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Jan 05, 2006

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Derek

Very nice reflections. You're right--it *is* more complicated than looking at words on a page. Instead of trying to ignore the hermeneutical process or pretend that it doesn't exist we have to engage it. I think this is where our identity becomes really important: the historic Anglican liturgy is a key part of the interpretive process.

Tobias S Haller BSG

Thanks for pointing me to this fine reflection. The more I think about our present dilemma the more I am struck by the degree to which the major part of our difficulty lies in the culture(s) in which and through which the Scripture came to us. As to sex and sexuality, we are dealing with essentially a Bronze Age world view that literally didn't even know where babies came from. I say Bronze Age, as the view on matters sexual remained essentially unchanged through the iron age and indeed up to the eve of the Industrial Revolution. (The Royal Society was still receiving papers on the amazing minature horses and humans one could see nested in the spermatazoa recently made visible by the wonderful invention of the microscope. Erasmsus Darwin was still teaching that women provided nothing to the process of procreation than a nest for the nourishment of "the embryon" which derived solely from the male and not "by conjunction of male and female." (Zoonomia, 1794) No wonder we have the problems of gender essentialism, and an ontological misogyny!

To develp a meaningful ethic (let alone theology) of sexuality, we must first be real about reality. Then we need to apply the truly ethical principles (love of neighbor, self-gift, mutuality, and so on) and determine if these are indeed applicable to same-sex as well as mixed-sex relationships. I think it is evident that they are.

I have yet to see an explanation of "complementarity" that doesn't lead either to heresy at one extreme (by parsing the human nature into two genera) or to triviality at the other (by the surmised "fit" of the sexual organs. Yet it appears that this is the lynchpin of the reasserter argument.

It is, I think, no wonder the tide is turning.

bls

It's erroneous to say that "homosexual acts" are "clearly forbidden in scripture."

Some kind of male "homosexual acts" are "clearly forbidden in Leviticus." And something else is going on in the Epistles, we're not even totally sure what.

Shouldn't we at least begin with an accurate statement of the facts?

bls

(I mean, the whole interpretation is and always has been faulty on this basis alone. Shouldn't this be the place we start? Why build on yet another faulty foundation?

There's nothing at all about "homosexuality" in the Bible. We've been saying this for years and years now and it doesn't ever seem to make any impression. Why not?)

bls

(One further point: the very fact that female/female sex acts aren't mentioned anywhere is a quite compelling argument that there is no Biblical injunction against homosexuality per se. Lots and lots of other things are forbidden, pointedly, and often these things are enumerated by gender. Sex between women isn't one of them.

The argument is therefore about something else. Why can't we investigate what that might be?)

Tobias S Haller BSG

This mornings MP reading of Genesis 1 and a little of 2 is a good example of the fix we are in: Who actually believes that there is a dome above the earth that keeps all of the water out except when God opens the windows? Yet other portions of this same parable will be touted as fundamental principles for human behavior; establishing moral limits beyond which no one dare go. If you want info on that, go to Chapter 3!

J. C. Fisher

What bls said!

[That said, much worthwhile in your reflection, Salty: especially re Christian "cultures", plural]

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