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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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On P.29, you wrote, "The Word made i clear that God considered the behavior indecent and perverse." There are many Christians with an increasing number, me included, who do not see the Bible as clear on this issue at all. In fact, we understand the Scriptures to mean the excesses of lust leading to forbidden same-sex behavior in ancient cultures.
The main character, Ryan hopes and prays for "the desires" for a woman will come. The author leads us to believe that Ryan is "damaged" in his sexual desires as as result of not having a father (his birth is the result of a one-night stand his drunken mother had with an unknown man).
The insinuation that a homosexual orientation is the result of some sort of "father wound" is BASELESS. EVERY, and in ALL, major medical and heath care professional organization in the US asserts that homosexuality is a natural variation of human sexual orientation. In other words, it is not a broken sexuality or sickness in need of fixing or healing.
P.143 assures the reader that Ryan has never committed "the act condemned in the first chapter of Romans." First, Romans 1 refers to those who have turned from God. Throughout the book, it is abundantly clear that Ryan has a deep and rich relationship with Jesus. The verses refer to a sexual scene that would have indicated out of control behavior to the Gentiles to whom Paul was addressing -- it was contrary to the sexual-social behavior of men and women in a STRONGLY patriarchal society, the actions were lust-filled and the sex was non-procreative.
On p.167, Greg suggests to Ryan that he is a "new creature in Christ" and is therefore has the ability to change his desires. Again, the natural spectrum of human sexuality would have NEVER been understood in the first century. We only began to understand this in the middle of the 20th century. A homosexual orientation, though less frequent, is just as natural as a heterosexual orientation.
The speed with which Ryan moves from same-sex attractions to his desires for Sandy are unrealistic. Of course, there are man and women who are bisexual. Given the right person in relationship, they are able to be attracted to a partner of either sex.
If Ryan were bisexual, his attractions to Sandy *might* be fathomable. However, it is clear that Ryan is strictly gay.
Ms. Foster holds out to her readers the possibility of a traditional man-woman marriage.
I am a straight evangelical advocate for inclusion of LGBT Christians in conservative church communities. I probably know over a thousand LGBT Christians by name from the years of relationships, conferences and ministry work. Amongst that number, perhaps 1/5 of those over the age of mid-thirties have been married to opposite sex partners. Of that number, I do not know ONE couple who ended up in a successful mixed-orientation marriage. NOT ONE.
By the end of the book, we see Sandy and Ryan with one child and one on the way as the happy couple. One reason many LGBT people will and do enter into marriages is to fulfill the dream of family. There are many options for same-sex couples to create family, thank goodness.
In the final acknowledgements, the author acknowledges the book reflects a compressed timeline, but STILL, the thought that a gay person would go through a transformation from homosexuality to heterosexuality it not only NOT possible, reparative therapy has been deemed damaging by mental health care experts.
If readers hope giving Ryan's Father to a gay man will "help" him, PLEASE consider not meddling in the lives of other people who really are attracted in the way in which God created them. I have seen far too much pain caused by succumbing to mixed orientation marriages. Rather than "hoping" a gay person will stop being gay, perhaps consider spending some energy and efforts educating yourself on the issue.
Sandy is a nurse who at surface looks like she's had little trouble in her life. She meets Ryan during an earthquake and she's instantly attracted to his faith. From faith forms a deep friendship, but something is in the way that Sandy can't quite put her finger on.
Ryan's Father is June's best work to date. She developed Ryan and Sandy with layers of personality, issues, heart, and pain. The progression with both characters in their journeys is slow and natural. The conflict is real, especially with strong secondary characters like Greg, Allen, and Dr. Arrington. The issue itself is one most authors wouldn't touch. It isn't easy or popular to address from a Biblical perspective. The last "celebrity" to try created a firestorm. That's why June Foster is the perfect author to go there.
Ryan's Father isn't an easy book to read because of the topic, but it's important. At the end she shares her heart with readers in a tender way that embodies the story itself. And she writes something that I think is important not to overlook. Ryan's Father is for anyone seeking freedom from the issue she writes about.
But to read a natural progression of a flawed friendship between two broken people, it doesn't get any better. In top notch writing from June, and in content that I'm so glad she addressed.
I received Ryan's Father from the author in exchange for an honest review.