Comprehensive Unity: The No Anglican Covenant Blog

Monday, December 27, 2010

An Interesting Book

Bob Smith, a retired US jurist has written and Lionel Deimel has published on his blog, a little book on the question of how one deals with the Biblical texts alleged by some to make any acceptance of lesbian or gay persons “unchristian.” This issue is intertwined with but separate from the questions of polity that currently trouble our communion.

In 2003, “traditionalists” and “evangelicals” were openly excited that Gene Robinson’s impending consecration was coming. They believed (and wrote) that this finally was an issue that would “rouse the pew lumps.” That is, homophobia would be the lever they could use to break the church and take over the remains.

Their project continues to this day. Mr. Smith’s booklet is an important, readable contribution to understanding one of the issues that has become intertwined because of the cynical use by some of homophobia.

When those of us who oppose the so-called “covenant” and other moves towards a centralized bureaucratic “church” speak up, the answer is seldom on point. Rather the conversation is forced to the issue of “gay bishops” or “gay marriage.” Bob Smith takes that “issue” on and “does the theology” answering the question of “biblical condemnation” and Paul’s views head on. It is a short, readable work and I commend it to you. You can find Lionel’s comments and links here

Jim’s Thoughts

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Blogger DannyEastVillage said...

Watta great, well-written piece and what skilled exegesis! Completely accessible (unless you don't WANT access) and hardly controvertible in it's cultural-critical perspective.

However, it seems unlikely that the investment of hatred held by some of the African bishops can be penetrated, as their default criticism is that such an examination of the scriptures is further evidence of the worldly decadence of Western Christianity (essentially the same argument leveled against the teaching of evolution in Dayton, Tennessee in 1925).

The style of argument brings to mind Talmudic discourse whereby the rabbis sought to find solutions to problems of belief and praxis through careful examination of texts--and not just context, but single phrases, single words, sometimes even single syllables and verb tenses!

This piece and its implications goes way beyond such style of argument, however, and touches the entire "popular culture"--even the "popular scholarly culture"--around reading and interpreting biblical texts. It ought to give considerable pause to anyone who loves their bible--especially those who habitually mount pulpits on Sunday mornings.

December 29, 2010 at 4:23 PM  
Blogger JimB said...


I think the booklet very well done too. Unfortunately, the Ugandan version is not doing well ;-).

Ah well, it is ours to tell them the truth, they must do with it as they will.

You might want to look at the various blogs published by our principals. Our names are all "click enabled" in the margin.


Happy New Year!

December 31, 2010 at 10:47 PM  

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