This is a book written primarily for gay Christians and those who love them.
Part memoir, part pastoral-theological reflection, this book wrestles with three main areas of struggle that many gay Christians face:
(1) What is God's will for sexuality?
(2) If the historic Christian tradition is right and same-sex behavior is ruled out, how should gay Christians deal with their resulting loneliness?
(3) How can gay Christians come to an experience of grace that rescues them from crippling feelings of shame and guilt? Author Wesley Hill is not advocating that it is possible for every gay Christian to become straight, nor is he saying that God affirms homosexuality. Instead, Hill comes alongside gay Christians and says, "You are not alone. Here is my experience; it's like yours. And God is with us. We can share in God's grace."
While some authors profess a deep faith in Christ and claim a powerful experience of the Holy Spirit precisely in and through their homosexual practice, Hill's own story, by contrast, is a story of feeling spiritually hindered, rather than helped, by his homosexuality.
His story testifies that homosexuality was not God's original creative intention for humanity—that it is, on the contrary, a tragic sign of human nature and relationships being fractured by sin—and therefore that homosexual practice goes against God's express will for all human beings, especially those who trust in Christ.
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A walk with a sinner in redemption
One of the things that I love best about Washed and Waiting is that this book exists. Hill explains the same challenge of trying to find books that describe an honest struggle of Christians dealing with homosexual bent while striving to be faithful to Christ's call in His Word. Hill is not deceived by the popular approach of our damaged culture that purports that one can be a faithful Christian and a practicing homosexual, nor is he deceived into thinking that his weakness has caused him to be damaged goods before a redeeming Christ. He clings tightly to Christ with an open heart interwoven with God's Word. A insightful, convicting and refreshing approach.
How it teaches all of us to approach our sin and Christ's work in our lives. Sin is dark and death. Christ's love is redemptive and resurrection. Therefore the unglorified Christian's walk is full of struggle and life.
To have a greater hope for myself as a heterosexual Christian dealing with sin. And I will encourage other Christians, struggling with any sin, to consider the same truths that Hill points out about sin and our need for love. This story is for the Church.
As much as I appreciate Hill's perspective and story, inevitably I think Hill has a limited perspective of covenant life. Though subtle and indirect, his presentation of redemption throughout his life apart from covenant family seems to negate the richness that comes from the redemptive experience of a Christian marriage and family. I believe there is much more occurring with covenant family that Hill does not seem to see or has not experienced. Again, I can't imagine how he could see this since it is my assumption that he has never experienced it as a son, and has not been granted the opportunity to experience it as a husband and father. I feel certain that Hill longs for this knowledge, and I believe we all will see it most clearly in Glory.
- Chaz Hum
- jeremiah semmler