from My Recommended Reading List (Part 4 of 12)
One of my goals for this blog in 2013 is to spotlight my “Recommended Reading List”. The selection for April, “Homosexuality and the Christian: A Guide for Parents, Pastors, and Friends”, is also the first of three authored or coauthored by Dr. Mark Yarhouse. To view the complete list of my favorite books on the subject of same-sex attractions, click this link: My List of Recommended Books
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I don’t agree with every single idea, concept or thesis discussed in every book on my list. But each selection contributes insight and understanding to the subject.
Summary of Content
While every chapter is loaded with insightful information, chapter 7 stands out. It is a rare to see such a sensitive understanding and conversation about mixed-orientation marriage in a Christian lifestyle book about homosexuality.
Chapter 1 – What Does God Think About Homosexuality?
Chapter 2 – Why Is Sexual Identity the Heart of the Matter?
Chapter 3 – What Causes Homosexuality?
Chapter 4 – Can Someone Change Sexual Orientation?
Chapter 5 – What If My Child or Teen Announces a Gay Identity?
Chapter 6 – My Adult Child Announced a Gay Identity: What Now?
Chapter 7 – What If My Spouse Announces a Gay Identity?
Chapter 8 – Whose People Are We Talking About?
Chapter 9 – What Is the Church’s Response to Enduring Conditions?
Chapter 10 – Concluding Thoughts
Key Insights and Passages
Too many Christians fail to seize the opportunities to engage and understand people like me; to acknowledge and learn from my faith development and experience. Sexual minority Christians are valuable to their local church. We have a lot to offer – important life lessons, honest transparency, unique perspectives, spiritual character and conviction. Give us a chance. Allow us the space to question, share, grow and love in God’s family alongside our fellow sojourners.
As a researcher and psychologist, one of Dr. Yarhouse’s greatest contributions to any discussion about SSA is his ability to communicate with and challenge the Christian faith community. Instead of citing chapters 8 and 9 in their entirety, I have selected three quotes for your consideration. If you wish to respond to any of these observations or questions, we would love to hear your thoughts.
“It got me thinking about why the church doesn’t lead with the thought and attitude that Christians who struggle with homosexuality are our people. Think about that for a second: Sexual minorities in the church, by which I mean believers who experience same-sex attraction, are our people. Framing the issue this way can lead to greater compassion as the church tries to find ways to provide support and encouragement to those in our own communities who would benefit from it.” – pages 157 – 158
1. Why are there so few churches welcoming and supporting sexual minority Christians – OUR people?
2. Self-actualization and moral relativism are dominant ideologies in our culture. How can we start rededicating ourselves to biblical sanctification and stewardship (especially in regards to our sexuality and sexual behavior)?
“Questions about causation and change are important” but “the traditional Christian sexual ethic does not hinge on the causes of sexual attraction or orientation.” And “the gospel does not hinge on whether people can experience change of sexual orientation.” – pages 163 – 164, 182
3. How can we advance/elevate the discussion about homosexuality?
4. How can we provide real guidance and pastoral care to sexual minorities (and their families)?
“When churches value being single not as a stage to ‘get through’ but as a good state to be in, they can provide a place that is valued and meaningful to the Christian who is also a sexual minority.” – page 173
5. What would this look like in practical terms? How important is it to equip all believers to grow in obedience and Christlikeness?
Links and Resources
© Darrell Martin and SameSexAttractions.wordpress.com, 2013.
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