12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Is God anti-gay? (Questions Christians Ask) (Paperback)
This is a superb little book on one of the most controversial issues for the Christian church today. Recommended for all Christians who want to respond helpfully to homosexuality or to gay friends, or who have questions over their own sexuality.
Sam Allberry writes as a Christian who has faced (and still faces) same-sex attraction. So he knows what he's talking about; and he knows what a painful and emotive subject this will be for many. But he also writes as someone with a love for Jesus Christ and the bible's teaching that sexual activity is only right within heterosexual marriage. This combination, together with his ability to put complicated things clearly and concisely, makes the book an extremely useful one.
His fundamental point is a simple one: God is not 'anti-gay' any more than he is 'anti-pride' or 'anti-greed'. But God is 'anti' all of us who, by nature, are living apart from him and living for ourselves. We all face different pressures and temptations; and, by the same gospel, repentance and faith in Christ can bring salvation to us all. The Christian life, says Allberry, is supposed to be about 'taking up your cross'; and he doesn't think his 'cross' (which happens to include resisting same-sex attraction) is necessarily any harder to carry than the cross of anyone else who is serious about following Jesus. I was inspired by the way the writer positively delights in Christ and rejoices through his struggles, knowing that it is all for the best.
There are five short chapters: first, an overview of the bible's teaching on sex and marriage generally; then a look at its teaching on homosexuality specifically. Then come chapters on homosexuality and the Christian, homosexuality and the church, and homosexuality and the world. Along the way, he makes some great points about singleness, and about the importance of love in the church fellowship.
Especially valuable are a number of short 'question box' sections which tackle common objections raised to the bible's teaching. For example:
- Surely a same-sex partnership is OK if it's loving and faithful?
- Jesus never condemned homosexuality...
- Aren't we just picking and choosing which Old Testament laws to apply?
- Can't Christians just agree to differ on this?
All of which are gently and helpfully answered. The whole book is admirably concise and readable.
This is one of the top books I'd recommend to any Christian this year.