Theology changes its mind (part 1)

Theology changes its mind, but so does science.

About a month ago I wrote in the blog “What is Theology for” that we should be looking at how we interpret the Bible in the light of what science is telling us.

First let me say this. What science says isn’t fixed. It changes. Often.

Sometimes it contradicts itself, is light a wave or a particle?  But what it does is give the best answers to the observed facts that we have. To argue against science usually ends in looking silly. Who follows the theologians who disagreed with Copernicus these days?

Bishops

I’d already mentioned that the view of science on the homosexuality issue has changed over the last century. Theology is slow to catch up. The 1991 Anglican document “Issues in Human Sexuality” is still available via the House of Bishops website front page, right hand column under resources. It states that scripture, tradition and intellect agree that homosexuality is less than ideal.

I’d say that they were wrong about intellect. By 1991 psychologists and sociologists were saying that non homosexual orientations were normal — science had changed. I can’t argue about tradition though.

Which leaves scripture. Is it really anti gay, as some presume?

I have said that science changes. But so does theology. If it didn’t there would never have been the Reformation and Counter Reformation, or the Great Schism, or a need for the early Ecumenical Councils. There would have been no need for St Paul to appeal for unity in 1 Corinthians: Acts chapter 15 shows theology changing.

So knowing what science now teaches about same sex orientation, it is time to look at scripture again, without trying to undermine scripture, just to understand it.


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