Is God ‘willing to change his mind’ (Richard Hays) on sexual ethics?

Apr 10, 2024 by

by Andrew Goddard, Psephizo:

There has been much heat surrounding the announcement of a new book on sexuality by Richard Hays and Christopher Hays. What follows attempts to shed some light on what is going on.

After introducing Richard Hays and his major past contributions in this area, the range of instant responses are sketched as sadly illuminating of much of the current state of play among Christians.

Drawing on the limited evidence available about the book’s content, I then highlight five key elements in its argument and offer some initial reflections on each of them. These are then set in the context of Hays’ earlier work on sexuality and in particular his discussions concerning experience (and its authority and relationship to Scripture) and the possible usefulness of appealing to the inclusion of the Gentiles as a paradigm for the inclusion of LGBTQ people.

The conclusion argues that until the book finally appears later this year it is best to “wait and see” and considers how it might then be evaluated and how we might respond to its contribution.

The recent announcement of yet another forthcoming book on Scripture and sexuality arguing for an “affirming” (“Side A”) perspective is already causing major waves even though relatively little is known about it. The Widening of God’s Mercy: Sexuality Within the Biblical Story, a 272 page academic volume, will appear from Yale University Press in late September (Amazon US) or November (Amazon UK & Yale UP). Its significance arises because of its two biblical scholar authors: Christopher B. Hays; and Richard B. Hays. Christopher Hays is the D. Wilson Moore Professor of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at the leading evangelical Fuller Theological Seminary where he has been on the faculty since 2008. He is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA). His work can be explored on his Academia page. Most excitement has however focussed on the fact that the co-author is his father, Richard B. Hays, who is George Washington Ivey Professor Emeritus of New Testament at Duke Divinity School. He is ordained in the United Methodist Church.

Read here


Related Posts


Share This