Local Theology Discussion

Thursday 27th June 2024

On Thursday 20th June, Lower Sixth Theology, Philosophy & Ethics pupils strolled down the High Street to St Mary’s Church to participate in ‘Different Voices: God, Sex and Marriage’. This event featured two prominent theologians – Vaughan Roberts and David Runcorn – in discussion on one of the most complex and controversial topics currently being debated by the Church of England.

David Runcorn opened the discussion with a passionate argument that the scriptures can be read faithfully from an inclusive perspective. He emphasised that “being Biblical involves continual interpretation” and pointed out that many disputes arise from misunderstandings of the original context and meaning of biblical texts. In contrast, Vaughn Roberts offered a traditionalist viewpoint, asserting that the Bible provides explicit teachings on biological sex and the importance of a union between a man and a woman.

This engaging debate was particularly relevant to our studies, connecting directly to two A level topics: Sexual Ethics and Gender & Theology. The discussion offered us invaluable insights and spurred further questions, which both speakers have promised to respond to via email:

  1. To what extent do you think the Church is in danger of ostracising young people with its stance on sex and marriage?
  2. Should the Church accept secular views on gender, sex, and marriage in order to stay relevant?
  3. At what point does liberal interpretation of the Bible stray into heresy?
  4. What authority do we have to dismiss the Biblical teachings on homosexuality (all of which are negative)?

Thanks go to Chris Smith and Tim Novis for organising this event and inviting College pupils.

Bryony Woods
Head of Theology, Philosophy & Ethics

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