"Gay," "Christian," and "celibate" don't often appear in the same sentence. Yet many who sit next to us in the pew at church fit that description, says author Wesley Hill. As a celibate gay Christian, Hill gives us a glimpse of what it looks like to wrestle firsthand with God's "No" to same-sex relationships. What does it mean for gay Christians to live faithful to God while struggling with the challenge of their homosexuality? What is God's will for believers who experience same-sex desires? Those who choose celibacy are often left to deal with loneliness and the hunger for relationships. How can gay Christians experience God's favor and blessing in the midst of a struggle that for many brings a crippling sense of shame and guilt?
Weaving together reflections from his own life and the lives of other Christians, such as Henri Nouwen and Gerard Manley Hopkins, Hill offers a fresh perspective on these questions. He advocates neither unqualified "healing" for those who struggle, nor their accommodation to temptation, but rather faithfulness in the midst of brokenness. "I hope this book may encourage other homosexual Christians to take the risky step of opening up their lives to others in the body of Christ," Hill writes. "In so doing, they may find, as I have, by grace, that being known is spiritually healthier than remaining behind closed doors, that the light is better than the darkness.
Friendship is a relationship like no other. Unlike the relationships we are born into, we choose our friends. It is also tenuous--we can end a friendship at any time. But should friendship be so free and unconstrained? Although our culture tends to pay more attention to romantic love, marriage, family, and other forms of community, friendship is a genuine love in its own right. This eloquent book reminds us that Scripture and tradition have a high view of friendship. Single Christians, particularly those who are gay and celibate, may find it is a form of love to which they are especially called.
Writing with deep empathy and with fidelity to historic Christian teaching, Wesley Hill retrieves a rich understanding of friendship as a spiritual vocation and explains how the church can foster friendship as a basic component of Christian discipleship. He helps us reimagine friendship as a robust form of love that is worthy of honor and attention in communities of faith. This book sets forth a positive calling for celibate gay Christians and suggests practical ways for all Christians to cultivate stronger friendships.
What does it mean to be gay ... and a Christian? Beginning with how the Bible describes sex and gender in Genesis 1-2, author Nate Collins provides a theological framework for relating sexuality to gender identity. He unpacks biblical concepts like desire, lust, and temptation, and applies them to modern constructs like sexual attraction and orientation.
In addition, Collins explores the theme of identity, focusing on facets of personal identity that are central to the experience of Christian gender minorities. He looks at what the Scripture says about the formation and function of Christian identity, highlighting several theological and sociological tensions.
Finally, Collins helpfully outlines a theology of reconciliation that challenges the Church to examine the obstacles that inhibit Christian unity and calls straight and non-straight believers alike to patterns of Christian obedience that respect and honor their similarities and differences. He writes for believers who have a traditional sexual ethic and provides a compelling vision of gospel flourishing for gay and non-straight individuals.
Spiritual Friendship is today the best known and perhaps most influential of the thirteen surviving works of Aelred, abbot of the great English Cistercian abbey of Rievaulx from 1147 '1167. During his abbacy he built Rievaulx into a place of spiritual welcome and physical prosperity, desiring to make it a mother of mercy" to those in need. In a three-book Ciceronian dialogue Aelred defines human friendship as sacramental, beginning in creation, as God sought to place his own love of society in al his creatures, linking friends to Christ in this life and culminating in friendship with God in beatitude. This fresh new translation makes the work crisply readable, allowing the intellectual and Christian insight of this great Cistercian teacher and writer to speak clearly to today's seekers of love, wisdom, and truth.
Let's make a deal, you and me. Let's make promises to each other.
I promise to tell you my story. The whole story. I'll tell you about a boy in love with Jesus who, at the fateful onset of puberty, realized his sexual attractions were persistently and exclusively for other guys. I'll tell you how I lay on my bed in the middle of the night and whispered to myself the words I've whispered a thousand times since:
I'll show you the world through my eyes. I'll tell you what it's like to belong nowhere. To know that much of my Christian family will forever consider me unnatural, dangerous, because of something that feels as involuntary as my eye color. And to know that much of the LGBTQ community that shares my experience as a sexual minority will disagree with the way I've chosen to interpret the call of Jesus, believing I've bought into a tragic, archaic ritual of self-hatred.
But I promise my story won't all be sadness and loneliness and struggle. I'll tell you good things too, hopeful things, funny things, like the time I accidentally came out to my best friend during his bachelor party. I'll tell you what it felt like the first time someone looked me in the eyes and said, "You are not a mistake." I'll tell you that joy and sorrow are not opposites, that my life has never been more beautiful than when it was most brokenhearted.
If you'll listen, I promise I'll tell you everything, and you can decide for yourself what you want to believe about me.
Andrew Marin's life changed forever when his three best friends came out to him in three consecutive months. Suddenly he was confronted with the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community (GLBT) firsthand. And he was compelled to understand how he could reconcile his friends to his faith.
In an attempt to answer that question, he and his wife relocated to Boystown, a predominantly GLBT community in Chicago. And from his experience and wrestling has come his book, Love Is an Orientation, a work which elevates the conversation between Christianity and the GLBT community, moving the focus from genetics to gospel, where it really belongs.
Why are so many people who are gay wary of people who are Christians? Do GLBT people need to change who they are? Do Christians need to change what they believe? Love Is an Orientation is changing the conversation about sexuality and spirituality, and building bridges from the GLBT community to the Christian community and, more importantly, to the good news of Jesus Christ.
Real glimpses into the hearts and lives of other people are rare...
Columnist and author Melinda Selmys gives readers an unusual opportunity to explore the topic of homosexuality and the Catholic Faith from a fresh, sincere perspective. Her intensely personal reflections help clarify the misconceptions that have hindered meaningful dialogue between Catholics and homosexuals. Transcending stereotypes and avoiding pat sentiments, she speaks directly to every Christian who has experienced same-sex attraction or knows someone who has.
In addition to her personal story of exchanging secular lesbianism for Catholicism and resolving her own inner conflicts, the author presents an enlightening analysis of history, social theory, and media influence on the subject of homosexuality. She refutes much of the clumsy theorizing and "junk science" common to both sides of the debate, effectively bridging gaps between perception and reality. Selmys addresses the complexities surrounding sexual identity with pronounced compassion, adding a practical discussion of the Theology of the Body to complete the circle from a Catholic perspective.
This groundbreaking book expertly walks the fine line between divisiveness and platitudes -- a must-read for everyone who has ever felt ambiguous about the Church's stance on homosexuality.
It's the hot topic of the moment. Christians, the church and the Bible seem to be out of step with modern attitudes towards homosexuality. And there is growing hostility towards those who hold a different view. So is God homophobic? And what do we say, and how do we relate to to both Christians and non Christians who experience same-sex attraction.
In this short, simple book, Sam Allberry wants to help confused Christians understand what God has said about these questions in the scriptures, and offers a positive and liberating way forward through the debate.
Christians who are confused by the homosexuality debate raging in the US are looking for resources that are based solidly on a deep study of what Scripture says about the issue. In People to Be Loved, Preston Sprinkle challenges those on all sides of the debate to consider what the Bible says and how we should approach the topic of homosexuality in light of it.
In a manner that appeals to a scholarly and lay-audience alike, Preston takes on difficult questions such as how should the church treat people struggling with same-sex attraction? Is same-sex attraction a product of biological or societal factors or both? How should the church think about larger cultural issues, such as gay marriage, gay pride, and whether intolerance over LGBT amounts to racism? How (or if) Christians should do business with LGBT persons and supportive companies?
Simply saying that the Bible condemns homosexuality is not accurate, nor is it enough to end the debate. Those holding a traditional view still struggle to reconcile the Bible’s prohibition of same-sex attraction with the message of radical, unconditional grace. This book meets that need.
In today’s world, the topic of homosexuality seems to be part of everyday conversation in the media, in politics, and even inside churches, with pressure to accept one view or the other. And if you’re a Christian teen, there seems to be few easy answers to the issues you regularly encounter, such as: Can you be friends with someone who is gay? What if your sister is a lesbian, or you sometimes wonder if you might be as well? Does the Bible really say homosexuality is wrong? What does God want us to do and say?
Preston Sprinkle has encountered these same questions, and as a theologian and a college professor he has dealt with these issues firsthand. Through honest conversation, real-life examples, and biblical research, Sprinkle unpacks what we can know to be true, and how Scripture’s overall message to us today allows us to move forward and find answers that align with God’s intent
In this first book from an openly lesbian and celibate Catholic, widely published writer and blogger Eve Tushnet recounts her spiritual and intellectual journey from liberal atheism to faithful Catholicism and shows how gay Catholics can love and be loved while adhering to Church teaching.
Eve Tushnet was among the unlikeliest of converts. The only child of two atheist academics, Tushnet was a typical Yale undergraduate until the day she went out to poke fun at a gathering of philosophical debaters, who happened also to be Catholic. Instead of enjoying mocking what she termed the “zoo animals,” she found herself engaged in intellectual conversation with them and, in a move that surprised even her, she soon converted to Catholicism. Already self-identifying as a lesbian, Tushnet searched for a third way in the seeming two-option system available to gay Catholics: reject Church teaching on homosexuality or reject the truth of your sexuality. Gay and Catholic: Accepting My Sexuality, Finding Community, Living My Faith is the fruit of Tushnet’s searching: what she learned in studying Christian history and theology and her articulation of how gay Catholics can pour their love and need for connection into friendships, community, service, and artistic creation.
When Christians have same-sex attraction, how should the church respond?
Pastor Ed Shaw experiences same-sex attraction, and yet he is committed to Scripture and the church's traditional position of fidelity in heterosexual marriage and celibacy in singleness. In this honest book, he shares his pain in dealing with these issues, but at the same time shows us that obedience to Jesus is ultimately the only way to experience life to the full.
He shows that the Bible's teaching seems unreasonable not because of its difficulties, but because of missteps that the church has often taken in its understanding of the Christian life. We have been shaped by the world around us and urgently need to re-examine the values that drive our discipleship. Only by doing this in the light of the Bible can we make sense of its call on the lives of those who are attracted to their own sex.
Unique among most debates on homosexuality, this book presents a constructive dialogue between people who disagree on significant ethical and theological matters, and yet maintain a respectful and humanizing posture toward one another. Even as these scholars articulate pointed arguments for their position with academic rigor and depth, they do so cordially, clearly, and compassionately, without demeaning the other.
The main essays are followed by exceptionally insightful responses and rejoinders that interact with their fellow essayists with convicted civility. Holding to a high view of Scripture, a commitment to the gospel and the church, and a love for people—especially those most affected by this topic—the contributors wrestle deeply with the Bible and theology, especially the prohibition texts, the role of procreation, gender complementarity, and pastoral accommodation.
The book concludes with general editor Preston Sprinkle’s reflections on the future of discussions on faith and sexuality.
At the heart of each relationship, says McGinnis, is the friendship factor—the essential ingredient of warmth and caring. With captivating case histories and anecdotes about such famous people as George Burns, Howard Hughes, and C. S. Lewis, McGinnis shares the secret of how to love and be loved.
Gagnon offers the most thorough analysis to date of the biblical texts relating to homosexuality. He demonstrates why attempts to classify the Bible’s rejection of same-sex intercourse as irrelevant for our contemporary context fail to do justice to the biblical texts and to current scientific data. Gagnon’s book powerfully challenges attempts to identify love and inclusivity with affirmation of homosexual practice.
In this timely book, award-winning author Kevin DeYoung challenges each of us—the skeptic and the seeker, the certain and the confused—to take a humble look at God’s Word regarding the issue of homosexuality.
After examining key biblical passages in both the Old and New Testaments and the Bible’s overarching teaching regarding sexuality, DeYoung responds to popular objections raised by Christians and non-Christians alike, making this an indispensable resource for thinking through one of the most pressing issues of our day.
Coming Out, Then Coming Home
Christopher Yuan, the son of Chinese immigrants, discovered at an early age that he was different. He was attracted to other boys. As he grew into adulthood, his mother, Angela, hoped to control the situation. Instead, she found that her son and her life were spiraling out of control—and her own personal demons were determined to defeat her.
Years of heartbreak, confusion, and prayer followed before the Yuans found a place of complete surrender, which is God’s desire for all families. Their amazing story, told from the perspectives of both mother and son, offers hope for anyone affected by homosexuality.
God calls all who are lost to come home to him. Casting a compelling vision for holy sexuality, Out of a Far Country speaks to prodigals, parents of prodigals, and those wanting to minister to the gay community.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” - Luke 15:20
Would you believe that 86 percent of LGBT people--from the proud marcher at the Pride Parade to the quiet, closeted teen--spent their childhood in church? More than half of them left those religious communities as adults; three out of four would be happy to come back.
For decades now we have found our-selves caught up in a culture war: us versus them. Good news: there is no them. Our culture war has been a civil war: Us versus Us. And there is a path toward meaningful peace.
Andrew Marin brings the startling findings of his largest-ever scientific survey of the religious history, practices, and beliefs of the LGBT community. Marin's findings offer clear direction for both sides of a long cultural battle to meet in the middle, sacrificing neither conviction nor integrity as they rediscover the things they have in common and the hope found in Christ alone.
Original, groundbreaking research into the religious lives and beliefs of the LGBT community.
Mark Yarhouse gives honest and accurate answers to parents and pastors who have questions about homosexuality. Throughout the book, the author uses a new framework for understanding the issue, carefully separating the concept of "same sex attraction" from a "gay identity." In a clear and compassionate style, he explains the research regarding what causes same-sex attraction and whether or not it can be overcome. He also discusses what Christians can do when someone they know opens up to them about their homosexual attractions.
Few topics are more contested today than gender identity. In the fog of the culture war, complex issues like gender dysphoria are reduced to slogans and sound bites. And while the war rages over language, institutions and political allegiances, transgender individuals are the ones who end up being the casualties.
Mark Yarhouse, an expert in sexual identity and therapy, challenges the church to rise above the political hostilities and listen to people's stories. In Understanding Gender Dysphoria, Yarhouse offers a Christian perspective on transgender issues that eschews simplistic answers and appreciates the psychological and theological complexity. The result is a book that engages the latest research while remaining pastorally sensitive to the experiences of each person.
In the midst of a tense political climate, Yarhouse calls Christians to come alongside those on the margins and stand with them as they resolve their questions and concerns about gender identity. Understanding Gender Dysphoria is the book we need to navigate these stormy cultural waters.
Can a theologian and his gay son overcome the differences in belief that threaten to destroy their relationship? For Brad and Drew Harper, that question wasn’t theoretical—and neither was the resounding yes they found after years of struggle. Writing to each other with compassion, grit, and humor, Brad and Drew take us on their journey as parent and child from the churches of Middle America to the penthouses of New York’s party scenes, through a pastor’s-kid childhood and painful conversion therapy to the hard-won victories of their adult relationship.
Space at the Table is a profoundly moving memoir. It is also a guide, showing us a way through the roadblocks that threaten to devastate both families and the broader religious and LBGTQ communities. Speaking from their own experience, Brad and Drew offer an invitation to join them at a place where love is stronger than the beliefs that divide us.
Until yesterday, no society had seen marriage as anything other than a conjugal partnership: a male-female union. What Is Marriage? identifies and defends the reasons for this historic consensus and shows why redefining civil marriage is unnecessary, unreasonable, and contrary to the common good.
Originally published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, this book’s core argument quickly became the year’s most widely read essay on the most prominent scholarly network in the social sciences. Since then, it has been cited and debated by scholars and activists throughout the world as the most formidable defense of the tradition ever written. Now revamped, expanded, and vastly improved, What Is Marriage? stands poised to meet its moment as few books of this generation have.
Rhodes Scholar Sherif Girgis, Heritage Foundation Fellow Ryan T. Anderson, and Robert P. George offer a devastating critique of the idea that equality requires redefining marriage. They show why both sides must first answer the question of what marriage really is. They defend the principle that marriage, as a comprehensive union of mind and body ordered to family life, unites a man and a woman as husband and wife, and they document the social value of applying this principle in law.
A repackaged edition of the revered author's classic work that examines the four types of human love: affection, friendship, erotic love, and the love of God—part of the C. S. Lewis Signature Classics series.
C.S. Lewis—the great British writer, scholar, lay theologian, broadcaster, Christian apologist, and bestselling author of Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, The Chronicles of Narnia, and many other beloved classics—contemplates the essence of love and how it works in our daily lives in one of his most famous works of nonfiction. Lewis examines four varieties of human love: affection, the most basic form; friendship, the rarest and perhaps most insightful; Eros, passionate love; charity, the greatest and least selfish. Throughout this compassionate and reasoned study, he encourages readers to open themselves to all forms of love—the key to understanding that brings us closer to God.
Sometimes, grace gets messy.
Caleb Kaltenbach was raised by LGBT parents, marched in gay pride parades as a youngster, and experienced firsthand the hatred and bitterness of some Christians toward his family.
But then Caleb surprised everyone, including himself, by becoming a Christian…and a pastor.
Very few issues in Christianity are as divisive as the acceptance of the LGBT community in the church. As a pastor and as a person with beloved family members living a gay lifestyle, Caleb had to face this issue with courage and grace.
Messy Grace shows us that Jesus’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself” doesn’t have an exception clause for a gay “neighbor”—or for that matter, any other “neighbor” we might find it hard to relate to. Jesus was able to love these people and yet still hold on to his beliefs. So can you. Even when it’s messy.
Rosaria, by the standards of many, was living a very good life. She had a tenured position at a large university in a field for which she cared deeply. She owned two homes with her partner, in which they provided hospitality to students and activists that were looking to make a difference in the world. There, her partner rehabilitated abandoned and abused dogs. In the community, Rosaria was involved in volunteer work. At the university, she was a respected advisor of students and her department's curriculum. And then, in her late 30s, Rosaria encountered something that turned her world upside down-the idea that Christianity, a religion that she had regarded as problematic and sometimes downright damaging, might be right about who God was, an idea that flew in the face of the people and causes that she most loved. What follows is a story of what she describes as a "train wreck" at the hand of the supernatural. These are her secret thoughts about those events, written as only a reflective English professor could.
Based on the acclaimed sermon series by New York Times bestselling author Timothy Keller, this book shows everyone—Christians, skeptics, singles, longtime married couples, and those about to be engaged—the vision of what marriage should be according to the Bible.
Modern culture would have you believe that everyone has a soul mate; that romance is the most important part of a successful marriage; that your spouse is there to help you realize your potential; that marriage does not mean forever, but merely for now; and that starting over after a divorce is the best solution to seemingly intractable marriage issues. But these modern-day assumptions are wrong. Timothy Keller, with insights from Kathy, his wife of thirty-seven years, shows marriage to be a glorious relationship that is also misunderstood and mysterious. The Meaning of Marriage offers instruction on how to have a successful marriage, and is essential reading for anyone who wants to know God and love more deeply in this life.
Does sexual difference matter for marriage? Are there good theological reasons why the two main characters in a marriage should be a male and a female, or is marriage a more flexible covenant, which any two people can keep? Creation and Covenant analyzes latent but under-examined beliefs about sexual difference in the theology about marriage which has been dominant for centuries in the Christian west. The book opens by studying patristic theologies of marriage, which rested on mostly implicit and often incompatible beliefs about sexual difference. However, Roberts argues that Augustine developed a coherent theology of sexual difference, according it a shifting significance from creation to eschaton. Roberts traces how Augustine's theology influenced and was developed by subsequent theologians, such as Bernard of Clairvaux, Luther, Barth, and John Paul II. Finally, Roberts engages today's debates about gay marriage. Before becoming an academic, Dr. Roberts was a journalist. On behalf of PBS television, he covered both the Lambeth Conference in England and the World Council of Churches in Zimbabwe. During those years, he was disappointed by both the liberal and conservative arguments on homosexuality. Left-wingers seemed more interested in privacy, autonomy, and experience than in theology, and right-wingers seemed to have lots of prohibitions but little good news. In the final chapters, this book tries to do better, inviting liberals to improve the standard of their arguments, and explaining what is beautiful and persuasive about the traditional case.
Among medieval Christian societies, Byzantium is unique in preserving an ecclesiastical ritual of adelphopoiesis, which pronounces two men, not related by birth, as brothers for life. It has its origin as a spiritual blessing in the monastic world of late antiquity, and it becomes a popular social networking strategy among lay people from the ninth century onwards, even finding application in recent times. Located at the intersection of religion and society, brother-making exemplifies how social practice can become ritualized and subsequently subjected to attempts of ecclesiastical and legal control.
Controversially, adelphopoiesis was at the center of a modern debate about the existence of same-sex unions in medieval Europe. This book, the first ever comprehensive history of this unique feature of Byzantine life, argues persuasively that the ecclesiastical ritual to bless a relationship between two men bears no resemblance to marriage. Wide-ranging in its use of sources, from a complete census of the manuscripts containing the ritual of adelphopoiesisto the literature and archaeology of early monasticism, and from the works of hagiographers, historiographers, and legal experts in Byzantium to comparative material in the Latin West and the Slavic world, Brother-Making in Late Antiquity and Byzantium examines the fascinating religious and social features of the ritual, shedding light on little known aspects of Byzantine society.
In Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, renowned Christian minister, professor, and author of The Cost of Discipleship recounts his unique fellowship in an underground seminary during the Nazi years in Germany. Giving practical advice on how life together in Christ can be sustained in families and groups, Life Together is bread for all who are hungry for the real life of Christian fellowship.
For many Christians who experience same-sex attraction, reconciling faith and homosexuality is a lonely and painful journey. LOVES GOD LIKES GIRLS--A MEMOIR is one woman's recollection of her journey, allowing faith to plunge her into deeper discovery of the truth about her sexuality. No other issue has been more divisive in families and in faith communities than homosexuality. Rather than providing ''cookie-cutter'' answers as to why someone experiences same-sex attraction and how to ''make it go away,'' Loves God Likes Girls simply explores one woman's perspective on the multitude of experiences over a lifetime that impact the development of sexuality. Sally Gary's story offers hope and redemption for families torn apart by this issue. Through stories, Sally shares some of the painful and confusing lies she grew up believing about herself that shaped her views of femininity and her ability to form healthy relationships with both men and women. The book emphasizes that those who experience same-sex attraction need safe places to explore questions, to find community, and to grow deeper in relationship with God.
Rather than embracing the conflict around gay relationships as an opportunity for the church to talk honestly about human sexuality, Christians continue to hurt one another with the same tired arguments that divide us along predictable political battle lines. If the world is to "know that we are Christians by our love" the church needs to discover better ways to live out the deep unity we share in Christ as we engage with politics and our world. In Oriented to Faith, Tim Otto tells the story of his struggle with being gay and what that taught him about the gospel. With an authentic and compelling personal voice, Tim invites us to explore how God is at work in the world, even amidst the most difficult circumstances, redeeming and transforming the church through this difficult debate. With gentle wisdom and compassionate insight, Tim invites all followers of Jesus to consider how we might work with God through these tensions so that all can be transformed by God's good news in and through Christ.
Students arrive on campus with various boxes of belongings to unpack, some heavy, some tidy, some more valuable, some more private. For many students, two of these boxes could be labeled "My Faith" and "My Sexuality"―and these two can be among the most cumbersome to handle. How to balance the two without having to set one down? How to hold them both closely, both securely, but still move forward to settle in with new friends in a new environment? How to keep from dropping one or the other, spilling its embarrassing contents for all to see? Such can be the struggle for any student, but especially for any sexual minority who identifies or struggles with an LGB+ identity or same-sex attraction on a Christian college campus. For these students their faith and their sexuality often feel both tender and in acute tension. Who is God making them to be? What do they need to grow in to develop faithfully, and what might they need to leave behind? How can they truly flourish? The research team of Yarhouse, Dean, Stratton, and Lastoria draw on their decades of experience both in the psychology of sexual identity and in campus counseling to bring us the results of an original longitudinal study into what sexual minorities themselves experience, hope for, and benefit from. Rich with both quantitative and qualitative data, their book gives an unprecedented opportunity to listen to sexual minorities in their own words, as well as to observe patterns and often surprising revelations about life and personal development both on campus and after graduation. Listening to Sexual Minorities will be an indispensable resource not only for counselors and psychologists but also for faculty, student-development leaders, and administrators in higher education as well as leaders in the church and wider Christian community who want to create an intentional environment to hear from and contribute to the spiritual flourishing of all.
Despite the fact that almost half of all Americans are single, singleness remains an often overlooked oddity in American culture and in Christian communities. Christians ought to be the people who most support singleness, given what scripture and tradition suggest, but this does not seem to be the case. In this exciting new book, Jana Marguerite Bennett examines a variety of usually forgotten models of singleness: the never-married, the casually uncommitted, the committed but unmarried, the same-sex attracted, the widowed, the divorced, and the single parent. Each chapter in Singleness and the Church takes one of these models and considers the cultural commentary, Christian debate, and a holy guide-figures like Paul, Augustine, Aelred of Rievaulx, Elizabeth Ann Seton, and Dorothy Day -in order to offer a new perspective on singleness, the church, and what it means to be a single Christian disciple.
In Singleness and the Church, Bennett provides a fresh new theology of single life, a starting point for restoring singleness, in all its amazing varieties, to its rightful place in Christian tradition.
This book considers how homes, households, and domestic life are related to the Church. Early theologies glorified the monastic lifestyle as a way to transcend earthly attachments in favor of supernatural goods. Contemporary thinkers have seen that functioning marriages and families themselves can lead us toward a more righteous society.
Jana Bennett insists that both marriage and singleness must be placed in the context of the Christian story of redemption for the questions and problems at stake to be fully understood. She finds that Augustine of Hippo, maligned by modern theologians, is the source of very fruitful reflection on these topics. Most scholars today would agree that Augustine's works have exerted great influence on Western views of marriage, family, and sex. But many would argue that this influence has been detrimental to a healthy understanding of these topics. However, using Augustine's writing, Bennett shows that marriage and singleness cannot be considered separately, that gender issues are important to considering these states correctly and, most important, that the marriage between Christ and the Church is the first consideration in understanding and living these states of life. The water of baptism, Christians' first birth and initiation into the life of Christ, is the primary standard for relationships, rather than familial ties.
For every pastor, every parent, and all who care
Guiding Families of LGBT+ Loved Ones provides practical insights on how to honor God and radically love LGBT+ people in your life. Our 150-page, interactive guide is a comprehensive resource that rapidly equips pastors, parents, and all who care.
- Christian parents, family members, and relatives of LGBT+ loved ones
- Pastors and ministry teams seeking to enhance care for LGBT+ individuals
- Staff and faculty of Christian schools, universities, and camps
- Executive leaders seeking to train and equip your ministry team
- Christian counselors and pastoral care staff who often care for LGBT+ people and their families
- Small group study resource
Guiding Families seeks to eliminate family rejection in this generation…
Examples of content:
- Understanding risks LGBT+ youth face (family rejection, bullying, suicidality, and homelessness)
- Real life profiles from LGBT+ young people and their parents
- Powerful insights from our nationwide parent survey
- Practical tips for life stages and events (coming out, transitioning, partners, weddings, family gatherings)
- Articles from Christian leaders specializing in LGBT+ relational and spiritual care
- Guidance on prayer and supplication to bless LGBT+ loved ones — and you