Kirsten Powers endorses Matthew Vines’s book?

Kirsten Powers has a very curious column in today’s USA Today. It’s “curious” because of what we know about Powers. On the one hand, Powers has gone public with her Christian commitment. On the other hand, she seems to be wobbly on the Bible’s teaching about sexuality. I’ve heard her make statements to this effect in the past, and her column today seems to be very sympathetic to Matthew Vines’s book God and the Gay Christian.

I say “seems” because technically speaking the article is not so much about what she thinks, but about what American Christians might do. Her opening question frames the whole article: “Could there be a future where most American Christians support same-sex relationships?” The rest of the column reads more like an analysis of that question, not like a definitive expression of her opinion. Even her conclusion is tentative: “Perhaps the same question should be asked about gay Christians.” Reading between the lines, her essay comes across like an endorsement of Vines. Nevertheless, formally, it stops short of a clear, unambiguous endorsement. What are we to make of this reluctance? I don’t know.

I’ve written elsewhere about the arguments in Vines’s book, so I won’t rehash all of that here. But I will say that the case he makes is wrong at nearly every level—exegetically, historically, theologically, pastorally. His book is riddled with problems. In short, his book is a massive error and a clear departure from the Christian faith. To follow Vines’s argument is to walk away from the teaching of scripture.

Perhaps the tentative tone of Powers’s column indicates that she is still sorting some of this out. At least I’m hopeful that’s what it means.

35 Responses to Kirsten Powers endorses Matthew Vines’s book?

  1. andrew alladin June 4, 2014 at 8:40 am #

    Kirsten Powers is a Democrat pundit/strategist and also a Christian. She’s straddling the fence here. As a Democrat wishing to keep her options open for service (in President Hillary Clinton’s administration) she cannot cross the rubicon and publicly oppose gay marriage. But as a rising Christian celebrity she would immediately lose her cache if she did support “same-sex” relationships. Which one will win in the end? Political viability or Christian stardom?

    As a new convert to Christianity I wish she would spend more time reading systematic theologies (perhaps by John Frame or Wayne Grudem) and less time figuring out why Christians have been wrong for about two thousand years.

    Note also the qualifier of “most American Christians.” Powers is most likely aware that in places where Christians are being persecuted (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, North Korea, China, etc) they don’t see scripture as something that needs to be re-interpreted to fit with the prevailing morality of a decadent and decaying West. Christians facing beheading, bombings, and hanging don’t have time for the theological acrobatics by the likes of Matthew Vines (or Kirsten Powers).

    • Lauren Bertrand June 4, 2014 at 10:26 pm #

      ….or John Piper, Rachel Held Evans, Marc Driscoll, Jim Wallis, C.S. Lewis, or Denny Burk

      • Jonathan June 6, 2014 at 5:07 am #

        John Piper/ etc only do so because Rachel Held Evans etc perform theological acrobatics.

  2. Terry Galloway June 4, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    Thanks for the link for ‘elsewhere’ to the be able to read the ebook. I was not familiar with the Matthew Vine book. This explains why Andy Stanley preached his When Gracie Met Truthie sermon April 2012 on homosexuality being the new microcosm of the church.

    So many churches have already embraced the gay lifestyle without calling for repentance and celibacy. Really though, it will be difficult to go there when they already allow so many to remain in their heterosexual sins of divorce and remarriage which Mark and Luke say is adultery and premarital sex (fornication) going against Romans 6 and teaching Jude 4 that grace is a license to sin. Recently, Andy preached again on remarriage being fine as long as the couple had waited two years from their respective divorces in his Starting Over series. Sin is only sin for a certain length of time that he comes up with. The gospel is being perverted more and more each day.

    I fear that Kirsten Powers may believe a false gospel that has no power of Jesus Christ to make us dead to sin and not live in it any longer or that is what we “were” before coming to know Jesus and lovingly obey Him (His commands are not burdensome). Plenty of people identify themselves as Christians but are not willing to die to self and take up their cross dying daily.

  3. Esther O'Reilly June 4, 2014 at 10:03 am #

    Let it go Denny. She’s not being subtle about this at all. She’s a lib/Dem and that’s really all there is to it. Why does everyone keep paying attention to this woman? Maybe if everyone IGNORED her, she wouldn’t stir up this much discussion. She’s such a shallow thinker, so not worth the attention she generates.

    • Chris Ryan June 4, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

      Political labels have nothing to do with Christianity. Liberal Dems believe in Christianity every bit as much as Conservative Reps. You could make the case that Conservative Reps have turned their back on much of the Bible…More broadly, Powers is right in her analysis that a majority of Christians support gay marriage. Even 64% of Evangelical Millenials support gay marriage. Many of us who support it don’t think its consistent with Christianity, but we do believe that everyone in a democracy deserves to be treated equally. That’s simple fairness. 20 yrs from now Christians will wonder why we ever opposed equal rights, much like Mormons today wonder how they could have ever discriminated against black ppl.

      • pauljacobsblog June 4, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

        Hugh difference. It is not a sin to be black. Homosexuality is a result of the sinful condition of man. It is a natural proclivity for some, but still sinful.

        • Lauren Bertrand June 4, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

          That wasn’t what mainstream Evangelicals thought about blacks even 50 years ago. And that’s not what quite a few Christians think about Mormons to this day.

        • Jane Dunn June 5, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

          No, of course it’s not a sin to be black. But, much of the church in the south thought (and some still think) that “race-mixing” and interracial marriage are sins.

  4. Lucas Knisely June 4, 2014 at 10:51 am #

    I think some patient-loving-charitable-engagement is a better response than annoyed indifference or a call to ignore her. She’s a fairly new convert and comes with a life and background of thoughts, views, and opinions that may change shape and reform as she grows in the faith. Towing the party line on issues like apposing gay marriage is probably difficult for someone who has received a significant amount of aggression and uncharitable engagement with Republicans and conservatives in the past. Her experience after her comments about Jim Crow laws and businesses serving homosexuals was not exactly what I would call loving and patient engagement from fellow believers. Just labeling a fellow believer as “lib/dem” and calling for her to be shoved aside and ignored seems anti-gospel and anti-Christian. The irony surrounding the gay marriage debate is that many Christians end up being just as anti-Christian as they believe an endorsement of gay marriage to be. And I happen to think the accusation of “shallow thinker” is completely off the mark, and again, ironic.

    • Esther O'Reilly June 4, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

      It’s precisely because she has so far to grow and is such a new Christian that she needs to stop speaking out on areas where her thoughts aren’t fully formed. When she thinks out loud like this, invariably what comes out is incredibly waffly on the truth and merely adds fuel to the fire for other confused millenials like her. She needs to realize that young people are looking to her to be a leader, and she needs to realize that she is not at a stage where she can assume leadership on these issues. And I say that as a millenial. I stand by my description of her as “shallow,” because as we saw in her piece with Merritt, any time she attempts analogy or argumentation, her examples are irrelevant and/or misguided. For example, she compared baking a cake for a wedding with giving cake to a murderer in jail on his birthday, seemingly missing the fact that it’s not celebrating the murderer’s sin to celebrate his birthday! Especially if you’re ministering to a REPENTANT murderer! The true equivalent would be giving the murderer a cake on the anniversary of his crime, complete with plastic figurines of him doing the deed with his weapon of choice. Her logic is absolutely riddled with holes like this. And yet people consider her to be insightful and deep. Like I said, it would be better if she refined her thoughts before hitting “publish,” or if people simply ignored her when she fails to do that.

      • James Bradshaw June 4, 2014 at 10:46 pm #

        Esther writes: “The true equivalent would be giving the murderer a cake on the anniversary of his crime, complete with plastic figurines of him doing the deed with his weapon of choice”

        Clarify to me how a gay couple’s commitment to each other is even remotely comparable to murder.

        Your post once again underlines how religious fanaticism completely eradicates any capacity for nuance, critical thinking and sense of proportion.

        • Esther O'Reilly June 5, 2014 at 12:07 am #

          Regardless of whether you rank murder higher or lower than sexual sin on the theological totem pole, both murder and sexual sin are sins. And in both cases, the sin is being celebrated. Kirsten’s original analogy was flawed because she was comparing the celebration of something that isn’t sinful with participating in something that is. That was my main point. I realize that for those who don’t grant that homosexuality is a sin, the point is meaningless, but I was addressing other Christians. If you and I were to have a one-on-one conversation, I wouldn’t even bother discussing homosexuality at first. I would be much more interested in asking you whether you’ve examined the evidences for Christianity, and if so, how you found them wanting.

  5. JB June 4, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    The one who claims to love Jesus Christ will obey Christ’s teaching. He will remain in, abide in Christ’s teaching, which is the truth. Scripture is the truth. John 17:17

    “If you love Me, you will obey what I command.” John 14:15

    Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.” John 14:23-24

    “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” John 15:9-10

    The one who does not obey Christ’s teaching, who does not love truth, will not accept the truth of Christ. In fact, he will hate the truth. The world hates the truth, they hate the light and they will not come into the light because their deeds are evil. We know then who is of Christ and who truly loves Christ by whether they are following the world, or whether they love the teachings of Christ. Whether they believe and follow the truth from the scripture, or the prevailing notions of society. It may indeed be a very small number, a remnant who will cling to the truth. The truth of the matter in this case is that male and female were created by God, and also marriage was created by God to be between one man and one woman. Matthew 19:4-6 This is God’s doing; He sets the standard and it is His standard in every age, no matter what. Dear Christian, love Jesus Christ and His word. Cling to Him; cling to His truth. This is love to Christ.

  6. pauljacobsblog June 4, 2014 at 11:28 am #

    She is one of my favorite commentators at Fox. I like her because I see her as a growing genuine Christian moving away from the liberal establishment from which she was saved. I believe that her journey is real and progressing. She is approaching things as an older millennial rather than a seminary graduate. Her worldview is decidedly non-Christian. Her background is agnostic humanism.
    Saving of one’s soul from the fires of hell takes place with faith in Christ Jesus. Conversion of a life from that of a pagan to one who has a Christian world view is a journey of a lifetime. I feel that she is making progress. If we are to disagree with her, let’s make sure that we do so in love with a view to educating her to a more biblical world-view and less as a rebuke.
    My wife comes from a Catholic culture. She was saved from this as a child, but nevertheless, grew up in a Catholic culture. Even though she is saved and growing in the Lord, her background is always there. Her first instinct is to look at things through the lens of Catholicism. Thus it will be with Kirsten Powers. Her lens is that of humanism which seeks equality for all. This is going to be a driving force in her worldview.

    • Denny Burk June 4, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

      Thanks, Paul. That’s what I’m hoping too.

    • James Bradshaw June 4, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

      So wait, Paul … you can’t be a “gay Christian”, but you can’t be a “Catholic” Christian and go to Heaven, either? Hoo boy, here we go …

      • Ian Shaw June 4, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

        Are you taking a page out of Ravi Zacharius’ answer when asked if mormons will go to heaven and he responded, “yes, depending on what exactly they believe and don’t believe about mormon doctrine”?

        I get where you’re going, but lets try not to derail the train here.

    • Mac Williams June 5, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

      I’m not sure what it even means to be “saved from Catholic culture”. Conservative Protestants could learn a lot from the Catholic Church’s commitment to social welfare. You can’t fully be Christian unless you’re helping those in need. Likewise you can’t fully be Christian unless you, in fact, “seek equality for all”. God intended for all people to be equal, and any time we treat people unequally we’re forgetting Jesus’ own Golden Rule.

  7. Ian Shaw June 4, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

    She’s going to learn, hopefully not the hard way, that you can’t straddle the fence as she’s doing. You’ll be flammed by arrows on both sides if you do that and you’ll kill any any all credibility from either side. There’s no playing Switzerland here.

    You either think a potential position in a possible Clinton administration is more important to you than your faith, or your faith is more important than what your temporal wants/desires are. None of us have all the time in the world to choose.

    • Jane Dunn June 4, 2014 at 11:17 pm #

      Is it necessary to impugn her motives?

  8. bobbistowellbrown June 4, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    I think Kirsten Powers is one to watch and to pray for. I think she will lead many 30 somethings to truth or away from it. If the Jews had seen the writing on the wall before WWII they would have gotten out of the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Denmark, Yugoslavia, Greece, Norway and Western Poland. I was thinking about where I would go if Christians see gay marriage taking over the U.S.–maybe to colonize the moon or Mars!

    • buddyglass June 4, 2014 at 10:45 pm #

      “I was thinking about where I would go if Christians see gay marriage taking over the U.S.–maybe to colonize the moon or Mars!”

      Or perhaps you might “seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”

      Unless you think the advent of same-sex marriage will quickly translate into Christians being rounded up and sent to death camps. If that’s the case then yeah…better get out now.

      • bobbistowellbrown June 5, 2014 at 12:06 am #

        There is a time for everything. Sometimes we should stay and other times leave. In Matthew 10: 23 it says “But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next ; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.” Just planning ahead if it was necessary to leave.

        • buddyglass June 5, 2014 at 11:33 am #

          That command is to those who were on an evangelistic mission, not actually living in the cities in question. But yes, there is a time to leave and a time to stay. Do you feel that if same-sex marriages were legally recognized in all fifty states it would constitute a “time to leave”?

          • bobbistowellbrown June 5, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

            If same sex marriage were lawful in all 50 states it would be time to leave. The persecution has already begun. Small businesses are being sued and having to go out of business. CEOs have to step down from their jobs. Soon churches will loose their tax-exempt status if they preach that homosexuality is a sin. Speakers are disinvited to pray or to speak if they support traditional marriage. It goes without saying that “Christians” are splitting over the issue. By voting for candidates who approve of same sex marriage these Christians are guilty of approving of same sex marriage. Romans 1:32 says, “32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.”
            If you haven’t read “Safely Home” by Randy Alcorn I recommend it. In China Christians have no way of making a living because of the communist government discriminating against them.

            • buddyglass June 5, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

              Cool. I’ll hold you to that. You may not have long to wait if the Supreme Court gets involved. Where do you plan to emigrate to, if I may ask?

              • bobbistowellbrown June 5, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

                I have no doubt that God will direct my path. Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

                • buddyglass June 5, 2014 at 4:53 pm #

                  Does that mean you won’t devote any thought to choosing a destination before it’s actually time to emigrate?

                  If s.s.m. becoming the law of the land is truly eminent, which is debatable, then it might be worth starting your planning now. It would stink if the Supreme Court struck down state prohibition of same-sex marriage and you had to get out of the country a.s.a.p. but had no idea where to go. It takes some time to get a visa, raise funds for the move, etc. If you’re serious about this I’d recommend getting a plan in place now, part of which would include where you plan to go.

            • James Bradshaw June 5, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

              “Soon churches will loose their tax-exempt status if they preach that homosexuality is a sin.”

              Remember the North Carolina pastor who said gays should be put in concentration camps? He faced no legal action for his comments. Westboro still operates their hateful sites, and the Supreme Court recently found in their favor. Do you seriously think that free speech is in danger in the US?

              “Speakers are disinvited to pray or to speak if they support traditional marriage.”

              That’s too bad. Really it is. I tend to favor healthy debate. However, try to look at it from the perspective of a gay American. Many have been fired from their jobs for being gay. Gay youths have been kicked out of their homes and into the street. Folks like you will tell them that they are “worthy of death” … which I can assure you weighs heavily on the hearts of impressionable younger gay kids.

              Sorry, but being uninvited to a $25,000 speaking engagement pales into insignificance by comparison.

              • bobbistowellbrown June 6, 2014 at 11:23 am #

                Joshua 24:14 “Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth ; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve : whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living ;”

  9. James Harold Thomas June 4, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

    Yikes! Someone needs to get Photoshop for Dummies.

  10. buddyglass June 4, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    This is the hallmark of good journalism, btw. She needs to be able to report on the book and its possible impact on American Evangelicalism without the reader being able to guess what her actual beliefs are. Whether she succeeds at that is another matter.

  11. Cindy Chang June 5, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

    Kristen Powers is in a tough tough place. As a newer Christian, the best & healthiest thing for her to do would be to find someone to disciple her who has no motivation other than her spiritual health & well-being, and growth.

    As it is, it seems that she is surrounded by people who are bent on using her for their own political purposes. She’s doing what she knows to do, struggling to find her way in a public forum, and trying to make sense of things as she goes. Making mistakes at the beginning, like we all do, sure, but in a more public venue.

    My heart hurts for her, and my prayers are going up for her. I’ve been blessed with the foundation of praying parents & grandparents and have been shown the way since childhood. I’ve been blessed, and consider myself rich.

    Pray for her. She’s a relative newbie in Christ who is struggling sink in her roots by the rivers of water (Psalm 1), and she’s being treated like fresh meat in the shark-pool by those who want to use her for her influence and profile. If this doesn’t bother you, it should. You should be indignant on her behalf.

    Don’t be insulting, don’t denigrate or name-call. Be Christ-like, be caring, be prayerful. If you are a Christ-follower, then this is your sister. Act like it.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Round-Up (June 7-8, 2014) | Entreating Favor - June 7, 2014

    […] Kirsten Powers endorses Matthew Vines’s book? – Kirsten Powers has a very curious column in today’s USA Today. It’s “curious” because of what we know about Powers. On the one hand, Powers has gone public with her Christian commitment. On the other hand, she seems to be wobbly on the Bible’s teaching about sexuality. I’ve heard her make statements to this effect in the past, and her column today seems to be very sympathetic to Matthew Vines’s book God and the Gay Christian. […]

Comment here. Please use FIRST and LAST name.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes