Faithful Conversation: Christian Perspectives on Homosexuality
Bitter battles over the churches' stance toward its gay and lesbian members have tested the churches' fundamental orientation and even threatened to split whole denominations apart. The blessing of homosexual unions and ordination of gays and lesbians have proven to be special flashpoints at both local and national levels.
Part of the widespread perplexity over the issues stems from their complexity. They involve questions not only of personal ethics and church polity but also of Christian history, conflicting readings of the biblical data, and uncertainty over basic anthropological frameworks, especially as driven by findings of the social sciences.
This volume, initiated by the ELCA seminary presidents in response to a churchwide mandate for study of the issues, is aimed at engendering real reflection and conversation by providing Christians with the basic tools to engage the many dimensions of this question for themselves and with each other. Based on sound scholarship but written in a readable fashion for a broad audience of laypeople and pastors, the volume includes five essays, an authors' forum about how specific issues in the church are affected by these perspectives, a select bibliography of further readings, and directions on how this resource might be used.
Contributors: James M. Childs Jr., Mark Allan Powell, James Arne Nestingen, Martha Ellen Stortz, Richard J. Perry Jr., José David Rodríguez, Daniel L. Olson
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"This book should generate some solid discussion in our
church. The variety of perspectives will challenge readers, whatever their
viewpoint, to examine their own thinking about homosexuality. While
acknowledging the subject's importance and potential divisiveness, the authors
recognize, refreshingly, that our unity in Jesus Christ is a far more important
reality. The spirit of respect and civility that permeates this book is a
powerful model for each of us."
Paul Jersild, Professor Emeritus, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, SC, Author of Spirit Ethics (Fortress Press, 2000)
"Building on a quarter century of learnings from
studies and deliberations in the U.S., these authors probe for fresh insights
in how the church's responses can be grounded in what is central in the
Christian faith. Their insights are worthy of consideration."
Karen L. Bloomquist, Theology and Studies Director, the Lutheran World Federation, Co-editor of The Promise of Lutheran Ethics (Fortress Press, 1998)