So the current controversies over sexuality should excite rather than dismay us-it is from times of profound disagreement that our Sovereign God has often brought a return to radical biblical clarity in the church’s theology and practices. It forces us to examine the plausibility of scripture and the design of God.
I appreciate the teaching and the life of Ed Shaw. A pastor that knows and lives the plausibility of a celibate life. It is not a drudgery but a expression of joy. It has brought him closer to the heart of God than most because of the sacrifice he has made to live a life of celibacy. The question you might ask yourself is why would deny yourself love.
Shaw opens up with two very real people. Maybe you know them. A young man that is going to college that his gay and he is a Christian. He questions why can’t he enjoy the love of another man and be still be a Christian. Or a young woman that has been divorced and is developing a friendship with another woman that has turned into more. She questions the church about the relationship, and the church is clear on where it stands with that relationship. How can the word of God be plausible to what these two people are dealing with and how can we be plausible with how we love and express the gospel to them.
Shaw walks thru 9 Missteps that applies to the Gospel. I want to be clear on this as a reader-THIS IS NOT JUST A SAME SEX ISSUE, this applies to the GOSPEL and our relationship with a living God.
1) Misstep#1-Your identity is your sexuality -How we can we ensure our identities are defined by God’s word and not by the world around us.
2) Misstep #2 – A family is mom, dad and 2.4 children-How can we all make sure that talk of church family isn’t just talk?
3)Misstep #3 If you are born gay, it can’t be wrong to be gay-How can we better communicate that a natural instinct to do something doesn’t mean it must be right?
4)Misstep #4 If it makes you happy, it must be right! – How can we all keep checking that our decisions aren’t more governed by what we feel than what God’s says is good for us?
5)Misstep #5- Sex is where true intimacy is found-How can we all develop more intimate friendships?
6)Misstep #6- Women and Men are equal and interchangeable- How can we better explain the need for sexual differences in the union of marriage?
7)Misstep #7 -Godliness is heterosexuality-How can we all make sure that we aren’t appearing to be sexually self-righteousness?
8)Celibacy is bad for you. – How can we all be as affirming of singleness as the Bible is?
9)Suffering is to be avoided-How can we help each other appreciate the good results of suffering in our lives?
Each of these missteps are answered and can be applied on how we live out the Gospel. It is a thoughtful and insightful read that is gospel centered. I highly recommend.
A Special Thank You to InterVarsity Press and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.