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Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality(Deckled Edge) Paperback – 14 Sep 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (14 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310330033
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310330035
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.1 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 124,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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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I hope every Christian reads this book. It is a window into the experience of a gay evangelical, but it is also a story about discipleship - what it means to follow Jesus in the face of overwhelming challenges. I think that everyone, whether they are looking in from the outside or struggling through on the inside, will learn and benefit from Hill's observations and stories.

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.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book really helpful as it is written by a keen Christian who is gay himself. He maintains the conservative Christian viewpoint on homosexuality whilst giving us strong reasons for being celibate as a gay-Christian. Most helpful is the personal insights into the pain and loneliness he feels. Christians who are quick to judge people on this issue would do well to read this book!
Thanks to Wesley Hill for having the courage to write this.
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This book is brave, bold and daring. It dares to be counter-cultural (as Christianity has been in the past) and offer us the real life experience and beliefs of the author. Wesley writes as an evangelical Christian who describes his battle with same sex attraction and his belief that God calls such people to celibacy. Wesley has been brave to write this because lots of people will resist what he has written with great animation, but how can we resist this truth, that Wesley along with many others believes these things?
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.
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