Pictured here:
John Marks (left), author of
Reasons to Believe

Craig Detweler, Co-Director
Reel Spirituality, Fuller
Theological Seminary

Event:
The Purple State Road Show
Monday, February 25, 2008
A Screening of
Purple State of Mind
followed by personal
appearances by film makers
Craig Detweiler (right)
and
John Marks

New York Theatre Workshop
79 East 4th Street
New York, NY

for more information go to:
www.purplestateofmind.com
Reasons to Believe (2008 HarperCollings Publishers), by John
Marks, contains an interview with Steve Parelli and Jose Ortiz, and
documents Steve Parelli's delivery of his paper on gay marriage and
the Baptist doctrine of Liberty of Conscience to the 2006
Evangelical Theological Society annual meeting . . .

In his recent HarperCollins publication (2008) Reasons to Believe, John Marks journals his spiritual
journey.  Having embraced an evangelical faith as a young man, later in life he questions the tenets he
formerly confessed.  His spiritual-autobiography purposes to encourage dialogue between Evangelicals and
those outside of Evangelicalism.  Part of the scheme of his book is the interweaving of his own story with
interviews with evangelical Christians.  
In 2005, at the Evangelical Theological Society annual meeting,
an academic gathering of evangelicals primarily from the United States, but also from other parts of the
world,
John Marks happened to meet Steve Parelli "attending a study group . . . on the theme of
homosexuality, and Parelli had come to confront panelists with the questions that he himself could not avoid"
(p. 309, 315-316).

Upon that chance meeting, Marks asked if he could visit Steve in his Bronx home and interview him and his
partner, Jose Ortiz.  He explained that he was writing a book.  Excerpts of the interview are found on pages
316-321 of his new book.

In the final pages of his book (p. 361-362), Marks includes an additional reference to Parelli:  

    "My second tour at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society coincided with
    a topical theme, 'Christianity in the Public Square,' which dictated the location, Washington,
    D,C., two weeks after the midterms.   ...   Steve Parelli gave a presentation.  He wasn't in the
    audience this time.  He had applied to be a speaker, presenting a paper.  His topic was esoteric:  'How
    Baptist Doctrine May Obligate the Evangelical to View Same-Sex Marriage as Primarily a Civil
    Matter and a Matter of Individual Conscience.'  He used the Baptist doctrine of liberty of
    conscience, as evidenced by Roger Williams in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1630s, as the
    basis for a plea.  For his insistence on practicing his faith according to his own lights, Williams had
    been expelled from Massachusetts and founded his own colony in Rhode Island.  In that colony,
    freedom of religious conscience reigned supreme.  ...  Parelli argued that Williams' belief extended to
    matters of matrimony.  Did not freedom of religious conscience extend to that sacred institution?  How
    could Baptists, of all people, deny the right of one of their own to marry before the eyes of God and
    under the law of the land?  Wasn't that the oppression of the Massachusetts Bay Colony all over
    again?

    The room tore him apart.  Baptist historians rose and denounced his methodology.  Never in all
    their years had they seen Roger Williams used in such a fashion.  Freedom of religious conscience
    meant just that -- religious conscience.  It could not possibly be extended to cover a practice explicitly
    condemned by scripture.  Williams could never have intended such a thing."


After writing for U.S. News & World Report for a decade, John Marks became a producer for Morley Safer at 60 Minutes.  
Marks is the author of three novels;
Reasons to Believe is his first work of nonfiction.  He is a Texas native and a graduate of
Davidson College, and has an MA in creative writing from the University of Iowa.  He lives in Massachusetts with his family.
"The room tore him apart.  Baptist historians rose and denounced his methodology.  Never in all
their years had they seen Roger Williams used in such a fashion.  Freedom of religious conscience
meant just that -- religious conscience.  It could not possibly be extended to cover a practice explicitly
condemned by scripture.  Williams could never have intended such a thing."
"They tore
him [Parelli]
apart.

Baptist
historians
rose and
denounced
his method-
ology."

-John Marks,
Reasons to
Believe
, p 362  
John Marks
Author:  Reasons to Believe
Craig Detweiler
Co-Director, Reel  Spirituality  
Fuller Theological Seminary
"They tore him [Steve Parelli] apart.  Baptist historians rose and
denounced his methodology."
--John Marks, Reasons to Believe, c2008, page 362.  For a decade, Marks wrote for
U.S. News & World Report
, after which he became a producer for 60 Minutes.
The film Purple State
of Mind
:
Former college
roommates who
remained life long
friends dialogue their
different points of view
on Evangelicalism.
Here, John and Craig introduce their film
Purple State of Mind.
Here, John (left) and Craig answer questions
from the audience after the showing of their
film
Purple State of Mind.
Above Photo:
Left to right:
Craig Detweiler,
Steve Parelli,
John Marks,
and
Jose Ortiz
Following the film, John Marks autographs his book Reasons to Believe
February 26, 2008, New York Theatre Workshop, 79 East 4th Street, New York, NY
xxxxxxxx
At far left:  
Reasons to Believe by John Marks
(HarperCollins Publishers, 2008)

At immediate left:
John Marks,
center background, autographs
a copy of his book Reasons to Believe;
his
wife
(at left) stands with Jose Ortiz, a
Coordinator with Other Sheep for Africa
and Asia, who was interviewed for the book
along with his partner Steve Parelli.
This is an Other
Sheep website.
Visits to this web page since February 26, 2008.
This web page was created February 26, 2008.
This is an Other
Sheep website.
Counter
Read the paper on gay marriage and the Baptist doctrine of Liberty of
Conscience
, delivered to ETS annual meeting 2006