Living in Love and Faith
Issues of gender and sexuality are intrinsic to people’s experience: their sense of identity, their lives and the loving relationships that shape and sustain them. The life and mission of the Church of England – and of the worldwide Anglican Communion – are affected by the deep, and sometimes painful, disagreements about these matters, divisions brought into sharper focus because of society’s changing perspectives and practices, especially in relation to LGTBI+ people.
Living in Love and Faith sets out to inspire people to think more deeply both about what it means to be human, and to live in love and faith with one another. It tackles the tough questions and the divisions among Christians about what it means to be holy in a society in which understandings and practices of gender, sexuality and marriage continue to change.
Commissioned and led by the Bishops of the Church of England, the Living in Love and Faith project has involved many people across the Church and beyond, bringing together a great diversity and depth of expertise, conviction and experience to explore these matters by studying what the Bible, theology, history and the social and biological sciences have to say.
After a Foreword from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the book opens with an invitation from the Bishops of the Church of England to embark on a learning journey in five parts:
Part One sets current questions about human identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage in the context of God’s gift of life.
Part Two takes a careful and dispassionate look at what is happening in the world with regard to identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.
Part Three explores current Christian thinking and discussions about human identity, sexuality, and marriage. In the light of the good news of Jesus Christ, how do Christians understand and respond to the trends observed in Part Two?
Part Four considers what it means for us as individuals and as a church to be Christ-like when it comes to matters of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.
Part Five invites the reader into a conversation between some of the people who have been involved in writing this book who, having engaged with and written Parts One to Four, nevertheless come to different conclusions.
Amid the biblical, theological, historical and scientific exploration, each part includes Encounters with real, contemporary disciples of Christ whose stories raise questions which ask us to discern where God is active in human lives.
The book ends with an appeal from the Bishops to join them in a period of discernment and decision-making following the publication of Living in Love and Faith.
The Living in Love and Faith book is accompanied by a range of free digital resources including films, podcasts and an online library, together with Living in Love and Faith: The Course, a 5-session course which is designed to help local groups engage with the resources, also published by Church House Publishing.
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