A sober, compassionate Christian defense of homosexuality. That sounds like a contradiction in terms, and the authors know it. They acknowledge the strength of traditional prejudice, and they attack it from several angles. Their first line of argument is theological: homosexual baiting makes a mockery of Christ's command to love all men. They point to the destructive effects of homophobia within the churches, which, like all segments of American society, have a large minority of homosexual members. They subject the biblical position on homosexuality to a rigorous analysis, and prove that most of the passages usually cited to condemn homosexuals, such as the scene in Genesis 19 concerning the original Sodomites, have no bearing on the behavior of morally responsible homosexuals, Christian. or otherwise. Turning the tables on conservative exegetes, they note that while St. Paul does inveigh against the ""effeminate,"" he also blasts the selfish, the greedy, and a host of other sinners who have always felt comfortable in the front pew listening to homophobic tirades from the pulpit. Finally, Scanzoni and Mollenkott give a brief but telling survey of the latest scientific research on homosexuality, arguing that sexual preference is a genetically determined, ethically neutral, given -- like left-handedness. The book is earnest, forceful, down to earth. If it can't persuade Christians that homosexuals deserve loving acceptance from church and society, then probably nothing can.