Same-sex attraction and the church: the surprising plausibility of the celibate life

new ed shawThis is simply a repackaged ‘The plausibility problem’. Same book, but different title and cover. I think I can see why the changes. The old title was essentially negative (The plausibility problem), whereas the new title is wonderfully positive, (The surprising plausibility of the celibate life) complete with a beautiful sunset (or sunrise?) photo. Whichever cover and title you have, this book is a truly great book, and Ed Shaw is a truly great gift to the church. The new title reminds me of Jesus glorious words, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”. (John 10:10). What Ed does in the this book is show, despite all the pain, that Jesus promise is true. Ed takes the reader through a range of different ‘mis-steps’ that the church has taken over the years which have contributed to the current plausibility crisis – that is, that a life of celibate faithfulness to Christ seems completely implausible – but as he does so he gives profoundly honest illustrations from his own life, the like of which I never hear from pulpits here in Sydney. One hesitates to say that a book is a ‘must read’ too many times (is there a limit to how many ‘must read’ books there can be!), but this is surely one of them, along with Wesley Hill’s extraordinary ‘Washed and waiting’, or Mark Yarhouse’s ‘Understanding Sexual Identity – a resource for youth ministry’ (just to name two other ‘must reads’). Now that even some ‘evangelicals’ are calling for a rethink on committed same-sex relationships, this wonderful book from Ed is a vital contribution.