Tuesday, 23 September 2003

NEAC still in the news

The Guardian report by Stephen Bates, Evangelicals side with church rebels says that senior evangelicals meeting in Blackpool ignored pleas for tolerance and patience from the archbishops of Canterbury and York yesterday to send a message of support to parishes in the US and Canada which have fallen out over the issue of blessings for same sex couples and the election of an openly gay bishop.

Both this report and Ruth Gledhill’s in The Times, Liberal tolerance of gays in Church ‘is just paganism’ quote these remarks of Gordon Wenham:

“(Paganism) is raising its head again. Other examples are religious pluralism, abolition of Sunday as universal rest day, abortion, cremation, easy divorce … we should not be intimidated by the charge of being old fashioned: it is the so-called liberals who are really taking us back to the dark ages.”

The Telegraph report by Jonathan Petre strikes a less negative note, Evangelicals ‘must learn from gays’ and reports that “they were also told to counter criticism that they lack compassion by listening to and learning from the experiences of homosexuals.”

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 23 September 2003 at 8:57am BST | TrackBack
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I'm grateful to Gordon Wenham for setting out a clear and consistent position. It's one that i disagree with heartily, but it is internally consistent. It makes it clear that if one is to follow a conservative line then the same logic has to be used across the patch.

It also makes it clear where the lines of argument and disagreement must lie between his position and my own.

What is much harder to grapple with is the pick'n'mix version of conservative views that seems to be widespread. This all too easily fits in with a caricature of "liberal where it inconveniences us, conservative where it inconveniences others".
Thus divorce,(some)Sunday trading and cremation are seen as not "first order" issues whilst homosexuality is a matter on which salvation depends.

Wenham's speech, by the very distance between what he expresses and most "orthodox" positions leads me to conclude that we have moved out of the era of the woolly liberal and have entered (he and a few others excepted)the age of a far more self-contradictory beast, the "woolly conservative".

Posted by: David Walker on Tuesday, 23 September 2003 at 10:14pm BST

Thursday's Times has a "batch of letters":http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,173-829541,00.html in response to the Times story cited here. One of them from Andrew de Berry says that David Holloway's description of gays being like "modern Jezebels" is scandalous.
Amen to that.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 25 September 2003 at 1:11pm BST

Gordon Wenham's talk entitled "The OT and Sexuality" is now available in full in pdf format. "Download from NEAC site here":http://www.neac.info/talks/221915gw.pdf.
Another talk by Edith Humphrey, entitled "The New Testament Speaks on Same-Sex Eroticism" is similarly "available here":http://www.neac.info/talks/221915eh.pdf.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 26 September 2003 at 10:02pm BST