The Bishop of Liverpool
In a recently published book
of essays, the evangelical Bishop of Liverpool, James Jones, apologised to
Jeffrey John for the hurt he had caused and his partner at the time of his
nomination for Bishop of Reading.
We welcome his unreserved apology for his treatment of Jeffrey and his acknowledgement that there are
authoritative Biblical examples of same gender love. He also regrets that this
particular controversy narrowed down the space for healthy debate within the
church. His apology and humility in this matter are evidence of true Christian
character and leadership.
As evangelical lesbian and gay Christians we know only too well the damage that can be done by the `literal
plain & simple’ approach to Scripture which treats the Bible with disrespect,
and conceals the good news. The Word became flesh not `text’.
Elaine Storkey has found
that she is the `wrong kind’ of conservative evangelical Christian. We hope that
Bishop James’ statement will give courage to other evangelicals of the `wrong
kind’ to come out, to acknowledge the complexity of Scripture on matters of
sexuality and liberate the gospel from the literalist straightjacket.
The whole essay, called
`Making Space for Truth and Grace’, is worth reading at the Diocese of Liverpool
A Fallible Church: Lambeth Essays ed Kenneth
Stevenson pub Darton Longman & Todd ISBN 978 0232527308 £10.95
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Dated 9 February 2008
Our spokesperson Brenda Harrison was interviewed
with Paul Dawson of Reform on Radio Ulster’s `Sunday Sequence’ programme BBC Radio Ulster's Web Site)
92-95FM Sundays 8.30-10.15 to discuss Bishop James John's essay.”
The interview can be listened to here.