‘Sexegesis’ book launch in Hobart
“Today we launched Sexegesis – An Evangelical Response to Five Uneasy Pieces on Homosexuality at St David’s Cathedral, Hobart. I would like to express my thanks to the Revd Joel Kettleton and the Dean Richard Humphrey, for their work in putting together this event.
Here is the introduction which I gave at the book launch:
2012 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Anglican Church of Australia. At the recent Synod of our Diocese we gave thanks that our founding documents affirm that we are part of the apostolic and worldwide church, that we are biblically based and that we are Christ centered.
As Anglicans then as we deal with issues such as homosexuality we do so in this context.
We are part of a worldwide Anglican communion and need to listen to that body which has clearly stated in the Lambeth Resolutions (1.10 – Human Sexuality) that homosexual practice is incompatible with the Scriptures.
As that resolution makes clear and the constitution of our Church says we take the Scriptures “as being the ultimate and standard of faith given by inspiration of God.” The Church is not at liberty to “ordain anything contrary to God’s Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another.” (Article XX of the Anglican Church’s 39 Articles of Religion). We need to keep coming back to Scripture, to wrestle with it, understand and apply it, even when it corrects and challenges us and our culture.
Last we do this focused on Christ which means that as this discussion continues it should be done with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience and showing the same kind of forgiving love that God has shown us in Christ.
I welcome ‘Sexegesis’ as part of this ongoing conversation which whilst strongly arguing for a traditional understanding of biblical sexual behavior as taking place within heterosexual marriage, it speaks this truth in love.
I encourage people to read this book and to continue through their own reading and thinking to come to a truly Biblical mind on this issue. As we do so let us pray the Collect for 2nd Sunday in Advent (BCP),
Blessed Lord, who hast caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.”
– from Bishop Harrower’s blog.