Practical questions always reflect ideological and theological truths, and this is perhaps nowhere more obvious than in the current dialogue regarding homosexuality. How do we as Christians interact with this issue and those it embraces and affects? This question is becoming increasingly urgent as we find ourselves in one or the other of those two categories.
For many Christians, making up their mind about homosexuality as an issue is relatively easy. But when it comes to the everyday problems it raises, things get much more difficult. Do we go to our friend's gay wedding? How do we affirm our daughter without affirming her lesbian identity? Should we bake a cake for a homosexual wedding reception?
Adam Barr and Ron Citlau, both pastors, approach the topic from the perspective of these practical concerns without divorcing them from their underlying theological context. Adam writes out of love for the church, while Ron writes as a former homosexual who is now a husband and father of four boys. Their insights are incredibly wise and deeply loving at the same time.
The authors begin where any book on this subject must begin, with a recapitulation of the biblical teaching on human sexuality and sexual sin. Then they deal head-on with the issue of hypocrisy. How can Christians, who are sinners, condemn the sin of others? The answer is simple: we must stop being lax in our morality (hypocritical), and we must be guided at all points by Scripture.
A lot of this book consists of answers to objections to the Christian and biblical position on homosexuality, such as assertions that Jesus never spoke on the topic, that conservatives are inconsistent in their reading of the Bible, etc. But plenty of space is also devoted to looking at practical considerations, often related to how to love homosexuals without affirming their sin, and often presented in the form of answers to frequently asked questions.
Two chapters near the end stand out as especially helpful. One looks at the question of whether the Gospel is capable of transforming one's sexual orientation and desires, and the other specifically at the everyday challenges of living in a gay world where homosexuality is simply taken for granted. The last chapter provides encouragement for the potentially difficult days ahead, and an appendix offers resources for further study.
The importance and value of this volume cannot be overstated for the present situation. If you are a Christian alive in the 21st century, you have been or will be affected by homosexuality, and how you respond is vitally important to your own sanctification, to the strength and integrity of the church, and to our witness to the lost.
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