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Homosexuality and Christian Faith: Questions of Conscience for the Churches

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Issues surrounding homosexuality threaten to divide the Christian churches and the people within them. This unique resource presents short pieces from some of the nation's most prominent church leaders - Protestant and Catholic, mainline and evangelical - who address the fundamental moral imperatives about homosexuality. Together they invite the reader to open his or her h Issues surrounding homosexuality threaten to divide the Christian churches and the people within them. This unique resource presents short pieces from some of the nation's most prominent church leaders - Protestant and Catholic, mainline and evangelical - who address the fundamental moral imperatives about homosexuality. Together they invite the reader to open his or her heart to the Spirit, to tolerance, and to Gospel values. Through personal testimony, factual clarification, and moral suasion, they provide much-needed clarity on the biblical witness and biblical authority, the nature or character of homosexuality and sexual orientation, and many related topics. Contributors include Elise Boulding, Ignacio Castuera, John B. Cobb Jr., William Sloane Coffin, Peggy Campolo, Bishop Paul Egertson, James A. Forbes Jr., Maria Harris, Barbara Kelsey, Morton Kelsey, Gabriel Moran, David G. Myers, Richard Rohr, O.F.M., Ken Sehested, Carole Shields, Donald W. Shriver Jr., M. Mahan Siler Jr., Lewis B. Smedes, and Walter Wink.


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Issues surrounding homosexuality threaten to divide the Christian churches and the people within them. This unique resource presents short pieces from some of the nation's most prominent church leaders - Protestant and Catholic, mainline and evangelical - who address the fundamental moral imperatives about homosexuality. Together they invite the reader to open his or her h Issues surrounding homosexuality threaten to divide the Christian churches and the people within them. This unique resource presents short pieces from some of the nation's most prominent church leaders - Protestant and Catholic, mainline and evangelical - who address the fundamental moral imperatives about homosexuality. Together they invite the reader to open his or her heart to the Spirit, to tolerance, and to Gospel values. Through personal testimony, factual clarification, and moral suasion, they provide much-needed clarity on the biblical witness and biblical authority, the nature or character of homosexuality and sexual orientation, and many related topics. Contributors include Elise Boulding, Ignacio Castuera, John B. Cobb Jr., William Sloane Coffin, Peggy Campolo, Bishop Paul Egertson, James A. Forbes Jr., Maria Harris, Barbara Kelsey, Morton Kelsey, Gabriel Moran, David G. Myers, Richard Rohr, O.F.M., Ken Sehested, Carole Shields, Donald W. Shriver Jr., M. Mahan Siler Jr., Lewis B. Smedes, and Walter Wink.

30 review for Homosexuality and Christian Faith: Questions of Conscience for the Churches

  1. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    This book doesn't just excel on content, it excels at being Christian in presenting that content. That is, it addresses an important topic (a matter of life and death as it is alluded to in the book) and does so lovingly. As Wink points out in the preface, "despite the amount of heat the debate over homosexuality has produced in the churches, the discussion has been woefully slack as far as rigorous theological thinking is concerned. The sheer passion of the discussion betrays emotionalism on bo This book doesn't just excel on content, it excels at being Christian in presenting that content. That is, it addresses an important topic (a matter of life and death as it is alluded to in the book) and does so lovingly. As Wink points out in the preface, "despite the amount of heat the debate over homosexuality has produced in the churches, the discussion has been woefully slack as far as rigorous theological thinking is concerned. The sheer passion of the discussion betrays emotionalism on both sides, and the necessary exegetical and theological grounding is ignored". This book is moving, compelling, thought-provoking, challenging, and extremely easy to read and understand. There is no excuse for not reading it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Craig Thompson

    The world would be a better place if us Christians spent more time of showing the love of Jesus, feeding the poor, giving comfort to the afflicted, and standing up against injustice than we do worrying about who sleeps with whom. As usual, Walter Wink writes an excellent book, whether or not you agree with his conclusions.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Casey Phillips

    The word homosexual is offensive to many gay and lesbian people because of the judgment the church has used that word over and over again. But don't let that word stop someone from knowing the power from this book. The copyright is 1999, but it is unfortunately still very relevant. It is compiled with provoking thoughts and discussions with Christians for Christians. I originally wanted to read this book because I don't know how to speak to Christians a lot of times about this. I found the essay The word homosexual is offensive to many gay and lesbian people because of the judgment the church has used that word over and over again. But don't let that word stop someone from knowing the power from this book. The copyright is 1999, but it is unfortunately still very relevant. It is compiled with provoking thoughts and discussions with Christians for Christians. I originally wanted to read this book because I don't know how to speak to Christians a lot of times about this. I found the essays very insightful. Aspects I never thought about. I would recommend it to Christians struggling to understand what they believe about same-sex relationships and God and the Bible. & for people like me trying to find a way to communicate to other Christians about gays and lesbians and all the social and spiritual aspects with them.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dayna Dueck

    What an incredible collection of compelling essays -- published almost 20 years ago.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rodney Farrell Sr

    This collection of essays shares stories of personal encounters and experiences, identification the issues, reflections of Biblical witness and traditions, and discussions of what the churches must face in dealing with gay/lesbian ecclesial rights, civil rights, and covenants. This book is not a Bible study but rather personal insights, observations, and hope. Quoting from the book's Afterword: "There is no room for lovelessness, hatred, or intolerance, God is confronting both sides of this contr This collection of essays shares stories of personal encounters and experiences, identification the issues, reflections of Biblical witness and traditions, and discussions of what the churches must face in dealing with gay/lesbian ecclesial rights, civil rights, and covenants. This book is not a Bible study but rather personal insights, observations, and hope. Quoting from the book's Afterword: "There is no room for lovelessness, hatred, or intolerance, God is confronting both sides of this controversy with an opportunity to transcend our verbal violence and put-downs, and to learn how to love, cherish and value those whose positions are different from our own. We can treat this controversy, not as a sign of the church's decadence or its disobedience, but as a marvelous opportunity to learn to love as Jesus commanded us to love.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    I originally read the central essay in the "Biblical Witness" section (Walter Wink's "Homosexuality and the Bible") as a senior in college in Randall Styers' class on Gender Theory and Religion. I was led back around to the full collection of essays edited by Wink after I read Myers and Scanzoni's book on a Christian case for gay marriage. The most interesting essays in this collection were Wink's "Homosexuality and the Bible," Richard Rohr's "Where the Gospel Leads Us," Elise Boulding's "The Ch I originally read the central essay in the "Biblical Witness" section (Walter Wink's "Homosexuality and the Bible") as a senior in college in Randall Styers' class on Gender Theory and Religion. I was led back around to the full collection of essays edited by Wink after I read Myers and Scanzoni's book on a Christian case for gay marriage. The most interesting essays in this collection were Wink's "Homosexuality and the Bible," Richard Rohr's "Where the Gospel Leads Us," Elise Boulding's "The Challenge of Nonconformity," and Ignacio Castuera's "Baptism, Bread, and Bonds."

  7. 5 out of 5

    Grete

    The first few essays I found somewhat strident and only worth skimming. High points included the pieces by Walter Wink, Richard Rohr, and William Sloane Coffin. Wink is particularly persuasive because he compares biblical passages about homosexual acts to other passages about sexual ethics, inviting readers to take a hard look at the selective proof-texting many Christians engage in when discussing human sexuality. Still, I suspect this collection as a whole preaches better to the choir than to The first few essays I found somewhat strident and only worth skimming. High points included the pieces by Walter Wink, Richard Rohr, and William Sloane Coffin. Wink is particularly persuasive because he compares biblical passages about homosexual acts to other passages about sexual ethics, inviting readers to take a hard look at the selective proof-texting many Christians engage in when discussing human sexuality. Still, I suspect this collection as a whole preaches better to the choir than to anyone else.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jack

    I found this book to a refreshing alternative to those religious authors and zealots who seek to pull out the same 'clobber' verses of the Old Testament to reinforce their misgivings about gay people... But that's not the thesis this book tries to rebutt--very wise and compassionate authors contribute their personal and heartfelt stories of why they came to the conclusions that they hold. From Peggy Campolo's "In God's House There Are Many Closets" to a more scholary treatsie by Walter Wink, you I found this book to a refreshing alternative to those religious authors and zealots who seek to pull out the same 'clobber' verses of the Old Testament to reinforce their misgivings about gay people... But that's not the thesis this book tries to rebutt--very wise and compassionate authors contribute their personal and heartfelt stories of why they came to the conclusions that they hold. From Peggy Campolo's "In God's House There Are Many Closets" to a more scholary treatsie by Walter Wink, you will be glad you read this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emmanuelle

    An excellent collection of short essays from various Christian writers, addressing the issue of homosexuality for modern Christians. Each writer looks through a slightly different lens, but each contributes to the conclusion that love should prevail. A very readable little book. Very positive, thoughtful and heartfully Christian. This book would be good reading for ANY Christian. Particularly helpful for soul-searching clergy, LGBT people and their families.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I wanted to cry reading this book, I was so relieved to find other people in the world who feel the way I do. I have sometimes said that I don't believe the Bible addresses the kinds of long-term, loving same-sex partnerships that we see in our culture today -- but I've seldom said it for fear of rebuke. Now that I know so many respectable and educated Christians share this point of view, I will certainly be more forthright with my opinion.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alan Zabel

    This is an inspiring set of articles and valuable for all who seek and promote justice and inclusiveness in our churches. If we do nots fully extend our Christian love and acceptance to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, then I believe that we cannot truly claim to be followers of Jesus. I recommend this book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I think that this book takes a very interesting look on the way the bible looks at homosexuality. It does not condemn homosexuality. It quotes texts from the bible and discusses why homosexuality may not be a sin. It was recommended by a pastor at an episcopal church that I worked at.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jefferson

    Preaching to the choir: This compilation of essays, sermons, and testimonies from different authors serves a role of advocacy. Countryman and Boswell are much better reads for serious learners. Most of the authors consistently mischaracterize the arguments of those whom they oppose.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

    This book is a great primer on sexual orientation and how it relates to a person of the Christian faith. Wink's article, which is basically an exegesis of the passages typically cited in the Bible when referring to homosexuality, is especially good.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ramón

    Profoundly thought-provoking. Covers a select array of vantage points from which to approach what has been a divisive debate. Alas, like any properly edited collection of essays, there are clear leanings and yet no clear answers to the question in focus. There will be rereads.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Darin

    This book is full of ethical and theological arguments why Christian churches should embrace homosexual people. The arguments are sound and include a wide range of religious, philosophical, and personal stories. This is a good read on the topic.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    started it a few years ago, and need to finish it. This book gives a wide variety of perspectives from different pastors, scholars, and regular people.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Grant

    Every self-avowed Christian should read this book!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Pablo Rodriguez

    This is a great collection of essays written on the topic of being gay and Christian. Each essay comes from a different perspective. Some gave me some insight that I had not thought of before.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Reed

    Very, very, very thought-provoking. And sadly, not out of date.

  21. 5 out of 5

    David Averill

  22. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  23. 5 out of 5

    Zach Christensen

  24. 5 out of 5

    Fiona Green

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bobby Kawecki

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

  27. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Culley

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Wojton

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bram

  30. 5 out of 5

    Steven Rainbow

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