Steve Chalke hits headlines again

The times reports (here) that Steve Chalke has come out in favour of Gay Marriage. More interestingly, from a Baptist perspective, is the statement that he conducted his first gay blessing a few weeks ago.

It has been clear (to me at least) for some while that the BUGB’s ministerial rules were open to challenge by someone blessing a civil partnership. Under the current rules blessing a civil partnership is considered unbecoming conduct. I hadn’t anticipated however that one of the first Baptist Ministers to do so would announce it in an interview for national publication.

I’m not absolutely sure if Steve remains on the BUGB’s accredited list but assume that if he isn’t the Union will fairly quickly point this out. Otherwise we have an interesting situation developing.  Not least because Steve has been a controversial figure within Evangelicalism ever since his pronouncement on Penal Substitutionary Atonement. 

It could of course be that the Times’ reporting is inaccurate.

Ps: thanks to 'David' in the comments below for the link to this article in which Steve helpfully sets out some of his thinking and raises key questions about the nature of inclusion.

5 thoughts on “Steve Chalke hits headlines again

Add yours

  1. Thank you David and Christianity Magazine for the extra links.
    Before anyone is too harsh on Steve Chalke they may wish to reflect on the fact that in his previous writing on atonement, which caused a stir, he was only expressing what lots of ministers & theologians already think. The difference is that he is somewhat higher profile.

    That a large, silent, minority of Baptists might agree with Steve, may make it harder for the Baptist Union.


  2. I’ve not got all the papers to hand but my understanding of the BUGB rules are that the ministerial rules (in the bit about unbecoming conduct) prohibit the advocacy of ‘homosexual’ or lesbian genital relationships as acceptable alternatives to male / female partnership in marriage. Further the advice given by the ministry dept of the Union is that ministers should not participate formally in services of blessing…… however, it would lack generosity of spirit to forbid attendance at such a blessing where there was a close family relationship or friendship. [Source BUGB council papers Nov 2009]


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