According to the cover, this book is a critique of the Church of England’s obsession with women bishops and homosexuality in an era characterised by pressing socio-economic issues. The author’s claim is that concentration on sexual and gender issues has diverted the Church of England’s focus from what should be its central concern, namely the disadvantaged.

There is truth in the argument that the whole Church should be more concerned about issues of injustice and those who are disadvantaged. But I found this book contradictory and I would not recommend it to anyone trying to gain a deeper understanding of scripture. Scriptures pertaining to socio-economic issues and justice are accepted at face value, but the passages referring to sexual conduct are not. The author’s personal agenda drives his conclusions and he refuses to accept that biblical prescriptions for sexual and marital conduct could be applicable today. The book’s tone towards the word of God is often negative and dismissive, and both its inherent authority and its relevance are questioned.

CLARE IRWIN has three young children and assists her husband in running Carmel City Church’s West Campus