Saturday, November 6, 2010

Turning Controversy into Church Ministry Review

“While some churches debate the issue of homosexuality and others completely avoid it, struggling people fall through the cracks”.  So writes, W.P. Campbell in his new book only 12.91 .  I received this book free from Zondervan to review. 

Campell’s hope is that this book will serve to help people stop debating and start ministering with compassion but without compromise.  My guess is that this book will gain many supporters but also many detractors.  Campbell is not afraid to disagree with those that have “Grace with Compromised Truth” nor those that have Truth with Compromised Grace”.  That typically doesn’t win friends. 

This book has a TON to commend it.  I love that Campbell is bold enough to be biblical and not politically correct.  He truly believes that the way to love homosexuals is through the truth of the gospel.  I also love that Campbell is not afraid to take on those that refuse to have compassion on the homosexual community.  I think both groups, and all those in between, have quite a bit they can learn from this book. 

There is a call in this book that we Southern Baptists (all Christians really) need to heed.  As we are looking at how to be a Great Commission people and reach the unreached peoples of the world, Campbell pointedly asks, “what about the unreached gay culture”?

This book is also divided in a very helpful way.  The first three chapters are an analysis of the current situation (I imagine this will have to be updated in future editions).  The second part is dedicated to dealing with the controversy around homosexual ministry.  The third part is dedicated to specific application.  Sometimes, I question the headings (i.e. The Wisdom, Insights from Psychology), but nonetheless it is a helpful outline. 

I also love the stories from real people that are engaged in real battle at the end of each chapter.  This book from beginning to end is practical and truly accomplishes what it intends—to provide a blueprint for real-life ministry to homosexuals. 

I am not sure that I agree with everything that is suggested, but it made me think about a ton of things.  One particular area that I felt was somewhat neglected is the area of church discipline.  How would a church that practices healthy church discipline interact with homosexuality.  It would be an interesting chapter to add. 

This book warmed my heart in areas and convicted me in others.  It is well written, easy to read, and full of information and practical tips.  I heartily recommend it to anyone that is struggling through this issue, or wants to know how to effectively minister to the homosexual community.  Buy it for only 12.91, or get it on Kindle for under 10 bucks

Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars

There is also a blog tour that you may find interesting, here

P.S. I think this book would be well served to have a different cover. 


  1. Mike:

    Thanks much for reviewing the book!

    Re. the cover, we were trying to bring out the concept shown early in the book of moving through the rapids, and into a gentler river--an image of grace and truth coming together. (I guess there is no perfect way to create a cover). Do you have thoughts on how to improve it?

    Do I have your permission to post a quote from your review on my website (, which will refer people back to your blog?

    Thanks Again!
    WP Campbell

  2. Thanks for the comment, and GREAT BOOK! You absolutely have my permission to post a quote.

    As far as the cover--I don't think it was so much the picture itself but the fact that it took up the whole cover. It would probably be a little more catchy if it were more simple. But, hey, what do I know?

    Thanks again for your service to Christ's Kingdom!



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