Saturday Symposium: Are “Third Way” Approaches Even Possible?

Greetings, readers! Thanks once again for a great week of comments, feedback, and discussion. As usual, we’re a bit behind on email. We’ve received more this week than ever before in a single week! Later today, we will also be responding to comments on this week’s blog posts. Up to this point, we haven’t had much time to do that because Lindsey has been at a series of all-day job trainings and Sarah has been busily working on the doctoral dissertation. But no matter how busy we are, we do look forward to reading your comments, interacting with you on Twitter, and responding to your questions.

Let’s get to today’s Saturday Symposium question:

How this works: It’s very simple. We ask a multi-part question related to a topic we’ve blogged about during the past week or are considering blogging about in the near future, and you, our readers, share your responses in the comments section. Feel free to be open, reflective, and vulnerable…and to challenge us. But as always, be mindful of the comment policy that ends each of our posts. Usually, we respond fairly quickly to each comment, but in order to give you time to think, come back, add more later if you want, and discuss with other readers, we will wait until after Monday to respond to comments on Saturday Symposium questions.

This week’s Saturday Symposium question: We decided upon this week’s question after receiving a significant amount of feedback on Lindsey’s reflection Some Thoughts about “Third Way” Churches. Some readers expressed uncertainty about whether Third Way approaches to issues of sexuality would have any possibility of working within conservative churches. We received many questions along the lines of, “Isn’t a Third Way just asking everyone to give up their convictions and say, ‘I’m okay, you’re okay, we’re all relativists?'” We have some thoughts on this matter, but would be interested in hearing from more of you. Do you think Third Way approaches necessarily require Christians with more conservative sexual ethics to give up their beliefs? Is there any kind of Third Way approach that might be equally fair to both conservative and progressive Christians on this matter? Are Third Way approaches more possible within some Christian traditions than others?

We look forward to reading your responses. If you’re concerned about having your comment publicly associated with your name, please consider using the Contact Us page to submit your comment. We can post it under a pseudonym (i.e. John says, “your comment”) or summarize your comment in our own words (i.e. One person observed…). Participating in this kind of public dialogue can be risky, and we want to do what we can to protect you even if that means we preserve your anonymity. Have a wonderful weekend!


Sarah and Lindsey

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