Faithful Conversation: Christian Perspectives on Homosexuality

Faithful Conversation: Christian Perspectives on Homosexuality

Faithful Conversation: Christian Perspectives on Homosexuality

Faithful Conversation: Christian Perspectives on Homosexuality


Initiated by the ELCA seminary presidents, this volume is aimed at engendering reflection and conversation. Faithful Conversations includes five essays, a "table talk" about how specific issues in the church are affected by these perspectives, a select bibliography of further readings, and directions on how the resource might be used.


A wise pastor once noted that “Life is a dramatic mixture of brokenness and grace.” Imperfect and forgiven, Christians live our callings in our homes and families, our work, our public roles, and our communities of worship. As the world and the church deal with various social, scientific, and personal interpretations of homosexuality, we in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are a community of faith seeking understanding, intent on bearing witness to the world of the hope that is ours in Christ Jesus.

Faithful Conversation contributes to the quest for understanding and exhibits our commitment to public witness. When the conference of seminary presidents commissioned this project, we knew that the questions are hard and the answers are disputed. Before the elca authorized the current studies in sexuality and prior to his current appointment as the director, we asked Dr. James Childs to gather faculty from our seminaries so that they could consult with each other on these difficult concerns and prepare a volume for the church. We expected that they would argue with each other just as other faithful Christians disagree among themselves. We also anticipated that these trusted teachers of the church would respect each other and know how to keep the unity we share in Christ Jesus at the center of their conversation.

Now we hope that you who read these essays will follow the examples of these teachers. On first reading, you may be eager to discover which essays make arguments with which you agree. Please stay in the conversation longer, perhaps especially with those essays with which you first disagree. You might not change your mind, but you might at least benefit from the differences brought together in one place and gain a new understanding of a point of view that is not your own.

All of these authors are seeking to be faithful to the witness of scripture. All of them are firmly opposed to all sexual promiscuity and infidelity. None of their cases are built on narrow notions of sexual freedom or personal rights. So also, none of them resorts to a simplistic literalism, as if the letter of God’s law were God’s final word.

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