Let me begin this review by saying that this is a very difficult subject that involves many heated emotions and hurt feelings; when anyone broaches the subject of homosexuality and Christianity, sparks fly.
Yet, I was relieved to find that Wesley Hill was not only honest, he was also authentic and desiring to be in step with conservative, biblical Christianity.
Wesley is a gay Christian, something many people think is an oxymoron. At first, his presentation of his orientation as both natural and irreversible threw me off. However, once I begin to read about his understanding of himself and his commitment to biblical purity and sexuality, I began to be open-minded toward the possibility of such irreversible orientation.
Washed and Waiting is heartbreakingly honest as Wesley deals with what the Scriptures say about homosexuality, his own struggle with loneliness (as well as struggles of Henri Nouwen and Manley Hopkins), and his belief that homosexuality, though broken, can be used to bring glory to God.
Wesley advocates communal celibacy and urges his readers to be faithful to Scripture. He understands why some choose to embrace their orientation and the behavior and he also understands that some have orientations that can be mended toward heterosexuality, yet he stands on his conviction that he needs to honor God with his body.
Washed and Waiting is challenging, and it will cause you to rethink your notions about homosexuality. Several times I was left speechless as I read the accounts Wesley provided, especially of his own desperate struggle with loneliness.
Homosexuality is just as deficient as other sinful abnormalities and some of the ideas proposed could also be applied to heterosexual singleness and celibacy.
All in all, Washed and Waiting was a gripping read and I recommend for anyone who seeks to understand homosexuality as orientation that does not necessarily have to lead to sexual immorality.
This is a great review. I am definitely going to read this book. I had a lot of gay friends in college…not so many now. And I’m a big fan of Henri Nouwen.