Redeeming Sex by Debra Hirsch is both an insightful book and easy to read. Hirsch includes a lot of real-life stories mixed with references to studies and good hermeneutics (including use of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral and the trajectory of Scripture as in Webb’s Slaves, Women & Homosexuals). Still, many of her thoughts can be challenging, such as when she speculates on Jesus’ sexuality. (I should note that she does not speculate on Jesus’ sexual preferences, but his attractiveness to others.) The latter half of the book becomes more of a manual for the Church to be open to members of the LGBT community, and by “open” she doesn’t mean accepting of the sin. However, she does make the case that some people may struggle with same-sex attraction their whole life, and to not exclude people from the community just because their road of sanctification includes overcoming sexual sins.
What I felt was missing from my expectations of the book was that Hirsch primarily focused on “redeeming sex” for the homosexual and the Church, mostly to the exclusion of addressing heterosexual sexuality, especially in the second half of the book. I expected more balance because she addressed the need of also redeeming heterosexuality at the beginning of the book, and seems to also do so in many of her online videos. While I do recommend the book, I do not recommend following all Hirsch’s recommendations. I also still feel the need to find another source that addresses this topic from the heterosexual perspective or more broadly from the humanity perspective, something that goes beyond the rule of chastity in singleness and chastity in male-female marriage to dealing with the theology and thoughts that God created us to be holy and created us as sexual beings. I think Christopher Yuan heads this direction in his teaching, but, like Hirsch, approaches in from same-sex attraction experience. This makes me wonder if Christians with opposite-sex attraction are simply behind the curve in working out our salvation in the area of sexuality. For me, I do not assume that just because I am heterosexual and have not broken the command to not commit adultery, that God is completely pleased with how I express my sexuality (Matthew 5:27-32).