Friday, November 5, 2010

Homosexuality And The Christian

Mike A. Yarhouse, PsyD
Bethany House Publishers

Usually, I lead off a book review with the copy that is written on the back of the book as in introduction to the content that was reviewed. This is one book that doesn't need such an introduction.

Homosexuality is a controversial enough of a topic without adding the additional fuel of religion to the fire, but this is a subject that the church really needs to face, and face it head on. When I got this book, I was wary that the author may be coming at the reader with an agenda, thereby making this a very long read full of theological errors. Whenever you present a topic like this in a manner that predisposes one side over the other, you lose all credibility as well as any theological stability. The copy on the back of the book was very careful to not use specific language that would give away the bent of the author, so that left me with having to dive in unprepared for what I would face. For that, I was very thankful.

Within a chapter I found that Yarhouse, though careful in his presentation, was perfectly clear on his purpose: The church needs to change how they react to homosexuality. Right now, there are three types of people that read that last statement in two different ways. The first type of person is the Conservative Christian who reads that bold statement as a statement of activism of homosexuality and revision of church dogma and they reject it out of hand. The second type of person reads that statement and agrees that the church is too hard on homosexuality, and they believe that Scripture needs to be re-interpreted. After all, how can a loving Jesus reject people who are born that way? The third type of person reads that statement and agrees that the church needs to change because the church is becoming too accepting of homosexuality. Christians need to get back to the Old Testament and remove homosexuals from their midst. All three of these people have it completely wrong.

Yarhouse goes through the topic, step-by-step, and reveals the reality behind the homosexuality issue. He breaks down the concept of a gay identity and how that differs from same-sex attraction, and the choices that face the homosexual community. He broaches the issue of what to do if your child or teen, adult child, or spouse announces that he or she is gay. How do you handle that situation? What do you say? Who do you blame? Yarhouse delves into the incredibly controversial topic of reversing homosexuality, and he brings to the forefront the question on many people's minds: what causes homosexuality?

This book is well written, heavily notated, and thoroughly engaging. Yarhouse's conclusions are hard to argue, and even if you tried, he has the statistics to back it up. The book is a little difficult to pick up if you have only a few minutes, because he has packed every chapter with pages of information.

Every Christian needs to read this book, and every pastor needs to own and study it. That is not a simple recommendation, this is a crucial need. It will challenge everything you ever thought about sin and same-sex attraction. Get this book!

I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review as a condition of receiving this book, nor would they have been able to make me write one if I thought it was horrible. My opinions are my own and do not reflect the author or Bethany House Publishers.

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