This week I received a copy of my new book, Homosexuality & the Christian: A Guide for Parents, Pastors and Friends. I actually just did an interview on it with a Christian station in the Pittsburgh area. It was a nice way to introduce the book and reflect some on the intended audience, etc.
Back story: I was asked by Bethany House Publishers to write a Christian general audience book on homosexuality – something that would be accessible to the average Christian in the pew. The book looks at various questions that have been asked by pastors, family members, and friends sorting out the complicated questions surrounding the topic of homosexuality, including a Christian perspective on it, what causes sexual orientation, and whether sexual orientation can change.
Writing this book also afforded me the opportunity to share why I believe sexual identity is a more helpful approach in couseling and pastoral care than focusing on sexual orientation. I discuss this early in the book (Chapter 2), and my answer to that sets up Parts 2 and 3 of the book that deal with questions facing families (“What if my child or teen announces a gay identity?”; “My adult child announced a gay identity: What now?”; and “What if my spouse announces a gay identity?”). These are really difficult issues, and the emphasis on identity provides a couple of ways to respond that are overlooked when we place too great an emphasis on orientation.
In Part 3 of the book I look at questions for the church today. The first of the two key questions dealt with here are: “Whose people are we talking about?” I think it is imoprtant that when we think of Christians sorting out sexual identity matters we think about them as “our people”; this frame changes how we think about ministry and support. The second key questions is: “What is the church’s response to enduring conditions?” I suggest that an approach that reflects realistic biblical hope will have to find a way to respond to enduring conditions, which is what most people will need.
The book has a couple of nice endorsements on the back cover:
–Gary R. Collins, Distinguished Professor of Coaching and Leadership, Richmont Graduate University
–Warren Throckmorton, Associate Professor of Psychology, Grove City College, and Fellow for Psychology and Public Policy at the Center for Vision and Values