cover image Generous Spaciousness: Responding to Gay Christians in the Church

Generous Spaciousness: Responding to Gay Christians in the Church

Wendy VanderWal-Gritter. Brazos, $16.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-58743-355-9

VanderWal-Gritter, executive director of New Direction Ministries of Canada, charts a middle course in the evangelical outreach to gay Christians. She opens with her personal story of her leadership of the ministry and its move away from Exodus Ministries’ approach of trying to change same-sex orientation. She focuses on the harmful effects of the emphasis on change and obsession with causation of same-sex attraction. After this groundwork, she moves on to consider ways the church can be more open to gay people. She particularly focuses on the struggle toward discipleship, a view of sexuality that moves beyond sex, and how to understand scripture. Throughout, she is gentle in her urging for Christians to be more hospitable and for gays to be clearer about their expectations from any given congregation. Shying away from major debates about the Bible’s stance, VanderWal-Gritter remains faithful to an open if not fully affirming Christianity. Using the stories of individuals from across the gay/ex-gay spectrum, she articulates the complexity of the issues and leaves final solutions open ended. The work will be of particular interest to those in ministry attempting to navigate interactions with gay Christians. (May)