Reviewed by David Burge
We might have a good grasp of what the Bible says about sex and marriage, but how do we get our heads around the recent “same-sex marriage” storm? And how do we communicate in a way that seems rational to our friends who oppose religion, or who do not accept the relevance of the Bible? Leading thinkers from the Sydney Anglican Diocesan Doctrine Commission have produced this timely, helpful resource.
Chapter 1 concisely presents the origin, defining moments, and orchestration behind the strong “same-sex marriage” and “marriage equality” push around the Western world. It explains the shrewd choice of vocabulary and strategies intended to make the debate very difficult for those defending the “inequality” position.
Chapter 2 then clarifies the Biblical position on same-sex relationships, exposing and discrediting twisted interpretations of the Bible often used to support same-sex relationships, such as the Bible’s historical and cultural distance.
Chapter 3 presents the theme of marriage and sexuality throughout the sweep of the Bible, showing the richness of marriage in God’s purposes of creation, revelation and salvation.
Chapter 4, “Arguing in the Public Sphere”, was for this reviewer the most helpful chapter in light of today’s context of debate. It considers pitfalls Christians should avoid and, on the positive side, the manner, methods and arguments we might use to get more traction than “the Bible says” arguments. Unfortunately, it is the shortest chapter.
Chapter 5 is about “Ministering to those who experience same-sex attraction” and offers sensitive, practical, positive guidance for pastors and churches.
This is a most insightful resource that does not shy away from speaking unashamedly the truths of God’s word. Many might scoff or be angered by its “politically incorrect” message, but its arguments are reasonable, gracious and clear.
David Burge is the Presbyterian minister at Walcha, NSW