Yesterday was a long time of driving people around town, as one does when all of the children are essentially adults who can’t drive–a bitter reality to face. Hopefully today they will all go around on the bus, and I will sit in a chair contemplating the snow, because yes, it is the first day of December and there is already snow on the ground here. So anyway, I can’t get my mind in gear which is fine because last week I taped a podcast with Melanie about Rachel Held Evan’s posthumously released Whole Hearted Faith. You can listen here.
While you wait for my article which should be coming along soon, read Megan Hill’s brilliant review. I love and share her conclusion. It is a heart-breaking book:
I closed the covers on Wholehearted Faith with a sense of deep sadness. I know that Held Evans was not alone in her questions. She was a real woman with real struggles of faith, and her words will resonate with many who are in the same position. She wrote beautifully and honestly about her experiences with faith, but she was ultimately unable to point herself or her readers to faith’s sure resting place: Jesus Christ, crucified for sinners. And apart from him, we have nothing at all.
On another subject, I finally got a chance to read Denny Burk’s take on the apostasy of Du Mez. Here is the crux of the issue:
DuMez says that she used to hold to the “traditional” view that homosexuality is sinful. But now she recognizes “compelling theological & historical arguments” that have destabilized her former certainty about the sinfulness of homosexuality. So by her own account, she is in a kind of convictional purgatory. She’s not where she was, but neither has she arrived at where she is going. Christ’s church has always and everywhere believed throughout its entire 2,000-year history that homosexuality is sinful. But the jury is out whether she will accept that teaching. In the meantime, however, she intends to study the issue while in “communion” with her “LGBTQ sisters & brothers in Christ.” As I read her account, I do not believe that her words represent any kind of middle or undecided position. She is already willing to have communion with and to recognize LGBTQ persons as her brothers and sisters in Christ. In other words, she is already saying that it is right to welcome to the Lord’s table those who embrace and affirm a homosexual identity. She may be under the impression that this is a “middle” or “undecided” position, but it certainly is not. Once you’ve affirmed unrepentant homosexuals as your brothers and sisters in Christ, you have already endorsed an affirming position no matter what your ethical calculation might otherwise be.
If you want to know why this matters for Anglicans, Jady sums it up nicely in this thread that I wanted to embed but for some reason I can’t. Sorry!
As I was saying to myself in the early dark, trundling down the highways and byways, I can put up with an awful lot as an Anglican and a Christian. You can slander me, humiliate me, mischaracterize me, take all my stuff, and kill my body and I will do my best to forgive you. More than that, we can disagree about everything–baptism, church polity, the eschaton, how wicked other people are, politics, covid, everything–and I will settle in for a comfortable afternoon with you at my own dinner table and possibly even take communion with you as long as you’re not denying the Trinity and aren’t insisting that Jesus isn’t God or anything like that. I am Anglican and that means I enjoy a lot of gray (both literal and metaphorical) and also I am tolerant. That’s what Anglicanism means (that’s just a little joke). But I do have a line, and that line is represented by the LGBTQ stuff because that sends the whole project pitching into outer darkness because it absolutely means rejecting the scriptures which are the Word of Life. I am unwilling to mess around with that stuff. And so I’m grateful that Du Mez has finally said what we all knew in our guts she was wanting to say. So now we know where we are and that is a great blessing.