We all love a great redemption story, one that starts with the last person you would think would become a Christian and ending with that person being transformed by the gospel in ways that only the gospel can bring about. Christopher Yuan has such a story, and his new book, Holy Sexuality and the Gospel is the fruit of it.
Christopher Yuan has taught at Moody Bible Institute for over ten years, but if you knew him in college you would never think that was where he would end up. From a traditional Chinese family and headed for a respected career as a dentist, Yuan veered off the rails as he allowed his lifestyle of drug dealing, party promoting and homosexuality to take him down a dangerous road. Ending up HIV positive and in prison, his mother’s fervent prayers and love bore fruit as he gave his life to Jesus. You can read their story in Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son’s Journey to God, A Broken Mother’s Search for Hope.
Now Dr. Yuan has written a timely and helpful book to help us navigate the questions and conflicting voices surrounding the topic of sexuality. Instead of offering an apologetic response against homosexuality, Yuan lays a biblical foundation for holy sexuality, what it is and how it is expressed.
The book opens with the chapter Framed by God’s Great Story: Framing the Conversation with Theology. In it and the next two chapters, he deals with the question of identity-who are we and what makes us that way? The term “identifying as homosexual” is seen as a statement of fact, who a person self-determines who he/she is. Yuan says that “No other sin is so closely linked to identity. For example, being a gossiper is not who he is but what he does.” Yuan answers the question of “who does God say I am?”
Over the next two chapters he unpacks the creation account to reveal what created it means to be created in God’s image, and how that gives us a correct view of who we are, differing from what we do. The truth of sin, its impact on the world and its consequences are covered in the next chapters, and the rest of the book deals with the subjects of same sex attraction, companionship, marriage and pursuing a holy sexuality.
While this book seems written for the homosexual Christian, it is also helpful for the person who believes their same gender attraction means the gospel is not available to them. Yuan does a great job of refuting both that, and the “gay gospel” that goes beyond the bounds of scripture and sanctifies sin. Instead, he addresses both questions and objections with grace filled foundational truth, revealing God’s plan, fallen mankind’s need and the reconciliation power of the gospel no matter what our sin.
You don’t have to be same sex attracted to benefit from this book, in fact, this book has value for every Christian. Some of the best chapters in the book answers the question not only about identity, but those about companionship and marriage. Yuan brings important insight into these two topics, which really any Christian, especially any single Christian would benefit from. Citing the temporary nature of all earthly relationships, Yuan shows us how our eternal relationship with God, starting here and now, can provide all that no earthly relationship can provide.
And the church has an important role in that. Yuan also does a great job of showing how the church should function as a family. Again, these are topics he addresses with grace and biblical foundation that gives great direction for moving forward in loving and ministering those in our church bodies.
The final three chapters of the book are so, so important. Following a call to compassion, Yuan offers chapters on Guidelines for Our Conversations, How to Respond When a Friend Opens Up, and Grounded in a New Identity to encourage the discipleship process. There is an eight week study guide included to help you examine the topics through small group study or even one on one with someone.
This was an important book for me to read, and I believe it is for you as well. A biblical foundation and practical understanding need to go hand in hand to equip us for loving those who struggle with same sex attraction. The church has not always handled this topic well, and Holy Sexuality and the Gospel can go a long way toward correcting that.
Read well, friends.
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Multnomah, November 20, 2018
234 pages including discussion guide/references
***Thank you to Multnomah for providing threeladiesoflit.com with a complimentary copy for review. ***This post contains affiliate links, which means purchase made from said links provides a tiny remuneration to the ladies.***