When Deborah Met Jael defines and situates the significant elements which constitute lesbian readings of scripture. Deryn Guest explores the instability of the lesbian label and the concept of a "lesbian sensibility". The book further explores the social location of lesbian hermeneutics, noting in particular the adverse positions of lesbians socially, economically and religiously. The author also examines the non-negotiable principles that underpin lesbian readings of biblical texts. These include; upholding the dignity of the lesbian and the authority of experience; the need to operate via a specifically lesbian hermeneutic of suspicion; the principle of ensuring the views of grassroot lesbians are included; the desirability of opening a lesbian critical position to allies and finally a willingness to confront the issue of biblical authority. Finally the author evaluates strategies that have been used to date by lesbians reading scripture, identifying those strategies that are most likely to provide empowerment contemporary lesbians. This chapter will engage closely with relevant biblical texts and demonstrate how these strategies can be applied.
A new book from Darton, Longman and Todd, produced by a group of distinguished academics led by Andrew Davison, Starbridge Lecturer in Theology and Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge.
This high-impact but accessible theological volume is designed for those who want to explore the issues with an open heart and mind, and to engage critically with a range of inclusive theological perspectives.
Being Followers of Jesus Being Human
Being Biblical Being Part of the Story
Being in Love Being Missional
Taped live before a congregation, this is Mel White's response to those who misuse the Bible to make outcasts of God's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender children. To know how God feels about outcasts, Mel takes a closer look at the life and teachings of Jesus (himself an outcast) who with all the Jewish and Christian prophets proclaimed God's special love for outcasts.
Available on YouTube in three parts:
Stranger at the Gate: To be Gay and Christian in America
In this book, Mel White details his twenty-five years of being counselled, exorcised, electric-shocked, prayed for, and nearly driven to suicide because his church said homosexuality was wrong. But his salvation--to be openly gay and Christian--is more than a unique coming-out story. It is a chilling expose that goes into the secret meetings and hidden agendas of the religious right.
'This is no academic treatise, although it is written by a retired scientist/engineer. I have written this book from my own experience. It describes a pilgrimage of faith that began as a challenge to my assumptions about an oppressed group of people. And at its heart is a prayerfully conducted Christ-centred Bible study. It is a pilgrimage I want to share with you. My first credential is that I am a Christian from the evengelical wing of the Church who knows his Lord for himself and the power of the Gospel to change and redirect lives... My second credential is that I have no personal axe to grind other than the claims of love and justice. I have no homosexual leanings - I am 100% heterosexual... My third credential is that I am a keen Bible student - I wear Bibles out.'
A Survival Guide for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Christians and Their Friends, Families and Churches
Here is a practical and affirming book for everyone facing this controversial issue, whether they are a gay or lesbian Christian seeking to live with integrity, a friends or family member, or a church leader seeking understanding and guidance.
The authors draw on the experiences of a wide circle of friends and acquaintances who have been personally involved with this issue. They use stories, reflections, readings, prayers, cartoons and top tips to suggest practical ways of managing and enriching relationships with God, the church, and other people. Upbeat, brave and open this is based on many Christians' lived experience and includes fifty first hand stories.
One man's spiritual journey to find the truth about homosexuality and same-sex partnerships. Foreword by Roy Clements Afterword by Rev. David Tomlinson
Jeremy Marks relates his own journey through 20 years of ministry with Courage (UK), a group he founded in February 1988 to offer support for people who experience a conflict between their faith and their sexuality. Initially Courage (UK)'s ministry was based on the theory that a change in sexual orientation could be achieved through prayer and fellowship. Alternatively, acceptance of lifelong celibacy might result. However, Jeremy soon became struck by the failure of this ministry (and others like it) to produce any long-term results that really stood up to scrutiny. Worse, psychological harm or other damaging effects could result. To continue with integrity Jeremy decided he had to change the direction of Courage (UK) to become an affirming ministry supporting people as they are rather than trying to change them.
Drawing on many years' personal and pastoral experience, Jeffrey John explores the meaning and context of the mentions of homosexuality in the Bible and also considers the moral arguments, before offering guidance to same-sex couples on forming a lasting, covenanted, monogamous relationship.
In 2000 the Baptist Union produced a study booklet 'Making Moral Choices' to help Baptist congregations explore a variety of moral issues, including sexuality. There is much in there that is helpful, and it remains a valuable resource for congregations. Sadly it is no longer available through the Baptist Union online store, so a pdf is available for download below.
The Baptist Union 'Declaration of Principle' is the basis of the Baptist Union of Great Britain. It is relevant to the topic of same sex marriage because it sets out the terms on which churches covenant together to form the Union.
In 1996, four Baptist College principals wrote a study on the Declaration of Principle. Twenty years after its publication, it still speaks powerfully about what it means for Baptists to belong together, even when they disagree.