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Mark Yarhouse gives honest and accurate answers to parents and pastors who have questions about homosexuality. Throughout the book, the author uses a new framework for understanding the issue, carefully separating the concept of "same sex attraction" from a "gay identity." In a clear and compassionate style, he explains the research regarding what causes same-sex attraction and whether or not it can be overcome. He also discusses what Christians can do when someone they know opens up to them about their homosexual attractions.


Publié par
Date de parution 01 septembre 2010
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781441213716
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0490€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Homosexuality and the Christian Copyright © 2010 Mark A. Yarhouse
Cover design by Eric Walljasper
Unless otherwise identified, Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com
Scripture quotations identified The Message are from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.
Published by Bethany House Publishers 11400 Hampshire Avenue South Bloomington, Minnesota 55438 www.bethanyhouse.com
Bethany House Publishers is a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Michigan www.bakerpublishinggroup.com
Ebook edition created 2011
ISBN 978-1-4412-1371-6
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is on file at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
The internet addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers in this book are accurate at the time of publication. They are provided as a resource. Baker Publishing Group does not endorse them or vouch for their content or permanence.
May we be faithful witnesses who offer guidance and spiritual sustenance to those who are navigating sexual and religious identity concerns.
Mark A. Yarhouse is a professor of psychology and the Hughes Chair of Christian Thought in Mental Health Practice at Regent University, where he also directs the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity ( www.sexualidentityinstitute.org ). Mark received BAs in philosophy and art from Calvin College, and MAs in theological studies and clinical psychology, and a PsyD in clinical psychology, from Wheaton College. Mark is an award-winning educator and scholar who has spent several years promoting dialogue between people who view the topic of sexual identity differently. In 2000, he chaired a groundbreaking symposium at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention that brought together both gay psychologists and Christian psychologists to discuss common ground in treatment options for persons sorting out sexual and religious identity conflicts. He chaired similar symposia at the APA on the many meanings of marriage among different religions and various groups within the gay community; services for adolescents experiencing sexual identity confusion; and a new approach to working with sexual identity issues in counseling. Mark has written over fifty articles and book chapters and is the coauthor of several books, including Modern Psychopathologies: A Comprehensive Christian Appraisal; Family Therapies: A Comprehensive Christian Appraisal; and Sexual Identity: A Guide to Living in the Time Between the Times .
People ask professors all the time about the courses they teach, what they write about, and what they research. When I answer, the conversation often either changes abruptly or is taken to another level. What I mean by this is that people either do not want to touch the topic with a ten-foot pole, or they want to share their two cents because they have really strong opinions. I want to acknowledge a few people who were willing to share their opinions with me, help expand my perspective, or otherwise challenge me on this difficult topic.
I have been blessed by the quality and longevity of conversations I have had with colleagues and students over the years. The School of Psychology and Counseling and the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at Regent University have become stimulating schools and programs for the discussion of these and related topics. I am grateful for my colleagues here at Regent. In particular, William Hathaway, James Sells, Jennifer Ripley, Glen Moriarty, Judith Johnson, LaTrelle Jackson, Linda Baum, Lynn Olson, Vickey Maclin, Joseph Francis, Elizabeth Suarez, Cornelius Bekker, and Erica Tan have stimulated my thinking through ongoing discussions on this and related topics. Core team members and affiliates of the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity (ISSI) have also played an important role in my thinking over the years, and there are far too many to acknowledge here. Current team members involved in ongoing discussions about sexual identity this past year include Audrey Atkinson, Katherine Chisholm, Kristina High, Robert Kay, Tiffany Erspamer, Camden Morgante, Heather Poma, and Alicia Tomasuno. Several ISSI team members served as readers of an earlier version of this book manuscript, including Jill Kays, Veronica Johnson, Trista Carr, Katie Maslowe, Heidi Jo Erickson, Heather Poma, Mary Zaher, and Deborah Mangum.
Colleagues, friends, and family also provided me with their comments and suggestions on an earlier draft, including Stanton Jones, Warren Throckmorton, Andrew Marin, Stephen Stratton, Janet Dean, Gary Strauss, Heather Sells, and Lori Yarhouse. Diane Cook helped edit portions of chapters 2, 8, and 9 for a DVD on sexual identity for young adults. I want to thank each of them for what they offered in terms of feedback to me, as well as the support and encouragement they have provided me over the years.
I need to also thank the people I have known both personally and professionally who have been sorting out sexual identity concerns. They have shaped my thinking about sexual identity through the relationships we have had, and I am especially grateful for the opportunity to know something about their lives and the decisions they have faced over the years.

Title Page
Copyright Page
About the Author
Part One: The Big Picture 1.
What Does God Think About Homosexuality? 2.
Why Is Sexual Identity the Heart of the Matter? 3.
What Causes Homosexuality? 4.
Can Someone Change Sexual Orientation?
Part Two: Honest Answers to Questions Facing Families 5.
What If My Child or Teen Announces a Gay Identity? 6.
My Adult Child Announced a Gay Identity: What Now? 7.
What If My Spouse Announces a Gay Identity?
Part Three: Questions for the Church 8.
Whose People Are We Talking About? 9.
What Is the Church’s Response to Enduring Conditions? 10.
Concluding Thoughts
In a talk I gave recently at a Christian college campus, I asked the audience to “Raise your hand if you are nervous about listening to a conservative Christian speak on the topic of homosexuality.” Several hands went up. While I was able to use that question to break the ice, it points to a real concern that faces the church today: Sexuality in general, and homosexuality in particular, are increasingly sensitive and divisive topics.
Some people are pushing hard for the church to change its teachings on homosexuality. Many mainline denominations are fracturing over the issue; people just don’t want to hear anything that sounds like a compromise on a topic that has become something of a watershed issue for Christ and our culture. But these hot-button conversations are not just occurring within and across denominations; as our culture changes and as young people are coming into their own, these discussions are also taking place across generations. Many young people in the church, while theologically conservative, want to find new and creative ways to engage the topic in light of the relationships they have in their social circles.
This book is intended to be part of that discussion, and in some ways it is meant to help the conversation become more constructive. 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. There is a place for an 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. With apologies to Robert Frost, my focus is on the road less traveled: the intersection of sexual identity and religious identity. I encourage people to spend more time here, as I think sexual identity can be a neglected yet significant area for personal reflection, as well as a way to relate to others in a more constructive manner. It isn’t so much about getting people into counseling so they can change; it’s about equipping them to understand their attractions with reference to a larger sense of self and purpose. These things can be cultivated whether or not (or to whatever extent) orientation changes. Put differently, the cause of a homosexual orientation and the question of whether it can change, while meaningful topics in and of themselves, are secondary to the more pressing questions surrounding identity, sanctification, and stewardship.
I framed this book primarily around questions that people have asked me directly, as well as questions that point to what I believe to be important considerations. For example, a few years ago a young man asked me, “What does God think about homosexuality?” While it might not be the way I would phrase the question, it represents a concern facing many people who are sorting out this issue. Similar questions include “What causes homosexuality?” and “Can homosexuality change?” As I mentioned above, I am not convinced that these questions in particular are the most critical ones for the church today, but I understand they are important and that people want honest, informed answers.
Other questions get at what I think are important but often ignored issues, such as, “Why is sexual identity the heart of the matter?” The chapter that

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