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Jesus Needs New PR

When I posted about Sean McDowell/Interlinc yesterday, I didn’t know that it would create such a heated debate at my blog as well as several other well-visited blogs across the Internet. This morning I received an email from Sean. And though he and I don’t agree on the topic of discussion, I must say that his email is kind and civil. And I respect and appreciate that a lot. As most of us know, it’s not easy responding to criticism, so anytime somebody does it well, I believe it should be acknowledged and commended.

I also think Sean makes a great point regarding the titling of the initial post: I’ll admit it was unfair. The only reason I used Sean’s father’s name was because I’d never heard of Sean and thought that using his father’s name would bring recognition/context to the post. But I realize now that using it was also sensationalism, and I’m sorry about that. I’m a blogger, not a news reporter… Also, while I do think that Sean’s answer to the question was fear-filled ‘Christian’ jargon, I wasn’t trying to “define” every part of him as such. I should have made that clearer in my post. Again, my apologies.

The only other thing I would add before you read the letter is this: The “quote” Sean uses toward the end of his letter (highlighted in red) was not written by me! I assume he, like others in the comment section, are confusing my comments–mpt–with one of my faithful readers’ comments–MattPTurner. With that said, here’s Sean’s letter unedited…

Dear Matthew,

Wow, it seems I’ve become quite the topic of interest on your blog the past couple days! Chad (my friend you quoted on the 2nd blog post) forwarded me your post today so I’ve taken some time to read your blog and familiarize myself with your writings.

It seems we have a lot in common. We are both 34. We are both writers and speakers. And we both grew up in conservative Christian homes. And we both also have a heart for our generation, and in particular for gay people. Believe it or not, I would be very interested in meeting you in person some day and talking through some of these issues. I live in California, so you’ll have to let me know if you’re ever in the OC.

Reading your post (and many of the comments) brought some thoughts to my mind. Allow me to share a few.

First, thanks for posting the rest of the video. I appreciate what you said here: “However, my goal is never to misrepresent somebody’s views or opinions, which is why I’m posting the complete answer as a new post rather than simply linking to it.”

Second, I realize you didn’t edit the video. You probably didn’t even realize there was more to it. In the future, please consider contacting me directly so I can give some context. I think this may have avoided a lot of misunderstanding.

The title of the post, “Josh McDowell’s son uses fear, hate, & ignorance to teach kids how to love” clearly implies that I am a fear mongering, hateful, and ignorant person.  In fact you say, “It’s insensitive. Hateful. Ignorant. Manipulative. And while it might be “Christian,” it has nothing to do with Jesus.” My intentions were not to be any of these and I believe this is an unfair characterization.

In reality, the point of the video (which is evidenced by viewing it in its entirety) is that we are to respond to homosexual behavior with both grace and truth. John says that Jesus came in grace and truth (John 1:17). The loving thing to do often involves patient opposition. In fact, you said it perfectly in one of your responses on the blog: “Regardless, my love as a parent will always be with them. Will I accept what they’re doing? No. Should I treat my children, who I already love dearly, any less than what I should for my fellow man because of decisions they make? Absolutely not.”

I actually have an in-depth article on my website that makes this very point. It’s a chapter from my book Apologetics for a New Generation. Please take a minute to check it out here.

Sincerely,

Sean McDowell

Emotions run high regarding the topic of homosexuality–on all sides of the issue. While many of JNNPR’s readers support Sean’s thoughts/opinion on the topic, others are hurt, frustrated, or angered by his opinions. Debating his opinion is one thing (I’m okay with that)… but let’s refrain from making personal attacks against him. Can we do that?!

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