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Responding in faith to a hostile world

In the face of hostility, it’s easy to get stuck in one defensive posture, reacting to everyone outside our tribe in the same rigid way. In this article I’ll be reviewing four possible responses we can have to hostility: compromise, silence, withdrawal and confrontation. Looking at each of them in turn, I’ll be identifying when they can be valuable, but also showing the harm that comes by taking the response too far.

Review: "Embodied” by Preston Sprinkle

This is an ideal book both for Christians to read to learn more about transsexuality, and to give to those who identify as trans, irrespective of what they think about God. This is a book that, despite my high expectations and medical background, did not disappoint me in any way. Its pages flow with humanity, understanding and both biblical and scientific truth.

How my church became a safe place to share

I was once part of a small group (around ten people at the time) from a large church (several hundred people) in Cambridge that held to the orthodox view on biblical sexuality. We formed this group of various people within the church who experienced same-sex temptations. The leader of the group was Brian, who did not personally struggle with same-sex feelings, but he had a gift for overseeing our gatherings.

Review: "The Making of Us" by Sheridan Voysey

This book does not feature same-sex attraction, is not a study on disappointment, and it is not a scholarly exposition of scripture. It is a book that advocates listening to God, finding space for peace, and being truthful about holding up our pain in silence to our Saviour.

Why we don’t offer conversion therapy

"Conversion therapy" is perhaps most often used to describe any kind of attempt or intervention which aims to change a person’s sexual orientation. TFT does not aim to change anyone’s sexual attractions, nor do we practise any form of conversion/reparative therapy. In this article, I offer three principles, drawn from scripture, that inform our stance on this matter.

Responding well to opposition

In November 2013 a report from the House of Bishops Working Group on Human Sexuality was published. The group consisted of three other bishops and others. I realised in the summer of 2013 that I couldn’t sign up to its recommendations, and said I would need to submit a dissenting opinion.

Why Christians should expect opposition

In our culture, if you say something that others perceive to be wrong, you can provoke a verbal lashing or a social media storm, or worse. This article explores why God allows opposition to his people and shows how the Bible presents this as the normal Christian experience.

Is it wise to debate biblical sexuality?

This article is an edited extract from a much longer conversation about disagreeing well with those holding to a revisionist view of scripture. Stuart Parker was in conversation with Andrew Goddard for the Ascend Higher podcast. Andrew is an Assistant Minister at a church in London and a tutor in Christian Ethics. Over the last three years, he has deeply involved himself in the Church of England’s project “Living in Love and Faith”, which has brought together church leaders from both traditional and revisionist perspectives.

Review: "Purposeful Sexuality" By Ed Shaw

“What is the purpose of our sexuality?” That is the question that this short book wrestles with. Ed Shaw takes us deeper than the “human flourishing” arguments that only focus on our happiness in this life – he also helps us to mature beyond the simple youth-group questions (e.g. “Whom can I have sex with?”) to the deeper and ultimately more helpful question of “What is sexuality for?”