5 Stars Out Of 5
A much needed voice of biblical reason
July 21, 2013
A Cluttered Mind
Before I say anything else by way of review, let me say this:
If you are an evangelical Christian wondering how best to think and speak into the current debate about same sex unions and relationships, then this is the book for you.
Allberry's book, almost more of a booklet, from The Good Book Company, should provide a valuable asset for the Church. He's biblically-grounded, Gospel-concerned, Christ-exalting, God-focused in his approach. He handles the subject with respect and empathy, having struggled with and against same sex attraction (SSA) a good portion of his life. The author knows by knowledge and experience what repentance is. He preaches this to all sinners, but especially in the focus of this small book, to those who struggle with SSA. Compassion seems to exude from the pages of this book as well: compassion for those who are fighting the fight for faith, as well as those who need to repent and believe. For only 88 pages in length, Allberry packs it in well.
If Allberry had written nothing but an even shorter booklet containing just the message in Chapter One, this still would come highly recommended by this reviewer. He lays out, in a succinct manner, the Bible's teaching on marriage (from Genesis 1-2), sex within and outside the bounds of marriage and what principles derive from this:
Human marriage is meant to reflect something of God's nature.
This one-flesh union is designed to be the way in which Adam and Eve fulfill God's command to 'be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth'
It is also meant to reflect the grace that, in Christ, God shows to his people.
Allberry goes on to show, in a very meaningful manner, how homosexuality is a sin to be repented of and forsaken, because it does not reflect God's nature, it does not fulfill God's design and it is clearly sex outside the bonds of marriage. I so greatly appreciate the author's usage of SSA to describe this effect. He does so, because he does not want his identity to be his sexuality, no more than you or I should want this to be the case. For the Christian, our identity is found in Christ, not in ourselves, and especially not in any sort of deviant, sinful lifestyle.
The use of Old Testament and New Testament was actually well-done in chapter three. I enjoyed this, because watching Christians and non-believers alike butcher what the Word says regarding this particular sin has been painful. Allberry deals with the notion of O.T. law adequately in just a few pages and then moves on the the New Testament. In his use of 1 Corinthians 6, the author clearly lays out that homosexuality (either in a passive partnership role or an active partnership role) as a gospel issue. Only the gospel, as embodied by Jesus Christ, can bring repentance, forgiveness and true, faithful, life-long obedience to the will of God, in this area of sin, or in any other.
Throughout Allberry's book, there are introduced short sections, almost in a magazine-type format, where questions might be addressed, or a hot-button topic in this category would be discussed. All in all, I believe this will be a very helpful book. There may be others, longer, more thorough, even more clinical, but none that I'm aware of so far that will easily be put into anyone's hands and be of benefit to them.
I highly recommend this book.