Well after a longer delay than I'd hoped, here is the second posting of D.Seiple Online, responding to Danny Mann's provocative comments from August. Our discussion at that point veered in a number of directions, and now perhaps we'd best pursue several of them separately. (1) One thread dealt with the question of civil rights for gays, and the relation of Christianity to public policy in this regard. I'll resume that line of discussion in a separate post, entitled "Homosexuality and Society." (2) Another issue on our radar must be traditional Christian attitudes toward homosexuality. Knowing Danny, I'm sure we'll start (as indeed we must) with relevant scriptural passages. I suggest we treat this separately, under the thread "Scripture and Homosexuality."
(3) Finally, we began with this thread's question -- of who (if anyone) speaks for God. Who owns the term 'Christian'? This is topic we'll pursue here.
Can I, for example, call myself a "Christian" despite the fact that some of what I say and do does not conform to Danny's own prescriptions? Preaching, especially for Protestants, has been identified with conveying God's Word, and since the content of God's Word might arguably define who is a Christian, if a preacher gets the Word right, then (one might suppose) that preacher speaks for God. It's natural to conclude from this that such a person can reliably determine who is and who is not a Christian. I think this is Danny's position, and this thread will take up this end of the discussion.