what they say...
News in on The Possibility of Difference, to be published by Kevin Mayhew this autumn: I am delighted to announce that prolific writer and former Bishop of Oxford John Pritchard has provided a foreword to the book!
Bishop John writes:
Why another book? Because this one has the unique gift of being personal, courteous and eminently approachable.
Marcus Green writes as a convinced evangelical who lives with his homosexuality in a relaxed and thoughtful way, loving his Lord and wanting to live in a Big House where there exists the ‘possibility of difference.’
I met Marcus in the underbelly of Blackwell’s bookshop in Oxford some time ago and congratulated him on his generous submission to a Church of England report on gay relationships. I asked if he had thought of writing it up in more substantial form. And now he has...
Here are some other reactions that have already come in from those who have seen early copies of the text...
This is a measured, compassionate plea for a more humane argument about sexuality in the Church - a model of debate which avoids polarising language and insistent emotion while drawing on deep personal and spiritual resources.
Archbishop Rowan Williams
I've known Marcus since he was a curate at St Michael's Aberystwyth, leading worship and heading up youth work. He later transformed a parish in Pontypridd in the South Wales valleys, establishing an evangelical ministry which continues to flourish, as well as being part of the leadership team for New Wine Wales. Through all those years his passion for Jesus and his commitment to clear Bible teaching shone through. They shine through this book too - which is a gift to anyone who wants to take a fresh look at the thorny questions of human sexuality and the church today. Marcus clearly loves the Scriptures, wrestles with hard texts and in them finds a God who loves people - all people, whether straight or gay. I’m delighted he has written this timely book.
Bishop Andy John, Bishop of Bangor
Nothing is more needed in our current ecclesial debates about sexual ethics than a pastorally sensitive, exegetically sound, and theologically insightful work which takes the human element as serious as the divine. Marcus Green is not only a great thinker, a thorough academic, and a great pastor, but he is also a fantastic human being. With a humanizing touch, Green addresses a subject which too often falls into dehumanizing rhetoric or abstracted discussions of ethics. The church is starving for this book. The world is starving for the church to say what this book says.
Tom Fuerst, Author, Theologian and Church Planter
I am happy to commend Marcus Green's excellent book. In it he succeeds in setting out his views on gay identity, life-style, marriage and ministry in a way that is at once biblical, sensible, disarmingly easy reading and without rancour or stridency. It is the heartfelt witness of a fine evangelical minister to what his prayer life and study have led him to understand, and deserves to be both read and heeded by the contemporary church.
Peter Southwell, Theologian, University of Oxford, and former Senior Tutor at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading “The Possibility of Difference” – notwithstanding the pain that lies behind so much of what Marcus Green is writing about. I think that it provides a very useful contribution to the current debates…
My own feeling was that the Romans section was the best as it highlighted the theme of the validity of a difference of exegesis, as an evangelical, very clearly.
Bishop Colin Fletcher, Bishop of Dorchester
This a most compelling plea to those engaging in both sides of the debate on same sex issues, to listen carefully, honestly, and without judgementalism to the experience of those with whom they disagree. Marcus Green tackles some of the biblical questions and gives a moving account of his own experience. Although not agreeing with his conclusions myself, his longing for "loving disagreement" is a valuable balance to the tendency of some LGBT campaigners to label every disagreement as homophobia, and of some evangelicals to 'write off' their opponents from their fellowship.
Canon David MacInnes, former Rector of St Aldate’s Oxford
At last! This is the book that so many within the Christian Church have been waiting for! A thoroughly engaging, thoroughly researched, profound and moving exposition of the Scriptures in relation to human sexuality and the Gospel. In his warm and personable style, Marcus courageously models the very “loving disagreement” he longs for. I pray that this will mark a whole new chapter in the Church’s discussions on sexuality, and provide a much needed resource that will draw people into respectful dialogue with each other.
Jayne Ozanne, Writer, Director of the Ozanne Foundation
This is a visionary and prophetic book, a timely contribution to the current conversations in the church…
In an engaging and captivating style, Marcus lays out a ‘re-envisioned’ understanding of Scripture, carefully exploring the key texts and offering possible new ways of reading them in context, unhindered by cultural baggage and sometimes sloppy translation. Addressing overarching themes of idolatry and true worship, being equally human rather than ‘utterly unredeemable’ with a positive theological rigour, Marcus invites his readers to explore a ‘deeper grace’. His love for Jesus, and for the church, shines through as he explores the possibility of differing ‘with open Bibles, open hearts, honest faith and genuine desire to be true to Jesus and godly in how we live our lives.’
I wholeheartedly commend this book and hope it will be widely read by people of all traditions as we continue to learn more about disagreeing well.
Nikki Groarke, Archdeacon of Dudley and member of General Synod
The Possibility of Difference by Marcus Green is a timely and very helpful resource for the church in the midst of the ongoing difficult debate about human sexuality. Combining his long experience of pastoral parish ministry with evident theological expertise, Marcus helpfully and sensitively explores Scripture, the human condition and pastoral realities in a way that clearly displays his underlying commitment to seeing the flourishing of individuals and of the church. This book gives a passionate call for unity within the church, but a unity based on respect and honest engagement with Scripture and difference, and not a false or shallow unity dependent on glossing over and minimising the very real questions that confront us and that both our society and our personal integrity require us to acknowledge and face up to. This book is a rich and warm resource, offering light where far too often we have only had heat. I commend it, not only as a source of valuable teaching, but also – far more importantly – as an aid and a spur to honest, respectful and constructive dialogue.
The Venerable Gavin Collins, Archdeacon of the Meon and member of General Synod
And for the link to the Kevin Mayhew site to pre-order your copy, just click here!