more I knew they were digging a whole for themselves.

    When it comes time to posting a refutation to him, my problem is deciding which texts to cite of the many available, as Robert Gagnon and Preston Sprinkle and others have cited in their writings (not to mention N. T. Writght’s broader statements and those of Anthony Thiselton). One NT scholar wrote to me today and jokingly asked me to produce a first century, non-biblical text that spoke of committed, monogamous heterosexual couples — just to expose the weakness of Matthew’s argument.

    In any case, we know, sadly, that the whole “gay-affirming Christian” movement is based on falsehood, no matter how sincere it may be.

    Again, thanks!

  11. Greg,

    How shameless can someone be to always bring up politically motivated mantras and point the finger at those that you consider to be solely politically motivated, when in fact they have good moral and Biblical reasons for their actions and beliefs. Like gag me with a spoon. The pot calling the kettle black has yet to realize that the kettle is aluminum.

  12. Anyone see Elton John’s comments recently on gay marriage?

    “These are old and stupid things,” John said of the restrictions that prevent gay priests from marrying and having sex. “If Jesus Christ was alive today, I cannot see him, as the Christian person that he was and the great person that he was, saying this could not happen. He was all about love and compassion… and that’s what the church should be about.”

    Greg, what is your opinion?

  13. I read the other day that 6,500 of Washington state’s registered domestic partners have not decided to get “married” since the state redefined it in 2012, but now the state has declared them married.

    Gay activism on steroids? Talk about messing up a bad thing. They were told by many people to leave marriage alone.

  14. Michael Brown @6:40
    “As I said repeatedly through the broadcast, you can interpret the Bible through the lens of your sexuality, or you can interpret your sexuality through the lens of the Bible. You can put other words in there as well and it would work the same way. You can interpret the Bible through the lens of your own desires, or your own passions, or your own interests, or your own preferences, or your own prejudices, in which case you will read your ideas into scripture and ultimately change what scripture says, making the Bible subservient to who you are or what you desire or how you see things”.

    Oh, just like how you and other traditionalists reinterpret the Bible to be against slavery in light of your modern prejudices and cultural circumstances even though the Bible by any objective standard clearly upholds, legitimizes, and even expressly permits the practice? Or just like how you guys reinterpret the Bible when it comes to women speaking and being leaders in church even though the Bible clearly and unambiguously condemns both? Or just like how you guys reinterpret the Bible’s horrendous attitude toward rape in Deuteronomy 22 even though scholarship is fairly unanimous on the meaning of those passages?

    Sorry Dr. Brown, but you and most other traditional Christians are pure hypocrites on this. You complain when gay Christians reinterpret the Bible on homosexuality because of their desires or preferences but then DO THE EXACT SAME thing for other problematic texts and passages in the Bible.

    Your latest charisma article is a great example of this hypocrisy and reinterpretation. On slavery, you say that the Bible intended to legislate humane slavery in ancient Israel. If this is so, then why did Leviticus 25 (a modification of the slavery of the covenant code in Exodus) forbid taking fellow Israelite as slaves because that would be to treat them ruthlessly (Lev 25:39,42-43, 46b, 53; an admission that slavery was indeed harsh in that period)? Why also did Leviticus allow Hebrews to treat foreigners of neighboring nations like this (Lev 25:44-46)? In the article you say that slaves rested on every Sabbath. Seriously? Oh how merciful. I guess American southern slavery was also justified because blacks were also generally able to rest on Sundays and holidays too. Weak point! You then go on to say that there isn’t anything in the Bible that could be used to support the African slave trade, explaining that Old Testament law condemned kidnapping. What you fail to tell your readers though is that the Old Testament law only condemned kidnapping of fellow Israelites, not foreigners (Deuteronomy 24:7). Indeed, as already mentioned, Leviticus 25:44-46 allowed for slaves to be taken from other nations and in Deuteronomy 20:10-11 we have a historical picture of just how people might be forced into slavery (and in this context this is supposed to be a step up from the total annihilation that the “inherited” nations received). Again, the pure hypocrisy of your exegesis (or more accurately eisegesis) is amazing. Yeah, let’s just all follow and believe Dr. Brown and conservative Christians on slavery today. Yup, they have it all right. All those southern baptists of the mid 19th century who defended Biblical slavery and indeed founded their very own baptist convention on the justification of slavery were all wrong, and Dr. Brown who is more than 150 years removed is right.

    Dr. Brown, I’ll never, ever consider anything you say on the Bible and homosexuality because I see you as the preeminent example of someone who can’t distinguish between their own cultural prejudices eisegeting the text of the Bible and that of sound Biblical exegesis. You’re absolutely no better than gay Christians who do the same thing.

    Same again goes for other Christians here, including you Adam. I love how you previously insisted that gay Christians horrendously reinterpret the Bible on homosexuality to support their position but then bend over backwards trying to explain and justify the Bible’s stance on taking captive women as wives in the Old Testament, because of course this must be the most humane thing to do in that period. Yes, so true. In Deuteronomy 20:14 no doubt the most humane thing to do was to take the “women, children and livestock” as “plunder” (NIV translation). Clearly no other humane alternative existed. And “plunder” is a very humane word to describe it. Sorry Adam, but yeah, you too are also a hypocrite, allowing your culturally sensitive prejudices to influence how you eisegete the text.

    Oh, and since you mentioned Assyrian laws Adam, please know that the rape passage in Deuteronomy 22 is almost certainly based off of the much earlier middle Assyrian law from the 11th century BCE. And Bo, contrary to what you said elsewhere a while ago, Deuteronomy 22:28-29 is indeed about rape, not consent, as both Philo and Josephus tell us, and of which middle Assyrian law (MIA A55-56) undeniably alludes to.

    Finally Adam, I just have to comment on your absolutely ridiculous suggestion that people in the first century should somehow be aware of prior texts or concepts that went before it. Yeah I’m sure the common Greek and Roman lay person was familiar with Plato’s Symposium. After all, all they had to do was go to their nearest local Greek or Roman library to pull out a copy of his 4th century BC work. And of course because a later writer around 100 AD alludes to a concept that must therefore mean that everyone at that time or before it held or knew about the same idea right? Just like how today where all major psychological associations have said that being gay isn’t a choice has translated into all Christians and people everywhere understanding homosexual orientation and believing it isn’t a choice right….oh wait.

    Speaking of ancient texts, we should also note that in Plato’s Symposium Aristophanes interestingly mentions an explanation for both homosexual and heterosexual attraction, in the idea that Zeus split original humanity into 3 forms: men who seek after men, women who seek after women, and men and women who seek after their opposite. This text must prove then that everyone, including Jews 4 centuries later knew about sexual orientation right? Oh wait, never mind, Philo explicitly condemns it, and thinks like every other Jew of his period that all were heterosexual in attractions. You guys almost won that one.

  15. James,

    I love how you previously insisted that gay Christians horrendously reinterpret the Bible on homosexuality to support their position but then bend over backwards trying to explain and justify the Bible’s stance on taking captive women as wives in the Old Testament, because of course this must be the most humane thing to do in that period.

    Really, and you think the most loving thing to do is to let them die? James, you don’t know what you are talking about.

    In Deuteronomy 20:14 no doubt the most humane thing to do was to take the “women, children and livestock” as “plunder” (NIV translation). Clearly no other humane alternative existed. And “plunder” is a very humane word to describe it. Sorry Adam, but yeah, you too are also a hypocrite, allowing your culturally sensitive prejudices to influence how you eisegete the text.

    I’ll tell you who is a hypocrite is a person who thinks that, by reading a few liberals on the Torah, they can then now be an expert on the field, and read the text fairly. That is “role playing” and “acting” if I ever saw it! Did you not notice that this is in contradistinction to the “herem,” that is, the devotion to the Lord where every living and breathing thing is wiped out including women and children [vrs. 16ff]? Those are the cities that the Lord is giving to the Israelites as an inheritance, and the utter destruction of every living thing is punishment for their great wickedness. However, God specifically tells them to spare the women and children of the nations that are not part of their inheritance. Sounds rather merciful to me.

    And, as far as the use of the term “booty,” what do you call people that are taken in war in the Ancient Near East? They are “booty.” We have numerous texts from the Ancient Near East which do the same thing. It just simply means that these people were taken in war.

    Also, where are you getting the idea that this taking of these women is sexual? Where does it say that in the text? It also mentions children. Were the children used sexually too? Hardly. The actual context seems to be that of slavery:

    Deuteronomy 20:10-11 “When you approach a city to fight against it, you shall offer it terms of peace. 11 “If it agrees to make peace with you and opens to you, then all the people who are found in it shall become your forced labor and shall serve you.

    The instructions you cite actually have to do with what happens when a city will not make peace:

    Deuteronomy 20:12-14 “However, if it does not make peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. 13 “When the LORD your God gives it into your hand, you shall strike all the men in it with the edge of the sword. 14 “Only the women and the children and the animals and all that is in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as booty for yourself; and you shall use the spoil of your enemies which the LORD your God has given you.

    Clearly, then, the point is that the women and children are kept in order to serve the Israelites probably in fulfillment of the curse of Canaan clear back in Genesis 9:25. And, of course, this was also something that God had already said would be punishment for the great sin of the Canaanites [Genesis 15:16]. This is God’s punishment, and yet, as I said, even in God’s punishment, you find a small amount of mercy in that he allowed them to live and did not wipe them out as he did the people of the nations the Israelites were displacing.

    Oh, and since you mentioned Assyrian laws Adam, please know that the rape passage in Deuteronomy 22 is almost certainly based off of the much earlier middle Assyrian law from the 11th century BCE.

    Or, it could be that the Assyrians are created in the image of God, lived in a similar culture, and thus knew that it was the best thing to do in that culture if the parties involved were to survive. It also could be that what you think is “most certain” isn’t so certain at all, especially if the text in the Hebrew Bible isn’t talking about rape which good scholars such as Meredith Kline believe.

    And Bo, contrary to what you said elsewhere a while ago, Deuteronomy 22:28-29 is indeed about rape, not consent, as both Philo and Josephus tell us, and of which middle Assyrian law (MIA A55-56) undeniably alludes to.

    So, we go to uninspired sources 1200 years after the writing of this document, and we take them as proof positive that this is talking about rape?????? And, again, the whole basis for such a parallel to the Middle Assyrian laws is the idea that we are talking about rape in Deuteronomy 22. If we are not talking about rape, then there is no parallel. This is why, as I recall Dr. Averbeck saying, when you do studies in parallel literature, you have to be proficient in both the text you are working in as well as the parallel text. Clearly, you are avoiding doing an exegesis of the Biblical text, and trying to force it into the mold of the Middle Assyrian laws. And then, even if it is talking about rape, you have no clue as to what it would do to the woman, the man, and the father in this kind of culture, and why such an option to give the two in marriage would be something that would be essential to the survival of all parties involved. You have “decided” the debate on rape/non-rape, and then ignored the cultural issues involving rape at this time, all in order to attack the Bible with gross prejudice.

    Also, might I point out, nothing you have said up to this point has anything to do with homosexuality. It has simply been one long attack on the morality of the Bible. The Bible stands in condemnation of your behavior, and yet, all you can do is try to mock it, even though you have no clue what you are talking about.

    Finally Adam, I just have to comment on your absolutely ridiculous suggestion that people in the first century should somehow be aware of prior texts or concepts that went before it. Yeah I’m sure the common Greek and Roman lay person was familiar with Plato’s Symposium. After all, all they had to do was go to their nearest local Greek or Roman library to pull out a copy of his 4th century BC work. And of course because a later writer around 100 AD alludes to a concept that must therefore mean that everyone at that time or before it held or knew about the same idea right?

    Lol, I was actually, providentially, just reading about this earlier this morning in an article by Robert Gagnon. What is funny is that, in condemning homosexuality, Philo actually cites the Symposium of Plato. To quote Gagnon:

    The Symposium, however, was well known in the first century. Philo of Alexandria cites it but still dismisses all forms of homosexual practice as unnatural: ‘Nearly the whole of Plato’s Symposium is about love, not merely about men mad after [i.e. madly in love with] men—for these desires pay tribute to the laws of nature—but about men (mad) after males, differing from them only in age’ (Contemplative Life 59). [http://www.robgagnon.net/Critical%20Review%20of%20Stacy%20Johnson’s%20Time%20to%20Embrace.htm]

    So, what is so damning here is that Philo, a first century Jewish author, actually *cites* the Symposium of Plato [proving it was readily available], and, not only that, but he also condemns homosexual behavior while looking at a text speaking of life-long, committed homosexual relationships. That is utterly damning to both what you were saying, and what Vines was saying.

    More than that, Paul wasn’t some “common Greek or Roman lay person.” He studied under Gamaliel, and was even able to quote Stoic and Epicurian philosophers on Mars Hill!

    Just like how today where all major psychological associations have said that being gay isn’t a choice has translated into all Christians and people everywhere understanding homosexual orientation and believing it isn’t a choice right….oh wait.

    But there are neuroscientists like Dr. Norman Doidge and Dr. G.E. Whitehead who believe that sexual desires are fluid and can be changed, so I guess that sorta shoots that down. Mere appeals to authority. I am still waiting for you to respond to me on neuroplasticity BTW:

    http://www.lineoffireradio.com/2014/01/29/is-there-such-a-thing-as-ex-gay-an-interview-with-anne-paulk/#comment-656192

    Not only that, but you have people who have come out of homosexuality, and you have now an entire documentary of multiple people bearing testimony to the fact that they were once right where you are, and are now freed from their sin:

    http://suchweresomeofyou.org/

    That is the sad thing about this whole mess. Yes, I realize that the fight against sexual sin is hard and difficult, but it is worth it. These people are proof of that.

  16. James,

    Thanks for mentioning me by name..I must have made an impact 🙂 Too bad you still do not just read what is there and believe it.

    Shalom

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