Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Time to update

No matter how much my interior image resists the passage of time, the hour has come and now is to put a current photo in here. Behold, the BB as of today.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Taking the Plunge

It's all Firedoglake's fault.

The gang over there has been forming a group on Facebook and encouraging everyone to join in.

Sigh. What's a techno-luddite to do?

I might have resisted. But I didn't.

My Facebook page is here.

Why does Miss Dickinson come to mind?

I'm nobody. Who are you?
Are nobody too?
Then there's a pair of us. Don't tell.
They'd advertise, you know.

How dreary to be somebody;
How public, like a frog,
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog.

[If I have misquoted here, chalk it up to memory. This has been with me since high school. Thanks to Mr. Amend for insisting we memorize poetry. He also insisted we call her Miss Dickinson and not just "Emily."]
--the BB

Toward a wholistic theology

Some years ago during one of the annual gatherings of the Council of the Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission, the topic of same-sex relationships and liturgies was being discussed. Many contributed to the discussion though I specifically recall Juan Oliver pushing the discussion toward a larger approach.

What I carried away from that particular round of discussion was that we need to do our theology in the broadest and most interrelated fashion possible. In the case of human sexuality, for instance, we need to do more than discuss the topic in terms of creation, theological anthropology, salvation, and sanctification. We need to articulate how we understand human intimacy in terms of our understandings of the Trinity, the Kingdom of God, Incarnation, Church, mission, and all the rest.

An occasional Bible verse will not suffice, nor will invocations of the purpose(s) of sexuality. There is much more involved than revelation (whether viewed as fixed or ongoing) or issues of justice.

I would very much like to know what is being said and written on human intimacy and perichoresis (the mutual interpenetration and indwelling of the Trinity); ways in which human relationships show forth the Reign of God; the role of committed love in manifesting redemption and communicating Good News; inclusive discussions on sexuality and sanctification; ways in which the fruit of the Spirit is nurtured in human relationships of all kinds, etc.

I know these topics are discussed and the preceding paragraph could invite massive compendia of links and bibliographies. My suspicion is that most expressions in these areas come in the form of private discussions, poetry, local liturgies, scattered articles, and the field of pastoral care. My sense is that these topics have been explored widely and, perhaps, quite profoundly. The Episcopal Church did not suddenly or arbitrarily decide it would be good for People of God to have an openly gay bishop. Decades of experience, struggle, and discernment went into the decision. Friends who have met +Gene testify to his compassion, pastorality, and holiness. It would be a blessing if all bishops could be so beloved as he is by those who have come to know him.

Perhaps these random thoughts are a plea for some gifted theologians to compile yet one more discussion of human intimacy (and for God's sake--literally--not just about sexuality) that is tight, coherent, and comprehensive. If what we say about intimacy is not being profoundly related to all the areas of theology, then we risk imbalance and superficiality at best.

I know we can do better than holiness code denunciations on one hand and cries for justice on the other. (Not that I stand in the middle of the discussion; we all know I am way on the side of inclusion, trusting God to have already sanctified creation.*)

Well, just wanted to say it.
--the BB

* Cf. the Eastern Orthodox liturgies of the Theophany (in the Festal Menaion) and Peter's vision of a whole sheetload of critters.