This is not another book about homosexual behavior. According to the authors, “Our goal is not to consider the ethics of homosexual behavior, but to consider the ethics of homosexual desire, often referred to as homosexual orientation” (p.13). With that premise, Burk and Lambert set out to help us understand the biblical view of same-sex attraction.
Chapter 1 gives 4 approaches to same-sex attraction and behavior. Those being: Liberal, Revisionist, Neo-Traditional, and Traditional. It also defines some important terms when dealing with this issue, most notably, sexual orientation. This term gets used and misused by well meaning people on both sides of the debate. The common use of the term is that sexual orientation is defined by the direction of one’s sexual desire over time. The authors argue that the Bible speaks clearly about this defining element of sexual orientation.
Chapter 2 continues the discussion of same-sex attraction and deals with the question of whether it is sinful or not. This chapter is worth the price of the book, and more. Although the context is set in terms of sexual orientation and same-sex attraction, the information is applicable to everyone. The authors provide an in-depth study of temptation and the sinfulness of desire.
Before getting into the heart of the book of learning what the Bible says about change, Burk and Lambert, first discuss the myths of change. They list five. A couple of them are, “Change requires heterosexual desire,” and “Change is harmful.” They walk us through why these arguments are actually not true, and gently point us to a more biblical understanding.
The last 2 chapters are the heart of the book. Drawing on Paul’s ethical implications of the gospel in Ephesians 5, the path to repentance is presented in a “repent of ‘that’/pursue ‘this’ format.” In doing so, Burk and Lambert show that the Bible is sufficient to address even the “large” problems of life. There really is no need to seek extra-biblical strategies for life’s obstacles.
To this point in the book, the focus has been primarily on how someone who battles homosexual attraction should think about biblical change. The final chapter’s focus switches to evangelical Christians and our need to change. Here is a discussion of the false dichotomy of the intolerance/tolerance options that has been forced on society. But there is a third option: The Biblical option.
As explained, the biblical option is the most loving. Knowing what to say and how to say it flows from loving people and understanding how to address the gospel to those who struggle with same-sex attraction. It closes with 10 practical exhortations of how we can love our same-sex attracted neighbors better than we have in the past.
We are all in need of grace. We all stand together in need of the mercy of God to forgive and to transform. It is no different for those who struggle with same-sex attraction. While the Bible is the ultimate source of change, this book will provide guidance and clarity to the issue.
If you, or someone you know is struggling with this problem, I highly recommend you Grab a copy. It will help equip you to bring the lasting change to a life that needs it.
Read ’em & Reap!