Book review: "Walking with Gay Friends"
Walking with Gay Friends by Alex Tylee equips friends, families and the wider church to understand and reach out to gay people.
Alex’s desire is to write a book to help people share their faith with people from the gay community. That means she treads on controversial ground! But she does so in a sensitive and compassionate way.
The first chapter is a testimony to Alex’s own struggles with her sexuality. She goes on to describe how she was converted to Christianity, and has now made the commitment to reject any same-sex sexual relationship. Alex takes seriously the Bible as God’s word, and its clear teaching that sexual expression is reserved for heterosexual marriage. But because she shares her own struggles so honestly, and quotes other people who also live with same sex attraction, all she says in the rest of the book is sown with threads of credibility, experience, and compassion. The book offers great wisdom in understanding of all the issues involved with walking with our gay friends.
The most helpful part of the book is perhaps the exploration of how people living a gay lifestyle find their identity in their sexuality. People find their self worth in the gay community, and in defining themselves as gay. Alex explores how this means that any critique of the gay lifestyle for Christians can so easily come across as an attack on the very identity and value of the gay person themselves rather than just their behaviour. This chapter is pure gold dust in helping us understand why Christians are so often hated by the gay community, and how through love and commitment to friendship, distrust and hatred can be broken down. So members of TFT may be in a very good position to be able to walk with our gay friends, and so offer them the hope of Jesus.
There is no way to describe this book other than brilliant. Every evangelical Christian should read it. It is Christ-like, biblical, pastoral, informed, insightful, compassionate and loving. It is necessary reading if you’ve got gay friends, and essential reading if you haven’t. Buy three, read one and pass the rest on!
"Walking with Gay Friends" by Alex Tylee
Published Oct 2007 by IVP