Monday, September 8, 2014

Same-sex marriage by McDowell and Stonestreet a review

      I love the comment on the cover: "unthinkable to legal at a dizzying pace", Now What"      
      Sometimes it’s difficult to speak the truth in love. And when the truth involves incredibly controversial subjects, it’s even more difficult. As a culture we seem to demand tolerance, and we’ve come to expect from those who most champion tolerance for their causes 'and if you don’t see things my way, then you’re nothing but a hater.' So how does the church deal with a subject that makes the news every day, is debated in state supreme courts, and as far as the legal system goes, is undoubtedly ultimately going to be decided by the Supreme Court. And all of this which insists that its citizens enjoy the freedom to worship according to their own religious traditions
            Over the past few years in this country, there has been increasing push to legalize same sex marriage. And the church has to take sides. Part of Christianity suggests that Christ’s love is available to everyone, and that Same-Sex marriage should really be a non-issue. Another part insists that the traditional marriage, one man and one woman, is the only model allowed by scripture. So where do we turn for guidance, how do we decide what approach to take when the church has one standard, and the state another.
            In their book “Same-Sex marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God's Design for Marriage”, Sean McDowell and John Stonestreet address these issues and others.   
            The approach really is 'thoughtful'. Part One (chapters 1-6) look at what marriage is and why it exists. The authors turn to the Bible, starting with Genesis, touching on the 10 commandments, looking at the words of Jesus, and considering the epistles of Paul in order to formulate their arguments. One of the starting points is that God commanded that human beings should be fruitful, and multiply and fill the earth. Sex (between a male and a female) is the primary means for that to happen. And marriage provides, or should provide the nurturing environment in which to raise children.
            At some point society has become more accepting of many things that used to be considered anathema.  Over time, attitudes have shifted, and the authors take a look at this phenomenon. What is the process. Can the church use something similar to slow the tide.
            But the book is more than a scathing denunciation of same-sex marriage. In Part Two (7-12) The authors bring up questions, the answers to which, "questioning minds want to know." Most of them deal with how Christians can respond to situations, questions, and debates. The focus is that we should speak the truth in love. There are frequent reminders that the church should be as upset about same-sex marriage as she is about other sexual sins: fornication, cohabitation, adultery, etc; or rather that she should be as upset about the other sexual sins as she is about same-sex marriage.
            We are forced to look at our convictions and see how strongly we support them. What are we willing to do to uphold our convictions? Where do we draw the line? How do we support our family and friends, without supporting their lifestyle choices.
            A very well thought out book. Highly recommended to all who want to know more about how to speak the truth in love, and how to love God's children when we have such a difficult time with the choices they have made.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for the review. I was not required to write a positive review. 

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