There has been so much written on this subject but there is no avoiding that this debate will probably absorb many of the the newly elected good folk of General Synod over the next five years post-Pilling. Of course, instead of this we should really be attending to the development of a strategy for mission, evangelism and church planting to salvage what remains of the C of E while we still have time. According to one Bishop we have six years left to save a sinking ship but there is also some hope of regeneration.
Here are a few books among the huge number of resources that have and are helping me form my understanding of some of the issues. I take a traditional view, in keeping with the current stance of the C of E on human sexuality which is:
The Church of England’s teaching position on same-sex sexual
activity has been set out in a series of reports and motions.
The 1991 report Issues in Human Sexuality endorsed the
traditional Christian belief that the teaching of the Bible is that
heterosexual marriage is the proper context for sexual activity
between two people. It went on to declare that what it called
'homophile' orientation and activity could not be endorsed by
the Church as:
'... a parallel and alternative form of human sexuality as
complete within the terms of the created order as the
heterosexual. The convergence of Scripture, Tradition and
reasoned reflection on experience, even including the
newly sympathetic and perceptive thinking of our own
day, makes it impossible for the Church to come with
integrity to any other conclusion. Heterosexuality and
homosexuality are not equally congruous with the
observed order of creation or with the insights of
revelation as the Church engages with these in the
light of her pastoral ministry.'
This position was endorsed by the pastoral letter and statement
on same-sex marriage from the House of Bishops in February
2014, and is the basis of the view expressed there that ‘the
Christian understanding and doctrine of marriage as a lifelong
union between one man and one woman remains unchanged.
......Where the Bible mentions homosexual behavior at all, it clearly
condemns it. I freely grant that. The issue is precisely whether
that biblical judgment is correct. (Walter Wink)
This is an issue of biblical authority. Despite much
well-intentioned theological fancy footwork to the contrary,
it is difficult to see the Bible as expressing anything else but
disapproval of homosexual activity. (Diarmaid MacCulloch)
The task demands intellectual honesty. I have little patience
with efforts to make Scripture say something other than what
it says, through appeals to linguistic or cultural subtleties. The
exegetical situation is straightforward: we know what the text
says. But what are we to do with what the text says?... I think
it important to state clearly that we do, in fact, reject
the straightforward commands of Scripture, and appeal
instead to another authority when we declare that same-sex
unions can be holy and good. (Luke Timothy Johnson)
(Quote from the essay by Ian Paul in 'Grace and Disagreement'- setting out the Traditional Biblical position- which is the official reader for 'Shared Conversations')
Reading that I have found/am finding helpful around this subject:
Homosexuality and the C of E Andrew Goddard
Grace and disagreement: A Reader
The Bible and Homosexuality Gagnon
The Moral Vision of the NT Hays
Who is my enemy? Nathan
A Review of 'More Perfect Union?' by Andrew Goddard
The Bible and Same-sex Relationships: A Review Article by Tim Keller and a Response from Matthew Vines
Have we misread the Bible?
The Plausibility Problem Ed Shaw
The Righteous Mind Haidt
Tim Keller answering 'What do Christian's have against Homosexuality?'
Openness unhindered Rosaria Butterfield
Personal Identity in Theological Perspective Eds Lint, Horton and Talbot
Feel free to add anything else to my list in the comment section that you may think constructive and helpful.
Thursday, October 15, 2015
A Human Sexuality Reading List
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