As a Christian minister who has been actively involved in ministry with the GLBT community for just under a decade, I cannot recommend Kevin Higgs’ HOSPITALITY TO STRANGERS enough. Kevin Higg’s book is an asset to all interested in the question of how to compassionately reach out to individuals in the GLBT community while remaining faithful to the Christian faith.
Higgs shares from his own personal experience as a visionary pastor in the deep South, breaking the issue down to where a lay person could easily understand his message and find answers with which they could relate. Higgs does this without sacrificing solid scholarship. By using the historic Wesleyan quadrilateral as his lens for interpreting what God is saying to us about the GLBT experience in the church, Higgs lays a solid foundation for thinking about this issue in a way faithful to God’s witness through Scripture and the shared experience of God’s people over the centuries.
For those unfamiliar with this approach to the Christian faith, this approach developed by John Wesley treats our understanding of God as a growing, evolving knowledge in which Scripture is not read in a vacuum but in light of how God is at work in the real world. Because of this it balances the message of Scripture when studied with the best of scholarship with the shared experience of God throughout the history of God’s people found in Christian tradition as well as with one’s personal experience of God in one’s life and one’s use of the best of reason and science.
By rigorously following this method Higgs turns his personal journey into something that will speak to Christians such as myself who feel that Scripture and tradition are living guides for our life of faith while also speaking to people in all kinds of places on their spiritual journey. Higgs in fact includes something for everyone — information that will educate the Bible-toting Protestant, information that speaks to the traditions found in Catholic and Orthodox ranks of the faith, and also information for those who find reason, science, and their own experience as the most helpful guides in their life of faith.
Whatever your perspective on this issue, whatever your experience on this issue, and whatever your theological approach Higgs includes something which can challenge, encourage, and inform you.
~Rev. Micah Royal