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The Problem with Andrew Marin's book (2009) "Love is an Orientation" (IVP)
Rev Mario Burgner (Redeemed Lives) writes:
"For those of you who have read our two most recent Redeemed Lives newsetters, you will recall that I have addressed in detail the growing influence of Andrew Marin on evangelical and charismatic churches, particularlly some of the congregations in the Vineyard Christian Fellowship (VCF). Currently, the trend in some VCF churches is to categorize LGBT issues as 'disputable matters' with reference to such in Romans 14. In the last six weeks I know of three VCF c! hurches where this gross error (heresy?) has been preached. Heresy is cruel as it keeps human beings in our miserable sinful condition all the while assuring us that we are right with God. It robs us of our inherent dignity as a valued singular person made according to the Image of God. Moody Radio asked me debate Andrew Marin back in October on their 'Up For Debate' radio program, but he declined to go head to head with me. So, instead I debated a Marin 'disciple'. You can listen to that broadcast by CLICKING HERE".
He's not alone in his concerns:
Extract from John Nolland's review
I might be misunderstanding him, but Marin seems to think that debate about the meaning of the Biblical passages related to homosexuality is sterile. Debating scriptural interpretation comes out badly in his eyes. He seems to implicitly identify it with the critical references in Scripture to unfruitful debating about opinions. His hermeneutical chapter in which he takes up the key scriptural texts is interesting in the way that at times, while helpfully placing the specific texts into the context of the larger agenda of the texts within which they come, we end up with a shape rather than a content. E.g. Lev 18 and 20 becomes ‘live distinctly in all facets of daily life'. Surely the content of that living distinctly requires biblical discernment.
One of the challenges raised by Marin's book is that of to what degree his vision of authentic Christianity is the proper goal. Marin expresses it like this: ‘my heart yearned for authentic Christianity - one where people from both communities lived together in a shared belief in Christ amidst the struggle'. This sounds a bit like what is offered by Richard Burridge in his recent Imitating Jesus: giving each other space in a community of love to find our own way forward in response to Jesus. The church is certainly to be a community of forgiven and forgiving sinners. But being totally open-ended in relation to every person's individual take and practice in relation to what constitutes Christian belief and behaviour does not fit well with important strands of New Testament teaching and example. It is interesting that Marin can use 1 Cor 6:9-11 to suggest that LGBT Christians should, having come to faith, be allowed to stand on their own faith with God and have a right to be their own person in Christ, whether other Christians agree with what they do or not. Actually 1 Cor 6:9-11 is part of the framing discussion that explains Paul's insistence in 5:1-8 that the man living with his father's wife should be handed over to Satan! (We can see this when we notice the way that 1 Cor 6:9-11 echoes the language of 5:9-11.) Because of the polarity that Marin has set up (conservative Christians vs the GLTB community) there is no place within his frame for considering fundamental disagreement within the Christian community. There is, therefore, no attention to scriptural materials that might throw light on the homosexuality debate from that quarter. Unconditional love is certainly called for as the fundamental Christian stance, but one might sense that at times more might be needed than what tends to come across as a version of ‘all you need is love'.