Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Recent Yale Divinity School Graduate Says Traditional Marriage Folks Are All Wet

There seems to be two kinds of people that have recently graduated from law schools, medical schools, and theology schools. First there are those that realize they have been given the tool to explore some of lives biggest questions. Law school for the most part gives you the tools fro argument, for legal theory and yes where too look it up.

A recent graduate with the above education has (or should) have made the discovery that his jorney is just beginning and there are now are more questions thant answers. Then there are those that think they know it all.

It appears Jonathan Dudley , a recent grad of Yale Divinity school, that for some reason has been given space at CNN's religion blog is in the latter category. See My Take: Bible condemns a lot, so why focus on homosexuality? . He makes this rather astounding statement at the beginning:

Growing up in the evangelical community, I learned the Bible’s stance on homosexuality is clear-cut. God condemns it, I was taught, and those who disagree just haven’t read their Bibles closely enough.
Having recently graduated from Yale Divinity School, I can say that my childhood community’s approach to gay rights—though well intentioned—is riddled with self-serving double standards...

Well there you go lol.

A Baton Rouge Pastor at Live the Trinity pretty much rips into this piece at Recent poor attempt to address(?) same-sex relations and Christian tradition. A must read!!

Our young man from Yale also has other annoying errors that we see often such as giving a too simplistic version of history as to the abortion and ensoulment questions he mentions.

Further he says this in his piece:

....But the community opposed to gay marriage has itself revised the Christian tradition in a host of ways. For the first 1500 years of Christianity, for example, marriage was deemed morally inferior to celibacy. When a theologian named Jovinian challenged that hierarchy in 390 A.D. — merely by suggesting that marriage and celibacy might be equally worthwhile endeavors — he was deemed a heretic and excommunicated from the church.

How does that sit with “family values” activism today?

Yale New Testament professor Dale B. Martin has noted that today’s "pro-family" activism, despite its pretense to be representing traditional Christian values, would have been considered “heresy” for most of the church’s history....

Well that is quite the charge. First I am sure that at some point at Yale a group called the Manichean heresy was mentioned. Jovian's arguments and the counter arguments to his argument have to be viewed in that context. He also said such things as once a person had received baptism, a man could no longer sin and that neither fasting nor abstinence from any kind of food was of any avail.

In fact what perhaps got got Jovian in real trouble was a tendency to call out all that disagreed with him has Manichean heretics. Including the Clergy of Rome. A severe tactical error to put it mildly. For a detailed look at this see


The responses to Jovian are pretty fascinating. In fact Jerome's response to Jovian was not well received in quarters of Rome because it was viewed as going to far. Which might have prompted Augustine himself to delve into the matter. See this excellent piece Sex, Sin and Salvation: What Augustine Really Said by again David Hunter.

When one looks at the Church Fathers as a whole one actually sees a GREAT defense and love of marriage. I would content that they are much closer to the pro family activism of today than our Yale graduate would like to admit.

One other book I suspect that author did not read at Yale was Newman's works on Development of Doctrine. However here is the problem for our Yale Grad. No where is there even a tiny kernel or acorn in scripture, in Tradition, or in Church Teaching that can develop into a full blown tree of gay marriage? None and he offers none in his piece. The fact the concept "gay marriage" in both he religious and civil concept has pretty much just happened in our lifetimes


Anonymous said...

"Dudley is arrogant" is not an argument at all. You seem pretty arrogant yourself to look your nose down so confidently on someone with academic credentials that dwarf your own.

What's more, while the Jovinian controversy was more complex than detailed in the 800-word Op-Ed (obviously), it is still true that Jovinian's view on the equality of marriage and celibacy was condemned as heresy, a crucial point that you conveniently neglect to acknowledge.

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