Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Epilogue

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Epilogue

Article excerpt

In conclusion, our work sustains one generally accepted observation and adds several doctrinal and practical considerations to the broader discussion. It is generally accepted that differing hermeneurical presuppositions produce conflicting readings of the same texts. This is not a matter of how highly one or another holds the authority of Scripture but the lens through which it is read. Hermeneutical clarity and integrity, difficult as it is, would seem to be of great help in future scriptural analysis.

Further, our collective voice perhaps highlights several pneumatological loci. One is the role of the Spirit in bringing the church into all truth (John 16:13). Can we ever be certain that the witness of the Spirit that we perceive to be working among us is not our own voice writ large rather than the voice of the Holy Spirit? Further, should that caution prevent the church from acting in some circumstances?

A second pneumatological concern arises from the belief that the Spirit guides us in the holiness of fife that Paul develops in Romans and 1 Corinthians. The question here is what constitutes a holy sexual life and what role ought marriage to play in regulating it. This issue pertains to many people, among whom homosexuals are no doubt the minority. The liberal document herein offers a theology of marriage from one perspective. Perhaps further pneumatological reflection on sexual holiness is warranted given the radically changed sexual mores of the northern hemisphere and the reality that marriage seems to be fading among heterosexuals in various parts of the world.

Should the Episcopal Church seriously consider the liberal proposal for reimagining marriage, practical questions would also arise. The new practice would raise the question of the relationship between ordination and marriage across the board. For instance, the Episcopal Church has been ordaining and consecrating non-celibate homosexuals because marriage is not legally available to them. Would that practice be called into question if the Episcopal Church normalized same-sex marriages? The examination of candidates for the priesthood and the diaconate has ordinands pledge to be "a wholesome example to your people" (1979 BCP, 532) and "to all people" (1979 BCP, 544). …

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