Update: Andreas Kostenberger weighs in with another angle:
These are clever questions indeed, questions that Gushee seems to think are virtually irrefutable and that conservative evangelical Christians are unable to answer. My purpose in this brief response is not to address the questions Gushee raises (though I do not think they are quite as irrefutable as Gushee seems to believe). Indeed, Palin’s nomination raises all kinds of interesting issues that require further discussion. My concern here is rather with the forum Gushee chose for his frontal assault on his fellow evangelical Christians (albeit less “moderate” than he). Here is my question: Is it appropriate for Gushee to seek to ridicule, or at least embarrass, his brothers and sisters in Christ on the pages of a national newspaper for their “archaic” beliefs? Or is this the equivalent of believers bringing lawsuits against fellow believers in worldly courts, a practice Paul condemns in 1 Corinthians 6?
The world needs the gospel; it does not need to watch conservative and “moderate” evangelical Christians be at each other’s throats in contentious public debate. How does the spirit and tone of Gushee’s contribution to “The Forum” in the pages of USA Today serve the gospel? How does it serve to bring the lost closer to Christ and help them come to terms with the salvation he offers and the judgment incurred by those who reject what God has done for them in Christ? How is the piece charitable and constructive? The way I see it, maybe conservative evangelical Christians are facing “The Palin predicament,” but by targeting CBMW and complementarians in his Op-Ed piece in USA Today the way he chose to do, Gushee has created a predicament of his own.