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All this has had a considerable effect on younger evangelicals, even if the transformations may have been more subtle than the blunt instruments of “yes or no” polls might allow.Many younger evangelicals with conservative theological positions no longer support the state’s recognition of traditional marriage.
Or should we perhaps frame the question differently?
Should we instead take up what marriage makes of us, and so consider ourselves as fundamentally responsive to it rather than creative?
Yet there are benefits to a controversy like we’ve had on marriage, if we will use it well.
Like any social institution, marriage is a focal point for our understanding of the nature of reality.
Such a posture merely admits that there may have been reasons why these things have come to pass, and that while our forebearers were fallible, they were probably no more wicked or malicious than we are ourselves.
We may have forgotten the reasons for a particular tradition—but that is a different problem than there never having been any, nor does it necessarily justify scrapping the tradition altogether.
Over the past decade, the gay marriage controversy has intensified into a social conflict between two warring factions, who have taken their arguments everywhere from the Supreme Court to Starbucks and Chick-Fil-A.
The concurrent rise of social media has made the conflict feel even more totalizing, as it became harder to avoid seeing friends and neighbours locked in interminable discussions about it.
The sheer collision of the complexity of the issues and their fundamental importance makes the subject an endlessly fertile source for inquiry and understanding.
But my interest in such questions is unremittingly personal as well.