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

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Dr. Brown will be joined by Prof. Robert Gagnon, the foremost authority on the Bible and homosexuality, as they discuss these important issues along with the subject of contemporary error on the subject of grace. 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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Meet Professor Robert Gagnon!
Robert A. J. Gagnon is Associate Professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He came to PTS in the Fall of 1994 after a one-year position as Visiting Professor of Religion at Middlebury College in Vermont. He has a B.A. degree from Dartmouth College, an M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School, and a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. His main fields of interest are Pauline theology and sexual issues in the Bible. He is a member both of the Society of Biblical Literature and of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas [Society of New Testament Studies]. He is also an ordained elder at a Presbyterian Church (USA) in Pittsburgh. He is the author of The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2001; 520 pgs.); co-author (with Dan O. Via) of Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views(Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003; 125 pgs.); and, as a service to the church, provides a large amount of free material on the web dealing with Scripture and homosexuality. Continue reading…





  1. Last night I read the ‘Counterfiet Grace’ chapter in Michael’s book ‘Time to Rock the Boat’.

    Having read a few of Michael’s books,this chapter seems the strongest challenge to OSAS that he has made in print – at least,relative to the books of his I have read to date.

    ‘Counterfeit Grace’ is not merely a facet of the narrow Way (that one can agree to disagree on in the name of ‘unity’),I believe it is more than that : I belive it is a lens/veil that eclipses someone’s Bible study ; and/or,a sandy foundation on which one’s whole understanding of the narrow Way is built thereafter ; also as perhaps a baseball bat that enables you to whack any serious challenge to godliness out of the OSAS-park.

    Not finished book yet,but this book seems a bit unsung,perhaps even by Michael himself ! By the time I finish it,I may regard it as a bar of teaching gold under a ‘Revolution’ bushel !

    The false lens,foundation and bat need dealing with (according to Jude!) – it undermines the call of Messiah Jesus to remain in Him (and away from filth).

    Just lobbing those two cents into the mix!

  2. Agreed, but I’ll add another $.02.
    We’ve spent a good year loving our second son Jeremy out of a Charles Finney Perfection doctrine; it wasn’t for no reason that north New York state was once called the ‘burnt-out’ district! Working with the homeless in Fla., I saw the same tendency for leaders to fall into legalism rather than Love; people with a lot of problems need a lot of help, so Supernatural Grace must never be discounted either!
    In Him, Ron M.

  3. In the book,Michael makes the important point that saying ‘Amen’ to his denounciation of a candy-coated message can itself be an opposite imbalance – if not said in a humble way.

    In ‘Revolution in the Church’ Michael makes a similar counterbalancing remark : (in my own words) revolution for it’s own sake is not scriptural ; scriptural revolution has to stem from a humble desire to see the Body (and even oneself) brought back to the scriptural norm.

  4. Just to add the following :

    Inside and outside the Body,people have (I believe) a tendency to veer to one side or the other of a balanced attitude on something. Ability to think ‘outside the box’ seems rather rare. Hence the value of the counterbalancing remarks above.

    I have to say,in Britain and America,due to the one-tense salvation (‘in-the-bag’ tickets to heaven’ – two varieties : predestinarian and sentimental) taught among Evangelicals (vs the three-tense salvation in Second Covenant Scripture : past,present and future),I believe the major problem is LICENSE.

    (But yes,legalism is a problem too.)

  5. How could any think Paul is being equivocal (or how could anyone think he would ever in any way accept homosexuality as permissive) when he talks about homosexuality being an act which belongs to

    “…not… the just… but… the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane…” 1 Ti 1:9


    He was quoting the absolute condemnation of the Law of Moses upon the immoral practice of homosexuality.

    There is no equivocation.

  6. I want to mention a third variety of one-tense salvation : ‘sacramental’ (those who have been led to belive being ‘Christened’ makes you OK with God. This variety is a truly MASSIVE problem in Britain,Germany and Scandinavia. What on earth would Paul or Peter say if they were here,and you had to try and explain to them that in those countries you have to cast a dragnet into a shoal that has already been led to believe they are ‘Christians’ who have sacramental entry tickets to hand in at the ‘Pearly Gates’ !

    When it comes to Jude’s discussion of distorted grace,watch this excellent 40 minute video by David Pawson.


  7. Dr. Brown,
    Do you know that Dr. Gagnon (being a Greek scholar) agrees that there ARE “mistakes” in the New Testament – that it is not “infallible” (at least, not after SOME peoples’ definition of ‘infallible’).

    One that Gagnon mentioned on FaceBook was the misquote of the Old Testament – “… and 23,000 died…” when it was 24,000.

    You blasted me on these forums for holding the same view (the correct view); why didn’t you blast Dr. Gagnon?

  8. Dr. Brown,
    I’ve already spoken with Dr. Gagnon directly on Facebook. I agree with him and with you that homosexuality is a sin – that isn’t the question.

    He says there are mistakes in the New Testament – if you don’t believe me, just ask him yourself.

  9. As a matter of fact, I’ve complained to God about Paul, thinking he was a false teacher and brought confusion to the church – God just kinda laughed at me and opened my mind to understand.

    Afterwards, I “tested” Paul’s doctrines against the other Apostles, and came up with a list of sayings and doctrines that is in excess of 175 separate sayings and doctrines that match perfectly with those of the other apostles – having tested him (because both common sense and Scripture demand it – 1 Th 5:21), I can recommend his teachings to anyone.

  10. Daniel,

    Your position was radically different from that of Dr. Gagnon, and I think you’re aware of that. As for “infallibility” there are different definitions of the term. I’m glad, however, that you seemed to have landed in a much better place than the one you espoused some time ago.

  11. Dr. Brown,
    My core belief hasn’t changed – believe NOTHING because someone tells you to; TEST ALL THINGS (including what is presumed to be “Scripture”; IF it is good, hold to it.

    Dr. Gagnon and I are on equal footing in our beliefs towards NT Scripture – we believe in something you refuse to believe: that the NT is a document which CAN have errors; for that reason, I find it difficult to not find certain discrepancies and contradictions, therein (you’re not even willing to admit that; you are extreme in your dealings with people who believe the NT is not 100% error-free, and I think you know that).

    My point was just that there are other very learned men – even some you respect (at least, in as much as you say Dr. Gagnon is #1 authority on the Biblical viewpoint on the sin of homosexuality – that do not believe (as you do) that the NT must be 100% error-free.

    I guess I don’t need to push it further. It just really got to me that you dealt so harshly with me, and you were wrong (at least, according to Dr. Gagnon) about it.

    I’m very glad to have come to learn of Dr. Gagnon (through yourself), so I could learn that I was right in what I read and discerned about Scripture – even if you (a learned person) refused to admit it or see it – at least, that is, according to a man of God whom you (and I, both) respect. I feel vindicated; I don’t have to have your charges hanging over me.

  12. Dan1el, really, I have no desire to revisit these issues, but I will simply repeat that what you advocated is quite different than what Dr. Gagnon believes, and we’ll leave it there. And be assured that my commitment to God and to those who post here is to tell them the truth, not to win a popularity contest.

  13. Dr. Brown,

    1. re: “popularity contest”, I don’t know what you’re talking about – the point is that Dr. Gagnon says you’re wrong.

    2. You’re right – what you believe is your worship to God; I forgot that – sorry; thanks for reminding me. We have to be “fully convinced”, regardless of whether we are not truly right, our heart is right (as long as its not lawlessness, such as immorality – as with christians who would say its acceptable to be gay and christian).

    3. We won’t revisit the issues.

    LORD bless you

  14. Dan1el,

    To clarify, I meant I’ll be honest with you or anyone else who posts here rather than saying what people would like me to say.

    As for Dr. Gagnon, actually, it’s best not to represent him here as saying “I’m wrong,” about the inspiration of the NT. I’ve never once discussed the question here of a potential “error” in the OT or NT. I’ve dealt with the rejection of certain books or authors as not being equally the Word of God.

    Blessings to you!

  15. Dr. Brown,
    That the second time you’ve have misrepresented what I’ve said – the issue isn’t inspiration; the issue is infallibility. From everything I’ve seen so far, your position and Dr. Gagnon’s are not homogenous; I’ve never heard you once allow for a singular error in NT literature.

  16. The real question is whether you have to submit to Paul to be saved. A simple yes or no will suffice for now.
    In Him, Ron M.

  17. Ron,

    God is your Judge, not me, but if you reject Paul’s writings as the inspired Word of God, I do not see how you can be a true disciple of Jesus. Since Paul was one of Jesus’ emissaries, appointed by the Lord for a specific mission, if you reject him you are rejecting the one who sent Him, and that deeply concerns me.

  18. Dan1el, honestly, I don’t have time to spend on this, so we’ll leave things here: The exact definition of “infallibility” has not been discussed on this site by me, and this thread is devoted to discussing the Bible and homosexuality. And unless Dr. Gagnon would like to come here and post that his views and mine are not homogenuous re: the authority of Scripture (which is the only relevant issue here), it’s not for you to do that. He and are I colleagues working on the same side of the issue and with reverence for God and the authority of His Word, and we’ll leave things there.

    If you want to return to the subject of the thread, fine. Otherwise, this is NOT the place for it.

  19. To Ron and Dan1el and others, the purpose of this thread is to discuss homosexual practice and the Bible. If you have questions or comments that relate to that, fine. If you have personal issues or arguments you want to raise, this is not the place for it, nor do I have time to interact further. THANKS FOR HONORING THIS WEBSITE AND ALLOWING US TO ALLOW ALL KINDS OF DISSENTING VIEWS AS LONG AS THEY STAY ON TOPIC AND DO NOT VIOLATE OUR GUIDELINES.

  20. Dr Brown,
    Sorry to take your time – I know your hands are absolutely filled with the Lord’s Work – moving forward; I will ask Dr. Gagnon if he is willing to come post his views (he is surprisingly accessible on FB).
    LORD bless you as you work for Him.

Comments are closed.