Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality(Deckled Edge) Paperback – 14 Sep 2010
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From the Back Cover
"Gay," "Christian," and "celibate" don't often appear in the same sentence. Yet many who sit next to us in the pew at church fit that description, says author Wesley Hill. As a celibate gay Christian, Hill gives us a glimpse of what it looks like to wrestle firsthand with God's "No" to same-sex relationships. What does it mean for gay Christians to live faithful to God while struggling with the challenge of their homosexuality? What is God's will for believers who experience same-sex desires? Those who choose celibacy are often left to deal with loneliness and the hunger for relationships. How can gay Christians experience God's favor and blessing in the midst of a struggle that for many brings a crippling sense of shame and guilt?
Weaving together reflections from his own life and the lives of other Christians, such as Henri Nouwen and Gerard Manley Hopkins, Hill offers a fresh perspective on these questions. He advocates neither unqualified "healing" for those who struggle, nor their accommodation to temptation, but rather faithfulness in the midst of brokenness. "I hope this book may encourage other homosexual Christians to take the risky step of opening up their lives to others in the body of Christ," Hill writes. "In so doing, they may find, as I have, by grace, that being known is spiritually healthier than remaining behind closed doors, that the light is better than the darkness."
About the Author
Wesley Hill graduated from Wheaton College and has an MA in Theology and Religion from Durham University in the UK. He is currently working toward a PhD in New Testament at Durham and has written for Books and Culture and Ransom Fellowship's magazine Critique.
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Top Customer Reviews
The blurb is accurate, and phrases the content of the book very well: "In Washed and Waiting, Wesley Hill writes for gay Christians and those who love them. Part-memoir, part theological reflection, Hill shares the struggles that gay Christians face as they seek to live faithful to God's 'no' to homosexuality...He advocates neither unqualified 'healing' for those who struggle, nor their accommodation to temptation, but rather faithfulness in the midst of brokenness."
Hill shares stories of homosexuals who strive to remain celibate in light of their conviction that the gospel demands it. He tells his own story, along with those of Henri Nouwen and Gerard Manley Hopkins, and draws on writings from CS Lewis, Rowan Williams and others as he tries to explain his own understanding and experience. There are some rock-hard, hard-won truths in here, and they are all the more powerful because the book is not a polemic. He is not trying to convince anyone of a particular position: he takes a starting point - that of celibacy for those with a same-sex attraction - and is writing to comfort, to help others to understand, to show the people in his position that they are not alone. I think he succeeds in this. If you want to get a sense of the tone of the book, I recommend the short videos on YouTube of Hill discussing the book.
In some ways, this book reminds me of A Grief Observed by CS Lewis. Both books start with the authors' experience and then apply the gospel to it. That is how discipleship must work, and this example of discipleship lived out deserves to be widely read.
Thanks to Wesley Hill for having the courage to write this.
If we should welcome those who 'come out' as gay, should we not also welcome Wesley and accept him?
In a day when only the loudest shouters are allowed to tell their point if view, here we have a quiet voice whispering into the night, that there is more to life than sex. In an overly sexualised society, Wesley declares that walking with Jesus is worth more than fumbling in the dark, however enjoyable that may be at the time, and that celibate Christianity is in fact an abundant life.
This book should be read by anyone confused by their own sexuality, especially those who would describe themselves as Christian. It will also help young heterosexual Christians in evaluating their walk with Christ, and seeing the value of waiting for marriage.
In a liberal democracy, all views are valid, and Wesley's must be treated so. I look forward to meeting you some day Wesley and shaking your hand.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wesley Hill brings thoughtfulness, rigorous scholarship and humility. He challenges presuppositions on all sides of discussions around homosexuality in a helpful way. Read morePublished on 3 May 2013 by believemyscars