Reformed Church author OKs gay marriage: What God Has Joined Together

June 28, 2005

A professor with long ties to the Reformed Church in America has coauthored a book that makes what he considers a Christian argument for gay marriage.

In What God Has Joined Together? A Christian Case for Gay Marriage, psychologist David Myers of RCA-affiliated Hope College and coauthor Letha Dawson Scanzoni say research has shown that strong marriages—heterosexual and homosexual—benefit society. They say it is everyone’s right to marry and fully take part in the church and its ministry.

The Reformed Church in America is an ecumenical and evangelical denomination that does not condone gay marriage. But coauthor Scanzoni also speaks from mixed theological roots as editor and publisher of the Evangelical Ecumenical Women’s Caucus publication, EEWC Update. She lives in Virginia.

Myers’s full-time teaching position is endowed at Hope College, but the book, published May 31 by HarperSanFrancisco, may upset some in the Reformed denomination.

“It’s going to in some ways pour fuel on the fire,” said Curry Pikkaart, pastor of Orchard Hill Reformed Church in Walker, Michigan. “On the other hand, if we can have civil discussions on whatever points he makes, and debate in a good Christian way, then the church can be stronger for it.”

Myers, author of a psychology textbook issued in multiple editions over 20 years, said of his newest work, “This is really a pro-marriage book. Marriage contributes to flourishing lives . . . and therefore we do need to work at it.”

Myers said he is not concerned about reaction from Hope College, where gay issues periodically surface among students. The book’s release came a few weeks after Hope students protested the departure of another Hope professor, Miguel de la Torre, who was criticized by Hope president James Bultman for a satirical newspaper column that addressed gay issues.

Bultman sent a letter to de la Torre saying that his writings “irreparably damaged the reputation of Hope” and that enrollment and donations could be compromised. De la Torre, who had tenure, left for another job. –Religion News Service