Listed below are resources that may help to clarify different perspectives and the underlying rationales behind them. Some may be from a single point of view while others include a range of views; we encourage you to read at least one resource that aligns with your current perspective, and one that might challenge some of your assumptions.
While this is by no means a comprehensive list, we hope this initial offering helps those who want more information; we heard a bigger demand for resources about same-sex attraction and marriage, and so have started there. Resources are listed in alphabetical order, and the descriptions are taken from corresponding websites or from amazon.com summaries. The pastoral staff has read many, but not necessarily all, of these resources, and they are not meant to represent their viewpoints.
More resources will be added in the future; if you have resources to recommend, please email email@example.com with resource title and author, and a brief description of why it has been helpful to you.
Preparing Mind and Heart
Before these conversations began, we encouraged all to read Philippians 2:1–15 using the Lectio practice as a guide. We invite you to revisit this passage as a foundation for our engagement as a community.
|Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships
||James V. Brownson
||Michael Barram referenced this book in his remarks during the Generous Empathy conversation on February 8, 2015. In Bible, Gender, Sexuality, James Brownson argues that Christians should reconsider whether or not the biblical strictures against same-sex relations as defined in the ancient world should apply to contemporary, committed same-sex relationships. Presenting two sides in the debate—”traditionalist” and “revisionist”—Brownson carefully analyzes each of the seven main texts that appear to address intimate same-sex relations.
|How to Think Theologically
||Howard Stone and James Duke
||Stone and Duke contend that theology is not an optional, esoteric discipline, but one that every Christian person is called to do, and thus they welcome everyone to the essential, vibrant work of making religious sense of concrete life situations and fulfill their intellectual vocations as Christians.
|A Letter to my Congregation
||“This is a breakthrough work coming from the heart of evangelical Christianity and offered into the heart of evangelical Christianity,” writes David P. Gushee, Christian author and Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University. Gushee continues: “It is unlike other books that demand revision of traditional Christian sexual ethics but do so primarily by rejecting the authority of the Bible. That is not how evangelicals think, and it is not what Ken Wilson does here. Instead Wilson shows how God has led him on a journey toward a rethinking of what the fully authoritative and inspired Bible ought to be taken to mean in the life of the church today.”
|The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New Creation, A Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethics
||Richard B. Hays
||A leading expert in New Testament ethics discovers in the biblical witness a unified ethical vision—centered in the themes of community, cross and new creation—that has profound relevance in today’s world. Richard Hays shows how the New Testament provides moral guidance on the most troubling ethical issues of our time, including violence, divorce, homosexuality, and abortion.
|“Same Sex Relationships in the Life of the Church”
(Click here to read this report online)
|The Theology Committee of the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church
||“For a generation and more the Episcopal Church and the wider Anglican Communion have been engaged in a challenging conversation about sexual ethics, especially regarding same-sex relationships in the life of the church,” Theology Committee Chair and Alabama Bishop Henry Parsley wrote in the report’s preface. “The hope of this work is that serious engagement in theological reflection across differences will build new bridges of understanding.”
|Slavery, Sabbath, War & Women
||Willard M. Swartley
||The Bible gives what appears to give mixed and even conflicting signals on the four case issues of slavery, sabbath, war, and women. New Testament scholar Willard Swartley seeks to identify the difficulties surrounding these discussions and clarify basic learnings in biblical interpretation in a spirit of unity and dialogue.
|Washed and Waiting
||“Gay”, “Christian”, and “celibate” don’t often appear in the same sentence. Yet many who sit next to us in the pew at church fit that description, says author Wesley Hill. As a celibate gay Christian, Hill gives us a glimpse of what it looks like to wrestle firsthand with God’s “No” to same-sex relationships. What does it mean for gay Christians to live faithful to God while struggling with the challenge of their homosexuality?
|What Christians Think about Homosexuality
(Out of print; follow links for summary articles by Eastern Mennonite Universityand GayMatter)
||An objective description of six points of view on homosexuality, what the biblical and theological bases for each are, how they are criticized and how they answer their critics.