Christians talk about sex. Nothing new there. They obsessively condemn it all the time – unless it fits into a very narrow interpretation (man and woman, missionary position, possibility of issue, that sort of thing).
So you can imagine how refreshing it is to hear of Christians talking about it in a very different way, and calling for something more positive, and for churches to stop obsessing about sex when talking of so-called sin.
“Christian students want a more open and positive discussion about gender and sexuality within the churches, faith communities and college groups to which they belong,” the Christian think tank Ekklesia tells us today.
The call, says Ekklesia’s report, came at an event entitled “Liberating Gender”, which formed the annual conference of Britain's Student Christian Movement (SCM), meeting near Kidderminster.
One thing that catches my eye is the view of the Catholic feminist theologian Tina Beattie, who challenged Christians to find more “truthful and liberating ways of reading biblical texts such as the creation narratives”, says Ekklesia.
“She suggested that when considering sin, churches needed to shift their focus from what could be a rather obsessive concern with sex to the challenge of violence, not least religious violence.”