David Gushee is a professor at my alma mater, Mercer University. The entire time I attended Mercer, the school affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention. A few years after graduation, the school finally unshackled itself from the troglodyte orthodox Christianity peddled by the Southern Baptists. Those orthodox believers in scripture, while putting the fun in fundamentalism, had the audacity to think words mean things and the words of the Bible have particularly valuable meaning in their context. Mercer couldn’t have that.
During my time at Mercer, the Christianity Department was constantly struggling to change its name to the “religion” department and its professors invested heavily in the idea that Christian students should see the light that the Bible cannot possibly be inerrant.
Last year, one of the professors at Mercer’s “Theology” School, did a YouTube video where, surrounded by students, he read Luke’s Gospel account of the birth of Jesus as if he were reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” After every verse or so, he would stop and assert the account was a lie and could not possibly be true.
Now comes David Gushee, another Mercer professor, who is “changing” his view on gay marriage. Matt Franck brings us today’s must read on this matter.
In his own eyes he is a brave heir to Bonhoeffer’s legacy, prepared to lose friendships among the hopelessly retrogade, the bitter clingers to the teachings of Jesus and his apostles as the church has always understood them. The dark fate that awaits the courageous David Gushee consists of major newspaper features, interviews with celebrity journalists, acclaim from his academic peers, and book-signing parties in our best progressive bookstores across the country. My, what a martyrdom.
Here’s the thing everyone seems to be missing. David Gushee is the Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and Executive Director of the Center for Faith and Public Life at Mercer University. This is very important to understand. David Gushee would not have that position if he held orthodox Christian beliefs. He can call himself an evangelical or whatever he wants. But my alma mater and those within it who appoint people to “distinguished” positions would never appoint someone to such a position if that person actually believed the Bible were the inerrant word of God Almighty.
David Gushee may have evolved or changed his position, but I know just from where he works and his position therein, that if he actually changed, he is just bringing the rest of his mind in the direction of the world. Rarely have I encountered a theologian at my alma mater pointed in the direction of Jesus.