Permanent, faithful Stable Christian same-sex marriage. By Jeffrey John New edition – revised and updated.
As Inclusive Church prepares to mark it’s 10th anniversary in 2013, how appropriate it is to have a re-issue of this important book.
From the Press Release:
It is no less than a tragedy for Christianity … that since … the process of recognizing and integrating gay people has steadily continued in society at large, the most visible and vocal obstacle to that continuing process has been the Church … This is morality turned upside down; and the inevitable result is that people of good will with a concern fro justice and truth turn away from the Church in disgust.
Seminal book on the church’s struggle with homosexuality, by the most prominent Christian advocate for gay marriage of his generation
Jeffrey John was forced to stand down after being appointed Bishop of Reading in 2003, and again blocked from becoming Bishop of Southwark in 2010 because of being in a lifelong same-sex partnership, though celibate.
- New Foreword by Mark Oakley, Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral, and forthright new Preface and Postscript by Jeffrey John, urging the church to back the government’s proposal to legalise gay marriage.
As Archbishop of Wales, Rowan Williams cited Permanent, Faithful, Stable as a book that influenced his thinking on the thorny issue of homosexual clergy. In a letter to a friend he wrote, “I concluded that an active sexual relationship between two people of the same sex might therefore reflect the love of God in a way comparable to marriage, if and only if, it had about it the same character of absolute covenanted faithfulness.”
Since his appointment as Archbishop of Canterbury, he has changed his public opnion, and in the almost decade since this book was last published, the Church’s line on homosexuality has continued to harden. The Church now finds itself running behind the state in its approval of same-sex marriage, burdened by the desire to maintain unity in the Anglican Communion, and seemingly at odds with the majority of ordinary churchgoers. In the Church times survey (15 June 2012), 75% of respondents disagreed with Anglican bishops position on same-sex marriage, and a recent YouGov poll for Stonewall said that 3 in 5 people of faith support gay marriage.
In the current climate of debate and negotiation, Jeffrey John’s voice needs to be heard for the Church to recognise its responsibility to marginalised gay people, and its commitment to the heart of the Christian gospel.
Jeffrey John is Dean of St Albans and was formerly Canon Chancellor and Theologian of Southwark Cathedral
Publishing August 2012 by Darton Longman and Todd.