Homosexuality and the Christian
Mark A. Yarhouse, PsyD
Bethany House Publishers
Finally, a reasonable look at this topic! Long over due though, but finally here. I guess that pretty well sums up how I feel about this book. It helps people like me who have not been able balance the admonitions against homosexual behavior in the Bible and the positions espoused from the different corners in this battle, particularly the churches responses.
Dr. Yarhouse begins his discussion with God and what He has to say about homosexuality. In doing that he sets the tone for the rest of the book. God says this, so how do the people of God respond? Part of his argument is that the church leaves no place for the person who struggles with same sex attractions thereby forfeiting the individual to the opposing views. This is a major point that he touches on several times, but does not slam the pulpit in stating his views.
Recent research on the causes of homosexual behavior is examined. While many aren’t interested in that part of the debate this author’s treatment reveals some interesting facts. Don’t skip over that part, it’s important. The most valuable parts of the book for me, however, are the case studies he works through to illustrate how each of us can be more sensitive to not only our needs but those of the person struggling with same sex attraction. Good discussions and advise here.
He doesn’t pretend that it’s easy. It is a struggle and a life long one at that for all of us, straight and gay. The author discusses the possibility of changing one’s sexual orientation and includes responses from those that have participated in programs that attempt that change. Related to that is the script, as he calls it, used in the mainstream conversations about this topic. If someone has attractions for the same sex, the script progresses immediately to distinguishing that person as gay or lesbian. Is that correct? Or is there a progression from desire to action and then to adopting a label? Does the individual define himself in terms of sexuality alone?
Please take the time to read this book. Think about it, pray about it. The topic isn’t going away and needs to be addressed more carefully by the church.
This book was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers for review.