Comments: Amazing Love: a new book published

I'm not wishing to judge a book by its cover but I do like the design of this particular volume shewing the various pieces of a coloured stained glass window held together by strips of lead. Much mention was made in the debate over the ordination of women into the three-fold historic orders of ministry of breaking through the "stained glass ceiling". The breaking of such a work of art could be regarded as an act of vandalism or iconoclasm. Such a beautiful creative image must truly be looked upon with love, respect and admiration. Surely the jig-saw pieces of the stained glass window should be preserved not smashed or broken and we should endeavour to see, as best we can, how the coloured piece of glass representing those who are attracted to their own gender can best find its place within the entire window's structure.
The Bishop of Liverpool spoke well and persuasively on the Sunday programme about this whole issue but was reluctant to give an answer to the question of what happens next after all the talking is done.

Posted by Father David at Tuesday, 21 June 2016 at 5:51am BST

Didn't we hear the same thing about women's ordination.."the mission of the C of E was threatened without it" spectacular growth since 1994.Quite the reverse actually.

Posted by robert ian williams at Tuesday, 21 June 2016 at 10:32am BST

For me the decision of whether or not to affirm same sex relationships s nothing to do with numerical growth / decline. It is an ethical issue and we (the church) should do the right (ethical) thing for no other reason than we should do the right thing.

Posted by Andrew Lightbown at Tuesday, 21 June 2016 at 5:33pm BST

I suggest that General Synod members should also read "Good Disagreement? - Grace and Truth ina Divided Church (ed Andrew Atherstone and Andrew Goddard, Lion Books, 2015); "The Plausibiity Problem: the church and same-sex attraction" by Ed Shaw (IVP, 2015) and "Journeys in Grace and Truth" (ed Jayne Ozanne, ViaMedia 2016).

Posted by David Lamming at Tuesday, 21 June 2016 at 6:47pm BST

RIW: no spectacular growth since 1994.Quite the reverse actually.
Of course, Ian, I don't know, and neither do you, how much worse the decline would have been since 1994 if women had not been ordained. But I think we can safely assert that the decline was not CAUSED by the ordination of women.

Posted by Edward Prebble at Tuesday, 21 June 2016 at 9:12pm BST

"No spectacular growth since 1994." Are there any churches which HAVE posted spectacular growth since 1994?

Posted by Richard at Tuesday, 21 June 2016 at 9:13pm BST

Let's hope that every member of the upcoming Church of England General Synod will carefully, read, mark, learn and digest the articles in both books that will have now been given to them (without charge) to reflect upon before the GS discussion of the outcome of the 'Conversations' on Human Sexuality.

One good reflection comes from the Bishop of Liverpool, whose own conversion into supporting the LGBTI community in the Church was closely influenced by his own experience of living with families who are actually involved. That usually helps people to better understand the true situation of the prejudice against LGBTIs.

I pray that the G.S. will be generous in its willingness to vote for radical inclusion of ALL in the Body of Christ.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 21 June 2016 at 10:13pm BST

I am, without a doubt, biased: I have the job of publicising 'Amazing Love' on behalf of the publisher — but it's not a job I'd have taken on if I myself did not share the author's and contributors' convictions. Like +Paul, I too was converted to LGBTI acceptance and affirmation by experience: getting to know LGBTI people and seeing God working as powerfully in their lives as in mine, like Peter seeing the Holy Spirit descend on Cornelius, who was I — indeed, who are any of us? — to withhold blessing from those whom God quite clearly accepts?

If anyone reading has difficulty obtaining the book, please feel free to give me a shout, especially if you need multiple copies for a reading or study group.

Posted by Phil Groom at Wednesday, 22 June 2016 at 4:38pm BST

Simon - ((respect))

Posted by Kate at Wednesday, 22 June 2016 at 5:53pm BST

@ Richard - indeed there are churches that have grown since 1994; most notably the pentecostal groups in Africa, including those pentecostal groups whose leaders wear miters and refuse to make Eucharist with anyone who doesn't hate GLBT people in proper fashion. As the Donald Trump campaign and the Nuremberg rallies demonstrate, people love having someone to hate.

Posted by Daniel Berry, NYC at Wednesday, 22 June 2016 at 6:04pm BST

One issue with the shared conversation process planned for GS is that it is highly likely that there will be nobody in some groups of 20 who can speak from personal experience. The books are a really great way of addressing that problem. A credit to those responsible.

Posted by Kate at Wednesday, 22 June 2016 at 8:47pm BST

Is it just my imagination or has the ABC been keeping a low profile since Orlando?

Posted by Daniel Berry, NYC at Wednesday, 22 June 2016 at 11:13pm BST
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