A Feature Review of
Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships
Reviewed by Paul Chaplin.
“The church needs this book,” begins the foreword by former general secretary of the RCA, Wesley Granberg-Michaelson. It’s hard to disagree. Debate around same-sex relationships, both within and across denominations, is commonly characterised by marked hostility and frequent attacks on participants’ respect for received scripture. For far too many this question marks a “line in the sand” for authentic or inauthentic Christian faith. In this very challenging climate, James Brownson (who, in addition to being Professor of NT at WTS holds the interesting title – unique to the RCA – of “General Synod Professor of Theology”) makes a timely and valuable contribution.
Brownson’s goal in the book is to press the rewind and then slow-motion buttons on debate regarding same-sex relationships, asking us to take a long, hard, honest look at the assumptions we carry in to our arguments. So much evangelical discourse on this issue takes certain basic premises as given and essentially irrefutable. Brownson asks us to take a step back, re-examine these assumptions, and see if we find ourselves in the same place afterwards.