Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dr. Mike Higton begins a blog series on Homosexuality and the Church (at kai euthus)

Mike Higton is a writer and theologian who I have found to be very helpful to me as I have worked to have at least a beginning understanding of Rowan Williams' theological work. I have read Higton's book on Rowan Williams' theology, Difficult Gospel, and have also read the book he edited which has several essays by Rowan Williams, Wrestling with Angels.

I find Higton to be extremely clear and helpful in explaining theology and also he has a way of finding connections and uncovering themes that are not easily seen (at leat by me). I read his blog, kai euthus, and was so glad that today he has begun a series of posts about Homosexuality and the Church by examining Rowan Williams' essay, "The Body's Grace." I encourage you to check it out (both the essay, and Higton's discussion), and I am hopeful that it will help many of us to think in deeper and broader ways about this subject.

The Rev. Peter M. Carey

Here is a brief snippet from Higton's first post:

This is the first part of a planned series on homosexuality and the church. I’m planning to start with a sequence of posts on Rowan Williams’ famous essay, ‘The Body’s Grace’, and then walk slowly towards more ecclesiological matters.

Over on Faith and Theology, when Ben Myers suggested that Rowan Williams’ ‘The Body’s Grace’, was an example of a life-changing essay, one of the blog’s regular visitors, Shane, commented, ‘What was so great about “The Body’s Grace”? … I was disappointed by this essay - there is one central question in the debate about homosexuality (whatever one’s anwer to it): What does God command me to do? Williams spends the entire essay attempting not to raise that question.’ In a comment to another post, he put the same point again, ‘As far as I’m concerned it’s a straightforward example of why the Anglican church is in the crisis it is in today - Williams is just dodging the central question over and over again. The central question is this: Is homosexuality good, bad or indifferent from God’s perspective?’

Those comments are not the main reason for starting this series of posts, but they do provide a useful starting point – by being exactly wrong.

Williams opens ‘The Body’s Grace’ with the questions, Why does sex matter? and, What does it have to do with God? As he goes on, it becomes clear that he is asking, What on earth do sexual relationships have to do with the Christian gospel?

Albeit in a different theological idiom, Williams is precisely asking, What does God command? He is asking, What difference does it make to see sexual relationships in the light of God’s word to the world in Christ? How does seeing sexuality in that light allow us to understand both what can be right about sex, and what can be wrong? How does the gospel enable us to get a truly Christian clarity about sexual ethics?

Check out the rest HERE.

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