Q & R: best book on homosexuality?
Here's the Q:
It has been several years since your visit with us at xxx Seminary in 2009. You may or may not remember, but at the retreat I was part of a side discussion with you and perhaps 6 or so other students in which you mentioned that you would likely be coming out with an inclusive Christian perspective on homosexuality. Today I read a blogpost on your website entitled "A farewell, Brian McLaren moment or not" in which you lay out your perspective more clearly than even our discussion at the retreat. You allude in that post to the theological journey that was a part of your process of coming to your current understanding of homosexuality and "what the Bible says." What have you read that was the most helpful to you as you thought this through from a theological perspective? Is there anyone who has written a succinct take on Scripture that makes the case for the full acceptance of homosexuality in the church that you would recommend? I find myself in many of the same situations that you mention in your post and share many of the same concerns as I serve the church that I am leading. Any help would be very appreciated.
Here's the R:
Thankfully, there are many excellent books out - now more than ever. I would especially recommend three categories of books.
First, we need books that deal with the Bible and how we interpret it. A new state-of-the-art book from a Reformed Christian perspective (in line with your seminary training) is James V. Brownson's The Bible, Gender, and Sexuality. Another favorite is Stacy Johnson's A Time to Embrace.
Second, we need books that tell people's stories. A wonderful new addition in that category is my friend Justin Lee's Torn.
Third, we need books that help leaders help churches navigate the often-messy process of rethinking, like Alicia Olivetto's Talking About Homosexuality and Beth Anne Gaede's Congregations Talking About Homosexuality.
On a more theoretical level, I found Jennifer Knust's Unprotected Texts and Dale Martin's Sex and the Single Savior very helpful too.