“Orthodoxy is historically defined according to the creeds, and there is nothing at all in the creeds about human sexuality.”
Steve Harper, author of the new book, Holy Love, published today, is our guest for Episode #206. Steve is a former Professor of Historical Theology at Asbury Theological Seminary, which is— mind you— the UMC’s most conservative school. Steve was also a leader in traditionalist movements like Good News and the Confessing Church Movement. In 2015, though, Steve’s understanding of sexuality in light of scripture changed.
His new book is a concise primer for all folks but especially those like his former self. He’s a warm and wise man with whom I felt honored to speak.
Here’s the blurb I had the opportunity to provide for the publisher:
In all our church fighting about what is and is not incompatible with Christian teaching, Christians seem to have forgotten the core of Christian teaching; that is, we’re all incompatible with Christian teaching. Not one of us is found compatible— we are made compatible by God’s grace. In Holy Love, Steve Harper reminds Christians that married love is holy precisely because it’s an arena where life with another exposes the stranger you call you to the unmerited forgiveness of the other who knows your worst self. The experience of such grace makes us holy— different— in a culture premised on merit alone. Marriage, as the wedding rite makes clear, is about sanctification; therefore, to deny committed couples, gay or straignt, marriage deprives them not of a privilege but of a medicine. Holy Love provides pastors and parishioners the biblical and theological resources to have a holy conversation about how that medicine may be administered to same-sex couples too and how their marriages might also serve as parables for how God loves us all.
You can order his book from Cokesbury.
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