Two new books from glenn these last few months, both I am very excited about. The latest first:
This new book is simply about what its title says. How do we develop genuinely authentic relationships with our gay and lesbian neighbors, co-workers, those we sit next to in church and at our family tables? Is this even possible? It is indeed.
And how to do we do so without ducking our differences in beliefs about sexuality and other issues swirling around this topic, pretending they don’t exist? How do we disagree, even deeply, passionately, while still not only remaining civil to one another, but valued friends?
This book explains both THAT it can be done and HOW, addressing all the difficult and confusing issues that arise from such relationships. It is a very practical book, written from my many years of experience debating the issue of gender and same-sex marriage on campuses across the country and developing very meaningful friendships with those I debate. I have been very pleased the attention and reviews it has gotten so far. I hope it will be use for you. Here is one kind review:
Jesus Christ summarized the Torah and prophets by commanding us to love God with all our hearts, minds, and soul and to love our neighbor as ourselves. So, at first sight for a Christian there cannot be discussion on whether or not to love our neighbor. That neighbor may have very different opinions, convictions, lifestyle or attitude. In Loving My (LGBT) Neighbor: Being Friends in Grace and Truth, Glenn T. Stanton (Focus on the Family) takes a deep dive in questions regarding the relationships between straight Christians and their LGBT fellow believers or unbelievers.
Strong positions on homosexuality and conclusions based on first impressions and under education on the topic do harm to people at both sides of the spectrum.
Though Stanton seems to start his quest with deliberate toe stepping positioning himself as strong defender of straight marriage, marital sex as only option and no discussion about the biblical verses on homosexuality, it’s worthwhile reading on. Stanton addresses lots of questions. He explains the current scientific knowledge on nature/nurture, and whether we’re talking of an attraction, orientation and/or identity. You can’t generalize, speak of ‘the’ LGBT community or ‘that LGBT person’. Some boast, others struggle. Some are confident, others figuring out. And we are all looking for love and acceptance, like we are all sinners in need of grace.
And that’s where lines become blurry and many answers will not be black or white, yes or no, but dependent of a broader context. The author uses many examples from his own friendships. He offers advice to parents, church and ministry leaders and general public. Some parts still need refinement, such as Stanton’s positions of completeness as a human being, and arguments based on single Bible verses, while rejecting others that are based on single verses as well.
The truth must be told, yet grace is abundant. Relationships should be authentic and without a hidden agenda. By maintaining relationships we resemble the holy relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Friendships and faith, built on mutual respect and understanding, can outlast different positions and are worth investing in. I highly recommend this book because of the many unexpected thoughtful answers.
The Family Project, that I had the pleasure of writing with my buddy Leon Wirth, is the companion book that goes along with a major project that Leon and I did (along with so many others on a great team) with Focus on the Family by the same name. The project is a 12 session DVD small-group curriculum which offers a very biblical but unique tour through a fuller theology of being human and the family than most evangelicals are used to seeing. And the book follows the curriculum chapter by chapter and goes into broader material in each session than we were able to present in the DVDs. We refer to the book as a “for further study” companion for the small group participants who figuratively wants to “stay after class” and learn more from the professor. But the book can also be read independent of the DVD experience.
This book was many, many years – nearly ten – in development and it gives a very unique and broad picture of what family is, why it’s important and why it must be defended. And it does all this in light of who God is in His fuller character and personality and how He made us as His special image-bearers. Here is a very thoughtful review of The Family Project:
As a former Bible College student with two degrees, it can sometimes be challenging to read a book that seems very…foundational. At first, I was challenged by the simplicity of the book, but then realized that it was beautifully simple. It is definitely written for those that know a little about the Bible and the narrative that it contains, but not for those that are intellectually rigid.
The book draws on vast amounts of research done by secular organizations and scientists. Furthermore, this information is presented in a coherent and logical manner so that the points are not just made, but driven home with surety and confidence. Seeing science and Scripture woven together so effectively was refreshing and invigorating. I applaud the authors and researchers for their hard and diligent work and would recommend this book to anyone interested in the sociological position of Believers or those that are wanting to know how God wants to work in their lives in and through their families.
Oct. 2011 – Moody has released a beautiful copy of a new book that examines the nature and difference of cohabiting and married relationships. I wrote this book on sabbatical, December 2010 while in Pensacola visiting my brother Todd and his family.
The Ring Makes All the Difference, offers a very readable and informative look at the social science literature over the past 3 decades on what we know about cohabitation and its ability to help build healthy, durable relationships. What we know is that most young people cohabit thinking it will foster strong relationships, either in the present relationship, or in later relationships. There is absolutely no evidence that it does, and loads of evidence of how harmful it is to current and future relationships.
It elevates domestic violence and poverty for women. And it contributes to men being less committed to their live-in partners and their future wives.
There is really no measurable upside to cohabitation, but hundreds to marriage. The mainstream of relational research is clear and consistent on this. They are, qualitatively, very different kinds of relationships and this book tells the story. It is written for couples, counselors, pastors and parents… anyone who wants to understand why choosing one type of relationships over another is a very wise idea.
Released Jan 18 2011 by WaterbrookMultnomah Press, a Random House imprint.
I am excited about the release of this carefully-researched book, an exploration of what it means for mothers and fathers to cooperate in raising little boys and girls into good, healthy men and women. This is basically the process of becoming truly human.
One of my great concerns is that we are losing the idea of what good man- and woman-hood look like, why they are important and how to usher our young boys and girls in that direction. Anthropologists tell us this is a task that all human cultures have to be intentional about and we are losing this ability, vision and conviction in our culture today.
It’s getting a nice collection of reviews at Amazon!