The Gospel and Sexual Orientation

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One of the little noted advantages of a confessional denomination is the ability to produce reports on urgent contemporary topics. Because such churches enjoy a high degree of unanimity on extensive doctrinal positions, they are free to address such topics not in the spirit of 'what can we say about this which still allows us to keep the alliance together' but rather 'given we all stand in the same solid place, how can we draw on that foundation to tackle this thorny issue?'  For this reason, relatively small confessional denominations, such as the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, have been able to punch above their weight over the years and speak with greater sophistication, learning and thoroughness to matters of Christian concern than many larger but less theologically coherent and intellectually disciplined churches.

One great recent example is the testimony on sexual orientation which was presented to the Synod the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America in 2011.   It is now available as a book, The Gospel and Sexual Orientation, edited by Michael L. Lefebvre.  I think it is one of the most concise and helpful statements on the various issues involved in the matter of same-sex attraction.

In a series of short chapters, the book outlines the history of modern thinking about sexuality, addresses the key theological and textual arguments of those opposed to the traditional Christian approach, shows how the Westminster Standards apply to the matter, and, in a final chapter, offers very good practical pastoral advice as to how to care for those struggling with same-sex temptation. It concludes with a select bibliography. 

The book is firmly biblical in argument, charitable and moderate in tone, and deeply pastoral in concern and application.   It should be on the shelf of every minister and elder.  This is one of the most pressing moral, social and political issues of our day and this brief book is a treasure trove of thoughtfulness.  
Posted October 2, 2012 @ 12:05 PM by Carl Trueman

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