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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Book Review: Out of Egypt



I'm continuing to read books on the issue of homosexuality, trying to gain a better understanding of the issues involved. Jeanette Howards' Out of Egypt is aimed at those who struggle with lesbianism and those who counsel them.

Jeanette would have identified herself as a lesbian for many years but does so no longer. The book mixes elements of her own story with counselling sessions she has with women struggling with lesbianism. In those sessions various lessons are drawn out relating to identity in God, roots of our sexual choices and how to make changes.

Jeanette's view is fairly simple. Active homosexuality is a sin but with God's help that lifestyle can be left behind (1 Cor 6:9-11 being a key passage for Jeanette). Although there are stories of women who lived a lesbian lifestyle and who later met God, married and had children, the book does not present that as the norm for those who leave behind the lesbian life.

At the same time the book makes abundantly clear that making such choices is incredibly difficult and painful, walking alongside those who are struggling means there must be more love than judgement.

I found the device of the counselling sessions somewhat forced, because it was too obviously a device being used to walk people through some of the key steps involved. While it left plenty of questions unanswered it did offer a clear presentation of the conviction that the lesbian lifestyle can be left behind and that a deeper, healthier identity can be found in God.

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