At the end of my sermon Sunday, I read extensively from a book by Rosaria Butterfield entitled The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor's Journey into Christian Faith. My purpose was to illustrate what Paul does in Acts 22.1-5. He does not condescendingly address the murderously hostile Jewish audience; rather, he lovingly refutes their erroneous accusation that he’s an enemy of Judaism (cf. Acts 21.28). He does this not only by explaining his loyalty to Judaism (ultimately due to his saving encounter with Judaism’s Savior: Acts 22.6-16) – but also by relating that he also once walked in their shoes.
Rosaria was once a liberal, feminist, lesbian professor in the English Department of Syracuse University. In the early 90s she set out study the rise of the Religious Right in America and its “hermeneutic of hatred” against individuals like her. Ironically and providentially, that became the catalyst of a "train wreck conversion," as she puts it, resulting in her placing trust in the gospel of Jesus Christ and repenting of her life of sin. She has much to teach us if we will listen.
The following is an interview conducted by one of my theological mentors, Russell Moore – the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (or ERLC) – at ERLC’s 2014 National Conference, which addressed “The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage.” Over the next forty minutes, you will hear Dr. Moore and Rosaria converse about the following topics:
Øthe importance of creating a church community that values repentance
Øbuilding gospel bridges with your lost neighbors (whom God has providentially given to you as a “mission field”)
Øthe necessity of brokenness in our walk with God (and why it’s vital to our Christian witness/evangelism)
Øthe individual God used to bring her to Christ
Øher passion for small church ministry
Øher “church stalking” habit (before becoming a Christian)
Øwhy church membership is vital to our Christianity in a “Jesus & me” culture
Øthe gospel and sexuality (about which she says, “The gospel’s understanding of sexuality is the best-kept secret on the planet.”)
I would encourage you to watch this when you have a free evening. It will edify your soul, challenge your heart, and equip you to be a better minister of Jesus Christ in the 21st century.