The Rev. Canon Phil Ashey – I have just returned from a two-week holiday and a graduation in the UK, mindful of the Church of England’s General Synod. While there, I disciplined myself to avoid comments and to simply enjoy my time away with my wife and friends. But, towards the end, my attention was drawn to an article written by the Rev. Dr. Ian Paul, reporting as a participant in the “Shared Conversations” on human sexuality, as part of the reception of the Pilling Report (which seems to recommend to the Church of England, in the end, “pastoral accommodation” in the form of the blessing of same sex civil partnerships).

For those of you who may not have heard of the Rev. Dr. Paul, he was from 2005-2013 Dean of Studies and lecturer in New Testament and Practical Theology at St. John’s College Nottingham (an historically evangelical college for those training for ministry in the Church of England). He did his PhD on Paul Ricouer’s hermeneutic of metaphor and the interpretation of the Book of Revelation. He has been a member of the British New Testament Society since 1991 and has convened its Revelation seminar group since 2004. He is also a founding member of the Grove Biblical series editorial group (since 1994) and served as its Chair/Managing Editor from 1994-2004.  You can find his full CV here and his blog, Psephizo, here.

I would like to quote at length from Dr. Paul’s July 13 post because it seems to me that he has addressed the issue of paramount importance in all of these conversations—indeed, in the life of our troubled Anglican Communion today.  That issue is nothing less than the clarity and authority of the Holy Scriptures for our lives today.  While he had some positive things to say about the process of the conversations and some of the people he engaged, it is clear from his comments that the Bible is being seriously mishandled in the process: CONTINUE READING

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