Comments: OneBodyOneFaith responds to William Nye

This letter is excellent, but more is needed.
How about a parliamentary petition? The WO debate showed very clearly that the Church of England will change, when Parliament asks it to.

Posted by Jeremy at Tuesday, 24 April 2018 at 9:03am BST

I agree with Jeremy.

It would be good to see a theological rebuttal too, but I understand that isn't the strength of KneBpdyOneFaith. Hopefully Martyn Percy might produce something.

Posted by Kate at Tuesday, 24 April 2018 at 1:22pm BST

Fantastic letter. Well said!

Posted by Charles Clapham at Tuesday, 24 April 2018 at 4:11pm BST

I agree with both of the comments above. What worries me is that while the C of E is wasting its energy on fighting lost causes; there are people in the real world who desperately need the gospel of the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 quotations -
Milton in Lycidas: 'The hungry sheep look up and are not fed.'
John Robinson on the Mayflower - a Pilgrim Father:
“I am verily persuaded the Lord hath more truth yet to break forth out of His Holy Word”

Why do we fossilise Christian ethics into the straitjacket of earlier cultures?

Posted by John Wallace at Tuesday, 24 April 2018 at 4:27pm BST

Kate: not only a theological rebuttal, but a historical one too. Many of Mr Nye's claims about the history of marriage are demonstrably incorrect. See my book with Scot Peterson, 'Legally Married' (Edinburgh Uni Press 2014). Last time these claims were made and their incorrectness pointed out, the then Church House PR tried to shoot the messengers (also Linda Woodhead and Diarmaid MacCulloch). E.g., it is depressing if, yet again, the claim that the bishops welcomed civil partnerships has to be rebutted. Anyone may read the record in 'Hansard'.

Posted by Iain McLean at Tuesday, 24 April 2018 at 5:07pm BST

Iain, my mistake. I apologise. I should indeed have said theological and historical rebuttals.

Posted by Kate at Tuesday, 24 April 2018 at 6:03pm BST

Iain McLean's point about not re-writing the historical account is an important one. See his piece about voting in the Lords:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2012/may/23/john-sentamu-claims-civil-partnerships-false


Around the time of civil partnerships, what I recall was a lot of heat from church leaders about not daring to bless or really celebrate in any public way in church, civil partnerships; some quiet prayers with the couple in the vicarage study seemed to be the advice. I wrote this piece in 2011 and it now sounds rather quaint:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2011/feb/26/churches-celebrate-god-civil-partnership-ceremonies

It is interesting to speculate what would have happened if the established Church had responded warmly (and liturgically) to civil partnerships, meeting a real spiritual need – that for many people, entering a civil partnership isn’t only about pensions and inheritance tax, though no doubt it sometimes is. Just like marriage, then.

Posted by Judith Maltby at Tuesday, 24 April 2018 at 7:22pm BST

Re: John Wallace, "Why do we fossilise Christian ethics into the straitjacket of earlier cultures?"

Good Question.Northrop Frye comes to mind,
"Mythology is not a datum but a factum of human existence:it belongs to the world of culture and civilization that man [and woman] has made and still inhabits....the real interest of myth is to draw a circumference around a human community and look inward toward that community, not to inquire about the operations of nature. ...Star myths are a good example of the creative autonomy of myth: there is no such thing in nature as a constellation...the myth making activity that does this is clearly not dependent on anything the stars themselves suggest ..." [The Great Code, p.37]

There are so many ways to read the various types of literature in Scripture. I'm repeatedly surprised at the conventional arguments put forward on this site by folks arguing for their own liberation. Accepting the premises of conservative patriarchal interlocutors makes one complicit in one's oppression. It is a lesson learned from latin American liberation theology.

Re: Ian McLean (Tuesday, 24 April 2018 at 5:07pm) thanks for the shout out to your book with Scot Peterson,Legally Married. I scoped it out online and plan to pick up a copy.


Posted by Rod Gillis at Wednesday, 25 April 2018 at 2:39pm BST
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