For your engagement with ESS

Michael Bird has been in touch with this link. I am yet to read this article but I have my cuppa Yorkshire ready and a small bar of Cadbury's dairy milk and I am about to start reading.

I also hope to watch the debate from TEDS.

Peter Carroll, for whom I have great respect, as a theologian, who as well as a being a practitioner, is also a grace-filled academic, has posted his latest thinking on ESS. I learn a great deal from the clarity with which he expresses his ideas. He has been thinking about the subordinationist position and has written an enlightening response. Please read that here.

Tomorrow, I head off for the New Wine Women in Leadership training/refreshment weekend. I have been thinking a lot about New Wine's new approach to women in leadership and feel hopeful that this conference will be the beginning of a new wave in which we see ordained and lay female speakers finding their way to the main stage to preach the gospel at New Wine Summer Conferences - long overdue.

We continue to be in this strange place as a church as we cut our teeth and find our feet. Peter Carroll points our attention to some of this strangeness in an echo of our evening college sermon's attention to exactly this same issue, whereby, in Peter's words:

on the representational theory of priesthood, a woman may not be a priest because she is not male like Jesus; but on the subordinationist theory of priesthood, a woman may not be a priest because she is like Jesus, destined to be 'eternally' subordinate!!

On a slightly related but somewhat tangential note, I have been reflecting on my own somewhat emotional response to this picture:
Now this is, of course, a picture of Anglican men becoming deacons in the Catholic church because they do not think that I (not particularly me, I hasten to add, just to avoid any confusion ;->) should become a priest in the church because I am a woman. (Okay, I know that there are probably more issues involved than that one but straws and the backs of camels and all that - you know what I mean.)

You know, all I am struck by is the beauty of these human beings prostrating themselves in submission before the living God. This is where I am with this picture.  So, yes, I know, I will still investigate these doctrinal positions where humanity attempts to orientate its own relations onto the trinity and factions vie for the mainstream or even the most orthodox orthodoxy but somehow, it all feels a little different now. I am beginning to realise that this church of ours needs waking up to the Lordship of Christ, that it just might be that God laments less than we do our strange quarrels and diverse theologies. That however mainstream and state-aligned we consider ourselves, we are still a remnant people commissioned to fulfil The Great Commission. Our dialoguing can be a healthy probing into the heart of God and our prayer must be for grace because whilst his heart is strong enough, I know from my own experiences, that our own hearts rarely are, and so I encourage any discussions we have to acknowledge the bond that we have in Christ so that all may be done to engender peace. (mwah!) 

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A little background reading so we might mutually flourish when there are different opinions