Includes bibliographical references and bibliography: p. 95-96.
The author's outlines "the two questions that are the central focus of this book: 1. Should the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America allow for the blessing of committed same-gender relationships ? 2. Should the ELCA allow the ordination/rostering of otherwise qualified candidates who are living in a committed same-gender relationship ? .... In this book, I am committed to offering my best understanding of the biblical witness and my most thorough reasoning about the particular questions before us. What I have discovered, however, is that our discussion of this particular issue has as much to do with ecclesiology as it does with sexuality. As we enter into pointed debate about an issue so hotly contested, we are challenged to examine our core commitments about the nature of the church. What does it mean to be church together with people with whom I vehemently disagree ? What suffices as the basis for the unity of the church ? How much difference of opinion is permissible, before we have betrayed the truth ? Thus this book is not only about homosexuality but also ecclesiology". -- Preface, pp. 4, 5.
Content: Preface dated All Saints Day 2003 -- The Ultimate and the Penultimate: Can the Center Hold ? -- The Root of the Present Impasse: Two Irreconcilable Hermeneutics -- Conflict of Interpretations: How Catholic Dare We Become ? -- Beyond Polarization to Common Ground: Fostering Charity -- Beyond Fear to Mutuality: Attending to Congregational Process -- Exploring the Possibilities: Giving Place to Each Other -- Glossary -- Bibliography.
Each chapter is prefaced by the text of a hymn and ends with "Questions for Reflection".