I regularly get asked for reading recommendations on the issues of same sex marriage and of the inclusion of gays in the life of church and society. Many books have been written on the subject, and I’m sure there are more in the pipeline. However, to date, I think that one stands out above the rest:
Johnson, a systematic theologian at Princeton, is a second-career academic. Previously, he was a practicing attorney. The confluence of those specialties makes this book particularly cogent and important. Here’s what Walter Brueggemann says about it:
“When a senior theologian, based in a world-class theological faculty, toughened and informed by denominational struggles, thinks afresh on a great issue before the church, it is time to listen up! William Stacy Johnson here provides a statement on same-gender unions that is timely, clear, and daring. . . The sum of his argument is that God’s embracive love is decisive for human interaction and the time has come for this awareness. Johnson’s Time to Embrace warrants careful, thoughtful consideration and is sure to be important for future reflection in the church.”
If you’re on the fence about this issue, this is an invaluable resource. Yes, Johnson does come down on the side of full inclusion and of legal same sex marriage, but he does so in an evenhanded way. And he gives all sides of the issue their due.