The issue of gay clergy roils several religious denominations. In 2009, the Lutherans approved gay clergy in committed relationships. The Episcopalians approved gays as bishops. In 2010, the Presbyterians will wrestle with this issue.
In the religious debates, certain Biblical passages are often cited, especially the words of Paul the Apostle: "Degrading passions", "unnatural intercourse", "debased mind", and "shameless acts". How can modern day religious denominations allow gay clergy in light of these harsh condemnations from the writings of Paul?
Could it be that Paul was a self-loathing gay man, filled with sexual angst, wrestling with guilt over a stinging "thorn in the flesh"? That is the premise of A Wretched Man, a novel of Paul the Apostle, which has been released to critical acclaim. "Agree or disagree, this book opens up the reality of the world of Paul and his contemporaries in a way no other work does." Was Paul, the learned Pharisee, an abomination according to his core understanding of self, influenced by the ancient teaching of the Leviticus holiness code? If so, does this temper his harsh words cited in the debate over gay clergy?
Should the current debate treat Paul's words as unyielding words of judgment? Or, shall the context of his 2000 year old writings receive consideration? This book is not about gay clergy, or is it? Does the character, motivation, and worldview of the Biblical authors, including Paul the apostle, help us interpret and apply ancient texts to current debates over gay clergy?
Want a fresh perspective on the debates over gay clergy? Get your copy of A Wretched Man today!
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