Shifting Evangelical opinion on sexuality


Simon Barrow, co-director of the religion and society think-tank Ekklesia, which has argued that an inclusive stance towards lesbian and gay people is compatible with the historic commitments of mainstream Christianity, has welcomed the fresh tenor of the Anglican Bishop of Liverpool's essay 'Making Space for Grace and Truth', which appears in a new book edited by the Rt Rev Dr Kenneth Stevenson, A Fallible Church (DLT, 2008):

“Whether you think he has gone too far or not far enough, the Bishop of Liverpool has made an honest, brave and thoughtful contribution to the painful Anglican debate about sexuality, authority and Scripture,” he commented.

“Those seeking a simple reversal of the majority Evangelical position will be disappointed, but so will those who want to leave that section of the church unchanged. Hopefully Bishop Jones’ essay will enable deeper listening, less acrimony, and the admission of a wider range of voices to the debate – including other Evangelicals who have found themselves moving towards a Gospel-based inclusivity.”

Barrow added: “Making a narrow view of sexuality the ‘deal or no-deal’ foundation of the church and its mission is a practical and theological mistake of massive proportions. This is something those outside have so far recognised more easily than many of those caught up in the row.”

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