One of the most contentious issues in many Christian churches today is whether or not to accept and bless same-sex partnerships. Stott, rector emeritus of All Souls Church in London and a renowned New Testament scholar, proposes his answers to the question in this little book. In a first section, Stott examines the biblical passages most frequently cited by the Christian churches to condemn homosexuality (Genesis 19, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah; Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13; Romans 1:18-32, Paul's declaration of corruption in Roman society; and Paul's list of sins in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:8-11). On the basis of his analysis of these texts, Stott argues that the Bible's teachings against homosexuality should be measured in light of the positive biblical teachings on sex and marriage. Stott then analyzes five arguments used by proponents of same-sex relationships to "defend the legitimacy of homosexual relationships" and contends that each argument fails to understand the ways in which same-sex partnerships violate God's will for sexual relationships. Finally, Stott concludes that "at the heart of the homosexual condition is a deep loneliness, the natural human hunger for mutual love, a search for identity, and a longing for completeness." The church, he continues, can fulfill these needs through its acceptance, love and support of homosexuals--but not on their terms. Even though moments of understanding peek through Stott's arguments, what he calls acceptance and love can only be viewed by gay men and women as rejection and misunderstanding. (Sept.)
John Stott (1921-2011) was an internationally acclaimed London-based preacher and scholar. His many works include Basic Christianity, What Christ Thinks of the Church, and Through the Bible, Through the Year.