Nous -'knack' in scouse? Nous: Greek 'mind' some use? Nous: we -French- oui? Oooh. Life -don't talk to me about life: me with this pain down the diodes in my left side ... Here's not-nearly-random-enough loggings of what feeds my promiscuous curiosity. Your pay-off is some useful[?] links and provocative thoughts but also more insight than you may care on my thought-processes.

14 April 2013

Marriage, sexuality and the CofE

Mark Vernon has written a very helpful piece responding to the new CofE report on marriage (engendered by the recent debates around marriage equality). The piece is here: Where's the good news? - Philosophy and Life:
In it Dr Vernon outlines the main thesis and critques it ...
...that marriage is a 'creation ordinance', defined as between a man and a woman, as apparently implied in Genesis. This is either making the norm the rule or reducing the rich myths of Genesis to a formula. If it's the former, it's simply a category error. If it's the latter, it's an appallingly reductive reading of scripture that strips it of life.  ...  The idea that Genesis sanctions the nuclear family is, actually, a modern idea: I believe it can be traced to John Locke's 1690 Essay Concerning the True Original, Extent and End of Civil Government. Then, a legal definition of marriage was required because before, committed relationships had gained their social sanction by being made before God. Also, before then, families rarely looked like Adam and Eve under the fig tree because people died too often: hodgepodge families seem far more likely to have been the norm.
The first point in the quote above is what I too recently came to understand: that the 'traditional' Evangelical scriptural argument is a category error -making the norm a rule (as I try to say here and note that Steve Chalke realised).

It's important to be reminded that this argument is essentially a modern one, though I think that we should note that marriage liturgies for a long time have referenced Adam and Eve. It is important however to note the variation that has constituted marriages historically. Such accepted variation makes it hard to sustain an argument that traditional marriage is being defended: whose 'tradition' and why is it defended? We should also note that the Bible is replete with counter-examples to the Genesis ideal as latterly interpreted. If we avoid making the norm the rule, then scripture seems to 'sanction' a wide variety of patterns.

No comments: