Podcast: Is there a ‘Moral Orthodoxy’?

Mere FidelityThis week’s podcast has just been posted and we have a new name: Mere Fidelity (thanks to Jordan Ballor). This time around Derek Rishmawy, Andrew Wilson, and our guest Matt Lee Anderson are discussing whether there is such a thing as moral orthodoxy. We address the question of the status such issues as same-sex marriage should have in our thinking and the manner in which we should use the term ‘heresy’. Take a listen and leave your thoughts in the comments!

About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
This entry was posted in Audio, Controversies, Ethics, Podcasts, The Blogosphere, Theological. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Podcast: Is there a ‘Moral Orthodoxy’?

  1. The Man Who Was . . . says:

    It is true that a lot of self identified progressive or liberal Christians are now making the creed the standard to rally around. But, to be honest, I don’t think this goes very deep. For example, Rachel Held Evans, despite her proclaimed adherence to the creed, seems reluctant to label as heretics even those who diverge from the creed in the most flagrant ways. This “I personally believe in the articles of the creed, but I don’t think it that important that others believe in them” to be the slightest bit persuasive. I suspect that, should they get their way on moral issues, progressives would immediately revert to questioning the creedal core. This is expediency, a desperate hail mary attempt to find some common ground with theological conservatives before attempting to undermine their institutions.

    I suspect a lot of this switch has to do with the pressure progressive Christians feel from the secular world to get with the program on the gay issue. You can nominally affirm the Christian creeds (the secular world doesn’t give tinker’s damn about theology per se) and still be a bona fide progressive, but you are most certainly not allowed to dissent on full affirmation of gay sexual relationships. So, since there needs to be at least the appearance of common ground with theological conservatives, and it can’t be traditional sexual morality, the creeds it is!

    To be fair, most of these progressives already had their hearts genuinely on the side of affirmation, but the vehement opposition of theological conservatives made them hold off on expressing that.

    • I can’t remember whether I brought up this point in the podcast itself, but it seems to me that what we are seeing is less a matter of dissent on secondary matters relating to Christian ‘moral orthodoxy’ as a direct conflict between two opposing moral orthodoxies, arising from very different accounts of reality. The challenge here is coming from a particular place and is taking a very particular form: it isn’t just an unpointed questioning.

      • Also, we aren’t just talking about the creation of latitude here. The creation of space within which to disagree is very shortly followed by condemnation of anyone who doesn’t affirm the new moral orthodoxy. It is a space opened for tolerance and affirmation of same-sex marriage, for instance, but one within which strong opposition is no longer really permitted (because that would be fighting a culture war and denying space for the other position to exist…).

      • The Man Who Was . . . says:

        what we are seeing is less a matter of dissent on secondary matters relating to Christian ‘moral orthodoxy’ as a direct conflict between two opposing moral orthodoxies, arising from very different accounts of reality.

        Yup.

      • The Man Who Was . . . says:

        You are also right that the affirming folks would likely make the non-affirming position into a heresy if they could.

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