Review: Generous Spaciousness

Our thanks for Brazos Press and their Brazos Press Bloggers program for providing the book for this review.

When the phrase “responding to gay Christians in the church” is uttered, the question must be, “which church?” For Wendy VanderWal-Gritter, author of Generous Spaciousness, that church is the Evangelical church in America. VanderWal-Gritter attempts to locate small ‘e’ evangelicalism as a cross denominational movement within mainline Protestant Christianity in America. While evangelicalism may cross denominational lines, it is a form of religiosity all it's own to the extent that the broad audience VaderWal-Gritter seeks may not find her book to be as accessible as she might wish.

That said, for those seeking an introduction to an open and welcoming Evangelical perspective on LGBT issues in the church, Generous Spaciousness will do very well. While introducing readers to the range of sexualities within the alphabet soup of the LGBTQIA movement, VaderWal-Gritter also surveys the various forms of response in the Protestant Christian church generally. At the same time, VaderWal-Gritter argues throughout the book for a loving, theological space within the church that makes room for every voice, and especially those people who carry with them sexualities historically out of favor in Christian circles.

Readers coming from a conservative American Evangelical background seeking a more inclusive stance toward LGBT Christians and seekers will find a broad survey of the issue and a way of loving response toward their LGBT brothers and sisters. A progressive Christian who values the full inclusion and full standing of LGBT people within the church will find an interesting read and a way of engaging conservative Evangelical attitudes toward LGBT people. However, having already resolved many of the issues VaderWal-Gritter brings forward, they may feel they are reading down a level, as I did.