A couple of interesting developments in the world of evangelicalism over the last day or so. Tony Campolo, a well-known evangelical preacher and activist, has come out (so to speak) for the “full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church.” Campolo has long argued for more tolerance of gay people but has always stopped short of a full-blown “open and affirming” position.
Perhaps more interesting, David Neff, the former editor-in-chief of Christianity Today, has affirmed Campolo’s affirming position. While Campolo has long been associated with left-leaning positions, Neff’s credentials in official evangelicalism are, from what I can tell, impeccable. In fact, Neff was one of the signers of the Manhattan Declaration, a statement by conservative evangelical and Catholic leaders that, among other things, condemned any change to the “traditional” definition of marriage.
Campolo and Neff join other inarguably mainstream evangelical figures such as ethicist David Gushee in moving to an affirming stance. Christianity Today was quick to disassociate itself from Neff’s views (though without condemning Neff himself), while other voices were more strident in their response.
Whether this indicates a “tipping point” in evangelicalism is hard to say, but when veteran leaders are reversing themselves (to say nothing of shifting attitudes among the young) it sure looks to me like the genie’s out of the bottle on this issue.