An important book has appeared in the midst of the cultural and theological discussions about homosexuality and the gay movement.  Although published in 2010, Washed and Waiting  did not come to my attention until recently.  In this vivid and poignant account, Wesley Hill takes his readers on a personal journey in response to the question:  What do you do when…

  • from your earliest recollections as a boy you have had same-sex attraction;
  • you grew up in a secure Christian home, trusting in Christ and following him from childhood, and there is no environmental cause—such as a troubled relationship with your father or sexual assault by an adult—for your homosexual orientation;
  • you find interpretations of the Bible that justify homosexuality unsound; rather, you believe the Bible teaches that homosexual practice is contrary to God’s design and will;
  • you rejoice at how reparative therapy has helped many homosexuals become heterosexual, but in your own experience therapy has never produced that change?

Hill, a graduate of Wheaton College, Bethlehem College and Seminary, and Durham University (PhD in New Testament) and a professor of New Testament studies, describes the challenging road he has been walking in remaining faithful to Christ and the Scriptures as a homosexual.  His book is important reading in today’s milieu because, on the one hand, he maintains faithful loyalty to Christ and the Word, and, on the other, he shows the enormous struggles that homosexuals have as they walk that road.

Hill perceptively and sensitively describes how the deep realities of the gospel—grace, forgiveness, suffering, eternal perspective—sustain him in his journey.  His account is a challenge to all of us to apply the gospel to our own sufferings.

The book also provides a much-needed perspective to Christians and churches on how to understand and support homosexuals and lesbians who are committed to remaining celibate in faithfulness to Christ.  Hill’s book could go a long way, I believe, in helping churches close the compassion gap in their posture toward homosexuality.

Wesley Hill will be one of the speakers at the EFCA Theology Conference later this month, where the theme will be “Sex Matters: the Theology of Human Sexuality.”