A dear friend of mine, Wesley Hill, is author of the superb Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality (Zondervan), and assistant professor of Biblical Studies at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. With Ron Belgau, a graduate student in philosophy at St Louis University, Wes has begun a blog I wish to recommend.
The blog is called Spiritual Friendship: Musings on God Sexuality, Relationships and can be found here (www.spiritualfriendship.org). “The ancient and medieval Church had a lot of wisdom about friendship,” they say on the home page. “But this part of the tradition has been neglected and fallen into ruin. We seek to recover and rebuild Christian friendship, to make it habitable again by: first, rediscovering the wisdom about friendship found in the Christian tradition, and second, imagining and exploring new ways of living friendship in the contemporary world.”
If this statement of purpose seems unremarkable, or worse quaint, we have failed to grasp just how much we have lost in our modern world of mobility, technology, and busyness. If you spend time reading the posts on Spiritual Friendship you will find yourself listening in on serious Christians wrestling with issues that are in the forefront of the intersection between Christian orthodoxy and a world that has dismissed that faith as socially irrelevant, intolerant, and perhaps delusional. I need this help to be discerning, and am grateful for the fact that every time I read their posts I find myself learning from someone who seeks to take biblical orthodoxy seriously. Hill and Belgau describe their blog this way:
Spiritual Friendship was created by Ron Belgau and Wesley Hill out of frustration with the prevailing narratives about homosexuality in orthodox Christian circles, which focused either on political issues, or on reparative therapy in one form or another. Neither of these approaches, we believe, represents an adequate pastoral response to LGBT Christians.
In trying to create a new approach to homosexuality, we have drawn on the wisdom found in the broader Christian tradition. We explore God's calling, the nature of the Church, celibacy, our nature as embodied souls, and related topics. Thus, what began as questions addressed to our situation as celibate gay Christians has led to answers which may be of interest to a much larger Christian audience.
We believe in a traditionally Christian sexual ethic: that God created human beings male and female, and that all sexual intimacy outside of a faithful, lifelong marital union of a man and woman is contrary to His plan. But we also believe that marriage is not the only way of life God calls us to, and so we seek to explore different ways of serving God in celibacy. And Christ-centered friendship is, we believe, essential to that task.
I recommend Spiritual Friendship to you.