Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society Book Review by Guenther “Gene” Haas, December 2014
“Tragedy, Tradition, and Opportunity in the Homosexuality Debate” by Ronald J. Sider, CT Weekly, November 18, 2014.
(PDF version available here.)
by Dr. Ralph Blair
Haas reviews Gracious Spaciousness: Responding to Gay Christians in the Church by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter. She led an Exodus group that Haas supported, but now she supports same-sex relationship (SSR) and he doesn’t. His over six pages of hostility, the longest review in this issue of JETS, is evidence of the need for her book.
He claims that, “as a book written by a professing evangelical and published by an evangelical publishing company [it’s] unique” in affirming “monogamous committed SSR”. But for many decades now, SSR has been affirmed by leading evangelicals – such as an ETS president and four of Christianity Today’s top-ranked authors of its first 50 years, including its No. 1 author. The president of Covenant Seminary during Haas’ student days helped to found EC. And evangelical presses published their books.
VanderWal-Gritter learned from “ex-gay” tragedies but Haas didn’t. Faulting her for going “contrary to the teaching of the church for two thousand years”, he’s at fault for thinking the church addressed, much less ever understood, same-sex attraction (SSA) or SSR. Until recent times, conservative churches opposed mixed-race marriage, mixed-race congregations and racial integration in general. And earlier, they supported slavery. All of it was backed with Bible verses no longer used for those purposes. Read more →