This is an important book that could give the church a way forward with divisive controversial issues. Many LGBTQ people have experienced harm and exclusion from the church. Ken Wilson, a pastor who was trying to do the best for all of the members of his flock, courageously took a deeper look and bravely came to a very different conclusion than he previously held. In this book he humbly, honestly, and insightfully shares his own journey, and also describes a biblically thoughtful approach that can offer hope to churches struggling with this and other issues in today’s world.
Wilson recommends the breakthrough ‘Third Way’ approach that recognizes that some things are disputable and that our spiritual orientation should be one of inclusion and tolerance on both sides. The Third Way approach says, “We can agree to disagree on this question without separating from each other. We can hold our respective positions as firmly as our conscience dictates. But we have chosen not to treat this matter as something we have to hold in common in order to share a true unity of the Spirit.”
Churches like The Meeting House in Ontario have adopted the Third Way. Below are some further resources on the topic including 1) a Third Way newsletter, 2) The Meeting House’s statement of their understanding of the Third Way, and 3) a sermon by Ken Wilson preached at the City Centre Church in San Francisco. This talk is an excellent piece that is well worth listening to.
What struck me the most about Wilson’s book, which I thoroughly enjoyed, was his openness and willingness to ask difficult questions and test assumptions. His strategy was to study the Scriptures, engage in prayer and soul searching, and have frank conversations with people. He was willing to risk coming to conclusions that not everyone will like or agree with. His motivation for this book was love for God and his people, and the result is inspirational.