My first impression of “Holy Sexuality and the Gospel” by Christopher Yuan is that it is touching. Yuan is able to bring a unique experience to the discussion, his own struggle and past with same-sex attractions. He does so beautifully and soundly, not sacrificing scripture in favour of this experience but instead presenting one of – if not the – most theologically rich books on the topic of human sexuality written in the 21st century. Towards the beginning of the book, Yuan lays the foundations of theological anthropology, establishing its necessity for the right understanding of biblical sexuality. The book touches on topics beginning with who we are, biblical sexuality, marriage and singleness, sanctification, and ending with how to compassionately reach those we love with same-sex attractions, all centred around the Gospel.
Each of us knows someone who is gay or struggles with unwanted attractions. This book has quite honestly been so eye-opening, and at times convicting as I found myself to be guilty of some one or two things. If your child or loved-one has recently come to you with a confession of homosexual desire this book will equip you to understand the root of the problem and what your role in witnessing to them is.
Should we consider heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual accurate categories in the Christian life? Yuan offers another choice, one that does not define people by their sin or put people in categories that are not only unbiblical but include all forms of immorality. Heterosexuality is too broad a category which includes sinful behaviour. Perhaps there is another category to be considered: holy sexuality.
Yuan puts it perfectly:
“This term holy sexuality is meant to simplify and disentangle the complex and confusing conversation around sexuality. The truth is that God’s standard for everyone is holy sexuality: chastity in singleness and faithfulness in marriage. Different expectations for different people are not only unfair; they’re unbiblical. Instead of determining how we ought to live based on enduring patterns of erotic desires, God’s call for all humanity, quite simply, is holiness.”
Yuan recognises the unfortunate reality of the way in which homosexuality is often viewed in the church. Too often homosexuality is viewed as some unforgivable sin or worse than other sins. Though individual sins look a little different the problem in every case is sin and the answer is the same, new life and daily renewal in Christ.
There is so much more the book has to offer, these are only a few things Yuan writes on. I have been highly impressed with this book, even if you don’t experience same-sex attractions this book will both equip you to witness to your loved one and is likely to aid you in what holy sexuality means for your own walk. “Holy Sexuality and the Gospel” has much to offer every person, whether same-sex attracted or married heterosexual.
I received an e-copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.