Book Review: Same-Sex Marriage

Same Sex MarriageSean McDowell and John Stonestreet tackle a powder keg topic in their book Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage.  After reading the book, my initial impressions from skimming through the table of contents was confirmed: it is well-written, some people will find it helpful, and some people are going to hate the book.

Those who will find the book helpful are going to be those people who are interested in thoughtfully exploring a biblically-based Christian approach to sexuality and marriage.  In this category: For those who disagree with the idea that marriage is defined exclusively as between male and female, they will find well reasoned thoughts that consistently anticipate and tastefully respond to anticipated objections.  For those who aren’t quite sure what to make of this current political and social hot topic, they will discover the aforementioned plus a nice history of the pro-same-sex movement written without ad hominem or strawman fallacies.  For those who have already determined that they concur with Scripture’s consistent stance on the topic of human sexuality, they will find the aforementioned plus helpful hints on how to take care of their own heart and love others.

As for those who will likely hate this book, well…I am guessing, and could be wrong (and for that I apologize)…I would guess that this category would be typified by the reader who dogmatically believes that any disagreement with same-sex marriage or the lack of endorsement of the practice of homosexuality is by necessity homophobic, bigoted, intolerant, or any of the other charged buzz-words that float around op-eds and the blogosphere wherever this topic is broached.

Here are a couple of excerpts that, while not summarizing the book, stood out:

Speaking and living the gospel in the days to come could cost us dearly.  It could also provide the greatest opportunity for the Church to be the Church in our generation.  Most likely, it will be both. (p 88)

[We] must overcome reputation liabilities (deserved and undeserved), a firmly entrenched counter mindset, and the difficulty of presenting a winsome and reasonable case for our position…here are a few ideas:

1. We can change our reputation from those who hate gays to those who love them…
2. We must tell the truth about same-sex attraction, homosexual sin and same-sex marriage…
3. We can stop implying in our words and actions that homosexual sin is worse than all other sexual sins, and that sexual sins are unforgiveable…
4. We can defend the religious liberty of all Americans…
5. We can tell better stories about love, sex, marriage and family…
6. We need to expect the conversations about marriage and be ready for them when they come…

Make no mistake: Even if our words are articulate and loving, and we have a strong track record of kindness, we risk being embarrassed or ostracized.  We may even face unjust consequences, like a failed grade or loss of employment.  we need to be ready for that too. (pp 115-122)

Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255


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