Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

A New Heaven and a New Earth

June 12th, 2014 by Zen

“With Christian or Jewish presuppositions, or indeed Muslim, then if you believe in what it says in Genesis 1 about God making heaven and earth—and the binaries in Genesis are so important—that heaven and earth, and sea and dry land, and so on and so on, and you end up with male and female. It’s all about God making complementary pairs which are meant to work together. The last scene in the Bible is the new heaven and the new earth, and the symbol for that is the marriage of Christ and his church. It’s not just one or two verses here and there which say this or that. It’s an entire narrative which works with this complementarity so that a male-plus-female marriage is a signpost or a signal about the goodness of the original creation and God’s intention for the eventual new heavens and new earth.”

Scholar NT Wright explains marriage, and gay marriage and scripture

Comments (2)
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June 12th, 2014 15:54:27

Bruce Charlton
June 12, 2014

On the other hand, NT Wright favours the ordination of women, which has been the primary radical issue in the Church of England throughout his career:


I think the manner in which he discusses this question is the most significant aspect – the subtle, covert use of irony and mockery against the idea of a male priesthood.

NTW is an example of the insufficiency of the (supposedly) scriptural focus of the ‘evangelical’ protestant tradition; and the corrupting effect of Left wing/ socialist politics on the Anglican church.

NTW’s ‘complementarity’ is pretty shallow, in the end, when it comes to real life and tough decisions.

As so often with this academic tradition, we find ourselves in the theologically absurd position of making radical revisions to Christianity on the basis of the latest scholarly quibbles concerning the translation and contextual meaning of a verse or two, perhaps even a specific *word* or two, upon which the whole organization of the church is supposed to hinge.

NTW is extremely learned and intelligent – and proud. A dangerous man, in my opinion.

Bruce Charlton
June 13, 2014

To be fair to NTW, for evangelical Protestants, there is no such thing as a divinely-ordained priesthood – only pastors/ leaders.

So the ordination question reduces to merely a *leadership* question – there are no implications related to priesthood keys, powers, ordinances or anything of that sort.

Then, the ‘admissible evidence’ is purely scriptural, and the proof texting approach reduces this to specific and explicit scriptural statements.

Since there are innumerable translations, and (in this tradition) none are granted divine authority – then this inevitably gets pushed back to a question of historical context of specific translations

– which is simply a branch of secular research, which then reduces to normal academic wrangling about the latest books and scholarly articles – and the consensus of a bunch of academics.

So given that sexuality has no necessary role in mainstream Christianity – the debate on ordination of women from an evangelical protestant perspective amounts to a discussion of what is expedient, or sensible – or something else which cannot be settled decisively.

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