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The Plausibility Problem

The Church and Same-Sex Attraction

from 5 reviews

Is the Bible's clear teaching on homosexuality fair? Ed Shaw shows that in commitment to Christ we will discover that ultimately it is fulfilling, healthy and authentic.

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Is God anti-gay?

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It's all very well to say that the Bible is clear when it talks about homosexuality. But is it realistic? Isn't it unrealistic and unfair to those who struggle with this issue? Doesn't it condemn them to loneliness, a lack of fulfilment and the loss of basic human satisfactions like sex and marriage? Is what the church teaches a plausible way of life?

Ed Shaw experiences same-sex attraction, and yet he is committed to what the Bible says and what the church has always taught about marriage and sex. In this honest book, he shares his pain in dealing with these issues - but, at the same time, shows us that obedience to Jesus is ultimately the only way to experience life to the full.

We have so often made Jesus' way sound like a bad deal. Only by reclaiming the reality of gospel discipleship, can we truly see and appreciate that life in Christ is the best way for any human life to be lived - whomever we are attracted to

Product details


  • Foreword by Vaughan Roberts
    1. The plausibility problem
    2. The plausibility problem and me
    Misstep no 1: 'Your identity is your sexuality.'
    Misstep no 2: 'A family is Mum, Dad and 2.4 children.'
    Misstep no 3: 'If you're born gay, it can't be wrong to be gay.'
    Misstep no 4: 'If it makes you happy, it must be right!'
    Misstep no 5: 'Sex is where true intimacy is found.'
    Misstep no 6: 'Men and women are equal and interchangeable.'
    Misstep no 7: 'Godliness is heterosexuality.'
    Misstep no 8: 'Celibacy is bad for you.'
    Misstep no 9: 'Suffering is to be avoided.'
    Appendix 1: The plausibility of the traditional interpretation of Scripture
    Appendix 2: The implausibility of the new interpretations of Scripture
    Recommended reading

Free extras


Contributors Ed Shaw
ISBN 9781783592067
Format Paperback
First published February 2015
Dimensions 140mm x 215mm x 15mm
Weight 0.20 kg
Language English
Pages 176
Publisher IVP
Independent reviews

The Plausibility Problem

Tim Challies, Tim Challies, 4 Dec 2015

The heart of Shaw’s book is a series of 9 missteps Christians and their churches take when considering the issue of homosexuality and in actually accepting and ministering to Christians who are same-sex attracted.... continue reading


The Plausibility of the Celibate Life for the Same-Sex Attracted

Ron Citlau, The Gospel Coalition, 4 Dec 2015

An important contribution to the conversation. It helps us keep our bearings... continue reading


The plausibility problem - the church and same-sex attraction

Paul Brown, Evangelical Times, 1 May 2015

This is a book which pastors and youth leaders should read. It is written by an Anglican pastor who experiences same-sex attraction and who is quite frank about his struggles. Contemporary culture now demands that we face the issue of same-sex attraction fairly and squarely, and with wisdom and seriousness.... continue reading

Customer reviews

3 Sep 2021

“Best pastoral book I have read on this subject”

Read this with our senior staff team, and then spent an afternoon discussing it. This book is full of both deep challenge and great hope. It challenges us as believers to really live a life of grace. Ed carefully shows us how we have not done that, and then how we can. If we listen to this book, and then seek to put it into action, then same sex attracted people, will be drawn to both Christ and his people.

28 Apr 2018

“Not just about same sex attraction”

The presenting issue of this book is same sex attraction.
It was a valuable insight into what it is like for someone to struggle with that particular issue. It helped me to imagine what it is like and thus be more understanding and sympathetic to those I know who struggle in this area.

This book gives a clear explanation of what the Bible says on this topic. It also gives a very honest and vulnerable personal account of one man's experience of this issue.

But what Ed Shaw advocates in this book is not just for people who struggle with same sex attraction. It is not just for those who want to help people who struggle with same sex attraction.
What he is advocating here is a basic requirement of all of us who want to or claim to follow Jesus: laying down our lives, giving up everything for Him.
This is the true cost of following Jesus. This is what it means to be a follower of Jesus. The problem is that we have become to comfortable with less than this. We have gotten used to "following Jesus" whilst also doing our own thing. We shy away from sacrifice. We gravitate towards living for me, whatever suits me.

The meat of the book consists of certain missteps we have made in general as a Church in the West.

1. Your identity is your sexuality.
2. A family is mum, dad and 2.4 children.
3. If you're born gay, it can't be wrong to be gay.
4. If it makes you happy, it must be right!
5. Sex is where true intimacy is found.
6. Men and women are equal and interchangeable.
7. Godliness is heterosexuality.
8. Celibacy is bad for you.
9. Suffering is to be avoided.

Looking at that list, it looks like something you'd expect our culture around us to say. But Ed shows how these ideas have imperceptibly seeped into the Church.

This book has helped me to better understand my friends who struggle with same sex attraction. It has also challenged me to look carefully at whether I am really following Jesus as I should.
I highly recommend it!

13 Nov 2017

“If only more People read it!”

If Christians and churches read this excellent book, I think same sex attraction would not be an issue amongst them. Unfortunately churches and Christians have badly dealt (or not dealt) with many issues, same sex attraction being one of them. In this great book, Ed Shaw outlines the missteps in dealing with this issues, gives us ideas and solutions to change the way we deal with them and shows us (very simply and very convincingly) that what the Bible teaches is not only still relevant but totally plausible and appealing TODAY. He also shows us how the liberal approach to Biblical interpretation is biased and based on feeling/emotion rather than fact, which is very useful. I only wish more Christians could read this book and bring about positive change in their churches and entourage...

26 Jun 2017

“It`s a very good book”

(Review written for 'The Plausibility Problem (ebook)')

that`s a very amazing book about the same-sex attraction.the service is very good

6 Feb 2016

“Excellent book with priciples of wider application”

(Review written for 'The Plausibility Problem (ebook)')

This is an excellent book. This book gives us principal was delivered by based on the Bible. We are more then our sexuality our density is because of Jesus not because of anything else. I found this book very helpful Inserting a framework to approach the whole question of homosexuality as an issue.

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The Plausibility Problem | Ed Shaw |
£9.99 £6.88