Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Cross Post to Benny Hazelhurst's Blog: Church, Tradition and the Bride of Christ

Benny Hazelhurst, of Accepting Evangelicals, has posted a reply to my comments on his article in the Church of England Newspaper. My own response has gone to the CEN for publication and may appear there (and here) at the end of the week. Meanwhile, you can read his reply and follow the reaction here.

He concludes,
The fact that the Church comprises both men and women and that this (according to John Richardson) is the ultimate paradigm for marriage, suggests that marriage is indeed 'genderless' - it has just taken the church a long time to realise it (like the abolition of slavery and the movement of the sun).
No-one, of course would suggest that there is a literal 'sexual' component to the marriage of Christ and his Church, but that further calls into question relying on this paradigm for our full understanding of marriage.  Indeed Paul says in Ephesians 5 that "this is a profound mystery".  It is a mystery which we are still unravelling, and perhaps we haven't quite got there yet.

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  1. Benny Hazlehurst digs himself even deeper into his subjectivist hole by his inability to distinguish between a metaphor (the Church as the Bride of Christ) and one of the concrete facts of creation (being made as men and women, with the ordering of sexes to each other). Even worse is his failure to recognise the import of the metaphor (that the church has a 'female' role vis a vis Christ).
    Benny needs to do some sreious readign in evangelical theology (try O'Donovan's Resurrection and Moral Order for starts) and to stop using the term "evangelical" and repalce it with "post-evangelical", as Dave Tomlinson does. That would be more honest.

    Mark B.
    West Kent

  2. .... and the idea that 'marriage is genderless' is arrant nonsense when compared to what Christ had to say on the subject (Matthew 19.4-6). Benny has confused marriage with friendship and make the further mistake of eroticising the latter - a common theme and mistake today, but not one a Christian should make.

    Mark B.