Homosexuality and Christian Faith: Questions of Conscience for the Churches edited by Walter Wink
Review by Jolene Rueden, Fall 2011
Terms found in the text:
- Sodom and Gomorrah
- Hebrew Scripture
- Old and New Testament
Why do so many Christians shun the idea of homosexuality? Where in the Bible does it say that homosexuality is a sin and in what context was that message delivered? These are a few of the questions answered in this text. The book is organized concisely with only a total of 133 pages but with enough content to keep the reader pondering the messages long after the book is finished. The book starts with a sermon from a New York City minister who begs this question: “I want to say to you, each and every one, that it is no longer off-limits for sexual topics to be discussed in the church or from the pulpit. Everybody else is talking about it. Television shows, magazine racks, kids behind the wall. So why not in church?” This begins the book’s exploration of topics of sexuality as portrayed in scripture, both in the Old and New Testament of the Bible, and how this thinking plays into the ideas of contemporary church teachings. Homosexual references are cited in the Bible and are then explained in the context and mindset of the time period when the Bible passage was written. The book provides hope for those trying to find comfort in the teachings of the Bible regarding acceptance of homosexuality and provides challenges for those who have been told that the Bible a source of condemnation for homosexual behavior.
One example of pointing out the mindset of Biblical times versus the reality of today’s world can be found in this quote from the book: “One can appreciate how a tribe struggling to populate a country in which its people were outnumbered might value procreation highly, but such values are rendered questionable in a world facing uncontrollable overpopulation.”