Monday, April 20, 2009

Book Review: Loving Homosexuals as Jesus Would

I took Megan to a dinner party hosted by another church this past weekend. We were seated at a table with 3 other couples, including a lesbian couple. It was a good evening and we enjoyed getting to know them. God has been allowing our paths to cross with a number of homosexual couples in a wide variety of social settings lately. In his providence, I was in the middle of this book at the time.

This is a testimonial-based ministry guidebook, and its author, Chad Thompson, is a Christian. Like many Christians, he has fought a long battle with same-sex attractions. In a spiritually-healthy way, he has received God's words in the Bible as authoritative in determining the moral status of homosexual relationships. Thus, he does not see homosexual behavior as a part of God's good plan for any of the people he has made.

But before you jump to any conclusions from that statement, let me be clear: Chad Thompson is not a hater. In chapters like "The Homophobia Stops Here", he calls conservative evangelicals like me to repentance. The way that we relate to our homosexual friends needs to change. Our words about homosexuality and homosexuals need to change. Our hearts need to change. Too often, we communicate with homosexuals in ways that reflect hate, not the holy love of God. Read Thompson's book both critically and with a soft heart, my Christian friends.

I'm pretty sure that most of my homosexual friends would not agree with Thompson's summary of the science and causes of homosexuality. But they should read the book anyway and face his arguments honestly.

I'm also pretty sure that most of my conservative evangelical pastor friends would not agree with a number of Thompson's suggestions for how churches might better minister to homosexuals. But they should also read the book anyway and face his arguments honestly.

I do not endorse this book as a paradigm for all Christian ministry to homosexuals. The theology is under-developed. The approach is highly therapeutic and neither as "fresh" or "Christian" as I was expecting. I would have liked to have read more testimony from Mr. Thompson about the transformative power of the Word and the Spirit. Since Christians are saved from the world into a new covenant community, where the love of Jesus is expressed through local churches, I would have liked to have read more about how Mr. Thompson's relationships in his local church have effected his "coming out" of a homosexual lifestyle (whether positive or negative). And I would have loved to have read more about his relationship with his pastor.

So, in conclusion, I would be very interested in reading a another book by Chad Thompson: Pastoring Homosexuals as Jesus Would. Would you please write another one for us, Chad?

Many thanks for writing this one. It was helpful.

Loving Homosexuals as Jesus Would: A Fresh Christian Approach
By: Chad W. Thompson
Baker / 2004 / Paperback

No comments: