What do you think about homosexuality? Why do you think it? In his new book, What Christians Think About Homosexuality: Six Representative Viewpoints, Larry Holben presents different ways Christians look at homosexuality and critiques each from the other five views. It's hard to imagine a book more useful for adult study.

You have met Holben's work before; he was the screenwriter for The Hiding Place, the very intelligent 1979 film about the Holocaust and Corrie Ten Boom. This book shows similar intelligence. The six positions are given labels their adherents might apply: Condemnation, A Promise of Healing, A Call to Costly Discipleship, Pastoral Accommodation, Affirmation, and Liberation. Each position then addresses the same twelve questions, including "What is the God-given intent or design for human sexuality?" and "Is there a homosexual condition (orientation) and, if so, what is its cause or origin?" Throughout, Holben tactfully withholds his own opinion: "Why should my judgment carry more weight than that of the many advocates of the various viewpoints I have quoted?"

The foundational question (and Holben's first) is, "What is the ultimate authority upon which any moral judgment regarding homosexuals and/or homosexual acts is to be based?" Who says what's right? If we say "the Bible," how do we handle scholarship offering new interpretations of texts? If it's "by their lives you shall know them," is homosexuality vindicated by adherents who show kindness, gentleness, and charity? Does God's call for justice include homosexuals, overruling sexual laws?

Who decides? Holben's answer: we do. Christians should "accept responsibility for thinking theologically about the major issues. … [W]e cannot leave serious moral reflection ...

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Frederica Mathewes-Green
Frederica Mathewes-Green is the author of several books and has been a commentator for National Public Radio, National Review, and other media outlets. Her books include The Jesus Prayer and Facing East: A Pilgrim's Journey into the Mysteries of Orthodoxy. Mathewes-Green's podcast "Frederica Here and Now" is carried on Ancient Faith Radio. Her column, "Your World," ran from 1998 to 2000.
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