When We Find Ourselves in a Wrestling Match
Exhausted and Energized

A Project Ends

Today I finished James McClendon's third and final volume to his Systematic Theology, entitled Witness. It seems weird to finally be done with this project (I've read the three books over the last two years).

I first heard of McClendon and his project when I was an undergrad and only the first volume was published. The whole idea of starting a systematic theology with the ethics instead of a prolegomena was surprising. Without reading the books or knowing their content, I was energized by the idea of starting theology at some point other than the arguments for God. Once when teaching college Sunday school at FBC Shawnee I taught a class on the basic beliefs of Christianity (a class that generated by best attendance and greatest discussions of the years I was teaching in the college department). I started with our religious experiences in September and concluded with God in May. In many ways it turned the normal order upside down. It still didn't follow McClendon's order or content (hadn't read him yet), but the idea energized my own idea.

When I started ministry in Fayetteville, McClendon's project was done and was influential on my pastor, David. We talked about aspects of it a lot while he was working on his dissertation. Finally I bought a copy of the three volumes when they were on sale at the local Cokesbury and proceed to read them. They actually had an incredible impact on how I did ministry at Royal Lane and what the content of that ministry was. Shortly after starting in Dallas the youth workers asked me to do a series on sexuality for our youth. I was intimidated to do that so early in my ministry, but realized it should be done. I did A LOT of research, but the guiding force behind all of it was McClendon's treatment of sexuality in his first volume Ethics. With hindsight, I also realize that the reading of McClendon's theology of sexuality helped till the ground before I began coming out a few months later.

I have some details to write about my opinions about the books, but will save that for the next post.


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Interesting Scott. Are you suggesting that McClendon, at least implicitly, is a pro-gay Baptist theologian?


Some SBC guys are asking what the BWA is:
anyone want to go tell them?


Hey Scott! I have never commented to you before this is cool. If you have time could you check out my new blog? SquirrelyGal and then tell me which blog you like better Gurly_Gurl_08 or SquirrelyGal. I love your photo album by the way it is awesome! I especially love "Scott with beer"


Wow, what a project! I admire your tenacity in finishing the trilogy. Thanks for your link to the left for www.Godmademegay.com It is the best study I have seen on the subject. I have read a number of the relevant books (i.e. "Is the Homosexual my Neighbor?"), but I love that this letter came from a source who had no agenda but to find the truth. That and looking at the photo of this old man and his wife, it is clear this is no closet case---just a deeply honest man of God. Good job.

  Dee Villarrubia

God made me Gay. I am as who I am by the Grace of God. And his grace has not been in vain.
Dee Villarrubia

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