A Christian Parents’ Guide to Discussing Homosexuality with Teens

Book review: Critical Conversations: A Christian Parents’ Guide to Discussing Homosexuality with Teens by Tom Gilson

The sexual revolution of the 1960’s has grown from a fringe movement to the dominant cultural voice on morality in the 21st century. More than likely, you know someone who is open about identifying as LGBT+ and even if you don’t, teens do.

Christian young people are bombarded with issues about sexuality from all directions. If we fail to address this critical issue, we could leave them open to having their Christian life completely shipwrecked or have them turn away from the faith altogether.

This book is for everyone

Don’t let the subtitle of this book deter you from reading it. Every Christian that knows teenagers needs to read this book – that means you. I would encourage teens to read this book as well. It’s helpful on several levels.

Part one gives a history of the gay rights movement. Part two lays down the biblical principles for marriage. Part three explains how to relate with grace and truth to others who don’t hold to biblical morality.


Tom Gilson has been involved in full time apologetics ministries like Campus Crusade and Ratio Christi for a long time. He also has children that have recently finished public high school and are in state universities and beyond.

That gives him first hand knowledge of the current cultural mood on these issues. He has also done a lot of research, both biblically and otherwise and has many helpful pointers on how to have real conversations with teens about sexuality.


Here is an excerpt from part three the book, where you will see 27 challenges posed to Christians from the gay rights movement:
“Why are you so intolerant?”

The Challenge

“You Christians won’t accept other people’s moral values. You think your morality is supposed to be everyone’s morality. Why are you so intolerant?”

Truths your teen needs to know

Tolerance used to mean accepting other people’s right to be who they are and believe what they believe. Frequently now, though, it means considering their opinions and values to be just as valid, good, and true as our own.

That’s impossible—not just for Christians, but for everybody. Tolerance is actually a counterfeit virtue that puts distance between people, unlike real virtues like respect and love that can bring people together…

Tips for talking with your teen

Sometimes the best answer is a question. I’ve got a few questions to suggest for you:

  • What do you mean by tolerance?
  • What do you mean by intolerance?
  • Is intolerance the same as disagreeing with another person’s values or views?
  • So if you’re telling me my values or views are wrong, aren’t you being just as intolerant as you say I’m being?

You see, people get confused over what tolerance means, and they forget that the way they’re calling other people intolerant can be intolerant in itself.

Those aren’t the only questions you could ask. If you have time to talk—time enough to really explain what you mean—you might be able to help them think it through better than they ever have before by asking, “Why is it important to be tolerant? Have you ever considered that mutual respect might be even better?”

… Your friends may not get it the first time. It’s probably going to take a while. But if they can get a grip on how their demand for “tolerance” is intolerant itself, and if they can start to grab hold of the idea of mutual respect, you’re making progress.

To purchase the book or learn more go to criticalconversationsbook.com

Mike Donahue
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