Welcoming the British evangelical leader Steve Chalke's positive remarks on gay relationships and marriage, Simon Barrow, co-director of the Christian thinktank Ekklesia, said:
"No doubt there will be anger and anguish from some of Steve Chalke's evangelical friends in the short term. But in the longer run, his decision to speak out positively about committed same-sex relationships, along with the shift of hearts and minds that is being seen in other sections of the evangelical constituency, could be a game-changer in protracted and often bitter church arguments about sexuality, scripture and authority.
"Chalke's position cuts across the standard stereotype within both the media and many sections of the church: that sexuality is taken to be a straightforward liberal-versus-conservative theological issue.
"Instead, his theological plea to the churches is solidly biblical in its assumptions and focused on the person of Christ, while the outcomes he reaches on this basis are relational and inclusive.
"This will appeal to a large number of Christians who find the supposed option of favouring a narrow, mean biblicism on the one hand, or else abandoning foundational scriptural resources in favour of fleeting fashion on the other, to be a false and misleading 'choice'.
"Steve Chalke's courageous and positive intervention looks to be aiming to bring fresh illumination to a debate among evangelicals often regrettably characterised by recrimination."
* Ekklesia’s approach to the sexuality row in the churches: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/about/faqs/25
* Evangelical leader sets out strong biblical stall to support gay relationships: www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/17797