The Plausibility Problem

The Church and Same-Sex Attraction

by Ed Shaw


About The Plausibility Problem

It’s all very well to say that the Bible is clear when it talks about homosexuality. But is it realistic? Isn’t it unrealistic and unfair to those who struggle with this issue? Doesn’t it condemn them to loneliness, a lack of fulfilment and the loss of basic human satisfactions like sex and marriage? Is what the church teaches a plausible way of life?

Ed Shaw experiences same–sex attraction, and yet he is committed to what the Bible says and what the church has always taught about marriage and sex. In this honest book, he shares his pain in dealing with these issues – but, at the same time, shows us that obedience to Jesus is ultimately the only way to experience life to the full.

Review by Martin Briscoe

Ed Shaw, the pastor of Emmanuel City Church, Bristol, writes about his struggles of living with same sex attraction (SSA) while holding to the the Bible’s traditional teaching on the subject and choosing a life of celibacy. Ed acknowledges that some Christian writers take a more liberal view and he devotes a chapter to constructively arguing against their conclusions. Ed also challenges us to think about our approach to people with SSA. He, along with many other people with SSA, have felt judged and ostracised by their church families. I remember with sadness meeting someone with SSE in the course of my work, who told me that they had felt so judged by our church that they left and subsequently lost their faith.

This is an honest and valuable insight into the huge impact that SSA can have on the Christian life. The book should challenge any Christian who, like me, finds it easy to criticise others while ignoring my own failings.