Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Just a letter?

A post at ADU may be of interest in connection with understanding the Bible!

Friday, March 14, 2014


Miranda Threlfall-Holmes has a thoughtful post on 'Sex and Marriage'. I suggest she both gets a basic issue in current debates (when is sex sinful and when is it not) and offers an answer which begs other questions (when love is present sex is not sinful ... but that begs many questions re marriage, including why marry at all).

Time does not permit a full analysis of this post (and, in any case, that could be conducted by engaging in the comments at the post itself). Rather I want to lodge my own question here re sex which has been catalysed by her post:

why - from the perspective of Scripture as God's voice intruding in human affairs - is sex sinful in some circumstances and not in others?

To give a mere sketch of where an answer might head: sex is a physical act between two human beings which is invested with meaning beyond the basic biological fact concerning a purpose of sex, the procreation of another human being; it is the investment of meaning concerning sex which leads to concepts of sex is sometimes sinful and sometimes not; and it is the question of who invests meaning concerning sex which lies at the heart of our debates, with particular attention being paid to the following possible investors: the state, society, church, individuals and individual coupls.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Prejudice for or against?

In a post on the changing state of marriage (see no 6 in post below for link) this statement is made:

"What once again is clear when those who say the debates are not sourced in prejudice about homosexuality, but are about integrity to scripture and tradition, is that whilst a sea change has occurred in the understanding of marriage, they have only begun to register an issue when the direction heads towards committed same-sex couples."

Is the situation as straightforward as made out here?

In my mind the following questions are registering:

(a) If debates on the changing state of marriage focus on enlarging the definition of marriage to include two men or two women but not brother and sister nor three or more partners is there a prejudice for same sex partnerships and against incestuous and polygamous relationships?

(b) Put another way, if the question of change to understanding to marriage is pressed to make further change to marriage, why does it stop at a certain point and not continue? (Note: this is a double-edged question within current debates because it is precisely the question which advocates of same sex marriage can ask about the advocacy of remarriage after divorce. Nevertheless I suggest it is an important question at any point in advocacy of change).

(c) If previous change to marriage is the most pressing reason for further change to marriage (as appears to be the case in some expressions of current debate), is that a strength or a weakness? Is it not a weakness in the argument if the church reforms its understanding of marriage in a conservative direction?

Monday, February 17, 2014

One Stop Link Shop re Relevant Links for ACANZP Conversations

The following are some links which should enable the reader to catch something of the flavours and feelings within the global and local Anglican conversation about homosexuality.

No attempt is made to offer a balanced set of links (e.g. the same number of links for liberal/conservative voices); no priorities should be read into which link is given first and which is given last.

On this Hermeneutics and Human Dignity site it is worth rummaging through previous posts and working from links within them.

1. Material posted on ACANZP's Taonga website (including papers and reports from recent Hermeneutical Hui of ACANZP) or General Synod website

Leviticus 18 from a Maori perspective

Romans 1 from a Pasefika perspective

Leviticus 18 and 20

Romans 1

Theology of Sexuality and 1 Corinthians 5-7

Hermeneutics from a Pasefika perspective

Hermeneutics and Genesis 19

On the Ma Whea Commission

A report on Ma Whea progress

2. Papers from a recent Theology House conference: a wide ranging set of papers is here.

3. For a definitely liberal or progressive perspective (i.e. a perspective promoting change which frees up Christian understanding of marriage and sexuality to be affirming of gay marriage and accepting of faithful, permanent, stable, loving same-sex marriages), go to Tobias Haller's In a Godward Direction.

4. For a definitely conservative or traditional perspective (i.e. a perspective promoting no change to traditional Christian understanding that marriage consists of a man and a woman, and sex outside marriage is forbidden by God), go to Robert Gagnon's Home page.

5. For ongoing posts about the Church of England's (and Anglican Communion's) ongoing engagement with discussion (both informal and formal Synod/House of Bishop levels), consult the following mix: Peter Ould, Bishop Alan Wilson, Changing Attitude, Mainstream, Thinking Anglicans. (These sites are not solely focused on homosexuality, but items posted on them often have to do with the debates and discussion on the topic in the life of the Church of England and of the Anglican Communion).

6. Liturgy makes some points worth reflecting on here.