Skip Navigation

Philip Turner

An Unworkable Theology by Philip Turner, p. 14 --  From his vantage point in the Episcopal church, Turner describes progressive doctrine as a theology of acceptance verses a theology of redemption.  Mar/Apr 2007 Theology Matters p. 14

Sex and the Single Life by Philip Turner, Turner is Dean of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University.  This article is reprinted with permission from First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, No. 33, May 1993.  Turner examines the revisionist notion that sexual relationships outside the marriage of one man and one woman is permissible. According to Turner, the revisionist position is that "sexual relations are 'natural' to 'embodied' life, and so may be (and indeed usually are) necessary for the wholeness and fulfillment of individuals not matter what their marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identification may be."  Scripture takes a different view of sexuality.  Turner writes, "The struggle necessary if we are to direct our sexual energies to their appointed and life-giving ends becomes, in Christ, a battle with an old self that refuses to honor God and insists upon its own way.  In the power of the Spirit, this old nature must be put off and a new one put on. ..It is the teaching of the churches that both married and single people are called to say yes to this struggle and recognize it as part of the 'upward call of God.'"  Sep/Oct 1996 Theology Matters p.7