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.
The Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Cuthbertson is a Minister of the Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), a scholar of church history and historical theology, and a spiritual director. He is a native of Kansas and a graduate of Sterling College, Gordon-Conwell Seminary, and the School of Religion at the University of Iowa. His new book, The Last Presbyterian?, is a historical-theological-spiritual memoir about the “psalm-singing, Sabbath-keeping” strain of old-time Scots-American Presbyterianism from which his family came, and includes reflections on how we might carry key elements of that faith heritage forward into an inclusive, emergent, and missional church for the 21st century. Ken and his spouse, Doug, live in New Mexico.
Ken offers a draft of a confessionally-based statement about marriage for our day and time.
Keynote Address by Henry Brinton at the Baltimore/DC Regional Conference, March 9, 2013: “I believe that all of you want to be part of a truly welcoming congregation, one that embraces all people with God’s love and grace. But if you are like me, you haven’t mastered the practices of Christian hospitality. You probably set up some barriers to inclusion without even knowing it.”