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Homosexuality the topic of 2 new books

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–With homosexuality at the forefront of a cultural and political debate, two books have been released in the past year that seek to help Christians better address the issue:

— “The Complete Christian Guide to Understanding Homosexuality: A Biblical and Compassionate Response to Same-Sex Attraction” (Joe Dallas and Nancy Heche, general editors; Harvest House, 2010). At 484 pages, the multi-author book is divided into six sections and 26 chapters, each dealing with a different theme. For instance, two chapters address “Understanding Pro-Gay Theology” and “Rebutting Pro-Gay Theology.” Other chapters deal with how churches and families should deal with the issue and how the political realm should respond.

“Saying a behavior is wrong is a far cry from also expressing undisguised contempt for the people who practice it,” Dallas said. “… Compassion doesn’t mince words about sin, but it puts the sin in perspective, as Jesus did…. He was compassionate without compromise. May the church’s compassion be clear, but their message and standards equally so, balancing truth and grace.”

— “Homosexuality and the Christian: A Guide for Parents, Pastors, and Friends” (Mark Yarhouse, author; Bethany House, 2010). Yarhouse, a professor of psychology at Regent University, raises a question in the beginning of each chapter in his 239-page book, and then answers it. For instance, the chapters include titles on “What Causes Homosexuality?”, “Can Someone Change Sexual Orientation?”, “What If My Child or Teen Announces a Gay Identity?” and “My Adult Child Announced a Gay Identity: What Now?”

“I think it can be helpful to move away from the well-worn path of discussing and debating the causes of sexual orientation and whether orientation can change,” Yarhouse wrote. “There is a place for informed discussion about the causes of homosexuality and whether it can change; however, the overemphasis on those two points has left many people with far too few resources for navigating their sexual and religious identities.”
Compiled by Michael Foust, associate editor of Baptist Press.

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