“What does God require of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in the 21st century? How do we live our faith as congregations of believers within an increasingly multicultural nation and world? What do we think and how do we feel about opportunities for crossing racial and cultural boundaries and barriers? What will be our responses to entrenched racism in the coming days? What models will we pass on to our young people who will become leaders for tomorrow? Then what is the vision that will inspire and guide us as we make our choices today?”
Two professors at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Steven C. Roy and Robert J. Priest, are offering a course on “Contemporary Sexualities: Theological and Missiological Perspectives.” The professors have graciously provided their bibliography, which is lengthy and represents diverse perspectives; download the Sexualities bibliography for your own use.
A book review by Tricia Dykers Koenig: “Regele explores multiple disciplines in his search for understanding – biology, psychology, sociology, and demographics, along with biblical study, theology, and church history – and reflects on these learnings in light of his personal story. He provides an accessible survey of the science pointing to the probability that sexual orientation is innate, resulting from a combination of genetic and prenatal hormonal influences. The ethical conclusion: it is inconsistent with loving one’s LGBTQ neighbors to blame and penalize them for a characteristic they did not choose and cannot change.”
Coming soon from Presbyterian pastor Chris Neufeld-Erdman, to be published by Cascade Books – A Table for All: How I Came to Understand the Gospel Means Full Inclusion of Gays and Lesbians. Written by a Christian leader with a passion for evangelism who also happens to be the father of two gay sons, A Table for All explores Scripture and church history and how the authorities to which Christians turn to guide our lives have informed his own journey (and that of his congregation) in issues surrounding sexual orientation and marriage – taking seriously the individuals and families affected by the church’s deliberations.
One of the resources suggested for further reading in the study of “Christian Marriage in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)” prepared by the Office of Theology and Worship is a recent book by James V. Brownson, Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships, published by Eerdmans in 2013. Tricia Dykers Koenig reviews the content of Brownson’s book and commends it as a valuable contribution to the church’s ongoing conversation.
Ken Cuthbertson explores the historical contexts of the usage in the PCUSA’s Book of Confessions where marriage is specifically spoken of as being between “a man and a woman” — particularly relevant since that phrase has become the focus in so much of the rhetoric in the current debates concerning same-sex marriage in the church, and in society in general.