Review: Same-Sex Marriage from McDowell and Stonestreet

McDowell, Sean, and John Stonestreet.Same-sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2014. 176.

Just reading the title makes one shift uneasily in their chair. It’s a hard reality to accept but we have to face it sooner or later, same-sex marriage is here to stay and it doesn’t seem like it’s going away any time soon. How are we a Christians supposed to respond to the immense movement happening in our culture? I’m glad that volumes like Same-Sex Marriage A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage help the reader approach this issue in a winsome and thoughtful way. Here in a short amount of pages we are given the ideas supporting the LGBT view of marriage. Not only are we shown the shaky foundation they build upon but we are given the tools we need to deconstruct the new pro-gay theology. 

This is not as much an apologetic against same-sex marriage as it is a guide to answer the question, “now what?” It’s a tool, in the right hands, that can lead one through the mess our culture has made of itself. This volume is broken down into two parts which address the major loci of interest when dealing with this topic. In part one we have the definition from scripture of what marriage is and why that unchangeable definition matters. The second section shows the reader how one can live now that our culture has shifted.

819Wmpjap2LI appreciate the clarity of information presented in this volume. I found the interviews especially helpful because they speak to people who are on the front lines. The interviews are not just with pastors and the like but with professionals who understand the movement in a different way. We hear from both in a way which helps the reader to own an overview of the issue which is not one-sided. I also find comfort in the fact that repentance is something called for in this volume. Not only from those outside the walls of the church but from those who have caused a deeper rift by hating their gay neighbors. It’s a humble attempt to draw the church together in a way we can reach out with love. We must have an apologetic mind when dealing with the issue but that mind needs to stem from a loving heart.

In McDowell like fashion, we are given at the end of the volume answers to common questions. In a sort of role-play mode we are given an answer and practical advice on how that answer can become more than a script to follow but practical application to live by. I appreciate the care and detail the authors give due to the same-sex marriage proponents. They never set up straw-man arguments or paint grossly disproportional caricatures. They address the relevant topics with care and thoughtful research. A book like this needs to be on the shelf of every pastor who wants to address the issues with the tenacity of a lion but the care of a lamb.

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