Jim Hamilton: In his book God and the Gay Christian, Matthew Vines assumes that he is correct to call sin righteous, slanders the Bride of Christ, and speaks as though sin produces lasting joy when he writes, “the church’s condemnation of same-sex relationships seemed to be harmful to the long-term wellbeing of most gay people. . . . Same-sex relationships, however, did seem to be creating long-term fulfillment for gay people. By condemning homosexuality, the church seemed to be shutting off a primary avenue for relational joy and companionship in gay people’s lives” (13, emphasis his). Let’s work through the assertions in this statement: First, the church has not issued this condemnation. God did that by inspiring the biblical authors to write what they did. The church is not at fault for holding to what the Bible says. Second, the concern expressed here for “long-term fulfillment” is not long-term enough. Vines wants a committed same-sex relationship that, if he lived
James M. Hamilton
What Is Biblical Theology?
James M. Hamilton: What is biblical theology? I use the phrase biblical theology to refer to the interpretive perspective of the biblical authors. So what is an “interpretive perspective”? It’s the framework of assumptions and presuppositions, associations and identifications, truths, and symbols that are taken for granted as an author or speaker describes the world and the events that take place in it. What do the biblical authors use this perspective to interpret? First, the biblical authors have interpreted earlier Scripture, or in the case of the first author on record (Moses), accounts of God’s words and deeds that were passed down to him. Second, they interpreted world history from creation to consummation. And third, they interpreted the events and statements they describe—Moses didn’t recount everything Balaam said and did in the instances presented in Numbers 22-24. Moses selected what he wanted, arranged it with care, and presented the true story. The presentation of Balaam’s oracles Moses gives us in the book of Numbers is