In Confronting Christianity, author and Christian apologists Rebecca McLaughlin answers twelve hard-hitting questions that confront the Christian faith. The twelve questions are broken up into twelve chapters that form the book. McLaughlin, who holds a Ph.D. from Cambridge University and a theology degree from Oak Hill seminary in London, writes with clarity and conviction without being overbearing to the reader. She accomplishes this by not writing in a dense academic style while also providing ample sources to support her claims. Two of my favorite chapters dealt with the questions, Doesn’t Christianity Crush Diversity and Isn’t Christianity Homophobic?
Beginning with the latter question, Isn’t Christianity Homophobic? McLaughlin does well to bring in her journey with same-sex attraction to neutralize all readers from a preconceived bias that “she just does not understand” same-sex attraction. From there, she weaves in enough scripture and extra-biblical sources to back up her claims that the bible is not for same-sex sexual intimacy. From a Christian framework, while we can have intimacy with friends of the same-sex, the only biblical place for sexual intimacy is opposite-sex marriage. She sums up her position well by saying,
Within a Christian framework, opposite-sex marriage is set apart as the only place for sexual intimacy. This boundary cuts off the possibility of sex with anyone else. It is highly restrictive and, in some respects, against our inclinations: few married people never have the desire for sexual intimacy with someone other than their spouse.
We all live in a sex-charged world, it can be easy to boil down all relationships into sex or no sex, but again this is not biblical and should never be the Christian aim. It takes all types of intimacy to support us as humans because we are relational beings. With that said, I, too, agree with McLaughlin that the church must do a better job helping to define/shape an understanding of relationships, particularly friendship. It seems in our culture (at least here in America) that friendship is the ultimate relationship standard. What I mean is that we compare every relationship to being a “best friend” status. For instance, our kids are our “best friend(s),” or I married my “best friend,” and we love to quote the verse, “and he is a friend that sticks
closer than a brother to denote our intimacy with Jesus. While I understand what people are getting at when they say these things, our “words do create worlds,” and it seems that we have created a world where being “best friends” are the highest relationship. If there is no higher relationship than friendship, why be married? To have sex and feel ok about it? On the other side, friendship becomes this trivial thing until we have kids or get married.
In dealing with the second question of diversity, McLaughlin writes, “As cultural anthropology professor and proud Naga tribe member Kanato Chophi put it, ‘We must abandon this absurd idea that Christianity is a Western religion.'” I can relate to this personally as a young black convert to Christ I was surrounded by a majority of White Christian people, and some family members tried to de-convert me because they said it was a “White man’s” religion. McLaughlin again does a beautiful job highlighting the fact that the overall Big C church is quite diverse.
I point out diversity because as I continue my research into Gen Z, diversity of cultures is a significant factor in this generation. Globalization and connectedness have enabled individuals to experience the world and its varied cultures without leaving their environments. In this way, they are exposed to the diversity that exists in unfamiliar places and populations.
If we zoom out to a 40,000-foot level, one could say both of these issues deal with inclusion. As Christian leaders, we will need to learn how to manage our exclusive claims while also being inclusive to the people wrestling with those claims.
 McLaughlin, Rebecca. Confronting Christianity. Crossway. Kindle Edition. Loc 3248.
 Ibid., 3271
,” Proverbs 18:24
 Ibid., See Chapter 2.