conservative christian

Image via Rene Bach / Flickr / RNS

In the fight over gay rights, conservative Christians have a new enemy. No, it isn’t a politician or activist or organization. It isn’t a noun at all, but rather a verb: normalize.

In Albert Mohler’s forthcoming book, “We Cannot Be Silent : Speaking Truth to a Culture Redefining Sex, Marriage, & the Very Meaning of Right & Wrong,” the president of the flagship Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., discusses the normalization of same-sex relationships a whopping 39 times.

“The normalization of homosexual relationships and the legalization of same-sex marriage” is, in Mohler’s words, “the debate of greatest intensity of our time.”

Jennifer Knapp is as shocked as anyone with her newfound role. RNS photo courtesy Fairlight Hubbard for Eye Photography.

Four years ago, when musician Jennifer Knapp declared to the world that she was a lesbian, some of the conservative Christians who had purchased 1 million of her albums expressed outrage and disappointment.

At the time, Knapp had already been on a seven-year professional hiatus and declared she was not interested in being a poster girl for the gay Christian community. Neither did she feel equipped.

“I’m in no way capable of leading a charge for some kind of activist movement,” Knapp told Christianity Today in 2010.

But her sense of readiness has apparently changed. Simon & Schuster is preparing to release a book by Knapp in October titled “Facing the Music: Discovering Real Life, Real Love, and Real Faith.”

Three decades ago, the evangelical faithful was galvanized by public debates over abortion, the size of the federal government, the future of the traditional family, and religious liberty. Many responded by following divisive leaders into the culture wars with the promise that voting for "moral" leadership would end abortion, protect traditional marriage and put our country on the right track.

How did that work? Not so well, it turns out.

Lisa Sharon Harper 01-01-2012

A conference at Cedarville University shows new political boundary-crossing in the Christian college world.

the Web Editors 10-04-2011

ev churchWhat are "the evangelicals," you ask?

Certainly not a political or ideological monolith, as recent polling and survey numbers demonstrate.

Here is a compilation of some recent statistics related to evangelicals and their political, spiritual and ideological habits.

Nadia Bolz-Weber 07-13-2011

My favorite characters in The Lord of the Rings are the Ents -- an ancient race of giant living, talking, breathing trees in J.R.R. Tolkien's fictional land, Middle Earth. I have a little confession to make: Whenever I hear a reading from Isaiah 55 where it says, "The mountains and hills before you shall burst into song and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands," I always picture the Giant Ents from The Lord of the Rings. And then I picture these clapping trees from Isaiah holding little Hobbits in their branch arms in what ends up a willful conflation of Middle Earth and Major Prophet.

Nadia Bolz-Weber 05-20-2011
Is it just me, or does anyone else think it's kind of weird how we've named Thomas, "Doubting" Thomas. We don't give the other characters in the New Testament little nicknames ...
Nadia Bolz-Weber 02-21-2011
Sometimes when I'm bored I kind of like to fill in sound effects that I think the crowd listening to Jesus might have responded with.
Jeannie Choi 01-07-2011
Here's a little round up of links from around the web you may have missed this week:
Claire Lorentzen 10-27-2010
Are you tired of reading about the Tea Party? The group represents 11 percent of our population, yet it has been on the front cover of every national newspaper for months now.
Jim Rice 10-04-2010

Ever since Peter and Paul had opposing views about ministry to the Gentiles, there have been divisions in the Christian church. But rarely in the course of church history have differences among Christians been so exploited and manipulated for political gain by those outside the church as is the case today.

Aaron Taylor 09-16-2010
I've been getting into trouble lately.
I rejoice that Pastor Terry Jones and his church have decided never to burn Qurans.
Diana Butler Bass 08-10-2010
As a working mother who lives in the Washington-metro area, I admit that I was dreading Bravo's new program The Real Housewives of D.C.
Eugene Cho 10-06-2009
I remember being instructed as a new Christian many years ago to pray for influential Hollywood people.

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