Can We Find a Way to Address Human Sexuality Without Fighting About It?
Here it is, the chapter we’ve all been anticipating or avoiding. Either way, you know it’s bound to be good.
Throughout the book, Brian has referenced the LGBT community, seeming to easily give away his stance on the “issue.” But rather than jumping into homosexuality, this chapter begins with a different kind: fundasexuality.
With an enticing first couple of pages (it’s great, go to the bookstore and read pages 173-4), he lands on fundasexuality: “the organizing, angry, dominating fundamentalism that declares war on those who differ. Fundasexuality is rooted not in faith, but an orientation of fear.” (174-5)
After looking at how the six aforementioned questions permeate, affect, and taint our understanding of human sexuality, Brian moves into a fascinating account of Philip and the Ethiopian official. What exactly was this official reading? And why would it connect so deeply with him, a eunuch? This portion alone could be worth the price of the book. Seriously, go read it. It’s on pages 181-6.
Ultimately, Brian lands at a posture that the church has too often been a community of exclusion. And sexuality has often been one of the lines drawn firmly in the sand. But just as Philip without question or hesitation baptized the Ethiopian eunuch, placing a nonheterosexual in missional leadership from the very beginning of the Jesus movement, we too need to invite and include everyone, making room for all.
This chapter will be controversial for obvious reasons. But rest assured, he does more than just pound down the LGBT nail (though granted, it is on that needs a few hits). He concludes the chapter by looking at the larger realm of sexuality, specifically heterosexuality. And it’s not all a bouquet of roses. With divorce rates rising, premarital sex the norm, pornography ubiquitous, there is more to the sexuality question than just the LGTB community. (Read my post on Church + Sex for some quotes form this section.)
Good luck church. Because we’re in for an interesting (but essential) ride.