Review: “Holy Sexuality and the Gospel”

A review of “Holy Sexuality and the Gospel: Sex, Desire, and Relationships Shaped by God's Grand Story” by Christopher Yuan

Holy Sexuality expresses the correct view of biblical sexual behavior that God created, expects and blesses. This biblical sexual ethic untangles the confused web that is prevalent in our present-day discussions on human sexuality. Sin has distorted our understanding of human sexual relationships such that only a clear presentation of biblical principles will guide us to right relationships.

 

Holy Sexuality and the Gospel is a must read for everyone.

Christopher Yuan provides a refreshing look at the truth of the Scripture to cut through the modern day clutter and confusion on the subject of gay sexuality and sexual identity.  His book demonstrates with crystal clarity how God delivers people from homosexuality and a same-sex ideology that controls mind and living, and brings them to the freedom of the redemption of the whole person conformed to the image of God.

Yuan’s emphasis is to point to the power of the Gospel to redeem us from our sinful thoughts and inclinations. He does this by sharing his personal testimony on how God redeemed him from agnosticism, from a gay lifestyle, illicit drugs, HIV, and a Chicago jail. He tells how he came to learn that human identity is not defined by one’s sexuality, as our culture wants us to believe.  But rather, he learned that his true identity was and is found in the person of Jesus Christ alone.

In his book Yuan approaches homosexual ideology, including same-sex attraction and thoughts, not from a social, pragmatic viewpoint; that is, not from how homosexuals can overcome their sexual identity through what they do.  Rather, his aproach is to affirm that we overcome the confusion of sexual identity by believing and following a correct biblical and theological perspective on how God created us, what he says in his Word, and how we are to think on these truths.

Rosaria Butterfield provides a delightful Foreword, in which she describes Holy Sexuality and the Gospel as being “…warm, engaging, theologically sound, and utterly practical.” While writing on a difficult topic, the book is an easy read of 218 pages, with helpful resources in the “Notes” section for each chapter.

Yuan correctly asks, “How can we know what God wants of our gay friends without (an) ample knowledge of God? Thoughts precede action. Good theology, right action. Bad theology, wrong action” (5-6).

He also provides cogent answers to questions like: “Why did God make me this way?” “Am I caught in a gay body and mindset?” “Must I remain celibate for the rest of my life?” “Does sexuality describe who we are, or what we do?” These and other questions and answers make this book a valuable resource of all Christians. It will assist them to know and understand the Bible as it addresses the nature of homosexuality, same-sex attraction, and celibacy.

Yuan shows the failings of historical, philosophical and psychological thinking on human sexuality as promoted by such people as Freud, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. These secular positions fail much because their belief systems do not affirm and comprehend the significance of the biblical teaching that human beings are created in the image of God and find their true sense of identity in the Imago Dei. These views fail also because they do not understand God’s pattern in creating human beings distinctly as male and female. And these secular views cannot explain effects of original sin in the lives, thoughts and actions of human beings. The negative impact of the Fall is overcome only through the gracious action of God found in Christ’s redemptive work; he is the only one who can change the sinner’s heart.

Holy Sexuality expresses the correct view of biblical sexual behavior that God created, expects and blesses. This biblical sexual ethic untangles the confused web that is prevalent in our present-day discussions on human sexuality. Sin has distorted our understanding of human sexual relationships such that only a clear presentation of biblical principles will guide us to right relationships.

The chapters on temptation, attraction, desire, affection, and how marriage is designed to reflect the grand story of God’s redemption in Christ Jesus are invaluable biblical resources. Yuan describes how our need for companionship must first be met through the biblical and redemptive purposes of the Christian family.

Yuan provides helpful chapters on how to speak to those struggling with sexual identity. For further personal or group study, there is an eight week study guide and outline on biblical sexuality.

Yuan is a must read for pastors, church leaders, youth workers, and all who seek to conform their minds and action to the likeness of Christ Jesus. After all, Christ is the one who is the goal for all our social and personal relationships regarding human sexuality and identity.

Dr. Michael Frazier is a Minister in the Presbyterian Church in America, and a career U.S. Army Chaplain (LTC, ret).