What does the Oxford Ad Clerum mean?

Last week, the four bishops in the Diocese of Oxford circulated an Ad Clerum (‘to the clergy’) to all licensed ministers in the diocese; the text can be found on Steven Croft’s diocesan blog. There is no doubt that the letter includes comments with which everyone in the Church could and should agree. As Will Pearson-Gee, Rector of Buckingham, says in the (expanded) online edition of the Church Times report:

I welcome everything in the letter that helps our churches be more genuinely welcoming places for all people. I also welcome the way in which the bishops are careful to make the point that neither sexual orientation nor gender identity should inhibit anyone from playing a full part in the life of the church.
But I think there are some ambiguities, omissions and even contradictions in the letter which will raise some questions, and I suspect for some (within the diocese and outside it) wonder if it giving an honest view of what is really intended.

Christian doctrine and Schrödinger’s Cat

Erwin Schrödinger was one of the pioneers of quantum theory in the early 20th century, and Schrödinger’s Cat was a thought experiment designed to explain the paradoxical principle of ‘quantum superposition’ in one particular theory of quantum physics. This theory suggested that sub-atomic particles could be thought to be in two contradictory states at the same time, … Continue Reading

Evangelical responses to the ‘Nashville Statement’

The ‘Nashville Statement‘ is a ‘manifesto’ comment on the issues around same-sex relations, transgender and the debate on sexual identity issued by the so-called Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW), which argues that God intends that men should have authority over women in all spheres of life. It provoked a wide range of reactions, some … Continue Reading

The church changed its mind on slavery. Why not on sex?

Will Jones writes: It rarely takes long in any discussion about a controversial ethical issue amongst Christians for someone to bring up slavery. Slavery is the great exemple of how Christian thinking has changed on a key ethical issue. Christians in the past permitted slavery, practised slavery, defended slavery. Scripture clearly permits slavery in certain circumstances, … Continue Reading