These studies leave a great deal of freedom to the group using them. It is not necessary to plan a single study session for each study, although some groups may want to do that. Each of the five studies is organized as a collection of smaller modules. These modules can be divided into a series of sessions according to the needs and interests of the group.
The sequence of the studies is deliberate, but should not be seen as restrictive. There is flexibility even within each individual study. Input, critical discussion, and devotion can be rearranged at will.
The studies attempt to cover the entire spectrum of questions related to the subject of homosexuality and the church. Biblical, historical, scientific, pastoral, and theological concerns all need to receive adequate attention. These areas are intimately intertwined, each affecting the other. Scientific data is an important consideration in theology and in pastoral care, and vice versa.
Interspersed throughout each study are selections of critical questions with which one must wrestle. The heading What Do You Think? invites the reader to wrestle with issues. For many of these issues, there is no one, correct answer.
By reflecting on these questions together, we hope to clarify what the real issues are and how one can begin to address them. In the process we will no doubt also come to understand better why people have different persuasions in some of these matters.
A Glossary has been placed at the end of this book for handy reference. Some members of the group may not be familiar with some of the terms used in this book or may not understand clearly what they mean. It may be useful for the group to begin by reviewing the Glossary. Or the group may simply want to refer to the Glossary the first time a specific term comes up in the group's study.
A Bibliography has been provided for those who wish to do further reading. The source material for quotations in these studies is included in the Bibliography.