There has been a wealth of writing in recent years from Christians who experience same-sex attraction but are convinced that God requires them to say “no” to those desires. They have produced some fantastic materials, rich in theology and overflowing with love and compassion.
Born Again This Way, by Rachel Gilson, may be the best yet.
Subtitled ‘Coming out, coming to faith, and what comes next’, the book is described on the Good Book Company website as “A rich portrayal of living faithfully and happily as a Christian with same-sex attraction, that paints a compelling picture of discipleship for every believer.”
I loved Rachel’s critique of our culture’s insistence that your sexuality is the most important thing about you, that if you’re not having sex – with whatever consenting adult you are interested in – then you can’t be happy or free, or even really alive.
I loved her careful searching of the scriptures – and not just the ones that explicitly mention romantic relationship, but the full sweep of the scriptures – to put sex, romance and other earthly desires in their rightful place, and to put God in his – seated on the throne, high and lifted up, worthy of all our praise.
I particularly loved her insights into what the image of the church as the family of God means for those who are single (whether same-sex attracted or not). It means safety. It means intimacy. It means close relationships with people of both sexes and of all ages that are “chaste by default”. (Page 76 alone is worth the price of the book. So, so good.)
I loved the way she sought to reclaim the word ‘intimacy’ from the romantic and sexual connotations we have been brainwashed into understanding it as.
And I loved that all this richness, depth and truth was told in a very easy, readable manner, incorporating her (slightly unusual) story and the different experiences of some of her friends. And all in 144 pages.
If you know anyone who is same-sex attracted and want to gain some insights into the sorts of things they might be wrestling with (though Rachel takes pains to point out that everyone’s experience is different, and for the most part sexuality issues aren’t the only, or even the biggest, things they are thinking about on any given day), this book will be a huge help. I’m assuming that if you are same-sex attracted and want to know what the Bible, God and his people really have to offer, it will be hugely helpful to you, too. And if you are or know someone who is single, married, widowed, divorced or separated, it will be hugely helpful to you, too.
In other words: buy this book. Now.
Rating: 5/5 stars
I received a free review copy of this book from the publishers. A positive review was in no way required.