Book Review: Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Church as a Celibate Gay Christian

Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Church as a Celibate Gay Christian, Wesley Hill
“Unlike romantic relationships or the bonds between siblings, friendship is entirely voluntary, uncoerced, and unencumbered by any sense of duty or debt. And friendship is thereby rendered special, mysterious, and deeply rewarding…” (p. xiii). This is a book about friendship and its import in our modern age. Throughout the pages of this book, the author invites his readers to consider what priority and weight we place on our friendships; for instance, he poses the question of whether friendship be “free, unconstrained, and vulnerable to dissolution at any point if one of the friends grow tired of or burdened by the relationship;” or could friendship entail so much more: a stable and permanent commitment between individuals to remain together through thick and thin? The book is divided into two parts: part one describes the cultural background, history, and theology of friendship, and part two depicts the actual living out of friendship.
Wesley Hill’s premise on Christian friendship invites more voices to the table, including those who identify as gay and Christian. While Hill reveals aspects of his personal experience as a gay and Christian, I found this book to be pertinent to a much wider audience by offering concrete ways we might begin to pursue and nurture friendships in the church today.

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