The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists is working with Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America and the Alliance of Baptists to collaboratively update and republish the very-popular book, Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth: A resource for congregations in dialogue on sexual orientation. Cody Sanders, a doctoral student at Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, TX, is overseeing the update process and serving as editor for the new edition.
While Rightly Dividing has provided Baptists with a resource for entering meaningful dialogue about sexual orientation since 2000, much has changed in this dialogue over the past decade. The original book was published at a time when very few Baptist churches had entered an intentional dialogue on sexual orientation. In the decade since, the conversation has significantly developed as more and more churches are addressing concerns of LGBT affirmation, inclusion, and justice.
Central to the update is the hope of bringing more persons and churches into the dialogue. This revision aims to make the book a meaningful resource for congregations in many positions – from those just considering conversation to those that have been welcoming and affirming for many years. We are seeking to expand the focus from sexual orientation to include gender identity. We will add further resources for theological reflection, material aimed to bring youth into conversation about sexuality and gender, updated scientific and psychological perspectives, as well as new and updated stories from congregations engaged in significant dialogue and action regarding LGBT inclusion and justice. In an ever-evolving conversation, we hope to make Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth a resource for dialogue in a new era.