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David P. Gushee          

Mercer University Professor of Christian Ethics; Former President of the American Academy of Religion, Author of "Introducing Christian Ethics"

Dr. David P. Gushee is an ethicist, pastor, author, and advocate. He is the Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer University, and Chair of Christian Social Ethics at Vrije Universiteit (“Free University”) Amsterdam, and Senior Research Fellow, International Baptist Theological Study Centre.

Gushee is the elected Past-President of both the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Christian Ethics, signaling his role as one of America's leading Christian ethicists. He is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of more than 27 books and over 175 academic book chapters, journal articles, and reviews (see his full academic C.V.). His most recognized works include Introducing Christian Ethics, Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust, Kingdom Ethics, and The Sacredness of Human Life. With his Changing Our Mind (more than 25,000 sold) and After Evangelicalism, he charts a theological and ethical course for post-evangelical Christians, a course he more personally relates in memoir, Still Christian. Altogether his books have sold over 100,000 copies and been translated into a dozen languages.

Over a full 29-year career, he’s been a devoted teacher and mentor as Professor Gushee to college students, seminarians, and PhD students. He’s also led activist efforts on climate, torture, and LGBTQ inclusion, and continues to be a keynote speaker at churches, forums, and universities. For the general media, Gushee has written hundreds of opinion pieces and given interviews to scores of major outlets and podcasts.

Gushee and his beloved wife Jeanie live in Atlanta. He is a classic novel reader, world traveler, and tennis player, and awaits a call from his beloved Atlanta Braves to resume the baseball career he abandoned in college.

Speech Topics

Against Christian Authoritarianism, Defending Democracy

It cannot be taken for granted that Christians will or even should support democratic government. The Bible offers many different paradigms for political rule, none of them democratic. The majority of church history took place in non-democratic eras and cultures. Liberal democracy, with rule-of-law, separation of powers, checks and balances, civil and human rights protections, and so on, is a relatively recent innovation in human history. I am among those who believe liberal democracy needs and deserves full Christian support; but in the US and around the world there is plenty of evidence of Christians being attracted to illiberal democracy or outright undemocratic governance. This talk reflects on this evidence and offers a Christian defense of democracy—using central Christian theological and moral convictions—for these perilous times.

The Call for Full LGBTQ Inclusion

Christian denominations and churches everywhere struggle with the issue of LGBTQ inclusion. With growing scientific evidence, our wider society has taken big steps, but too many religious families and communities have not kept up.

Gushee offers a powerful, inspiring message of hope and healing by helping Christians to return to Bible study, prayer, and reflection in a way that creates a vision for a more inclusive church.

Relayed in his book Changing Our Mind, Gushee takes us along a conversational journey, marking out every single component of historic Christian sexual morality. He covers the relevant biblical passages and theological positions, including the key argument of creation. He walks us through a principled discussion that is respectful of traditionalists while calling for inclusion and the end of contempt.

Gushee offers a way forward for any individual or organization that wants to better contextualize traditional church teachings, which have been and must continue to change.

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