So here is the situation. Richard Swinburne was invited to give a talk at the Society of Christian Philosophers. His topic, on which he had previously published, was to defend the biblical and traditional view of human sexuality. Because his talk offended some, the SCP apologized for any harm done by the talk. And here is a link to the response by a number of those members who believe that Dr. Swinburne is owed an apology.
Now it goes without saying that I agree with the thrust of this open letter to the leadership of the SCP—in that I do agree that a Christian ought to be able to articulate the Christian view of things at a Christian conference, particularly when he was invited to do so. Thus far comity reigns.
But the disease of our day is found all the way through this protest of Swinburne’s treatment, and it is, at the end of the day, the reason we get such treatment. Believers in the biblical view need to stop wearing around this “kick me” sign on our backs.
All the way through the letter of protest, the assumption is made that advocates of diversity and inclusivity really are dedicated to those things, and that their failure in this particular instance was some kind of an oversight. “Wait,” the nice Christians argue. “This process is utterly inconsistent with the academic freedom we all profess and the free interplay of different ideas that we claim to admire.” Why, so it is. Imagine our shock.
This battle—and many others like it—is the result of faithful Christians bringing a feather duster to a gun fight.
The complaint against SCP is that they are not “creating a conducive or welcoming environment to orthodox Christians who are either in line with Swinburne or are not far off from it.” That’s right. That’s right because that’s the plan. It does no good for one football coach to protest to the other one that he persists in “running his game plan.” Yes, quite.
In any organization, discipline is inescapable. Either the faithful will exclude the unfaithful, or the unfaithful will exclude the faithful. There is no world in which fidelity and infidelity may join hands and build a new future together. Either faithful Christians will exile those who would applaud sexual abominations, or unfaithful Christians will exile those Christians who believe that certain sexual practices, all things considered, at the end of the day, are not in keeping with God’s ideals for human flourishing, and hence may be considered, in the right light, if you squint, as something of a disability.