Do you have to avoid truth in order to pastoral?

Here are two very different “pastoral” approaches to addressing the issue of homosexuality. I think the differences in approach speak for themselves:

Brian McLaren
Tom Ascol


9 Responses to “Do you have to avoid truth in order to pastoral?”

  1. G. F. McDowell Says:

    If we think that there may actually be a legitimate context for some homosexual relationships, we know that the biblical arguments are nuanced and multilayered, and the pastoral ramifications are staggeringly complex. We aren’t sure if or where lines are to be drawn, nor do we know how to enforce with fairness whatever lines are drawn.

    “You may say that Tom Ascol believes that homosexuality is a sin that will send people to hell, just like others sins will, such as adultery, fornication, theft, lying and murder. Tom Ascol also loves homosexuals and wants to see them come to know and love Jesus Christ as Lord through the power of the Gospel.”

  2. G. F. McDowell Says:

    Give me Ascol any day of the week! There are some humorous comments on McLaren’s site.

  3. Luke Smith Says:

    Dear Aaron,
    Once again reveal your crackerjack box grasp on the depth and breadth of the ravages of sin.

    Please if you want to address the need for being pastoral in confronting sin address a question that you actually confront regularly. For example is gossipping sending your folks on the road to hell? Is it a manifestation of their lost and dying condition? Or is it the vestiges of the old adam that are not yet defeated. Evangelical Fundamentalists focus on homosexuality as the cornerstone sin because it is easy to be repulsed by the thought of anal sex. Perhaps they would serve the church better by bringing people to the recognition that disordered self assertion is just as repugnant before the perfect will of God. Thanks be to God where sin increased grace increased all the more. Thanks be to God that Her power is made perfect in weakness. Thanks be to God that this work of reconcilliation of which we are entrusted is begun, sustained and will be finished by the artificer of all that is and was and ever will be.

    Luke Smith

  4. Craig Says:

    Luke called God “Her.”

    That’s funny… “Her.”

  5. Doctor Clockwork Says:

    thanks for clarifying, craig. i was confused there for a second.

  6. Aaron Says:


    Are you saying that Tom Ascol’s post indicates that he views homosexuality as the “cornerstone sin”?

  7. Doctor Clockwork Says:

    whoa! luke didn’t say “blessings” for that comment.

  8. Luke Smith Says:

    Dear Aaron,
    After reading the Tom Ascol piece I must offer a slightly revised version of my previous rant. I agree with everything he said…..crakerjack or not.



    P.S. the her comment I stand by…

  9. -mike- Says:

    I think I side with McLaren on this one. Partially…
    From what I have read, and what I know of McLaren, they both believe homosexuality does not fit in the will of God. They both seek to bring people into a right being with God. And they both believe God is more important than comfort.
    So, I think they aren’t very different. But, in my opinion, McLarens response was beautifully semi-ambigious and loving.
    But, then again, I am sure my thoughts aren’t in line with any one elses…

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