Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 18 July 2020

Janet Fife Surviving Church Deliverance Ministries: Do They Deliver?

Jessica Martin Church Times Sex and religion: When it all started to go wrong/right (delete as applicable)
“In fact, neither of the narratives about sex is right”

Jayne Ozanne ViaMedia.News We Can’t Go Back….But We Will, Unless…

Elizabeth Anderson Earth & Altar Purity and Danger: Eucharistic safety in a time of pandemic

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Kate
Kate
16 days ago

Thank you for including the piece by Elizabeth Anderson

Savi Hensman
Savi Hensman
16 days ago

All these are deeply thought-provoking – thanks! With regard to Jessica Martin’s piece, perhaps part of the problem is that affirming Christians sometimes accept the notion which I think is common among some who are non-affirming, that lifelong faithful self-giving partnership is primarily about individualistic self-fulfilment if the partners are of the same sex. Equal, non-consumerist relationships which support partners in love of God and neighbour are countercultural now as in the past but this often goes unrecognised in ‘progressive’ circles.

Jessica Martin
Jessica Martin
15 days ago
Reply to  Savi Hensman

Yes, absolutely: the book points out that it’s illusory to regard sexual partnerships as private: they have an impact on all other relationships and operate in the world of our decisions about who and what we serve, and why. A focus on self-fulfilment misses the reckless generosity of relationships which understand themselves as shaped by, and serving, the communities of which they are a part, both large (cultural) and small (familial, neighbourly). That seems to me the clearest indication of the Christian life’s considerable demands upon sexual desire, and has been very clearly exemplified both historically and in the present… Read more »

Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
16 days ago

I realise that Jessica Martin’s article is only an extract but does she expand upon on what might be a ‘middle’ way? I’m not sure I agree that there are only two narratives nor do I think that liberalism arrived 60 years ago. A study of literature and history shows that there has always been premarital and extramarital sex; children born out of wedlock; divorce may have only been an option for the rich until recently but marriages have broken down certainly for at least as long as the church has taken an interest in its solemnisation; there have been… Read more »

Jessica Martin
Jessica Martin
15 days ago

Of course, caricatures are always reductive, as the piece itself acknowledges; and every narrative of historical change streamlines to make its points ideologically visible to an imagined enemy. I’ve certainly heard versions of both the liberal and the conservative caricatures I describe reiterated on this topic over a number of years, which is why I called them both ‘untrue’. But I think the relationship between behaviour and cultural expectation is a bit more nuanced than you imply, because people are shaped – in rebellion as well as in conformity – by the norms of the world in which they grow… Read more »

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
16 days ago

Reading Janet’s article, from my past as an Anglican and my present as a Roman Catholic. In my Anglican days, I was aware of two extremes, one as Janet rightly points out are prevalent in Charismatic circles and I would add even in the mainstream of the Evangelical scene to have an unhealthy interest in the Devil, and give too much attention to the Devil, what Father Jim Mcmanus the Redemptorist Roman Catholic Priest Religious calls “The dangers of Demonamania”, the other extreme at the Liberal end of the spectrum which is equally dangerous is to get into what I… Read more »

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal

Jonathan, I agree with you. It often isn’t considered intellectually respectable to believe in angels, demons, or the supernatural. To me those beliefs seem so integral to Christianity that it’s hard to conceive of our faith without them. However, God has room for all of us at his table.
 
It’s years since I looked at Walter Wink’s trilogy on The Powers. Probably time I reread it.
 
 

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