A paper of mine was just published in Evangelical Quarterly (84.2, April 2012) with the snappy title of
“Sex, Truth and Tolerance: some theological reflections on the Irish Civil Partnership Bill 2010 and challenges facing Christians in a post-Christendom culture”
Here’s the abstract:
This paper uses the 2010 Irish Civil Partnership Bill as a lens by which to describe and explore different Christian approaches to public theology in general. Interacting especially with the work of John Stackhouse, it analyses the reasoning behind Evangelical Alliance Ireland’s (EAI) support of the Bill and argues that it represents a Christian Realist position. Various other negative Christian responses to the Bill are identified as representing two distinct theological poles which Stackhouse terms ‘cultural transformationalist’ and ‘holy distinctness’. It concludes that a credible public theology has to attempt to bridge a hermeneutical gap between the realm of personal ethics and the complex realities of a modern, democratic plural state and that this will seldom be easy or obvious. Six themes are proposed for shaping a Christian Realist approach to public theology within a plural democracy.
I hope to unpack the argument in some follow up posts.
Comments, as ever, welcome