David P. Gushee

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Dr. David P. Gushee is a Christian ethicist, historian, public intellectual, and Holocaust scholar.

Work and membership[edit]

A self-described Evangelical centrist, yet increasingly controversial figure within Christendom, David P. Gushee is the Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and Executive Director of the Center for Faith and Public Life at Mercer University.[1] He was formerly the Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy and the Senior Fellow of the Carl F. H. Henry Center for Christian Leadership at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee.

Gushee has served as president of Evangelicals for Human Rights, an organization advocating for an end to torture, especially that sponsored by the United States government; this organization has since become the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good. He is a columnist for the Associated Baptist Press and was a columnist for Christianity Today from 2005 to 2007. Gushee has also served on The Constitution Project's Guantanamo Task Force since December 2010.[2][3][4] He helped draft the Evangelical Climate Initiative's Call to Action.[5] He serves on the Sojourners board of directors.

Scholarship and recognition[edit]

Gushee is an internationally recognized Holocaust scholar and ethicist. He was appointed in 2008 by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to serve as a member of the Church Relations and the Holocaust Committee.[6] He is the author of approximately 70 articles, chapters and reviews and has written or edited nine books. Gushee was ordained at Walnut Hills Baptist Church in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1987.[7]

His book Kingdom Ethics: Following Jesus in Contemporary Context was Christianity Today's Theology/Ethics Book of the Year for 2004. He has also received the Evangelical Press Association's Christian Journalism Award for 1991, 1992 and 1997.

Gushee was granted an honorary Doctor of Divinity (D.D.) degree in May 2009 by the John Leland Center for Theological Studies. However some of his more recent work has received what Gushee has described as "harsh criticism" to the point of deterioration of friendships.[8] A leading theologian has described some of his work as being "amateurish and unworthy of a scholar" with accusations that Gushee sometimes "deliberately ignores the array of counterarguments to his own ideological position".[9] This observation has also been made by others[10] with some former colleagues[11] and students[12] now expressly repudiating points where they feel Gushee has been unscholarly and unfaithful to the Christian Scripture that he claims to uphold.


Gushee received his Ph.D. in Christian ethics from Union Theological Seminary in 1993, having earned his M.Phil. from Union Theological Seminary in 1990. Gushee earned his M.Div. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1987. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. from the College of William and Mary in 1984.


In 2014, Gushee began to publicly step away from the Christian orthodoxy he was previously known for, when he began writing in favour of homosexual relationships.[13] Gushee then appeared as a keynote speaker for the controversial GLBT advocacy group The Reformation Project. Though initially reticent about the cause of his theological diversion, Gushee later disclosed that a close family member was a lesbian[14] and that his local church had a number of gay people who were very devoted to God.[15]


  • The Sacredness of Human Life: Why an Ancient Biblical Vision Is Key to the World's Future. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 2013. ISBN 978-0-8028-4420-0. 
  • The Future of Faith in American Politics: The Public Witness of the Evangelical Center. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press. 2008. 
  • Only Human: Christian Reflections on the Journey Toward Wholeness. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 2005. 
  • Getting Marriage Right: Realistic Counsel for Saving and Strengthening Marriages. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker. 2004. 
  • Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust: Genocide and Moral Obligation (2nd ed.). Minneapolis, MN: Paragon House. 2003. 
  • with Glen Stassen (2003). Kingdom Ethics: Following Jesus in Contemporary Context. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press. 
  • Ed. (2000). Christians and Politics Beyond the Culture Wars: From Despair to Mission. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker. 
  • Ed. (1999). Toward a Just and Caring Society: Christian Responses to Poverty in America. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker. 
  • Ed. with David S. Dockery (1999). The Future of Christian Higher Education. Broadman & Holman. 
  • with Robert H. Long (1998). A Bolder Pulpit: Reclaiming the Moral Dimension of Preaching. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press. 
  • Ed. with Walter Jackson (1996). Preparing for Christian Ministry: An Evangelical Approach. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker. 
  • Changing Our Mind: A call from America's leading evangelical ethics scholar for full acceptance of LGBT Christians in the Church. Ann Arbor: ReadTheSpirit Books. 2014. ISBN 978-1939880765. 


  1. ^ David P. Gushee, The Future of Faith in American Politics: The Public Witness of the Evangelical Center, Baylor University Press, 2008.
  2. ^ "Task Force on Detainee Treatment Launched". The Constitution Project. 2010-12-17. Archived from the original on 2010-12-18. 
  3. ^ "Think tank plans study of how US treats detainees". Wall Street Journal. 2010-12-17. Archived from the original on 2010-12-18. Former FBI Director William Sessions, former Arkansas U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson, a retired Army general and a retired appeals court judge in Washington are among 11 people selected for a task force that will meet for the first time in early January, said Virginia Sloan, a lawyer and president of The Constitution Project. 
  4. ^ "Task Force members" (PDF). The Constitution Project. 2010-12-17. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-18. 
  5. ^ Lampman, Jane (March 12, 2008). "Southern Baptist leaders urge climate change action". Christian Science Monitor. 
  6. ^ "Committee on Church Relations and the Holocaust". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved June 15, 2015. 
  7. ^ "David P. Gushee Bio" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 30, 2008. Retrieved June 15, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Gordon College hosts pro-LGBT speaker". Salem News. March 23, 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  9. ^ "David Gushee's Gay-Switch, Biblical Scholarship, and Slanted Reporting". The Christian Post. Retrieved 18 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "David P. Gushee: The Scholar Who Should Have Been Hard To Ignore". BreakPoint. Retrieved 18 August 2015. 
  12. ^ Cornett, Daryl. "LGBT & the Church: An Interaction with David Gushee". Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  13. ^ "What David Gushee's change of heart really means". Denny Burk. Retrieved 18 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "Q Conference Series: David Gushee & Fabricating the Right Side of History". Thoughts From The Glen. Retrieved 18 August 2015. 
  15. ^ "David Gushee 'Changing My Mind: Theology Ethics and same sex relationships' 6th Aug 2015". Youtube. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 

External links[edit]