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Riordon, Michael
Toronto, McClelland & Stewart, 1990. 301pp, cloth, 526.95, ISBN 0-7710-7522-7. CIP


Reviewed by Kenneth Elliott

Volume 18 Number 5
1990 September

In 1988 the United Church of Canada's agonizing discussion, debate and consensus over the issue of sexual orientation and the ministry gained wide media attention. This present work is an insightful collection of impressions, ideas and illustrations of what went on behind the scenes as members of the Church painfully explored the issue of homosexuality and hetero sexuality. This is not a volume one can easily put down once begun. The passion, sincerity and courage of its members are brilliantly captured by Riordon.

In twenty-eight chapters the drama unfolds. A wide spectrum of views is expressed, bluntly at times. The subject of homosexuality is euphemistically referred to as The Issue. Sixteen chapters deal with the reactions and presentations at the General Council, eleven with the reaction "back home." The author's claim to objectivity in this matter is interestingly found on page xi.

Between the covers lies an expose" of believers coming to grips with sexuality itself. There is much more than The Issue here. What does it mean to be sexual? Is a person's sexual orientation praised, condoned or discouraged by the Bible? How much authority does the Bible have in matters of sexuality? What is the relationship between sexual orientation and ministry? These are but a few of the deeply moving questions explored by the author.

After reading this volume one cannot help but admire the United Church's courage and faith in coming to grips with The Issue in such an open and honest fashion.

Kenneth Elliott, Ville de Laval, Que.

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