Wesley Hill

Book Review: “Spiritual Friendship” by Wesley Hill

Wesley Hill is a same-sex attracted (“SSA”) Christian who is committed to celibacy. In this fine book, he makes many good points in an odd way. Reading his book is like speaking to someone who learned English abroad; he’s fluent but he’s not a native! Hill challenges the reader to re-imagine real Christian friendship. Unfortunately, despite his best efforts, one cannot help but suspect Hill wants friendship as a substitute for a romantic relationship.1

He denigrates marriage by claiming it cannot fulfill all its promises. Hill asks us to imagine what friendship could be like if it ceased to be “casual,” and became committed.2 Unfortunately, Hill struggles to marshal Scripture to support his theology of robust friendship; certainly not at the expense of marriage. The passages he does cite are rarely substantive or not didactically about friendship at all (Prov 17:17, 18:24; Ruth 1; David and Jonathan; Jn 11:3, 15:13), or are otherwise desperate (Lk 23:26). His best discussion is Mk 3:32-35 and the implications of Christian brotherhood and sisterhood. However, it is doubtful Mk 3 can bear all the freight Hill wishes it to.

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