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The Plausibility Problem


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Is the Bible's teaching on sexuality plausible today? Can you be Christian and gay? Discover how life in Christ is the best life for everyone, whoever you are attracted to

About the Author

Ed Shaw is the pastor of Emmanuel City Centre in Bristol, England, and part of the editorial team at Living Out (www.livingout.org). He loves his family and friends, church and city, gin and tonic, and music and books.


As a Christian who also knows same-sex desire first-hand, I would put a few things differently from how Ed Shaw does here. But that doesn't stop me from applauding this biblically thorough, evangelistically zealous, humbly self-disclosing, and pastorally compassionate defence of traditional Christian sexual ethics. Ed Shaw's life and teaching are an inspiring variation on what the church throughout history has celebrated as consecrated, holy virginity. May his tribe increase! -- Wesley Hill * author of Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality *
Ed Shaw shares his story and perspective in this book with deep sincerity, conviction and honesty. He makes a profound contribution to the conversation about same-sex attraction. I am so glad I read this book and I wholeheartedly recommend it. -- Amy Orr-Ewing * Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics (OCCA) *
Ed Shaw writes with the insight of a pastor, the boldness of a prophet, the integrity of a true disciple, and the warmth of a friend. This is a hugely important book with a vital message for the whole church. -- Sam Allberry * author of Is God Anti-Gay? *
Why would I endorse this book? Simply in the hope that as many people as possible might read it. Ed Shaw's compelling honesty, vulnerable testimony, transparent compassion, rigorous submission to Scripture, and, above all, his thoroughgoing personal commitment to Christ make it so captivating and instructive. -- Terry Virgo * founder of Newfrontiers *
Ed Shaw's book The Plausibility Problemis not simply for those living with same-sex attraction, it's for all of us. The 'just say no' approach to human sexuality does not work anymore; it's left the church sounding like the Jesus way is a poor substitute for a good life. Ed calls us all to a 'better way' as radically inclusive church families who find our identity first and foremost in Christ, not in our sexuality -- Steve Clifford * General Director at Evangelical Alliance *
In this personal and emotionally honest book, we're invited to listen to Ed's story as someone whose primary identity is in Christ, and who finds himself attracted to other men. Ed explores the plausibility problem - the missteps in current Christian approaches to homosexuality - and challenges Christians to form more biblical communities in which celibate, same-sex attracted people can flourish. -- The Rt Revd Tim Dakin * Bishop of Winchester *
As a same-sex attracted person, I'm delighted to recommend this passionate and compassionate book by my friend Ed Shaw. Ed shows that the kind of celibate singleness he himself lives out as a same-sex attracted man is both plausible and fulfilling, and thereby offers hope and encouragement to others in his situation, and courage and wisdom to pastors who want to be equipped to support them. -- Sean Doherty * Tutor in Ethics and Director of Studies, St Mellitus College, London *
This is a must-read book. It is a must-read for students and young people thinking through these important issues, a must-read for preachers, teachers and Christian leaders with pastoral responsibility, and a must-read for all those who are experiencing same-sex attraction and wondering whether and how they can live biblically holy lives. This book is written with great warmth and yet is robust in exploring truth. It is understanding and empathic, and at the same time challenging in its vulnerability and honesty. Ed's nine 'missteps' address key questions and issues that are raised again and again. His survey of Scripture (Appendix 1) is clear, thorough and richly rewarding to study. I will be buying a number of copies and giving them away to family, friends and church leaders - I hope you will do the same. -- Revd John Dunnett * Chair of the Evangelical Group on General Synod (EGGS) *
Reading Ed Shaw's new book moved me to tears. It moved me to review how and what and why I think what I do about homosexuality, marriage, family and the church. It moved me to repent over the many pastoral and theological missteps I've thoughtlessly bought into that have led us to where we are today. And it moved me to thank God for a Christian brother practising what he preaches, writing with grace and truth, poignant honesty and gospel hope. I doubt a more important and timely book will be written this year on the topic. -- Dave Gobbett * Lead Minister, Highfields Church, Cardiff and Word Alive trustee *
This book gives a glimpse of what is possible if we dare to live out what the Bible teaches. It is warm, honest, intellectually robust and seriously challenging. -- Susie Leafe * Director of Reform *
Essential reading in our current context ... Shaw presents his case with a personal integrity that it is difficult to be unmoved by. In the end, the book awakened in me a fresh passion to live by the radical and yet plausible demand to follow Christ with renewed commitment and energy.
Shaw's book is just the latest in a number of excellent titles pushing Christians to better understand and serve those who experience same-sex attraction. It helpfully identifies specific concerns and shows how the Bible calls us to meet them in God's way. It does all of this with a firm grounding in Scripture and without an ounce of compromise. I highly recommend it.

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