Friday, March 16, 2007


The contested nature and shape of 'the family' in contemporary Christian imagination and practice has been thrown up by many recent arguments in Britain: about the place of LGBT people in the church, in the Catholic adoption row, via the question of children at communion, and more. The careful and thoughtful argument about why magnanimity (rather than exclusion) is at the heart of an alternative vision of family, rooted in the dynamic of the gospels, is set out by Deirdre J. Good in her important new book, Jesus' Family Values. It's available (via the link) from Metanoia's bookshop. Today Ekklesia offers an introductory excerpt: Wrestling biblically with the changing shape of family.

"When I kneel side by side with someone whose construction of family looks radically different from mine, I witness to a God whose ways are not our ways, whose judgments cannot be limited by our finite understanding, whose generosity and creativity must not be circumscribed by our tiny hearts and minds." ...

"Reading ancient texts like the gospels or letters of Paul is hard work. It’s not just a question of investigating ancient sociological or literary contexts; it’s a question of asking critical questions about bringing ancient texts to bear on modern realities. Our interrogation of ancient texts, more often than not, lays bare not so much the texts as our own presuppositions. But our fidelity to these texts and their authority for us makes it imperative that we continue to do it in full awareness of the provisional character of our readings and applications."

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