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As My Own Soul: The Blessing of Same-Gender Marriage

Seabury Books, N.Y., 2009
RRP $34.95

Reviewed by Rev Dr Marian Zaunbrecher, Queensland Synod Associate General Secretary

Author Chris Glaser’s desire in writing this book is to engage in dialogue with the church, believing that the spirit of divisiveness is demonic.

I found this a refreshing book to read as the author has such high ideals of marriage. In a world which constantly disparages marriage and where nearly 50 per cent of marriages end in divorce, his theological understanding of marriage was illuminating, even inspiring.

If you have issues with homosexual relationships this book may not appeal to you, however, in the interest of an open mind it will help to understand the longing gay couples have for recognition of their relationships.

The author is a theologian and minister to the Virginia Highland Church in Atlanta, a Baptist and United Church of Christ congregation.

Mr Glaser discusses the taboos around sexuality in our culture and looks at traditional family values which in the Bible he sees to be based on the extended family, not the nuclear one we see today.

For Jesus there was a prioritising of the Kingdom of God, and the need to leave all for the sake of the gospel and the Kingdom, not the family. For most of its first 1000 years the church prized celibacy rather than ‘traditional family values’, as did St. Paul.

Mr Glaser further develops the holy origins of marriage and sees marriage as having sacramental dimensions as well as being a spiritual discipline. For him all ability to love is ultimately a gift from God.

Our society’s sin is adultery, abandonment, incest and abuse which profane the sacred nature of marriage, not same sex couples willing to embrace its discipline.

As My Own Soul
is an interesting book, if only for its analysis of the theological, historical and cultural bases of marriage. But it is more than that, and his arguments deserve to be heard.