Homosexuality and church

This week I had the pleasure in taking part in a Mainstream Theology day looking at the issue of human sexuality. (The Baptist Mainstream group not the Anglican one).

Attached is the paper I produced as an introduction for the day. It is based on notes that I've used on a number of occasions to talk about this subject which may be of use to others. It doesn't have footnotes but you might recognise that parts of it owe something to Nigel Wright, J Nelson and R B Hays. If you want to download it click here for the pdf Download Homosexuality introductory overview

The paper is of course an introduction, designed to set the context for a discussion. If we are to produce a coherent theology in this area there are other things we need to give attention to as well:
– What does it mean to be male and female in the image of the Triune God?
– How are we to understand God's creation intention in Genesis 1 &2; and what does that say to us about what is both normative or normal?
-What is the essence of sin? Falling short of God's glory is a universal reality; living a life that is incoherent in the light of the perfected humanity of Jesus is more open to interpretation.
– How are we to understand being redeemed people in Christ in the light of Galatians 3:27ff and Romans 11:24.

I thought the day was worthwhile; whatever views people held it was clear to all that these are live issues for the church and the source of much pain. No doubt there are some who would suggest that even discussing these things is a sign of weakness, compromise and apostasy. I am not among them, and am encouraged that this is a conversation that can be had within an evangelical baptist grouping in a way that enabled people to speak honestly, listen humbly and grapple with what it might mean to be faithful to the gospel in this area. [In wider society the debate has largely moved on to issues of transgender and the like but that's for another day].

3 thoughts on “Homosexuality and church

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  1. Hi Neil! This sounds like a very stimulating day. I’d really like to read your introductory paper but the download is coming up in gobbledygook. Geoff

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  2. Geoff: to download the paper, just right-click the link and change the file extension to pdf and it opens OK.

    Neil: This is a very good paper, which I can see would be very useful for opening up this discussion in a church context. Thank you for making it available! You’re probably already aware of Walter Wink’s article on this subject, which is longer than your paper but worth a read. It can be accessed at http://www.bridges-across.org/ba/winkhombib.htm

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  3. Perhaps a less evangelical network for discussion but a very informed one, LGCM is organising a great looking conference called ‘Faith, Homophobia, Transphobia and Human Rights’ on Saturday May 16th.

    For more information and booking details visit the website or phone 020 7739 1249.

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