Some time ago I signed up to review some books through http://thespeakeasy.info/ and this is one of them. If you are a blogger / podcaster consider applying to be part of the deal too. The deal is a free book and then to give a fair review that is submitted and appears on one’s own site. I will also pick this up again in a few days time. So here is the review:
My lasting impression from reading this book is that it should be read by those on both ‘sides’ of the debate. I don’t say this solely because of the solid content, but more because of the spirit with which the book is written. It is not written defensively nor aggressively and the pace of the book is just right. Sandra gets the balance right between content to chew on and personal reflection. Probably there is a great need to think and feel our way to a conclusion. This book certainly helps enormously in that.
The material on ‘those born eunuchs from their mother’s womb’ forms a strong central part to the book and the research that she gathers here cannot be easily dismissed. She also puts the ‘clobber passages’ (as she terms them) in a context of idolatry rather than stand-alone comments on sexual-orientation/activity.
Is the argument closed? No, a great case is presented, and the discussion will continue, and I hope with this book as part of that ongoing discussion. Sandra presents a strong case that should not be dismissed out of hand by those who take an opposing perspective. Perhaps a weakness is that on a few occasions she moves from presenting something as a possibility to a few chapters later it is an-all-but certainty. For example, the centurion’s servant (Matt. 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10) could have been his lover (ch. 3 with arguments offered from culture and language) to ‘the account of the centurion and his servant lover’ in the following chapter.
An important read on an issue that we cannot ignore. If read in the same spirit with which the book is written I am sure it will prove to be enormously beneficial.