Coming soon from Presbyterian pastor Chris Neufeld-Erdman, to be published by Cascade Books – A Table for All: How I Came to Understand the Gospel Means Full Inclusion of Gays and Lesbians. Written by a Christian leader with a passion for evangelism who also happens to be the father of two gay sons, A Table for All explores Scripture and church history and how the authorities to which Christians turn to guide our lives have informed his own journey (and that of his congregation) in issues surrounding sexual orientation and marriage – taking seriously the individuals and families affected by the church’s deliberations.
One of the resources suggested for further reading in the study of “Christian Marriage in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)” prepared by the Office of Theology and Worship is a recent book by James V. Brownson, Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships, published by Eerdmans in 2013. Tricia Dykers Koenig reviews the content of Brownson’s book and commends it as a valuable contribution to the church’s ongoing conversation.
Ken Cuthbertson explores the historical contexts of the usage in the PCUSA’s Book of Confessions where marriage is specifically spoken of as being between “a man and a woman” — particularly relevant since that phrase has become the focus in so much of the rhetoric in the current debates concerning same-sex marriage in the church, and in society in general.
The Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Cuthbertson is a Minister of the Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), a scholar of church history and historical theology, and a spiritual director. He is a native of Kansas and a graduate of Sterling College, Gordon-Conwell Seminary, and the School of Religion at the University of Iowa. His new book, The Last Presbyterian?, is a historical-theological-spiritual memoir about the “psalm-singing, Sabbath-keeping” strain of old-time Scots-American Presbyterianism from which his family came, and includes reflections on how we might carry key elements of that faith heritage forward into an inclusive, emergent, and missional church for the 21st century. Ken and his spouse, Doug, live in New Mexico.
Ken offers a draft of a confessionally-based statement about marriage for our day and time.
Keynote Address by Henry Brinton at the Baltimore/DC Regional Conference, March 9, 2013: “I believe that all of you want to be part of a truly welcoming congregation, one that embraces all people with God’s love and grace. But if you are like me, you haven’t mastered the practices of Christian hospitality. You probably set up some barriers to inclusion without even knowing it.”
At the Kansas City Regional Conference, Dr. Mark Achtemeier continued his exploration of biblical insights into marriage: “…We have now come to the end of our experiment in reading the Scripture like the faithful scribe in Jesus’ teaching. We have taken what is old – the testimony about God’s purposes for love and marriage and sexuality that comes to us from the broad sweep of the Bible’s story. We have brought out this old, time-tested wisdom and combined it with what is new: the recently emerging opportunity for gay and lesbian people to openly makes vows and commitments to one another in the covenant of marriage.
The result of this combination of old and new is not the abolition of biblical sexual morality or the abandonment of Scripture’s teaching. The result is the right and proper extension of the Bible’s time-honored teachings on love and sex and marriage into these new relationships where it manifestly belongs…”