Any helpful conversations and responses to Gay Marriage?


I’ve been compiling some of the resources and responses to the issue of Gay Marriage.  I’ve listed the most provoking and thoughtful that I’ve come across so far, below.  

Any others that you could direct me to?

Reframing The Same-Sex Marriage Debate, Andrew Goddard, Spring 2013 (Vol.18 No.4), Accessed June 2013

Andy Crouch, “Sex Without Bodies”, Christianity Today, Accessed June 26, 2013

Exodus International.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Accessed June 23, 2013.

Chambers, Alan. “A Changing World – Letter from Alan Chambers, May 2013.”, May 21, 2013. Accessed June 23, 2013.
Do, Anh, Kate Mather, and Joe Mozingo. “Shifting tide was ministry’s doom.” Los Angeles Times, June 21, 2013.

Diane Kuehen, Why Marriage Is (and Isn’t) The Point, Qideas, accessed June 2013.

Steve Chalke, Greg Downes et al, Christianity Magazine, “The Bible and Homosexuality”, accessed June 2013.

The Bible & Homosexuality: a response to Steve Chalke by the Evangelical Alliance UK, accessed June 2013

Steve Holmes response to Steve Chalke, accessed June 2013.

Wehner, Peter. “An Evangelical Christian Looks at Homosexuality.”, June 11, 2013. Accessed June 23, 2013.
DeYoung, Kevin. “Common Fault Lines in Maintaining an Evangelical Approach to Homosexuality.”, June 14, 2013. Accessed June 23, 2013.
Wehner, Peter. “Jesus, Homosexuals, and the Grace of God: A Response to Kevin DeYoung.”, June 20, 2013. Accessed June 23, 2013.

The Meeting House (an anabaptist church response to Canadian legalisation of Gay Marriage 2005), accessed June 2013

Peter Ould, Post-Gay, accessed June 2013

Justin Lee, Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate [Kindle Edition], May 2013

Wesley Hill, Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality [Kindle Edition], September 2010

Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community [Kindle Edition], March 2009

Christopher Hitchens’ lies do atheism no favours

Curtis White is an atheist who fears that the scientism of new-Atheism if left unchallenged, will become a new and dangerous religion.

His book ‘The Science Delusion' deals with this extensively.  His article in Salon this last weekend, explores some of this religious fundamentalism in the world of Christopher Hitchens.

Of course when a Christian brings up similar issues about the new-Atheism they are often dismissed out of hand.  How ever it’s harder to dismiss a critique from one of their own.

Curtis White’s writing is good not because it proves God in any way, but because it reveals the religious fundamentalism and intellectual dishonesty of Ditchens et al.

Reframing the same sex marriage debate: Andrew Goddard

This article by Andrew Goddard, is the best Christian reflection on the debate over homosexual marriage that I have read todate.

Andrew is also writing a book on sexual ethics, the outline of which I have seen. It’s due out next year, aimed at thoughtful church leaders and members. It will be a vital book for anyone wanting to explore rather than react to the developments in sexual ethics. I will have all my doctoral students read it.

Would you put your church on the front of your credit card?

My friend Daniel Donohue summarises the writing of Jamie Smith so well;

"We are what we worship because what we worship we love. And what we love we become. " 

Now Barclays Bank know this, so now we can put photos of our holidays and the people we love on our credit cards.  

Now imagine if Christians would choose to put photos of their favourite moments and people from christian life mission on their cards? What might happen to our spending habits? ;-)

Ian M Banks thank you

Ian M Banks, outspoken in his Atheism, but known best for his body of books and writing, has died today aged 59.

I left this message on his guest book just now:

"Your sci-fi formed the backdrop to my adult life, from 1987 when I was 18 through to today. So many memories of my life, as I look back on them, are infused and enmeshed with images from the vast and stunning landscapes of your stories.

Thank you.”

Understanding Conversion as Act and Process: Luke and Cognitive Science

I stumbled upon this paper by Joel Green.  It reviews how the Gospel of Luke talks about conversion, and brings that into contact with cognitive science.

It establishes how conversion is not an intellectual exercise, but an embodied experience, of how journey and movement are better metaphors than the word conversion, that conversion is act and process, and is always relational towards communities.

Why small churches are the next big thing

It’s US based for research, and US small isn’t UK small, but some interesting ideas here.

5 Questions to save Baptists? (and maybe other churches?)

Interesting series by the Incarnate Network, where each week for five weeks, they ask a pioneering/mission question to a Baptist, inviting their reflections and insights to inform and stimulate a conversation in the Baptist Union of Great Britain.

First up is Stuart Murray-Williams, responding to the question, ‘What 10 things can our Baptist Associations do to enable strategic pioneering and church planting?’

Solving problems with visual thinking @dan_roam

This summer term/semester, I have set the students I lead in the Leadership and Global Perspectives D.Min, some reading on Visual Ethnography (VE).  The students will be making a summary for me of their learning over the past year using VE.

Alongside that, as a change of pace in their summer term/semester, I’ve also had the students read The Back of the Napkin, by Dan Roam.  The students have been tasked with applying the ideas of this superb book to a problem they currently face, with their own napkin scribbles.  

You can see their scribbles here.

The idea is to engage their visual faculties as they reflect on situations they personally face.  It is also a warm up to a more personal engagement with VE later this term/semester.

Also looking at Dan Roam’s twitter feed, it seems he is holding a free event in London, 12th June this year.

Broad daylight, suburban London, across the road from a primary school, a young man is hacked to death and into pieces, whilst his murderers encourage others to take photos and film them.

"The apparently random target is not random, buts its appearance as random causes public anxiety and fear and change in behavior, which is exactly what the terrorist wants to accomplish. Terrorism is also a public act. The act must be such that the greater society will see it and react to the attack. The terrorist will choose targets that have symbolic value and/or economic value (WTC for example) or targets that have public value (buses, restaurants, etc.) in order to get public attention and public behavior change."


"Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation."

Martin Luther King, Jr. 

I find myself as I live in London, sickened, angered, and in shock.  At the same time I hope and pray communities in London, people of all faiths and none,  can come together, to work together, instead of reacting in anger.

May real people of real faith lead the way. 

What is Theology Good For?: Graham Cray - Theology symposium 7th and 8th June

Vineyard Churches UK&I are holding our first ever theological symposium as we explore the link between good theology and healthy churches.  It’s open to any one with an interest in that topic.

We have Graham Cray heling lead our explorations.  So to find out more and book for the event, see here.

Also Neal Sweatman who is organising the event has made this blog post explaining more about what we will be doing.

I will be speaking and presenting/leading at the event too.

Ken Robinson: How to escape education's death valley

Superb Ted talk by Ken Robinson on education and 3 principles for better education processes and experience.

Dallas Willard: 1935 - 2013

It’s been wonderful to see some of the tributes pouring in for Dallas Willard, after his death yesterday.

Back in 2000, I got take part in a conference organised by Vineyard Churches US, that had Brian McLaren, Stanley Grenz and Dallas Willard as speakers.  They also led us in small group seminars.

It was one of those events that change the course and direction of my life and ministry.  In particular Willard spoke about atonement, and the problems of reducing the gospel to penal substitution.  Then in my seminar group with him, one phrase from him stuck with me (at least this is how I remember it); ‘there are facts and we have theories about the facts, but we must never mistake our theories for the facts’.

My wife asked me on the phone if the event was worthwhile and I replied that just hearing Willard at the start had made the trip worthwhile.

A few years ago, I got to meet him again and say thank you in person and share how he had impacted my life.  He was warm, gracious and kind in response.

A life so wonderfully lived, and a man who died so well.

I was asked back in 2008 to design a D.Min program for George Fox Seminary.  The Leadership and Global Perspectives (LGP) D.Min then launched in 2010.

I was overcomes with joy and delight at seeing the first LGP students receive their doctorates last weekend. It was a privilege to spend 3 years learning with this first cohort, at the intersection of their lives, ministry and research.

Thank you LGP1 for taking the risk of being the first students in the LGP, for being guinea pigs for much of the program, and helping us make it even better for new students.  You rock.

The current and incoming students to the LGP continue to be some of the most amazing people I have met.  I look forward to being at their graduations!

Massive Open Online Courses (Free): MOOC

Some exciting developments in online learning and education with the development of massive open online courses (MOOC).  

'A massive open online course (MOOC) is an online course aiming at large-scale interactive participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for the students, professors, and TAs. MOOCs are a recent development in distance education.'[1]

Take a free class in Music, Film and Audio, Management, Genetics, Philosophy, or Robotics, and many more.

Then there are the sites Canvas and Coursera collating MOOCs.

All this caught my attention because the Doctor of Ministry I lead, in Leadership and Global Perspectives is available online for anyone to follow and take part in for free.

About me

trying to make safe spaces for diverse and healthy conversations about church, culture, mission, theology and motorbikes

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