I was afraid to review this book.
And I shy away from conflict. Run.
What I didn’t realize—and this book made me realize—how much I run from conflict. The book challenged me, stepped on my toes. Questioned.
That is what we need from this book. The book’s intent was to equip the church to engage—perhaps it orients us to the subject, rather than equipping with tools and responses. The advantage of that orientation is it is for every one of us—I think sometimes we get daunted by the subject because we feel we need to have all the answers, know the science and latest research, and have read tomes, volumes, and journals on the subject.
The authors (all noted evangelicals) remind us that knowledge is not it—it’s the gospel and our loving approach that matter. We do not lean on our own understanding, but in this area too we acknowledge the Lord (Prov. 3:5-6).
What I appreciated about the book: First and foremost, the author’s emphasis on what we are for. Not against. Too often I think evangelicals define themselves as against. But they remind us we are for marriage, for families, for society, for God’s design, for freedom, for the gospel, for flourishing, for love. (And the challenge then is if we are for it, do we live that? Do we not only say that we are for it, but work hard to support marriages and families?)
Second, the emphasis on the gospel—their take on the Bible is definitely conservative.
Third, that Piper especially acknowledges that the same-sex attraction and orientation may be a result of the disordered fall of the world, but it is no greater or no less than someone’s proclivity to anger, my tendency to fear of man. Perhaps even like my illness, a disorder of the soul from living in a fallen world (not their personal sin).
Fourth, that our approach as Christians is not either affirm/accommodate/embrace OR entrench/fortress/alienate/hate. Rather, the gospel offers a third approach (which I’ll let contributor J. D. Greear elaborate on).
My questions? Where it stepped on my toes? It made me think more about the church and public policy. To quote Andrew T. Walker, “Is there a biblical reason for why marriage should continue to be viewed only between one man and one woman on a societal level?” (17). I realized I had retreated, apathetic, slipping into a form of fatalistic Stoicism that Jason G. Duesing calls out.
All in all, a short, readable, good intro to help Christians stand in the gospel and love.