The Bible is all about sex.
One of the things that constantly gets bandied around in the debate about the engagement of the Church with the modern world is that Jesus said far more about other things than he said about sex. Well, that might be true but it doesn’t stop there being an extraordinary meta-narrative running through Scripture around the theme of sex and marriage. From the opening chapter to the closing words, the theme of sex and marriage permeates the Bible and drives one of the major concepts that underlines the Gospel message, that of the union of Christ and his Church.
My new project, The Great Consummation is to read through the Bible cover to cover and discuss every reference to sex and marriage, exploring how it the meta-narrative is shaped in the form of the Canon as the Western Church has received the Bible, and to engage with the issues that arise. We’ll look at the good and the bad, the Levitical and the lyrical, seeing how they weave together into one theme. On the way we might find some surprises and challenges but we’ll always discover God speaking to his people.
This isn’t meant to be an academic exercise – we might engage with commentaries and books at points along the way but at others we’ll simply look at the text and try to draw some insights. We’ll end up with a series of mini essays that help us understand pastorally and theologically what the trajectory of Scripture is on this subject. The comment section will be open for your thoughts as appropriate, but don’t expect a big debate from me if you disagree!
Posts will come as and when I have time to write and think. Some of what I’ll share has been maturing for years, some will be insights on the day of discovering the text. All of it I hope will stimulate discussion and deepen confidence in the simple truth that God has revealed himself and his purposes through his Word.
I’m looking forward to the next few months / years of writing on this. I hope you are too.
Are any of you even subscribed to this RSS feed anymore?
For those of you who are attentive, you’ll notice that the website has had a facelift. This is in preparation for a new writing project that I’ll be beginning over the summer. In the meantime, I’ve spruced up the site and started to do some edits on some material to bring things up to date.
The year’s break from blogging has been a useful sabbatical – it’s always good to stop what you’re doing and work out why you’re doing it. I’ve written for a few blogs in the last 12 months, but I’ve been fastidious in avoiding blogging here. For those who are looking to me to resume as before, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed, but I hope the new project catches your imagination and that you’ll engage with it as before.
Having had the site offline for a month or two to make sure I don’t blog, now’s the time to switch it back on and create the archive that everyone has requested.
Over the next few weeks I’ll try slowly to trim some of the extraneous material from here. I’ll also start working on producing some proper directories for the different things I’ve written about.
I’m afraid there will be no more blogging for quite a while yet, but I’m busy spending time with the family and working on a few other projects.
In a little over four weeks time, when the World Cup Competition has finished, I’ll be shutting down this website and pretty much withdrawing from any ministry outside of my parish in Canterbury.
I really don’t want to give a long essay on the reasons for this decision. Needless to say, I don’t have the time between a busy job and growing family to also spend time trying to input into the area of human sexuality and also into the life of the Church of England (for example the Twurch of England Twitter project which I have tried to nurture for half a decade and which I shut down on Thursday), things which should be a job in themselves. Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, it’s become too emotionally exhausting to try to give myself to an institution and a constituency leadership that doesn’t want to resource the ministry that it claims it so much admires. It’s not that I don’t want to do the things that I’ve been doing, it’s just that I am no longer capable of resourcing them to the degree that they deserve (and that, frankly, I deserve).
This is it then folks. We’ll do some death and see what God resurrects (if anything). But for now, without any of the above changing, in a month’s time I’ll be out of here.
Christian Concern have produced a video with highlights of yesterday’s conference.
You can find them here.
A Prayer for the World Cup
Lord of all the nations, who played the cosmos into being, guide, guard and protect all who work or play in the World Cup.
May all find in this competition a source of celebration, an experience of common humanity and a growing attitude of generous sportsmanship to others.
“Who played the cosmos into being”? Seriously? I’d only just cleaned out the bucket after the “FIFA doves for world peace” last night.
A Prayer for Brazil
God of the nations, who has always called his people to be a blessing for the world, bless all who take part in the World Cup.
Smile on Brazil in her hosting,
on the nations represented in competition and on those who travel to join in the party.
Spot on. Tick.
A prayer for those simply not interested
Lord, as all around are gripped with World Cup fever, bless us with understanding, strengthen us with patience and grant us the gift of sympathy if needed.
Seriously? Oh dear….
Prayers for the England Football team
And in two little words with added punctuation Bishop Nick Baines utterly redeems himself.
And then goes and throws it all away again (a bit like an England penalty shoot out actually).
“God, who played the cosmos into being, please help England rediscover their legs, their eyes and their hunger: that they might run more clearly, pass more nearly and enjoy the game more dearly. Amen.”
(Based on The Prayer commemorating Richard, Bishop of Chichester in 1253 and used by the Church of England on 16 June each year)
It’s that bloody “played the cosmos into being” again. Where’s my second bucket?