Book Review: What Does The Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality?

It is no longer acceptable to be a Christian and likewise completely ignorant of the ramifications behind homosexuality. More specifically, it is not okay to be ignorant of what the Bible says about homosexuality. It has become the issue of our day. Yet, many Christians — including me, before I read this book — don’t exactly have a pin-point grasp of what the Scriptures actually teach.

So, what do we do?

Well, here’s where we start: Kevin DeYoung is one on my favorite writers and I got this book for free from Crossway as apart of the Beyond The Page program. There you go — full-discloure right off the bat. But with that said, my honest assessment follows. I’m not required to say anything nice, but after reading the book, I can’t help but do so. And I think most Christians would agree.

Speaking of DeYoung, he has been known to take complicated and controversial issues and shed light on them in a biblical, winsome, clear, and helpful way. That’s one of the things he’s known for, and certainly does that in What Does The Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality? Right from the get-go, he tells us the main purpose of the book: “Along with most Christians around the globe and virtually every Christian in the first nineteen-and-a-half centuries of church history, I believe the Bible places homosexual behavior—no matter the level of commitment or mutual affection—in the category of sexual immorality. Why I believe this is the subject of the rest of this book.”

And that’s the subject of the rest of this review.

The First Five Chapters: Ruthlessly Biblical and Unapologetic 

The first five chapters are devoted to DeYoung simply saying what the Bible says on the matter. In five chapters, he deals with six primary texts from the Old and New Testaments that relate to homosexuality: Genesis 1–2 and 19; Leviticus 18 and 20; Romans 1; 1 Corinthians 6; and 1 Timothy 1. Over and over again DeYoung just flat out tells us what the Bible says on the manner, and doesn’t apologize for being up front:

  • “I believe the Bible places homosexual behavior — not matter the level of commitment or mutual affection — in the category of sexual immorality.”
  • “It’s hard not to conclude from a straightforward reading of Genesis 1-2 that the divine design for sexual intimacy . . . is for one man and one woman.”
  • “Homosexual practice is a serious sin and a violation of God’s created order.”
  • “There is nothing ambiguous about the biblical witness concerning homosexual behavior.”
  • “It cannot be overstated how seriously the Bible takes the sin of homosexuality.”
  • “Let me be blunt: the Bible says nothing good about homosexual practice.”

The book is filled with pithy phrases, but perhaps the one he frequents the most is “divine design.” But he’s never overly explicit. No, he’s a sympathetic pastor. He asks the hard questions. He’s willing to listen to arguments of his opponents. But, again, he continues to go back to this question: How did God design marriage and for who? In DeYoung’s eyes, homosexuality is a distortion of God’s divine design for marriage, and a sin no matter how you look at the issue.

Answering Objections: Sympathetic and Winsome 

In the last five chapters of the book, DeYoung takes time to answer some of the common arguments of homosexual practice, which he says are:

  • The Bible hardly mentions homosexuality.
  • The cultural distance argument (What the Bible says is homosexuality is different from what the Revisionist call homosexuality).
  • What about gluttony and divorce? (As if to say that gluttony and divorce should be in the same category as homosexuality).
  • The church is supposed to be a place for broken people.
  • Being on the wrong side of history.
  • It’s not fair.
  • The God I worship is a God of love (That is — that because God is love — we can just overlook homosexuality because, after all, he is a God of love).

As you might expect, DeYoung answers all of these questions well with truth, but also with grace. DeYoung’s tone is never off-putting or harsh. He never says anything in a put-down kind-of-way. Throughout the whole book his tone is humble and admirable. I guess I should’ve known this was coming when he said in the beginning, “Being convinced about homosexuality is great, but the right conclusions can be handled in the wrong way. Focusing on other people’s sins, while ignoring our own, would be the wrong way.”

This aside, I’m simply not convinced he’s going to win over a lot of skeptics. If anything, he probably just caused more of a ruckus. The reason is because all of his arguments, as you might expect, are straight from the Bible. If you are a Christian and love the Bible, you are going to be very pleased with this book. If you remotely skeptical of the Bible, you are simply not going to like this book. It’s just that simple.

Honest Assessment

Here’s my favorite quote from the book: “Desire must never be given the priority over obedience. Intense longings does not turn sinful wrongs into civil rights.” This he used in the topic of same-sex attraction. Yes, we may have feelings and thoughts that we sometimes can’t control, but for the follower of Jesus Christ, obedience should trump feelings. Though feelings matter, but they should never take precedence over obedience.

Just as a heads up, though, this book is not meant to be comprehensive. That is — DeYoung does not take the time to answer every nagging question about homosexuality. He doesn’t take that much time to speak on how to deal with this pastorally, practically, or culturally either. The main gist of this book is exactly what the title suggests: What do the Scriptures say about homosexuality? And he does so well. Very well, might I add.

In the end, this is an excellent book on what the Bible actually teaches on this pressing topic. I’m glad that it was both a short read an easy one. I’m not sure that it will covert many skeptics, but the Christian who reads it should feel informed, helped, encouraged, and prepared to teach others what the Bible actually teaches on this weighty topic. I highly recommend it.

Buy it on Amazon.
Author: Kevin DeYoung
Publisher: Crossway (2015)
Pages: 158
Price: $9.81

Have you read it? Think you will? Post your comments below.

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55 thoughts on “Book Review: What Does The Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality?

  1. Excellent. And I will be purchasing that book very soon. I read a Facebook post just yesterday where someone was seeing a double rainbow over a place that had just approved same sex marriages. The comment was that Jesus was smiling? Made me so sad. And of course we have to uphold the name of Jesus, right! Always!!

  2. Interesting review, Thanks.

    I know what you mean about this book not being able to convince a skeptic. I think about that all the time when I read books like this. I believe what a book is saying, because I see how it lines up with the Bible, but there’s no way it would convince an unbeliever the exact opposite of what they already believe. But then, it’s not people and their words who change sinner’s hearts, it God’s Word. That’s the only thing that will convince them long-term. Isn’t that a blessing!? 🙂

    By the way, thanks for reading and liking my post a few weeks ago!

  3. Lovely review. I believe before getting to unbelievers, believers need to come up higher in understanding the Word and that we cannot accept compromise by trying to rationalise God’s Word. Believers must not rely on logic in following the principles of God, but on grace and the Spirit. Homosexuality has become a sensitive topic among believers. I normally scream…”it is in the Word” but people want to fulfil their desires and get to agree with them. Wrong! I hope to get this book soon.

    1. Thank you! I agree. DeYoung does an excellent job of using a lot of texts and explaining things in a easily understood way. We have to listen and love, but we must not compromise what God’s Word says.

  4. Good review and I believe that this is a topic that is difficult to write about, and controversial at the same time. The fact that it overrides the subject of Gods love is what concerns me about the issue. God hates sin and there is no level to sin. If there were then Jesus would have died for only one person on earth himself. However I am concerned that christians will focus on non compromise more than what is most important getting the word of God out, and praying for those who are outside redeeming the time.. It is time for a revolution of the heart to align with Gods love.. Let love be your weapon of choice…

  5. Hey David. Another excellent, well thought-out post! The words that come to me are “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Why? Because, there are thousands of guys like me, who struggle with same -sex attraction, but seek to remain faithful to the Lord Jesus and to the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. I think it is very important for any author espousing on the subject of homosexuality to make the distinction between the ‘behaviour’ and the ‘orientation’ of a person. I started my posts because I want to encourage all those ‘faithful’ strugglers out there – who are swayed by the cry of the crowd – that there is another way. The way of Holiness. The path of the Cross. Remain in the Truth brother! – Reuben

    1. Reuben, thanks for being vulnerable and sharing that. It’s encouragement to us all. Glad you are receiving encouragement and giving encouragement through the cross of Christ and the path of holiness.

  6. The trouble I have with the whole homosexuality argument is what about those of us who are intersex? Gender is not the simple binary we are lead to believe it is. It is more of a range or a spectrum.

    In the time the Bible was written, I imagine those who were intersex were quite invisible to society. Even in our current society they are still quite invisible. But they are and were there.

    Keep in mind, in the Bible there is slavery and concubines, and those who are looked upon fondly by God who have them. There are also other fairly ridiculous things that are forbidden in the Bible that we have no issues with now. The argument I’ve seen about those things tends to be along the lines of historical context. I find it interesting that historical context is seldom taken into account when it comes to homosexuality and our better knowledge of gender.

    Another big question is, why would God allow people to be born who are only attracted to their side of the gender range? That seems like a rather cruel joke.

    1. I’m a minister, working in a recovery program. The desires you express are desires shared by some who participate in the program I work in. They’re similar to many of the other desires other program participants express. People who express what you’ve expressed often find fulfillment in recovery. Anyone who does what they don’t want to do out of a misunderstood desires can find answers in recovery. I’m writing this response out of concern for what you said in your post.

      As a former agnostic, I understand we’re living in a society where sifting through the plethora of “answers” our amalgamation of humanity serves up makes facts and choices mysterious. Academics teach us from childhood that one person’s truth may be different than the other, and that’s acceptable. We get information from good sources and bad sources, and if everyone’s truth is just as acceptable as the other’s then right is wrong and wrong is right, and that’s acceptable. Baffled yet?

      When you tell someone a hard truth it’s as painful to the messenger as it is for the one who discovers they’ve been given bad information. I’m not the truth police, but I can’t lie to someone when I know the objective truth. I’m not interested in being mean to anyone. I’m sharing with you what I’m sharing with you be cause you reached out for the truth. So here is the objective truth.

      Gender is just as binary today as it was 2000-years ago. What has changed is our society’s acceptance of relativism and rationalization. There is no third sex, and no amount of surgery and medication will turn one gender into the other. You can accept the truth or reject it, but truth will still be the truth. You can believe in a third gender if it makes you feel better, but you’re just kicking the can down the road. Denial delays healing.

      I don’t expect to change your mind. But if you’ve read this far you’re still reachable. There is hope. It’s not your fault that you got bad information. It would be your fault if you fail to reject it. May God bless you on your journey.

      1. What third gender? It is a gender *range*. Have you not noticed men with female qualities? Women with male qualities? Yes, gender is just as binary as it was 2000-years ago … as in it was not binary then and is not binary now. If you are using a Bible-focused lens on the issue, that means you are using a subjective view, not an objective view.

        Have you even dealt with anyone who is not clearly on one side of the gender scale or the other? I get the impression that you are only speaking of those who are one gender physically who feel like they are the other. I can understand your confusion. I hope you haven’t become so hardened by your belief that you can’t see past it to view the full scope of the issue.

        May thoughtfulness enlighten you on your journey.

      2. I really didn’t expect to change your mind, but I appreciate your response. Your position certainly makes you no less loved by God. If you recall, I mentioned that I was agnostic. At age 25, life events exploded a lot the modern mythology that I had been taught. What I believed was solid new thinking turned out to be a house of cards.

        I’m a counselor. I’ve counseled a fair number of people who struggle with same-sex attraction. Instead of SSM being a fortress to defend, it’s become a behavioral anomaly that God has given them victory over. And still others didn’t make the journey. If you want to know more, I believe my site lets you send a direct message. Godspeed, my friend.

      3. David, again, you are ignoring those who do not fit the perceived gender binary. Those in the grey area who can not be determined to be clearly of one sex or another. Your view seems to exclude them, while I highly doubt God would be so exclusionary if He is as loving as you suggest.

        Speaking of houses of cards, the God of the Bible doesn’t even come close to fitting the description of love that is in the Bible. One should take any beliefs and perspectives with a grain of salt. As is mentioned in the Bible, test all things and hold on to what is good.

        I know your intentions are good, but in understanding wider variances in gender and sexuality, your approach seems to have some holes in it. If your counselling is that of a Christian nature, I can understand why you may not have encountered any such people, as they are essentially excluded in Biblical teachings to begin with.

      4. Jason,
        I respect your perseverance and dogged determination to defend the fortress of SSA. The Bible affirms that in our sinfulness we delude ourselves. Anything other than male or female is a biological anomaly. Any other gender differences are psychosomatic. The APA affirms that we don’t have a scientific reason for why some people experience SSA. The Bible does have a reason why people choose to act on their perception of SSA. It is the original sin of our flesh.

        A common thread of homosexuality, chemical dependency, addictions to pornography and gambling, etc., is denial. Humanity is an intelligent beast, capable of constructing an elaborate ruse to rationalize our errant behavior. We team up with others who delight in our sin and make a club of it. How many bars full of alcoholics do we have where nobody seems to have a drinking problem?

        Jason, I know far too many people who have found freedom from the bondage of their sin not to tell you about it. God has so much better for you. Thanks for letting me share.

      5. I’m not defending SSA. I’m trying to help you understand the variations that occur naturally within nature, within God’s Creation. Heck, if you look at the animal kingdom, SSA is actually quite common. If you look at fish swimming in city waterways polluted with hormone flushings from birth control users, in some places they have been found to all become female.

        Gender is not the simple binary that you understand it as. I know, it makes things a lot easier when you can fit things neatly into little boxes, but in reality it’s not that simple.

        Bear in mind that your suggestion of Humanity being capable of constructing an elaborate ruse to rationalize our errant behavior applies to systems of belief as well. It also shares the common thread of denial that you point out, which is probably a significant part in why addicts seem fairly prone to adopting religious belief as a replacement for their former addictions.

        Considering the strength in your faith, would I be incorrect in thinking you may have adopted it at a time when you were breaking free from some sort of harmful repetitive behaviour that you were in denial about?

      6. My salvific experience actually had nothing to do with an addiction, except for my addiction to pridefulness. I was way to smart to fall for the nonsense of the Christian sheeple. God has a way of humbling people He intends to use.

        I became a Christian after my son had a brush with death. A sequence of events occurred, in a way no coincidence could explain, that saved my 3-year-old son’s life and shined a light on intelligent design. Once I discovered intelligent design, agnosticism lost its foothold.

        I had had an emptiness in my life since I was 17 and tried to fill it. My dad was a very intelligent man, a liberal Democrat, and I accepted his religion – agnosticism. Still, things never quite added up about this world. Dad was a PR guy for the FAA, and I became well- versed in the manipulation of the truth. I began to discover that what I had been taught about liberalism was spin-doctored half-truths used to answer their emptiness. I was being groomed to invest my life seeking comfort in the success I was to find selling ideas that the perpetrators knew were lies.

        God presents with the glaring truth at some point in our lives that He exists and everything we constructed to believe in was wrong. We can reject Him, or accept Him.

        By the way, thanks for inspiring my next blog post. You probably didn’t know God would use you today, but He did.
        All the best.

      7. Ah yes, pridefulness and dire events working out will do it! Glad to hear your son survived his ordeal!

        Intelligent design is a tricky one. For one, there is a structure and order to the universe which definitely begs a question as to where it might have come from. I hope you aren’t on the Young Earth Creationist end of that spectrum, as that’s where things get real dicey.

        How do you suggest that agnosticism (not knowing) is a religion? Unless it’s a willful ignorance, then it’s a statement of not having enough information to draw a reasonable conclusion. It would be refreshing if more people took such an approach in life rather than jumping to conclusions based on crumbles of evidence and intuition.

        There are definitely spin doctored half-truths on either side of the political/social spectrum. Actually, in any group that believes things to be a certain way, half-truths abound I’ve been finding. Confirmation bias is a real pain when it comes to getting to the full truth of things.

        Glad also that you didn’t follow in such a deceptive direction. As someone who enjoys creative things such as music and graphics design, it has been difficult for me to pursue such directions knowing how focused on misleading people the music and advertising industries tend to be.

        Anyways, existence (God) uses me every day for something or another, I’m sure, as it uses you and everyone else. We are all connected in some way, supernatural or not.

      8. I’ll make this my last entry, lest someone think we’ve hijacked the discussion board of David’s fine book review and turned it into a chat room.

        Agnosticism is a religion in that it is a belief structure and ideology created by a founder (Thomas Huxley, 1869, ‘Man’s Place In Nature’) that asserts and imposes a subjective worldview on its followers. Call it a philosophy if you want, it’s just moving semantic furniture around. Huxley insisted you could only know what was proven in science. Science is a very faulty God to worship.

        One Achilles heal (of many) surfaces in historical applications of science. Duplicability is impossible, so they substitute “judicial proof”, and the same human construct that acquitted OJ Simpson is used to “prove” their pseudoscience.

        It’s worth noting that science can only be honest when it admits to it’s own weaknesses. Groupthink and strong-arm tactics have shown the scientific community to be similar to Scientology toward dissenters. Only now, as climate scientists are retiring, are we seeing how corrupt the Global Warming pseudoscience is. NASA’s former climate scientist Leslie Woodcock calls it rubbish and IPCC’s Phillip Lloyd admits current temps are well inside the 8000 year standard deviation.

        I’d love to continue the conversation. I invite you to join me at davidmcdonnoughfaithblog.
        All the best!

    2. Sin is still sin, whether historical or not. The Bible was not written just for people of biblical times. If it was a sin then, it is a sin now, no matter what the subject.
      As to intersex, they might not have been able to tell then, but today we know you either have XX, or XY chromosomes. As far as I know, you can’t have both. A lot of sickness, which includes birth defects, according to the Bible, is from being disobedient unto God. And most of the time it is past down to the third and fourth generation.
      People are not born attracted to their side of the gender range. Homosexuality is not a born quality. Homosexuality is a demonic spirit that a person can be possessed by. The only cure is for that spirit to be cast out by someone who is filled with the Holy Ghost.

      1. Aren’t some things sinful in the Old Testament that aren’t in the New testament? That seems to demonstrate that there are changes through history along the Biblical storyline.

        As for the chromosomes determining gender – that is an over-simplifed approach. Here’s a link that goes into more detail on that:
        http://www.isna.org/faq/y_chromosome

        Attraction isn’t a born quality? When I was first attracted to members of the opposite sex, there were only certain people I was actually attracted to. I didn’t choose to be attracted to them. It happened naturally. Are your experiences in being attracted to people different?

        A lot of it comes from a vengeful God? That is a bit of a troubling outlook. I certainly wouldn’t want to be obedient to a jerk God like that.

        The idea of a demonic spirit used to be a scapegoat for a lot of ailments that are now actually understood. I’d be careful about putting too much trust into that idea.

      2. There where some changes from Old to New Testament, but if it wasn’t changed in the New, then we still have to follow it, even though it was written in the Old. The only thing that was changed on the sin of homosexuality, was the judgment. In the Old Testament, the judgment for this sin was death, Leviticus 20:13. Jesus changed the judgment, Matthew 7:1-2. He did not change the sin, but instead of stoning or burning, which was the judgment, the sinner is allowed to live until the Lord calls his or her number or on that great day when he comes again, and that judgment will be the Lake of Fire. I have a more in depth article on judgment on my web site, http://godswordintruth.wordpress.com/
        About the attraction born quality, I was referring to the attraction of same sex. The Lord created man to be attracted to a woman, Genesis 2:21-24. Anything outside of that is not from God. According to the word, we all were created to be attracted to the opposite sex.
        Jerk or not, he is God, and in the end that is all that matters. We were created for his pleasure, Revelation 4:11. All disobedience is sin. I’d rather be obedient and go to heaven, than to go to the only other option. Not believing or not obeying him because we don’t like his rules, will not exempt us from the judgment that he will give.
        Demonic spirits is not an idea or scapegoat. In the Apostolic Pentecostal religion, casting out demons is a common thing. It’s not an idea, it’s REAL.

      3. … or the way casting out demons happens makes it seem real.

        What makes you think that attraction to members of the same sex functions any differently than attractions to members of the opposite sex? Do you think people attracted to the same sex have enjoyed having to lurk in the shadows about their attractions when they weren’t socially acceptable? Who would choose that?

        And yeah, it would be Hell to worship a vengeful God for eternity. I’ll gladly take whatever the other option is and hope that if there is a God that He is truly loving and understanding of my point of view and will enlighten about wherever I may have been off-track.

      4. It doesn’t seem real? Demons, are real. Being possessed by them, are real. Casting them out is real; just as real as being filled with the Holy Ghost or someone being instantly healed. I’ve seen devils cast out, I’ve seen people repent of their sins and be filled with the Holy Ghost. I’ve been filled with the Holy Ghost. I’ve seen people get a healing. I’ve been healed myself before. It’s all real.
        I didn’t say that same sex functions were any different. I said we were not created to do so. God didn’t give anyone the desire to go after his or her own sex. That is something the devil has given. Do I think they enjoyed the shadows, no, but I do know when you are demon possessed, you have no control over your thoughts and actions.
        You must not know what that other option is. Man kind has two choices, to serve God and go to Heaven or not serve God and burn in a lake of fire. Despite anyone’s views of what kind of God he is, Heaven will be better than that other option.
        God is a loving god, that is why he sent his son so we can repent of our sins and go to Heaven. He is also a judging God that will judge the ones that will not let him rule over them, Luke 19:27. He wants a people that will obey him. He gives us commandments to see if we will.
        *Exodus 16:4, … that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.
        *Exodus 19:5, … if ye will obey … then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: For all the earth is mine.
        He put before us good or evil, blessings or curses. We must chose which one we want, Deuteronomy 30:15-20.
        *Deuteronomy 28:1-14, … if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy god, to observe and to do all his commandments … And all these blessings shall come on thee, and over take thee, the Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandment … the Lord shall open unto the his good treasure …
        *Deuteronomy 28:15-68, … if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God … curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee … till thou be destroyed … moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee. Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the Lord bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed …
        *Deuteronomy 28:63, And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought …
        *Ecclesiastes 12:13, Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
        *Heaven,
        *Revelation 7:16-17, They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of water: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
        *Revelation 21:1-7, … God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain …
        *Revelation 22:14, Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life …
        *Lake of Fire,
        *Revelation 14:11, And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night …
        *Revelation 20:10-15, … and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever … And death and Hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
        *Revelation 21:8, But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burnrth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
        That other option, not the direction I want to go, and I really don’t think anyone else does either. I’ll take obedience and Heaven, over disobedience and torment, any day of the week.

      5. If God is a loving God, why does He fail to even come close to fitting the Biblical definition of love in 1 Corinthians?

        I can see the possessions of demons and Holy Ghost being metaphors for experiences, but I doubt they are literal. The human mind can do some pretty powerful things with the power of suggestion, and they can go some bad directions with even a simple missed concept or connection able to snap someone right out of seemingly demonic ways.

        Hypnosis and adrenaline I suspect come into play at times with religious miracle workers. Faith healers like Benny Hinn can make people seem healed in the moment, only for them to return to their normal troubled state after the event is over. It’s actually pretty amazing stuff to learn about. We are quite remarkable beings!

  7. God is giving humanity an experience of evil to humble us by it. See Ecclesiastes. He has also hidden what he is doing from the beginning to the end. He has also declared the end, from the beginning. He’s going to be all in all. Sin that dwells in our flesh and destroys us makes us perfect specimens for God’s mercy and salvation, which, by the way, will continue even after the second death, when death itself is put under Christ’s feet and nullified. God is in the business of making beauty from ashes. Enjoy the ride, but effect your own salvation with fear the trembling. It is not we who have made ourselves, and we save ourselves only to the extent that God is saving us, that none may boast. David, thank you for the review. The spirit is not leading me to look into the book further at this time.

  8. “Desire must never be given the priority over obedience. Intense longing does not turn sinful wrongs into civil rights.” Kevin DeYoung
    Your favorite quote from the book can be applied to other things that are commonplace and generally viewed as ‘acceptable’ or a ‘civil right’ in today’s society. While definitely contrary to God’s expectations of us, adultery and pornography are both indulged in to excess, and often by the same individuals who will condemn another’s homosexuality.
    I’ll not dispute the Bible’s teachings on homosexuality, but I find surprising little public outcry to condemn those who seek to exercise THEIR ‘civil rights’ to engage in extramarital affairs or squander precious hours of the life God gave them looking at pornography.

  9. David, thanks for the book review, and for having the courage to express yourself honestly about a reality that many are afraid of today. God is honored when we are obedient to Him.

    1. I’m glad to initiate and take courage about what the Bible says on the manner in this book review. DeYoung’s book was excellent and dripped with Scripture. Happy to endorse it publicly.

  10. David, I don’t think you know many homosexual people or know much about homosexual culture. I think that’s my guess because you couldn’t and wouldn’t say any of this condescending nonsense to them. I also think the more you’d know people of different sexualities you’d begin to see how little their sexual lives matter, and how similar we all are – the same body parts, the same psyches, the same desires for love and companionship.

    The Bible is simply wrong on this issue – wrong, wrong, wrong, which is difficult for evangelical Christians to grasp because they believe the Bible is holy and true and above reproof. So when the Bible says homosexuality is immoral they can’t ignore it because accepting that the Bible is wrong about this one issue would be like pulling at one string in a ball of yarn that begins to unravel – it’s all connected. It’s all God-breathed, and if the Bible is wrong about one thing, what else is it wrong about? Instead you do all the mental gymnastics you can to make discrimination (this is discrimination) okay for yourself…it’s not you, it’s God. It’s not biology, it’s a choice. It’s not discrimination, it’s a call to a higher code of living.

    So that’s how you ended up writing this article, reading this book, and deciding for yourself that gay people are immoral for their sexual behaviour – which mainly just makes me sad for you and other Christians, it’s an extremely limiting worldview that will only come to harm you and close down great relationships. You’re shutting a lot of future friends out of your life.

    Gay people aren’t going away, they aren’t getting cured away, and we’re living in a beautiful moment in history where it’s finally acceptable for people to be openly gay.

    Deal with it. Or build a time machine and go back to the 1950s.

  11. With regard to God’s righteousness, unbelievers are free for the time being, and it is not the job of believers to correct them. God is conciliating the world, not reckoning offenses. But when the spirit of God enters a new believer in Christ, the tastes and behavior change, and homosexuality is one of many things that get eliminated as we become God’s righteousness in Christ. It’s not mental gymnastics, it’s a new creation, a new universe.

  12. What saddens me is that Christians are spending more time trying to get “correct-theology” about homosexuality than they are loving and ministering to homosexuals. They are still image bearers of our Creator, and both the Great Commandment (Love your neighbor as yourself) and the Great Commission (Go into all the world and make disciples) apply to our relationships with them. We need to love them and give them the Gospel.

    Many people think that they can grade sins on some kind of scale, from the “piddlin-little sins” to the “MAJOR” sins, such as murder and homosexuality, but God has no sin-scale. Our “littlest” sins are as deserving of God’s wrath as the “greatest” sins are.

    I have also noticed a lot of arrogance among Christians because they believe that they are “morally-superior” to homosexuals, but they have forgotten that arrogance and pride are just as odious to God as homosexuality, maybe more, because the Bible spends way more time denouncing arrogance and pride than it does homosexuality.

    When are we going to quit looking down our moral-noses at homosexuals and start ministering to them? They are people too…

  13. I’m glad you know this book, too. 🙂 I was following Crossway’s post on this book a month ago. Sadly, I wasn’t still able to get a copy of that book. But I’ll try to get one, one of these days. 🙂 I have a question, if you don’t mind. 🙂 I asked the author this same question on one of Crossway’s surveys but I lost track again because I got busy.

    It’s about my churchmate who is now a homosexual. It breaks my heart to see him drift away from God and the more our church knew about it, the more he doesn’t want to join us. It all started when he was prohibited by our church leaders to join our Choir group because of his current identity issues. I’m still puzzled if they really did the right thing. Because on my churchmate’s part, it’s not helping. He’s not going to our church anymore or to any other churches in our town perhaps.

    Don’t be pressured to answer it right away, tho. 🙂 I just need some enlightenment about this. Thank you.

      1. Haha. I’m sorry. 😀 This: Do we really need to prohibit Homosexuals to join any church activities like being a part of a choir group, etc? Why not help them get thru their struggles without making them feel like strangers inside our church?

  14. Do outsiders, “sinners”, see us, the church, as an extension of the open and welcoming arms of Jesus, or do they see us as stern-faced, black-robed judges, ready to denounce them for their least offense? No one who came to Jesus in humility for His mercy was ever turned away, while those who came to him in their arrogant self-righteousness were immediately denounced. Are we helping, or are we hindering the spread of His kingdom, because, after all, it is HIS kingdom, NOT ours?

    If Jesus were to walk into our churches today, would He see one Holy and Apostolic Church, or would He see a badly-divided “church”, with some saying “I am of Paul”, others saying “I am of Apollis”, and still others saying “I am of Cephas”, or “I am of Christ”? (1 Corinthians 1:11-13) Do we want to be known by our divisions, or by our love?

  15. I have this book in my amazon wish list. I’ll be ordering now soon. Thanks so much for the review, and the tip about the beyond the page program. It looks awesome!

  16. David: first, I want to thank you for having found myblog – http://www.enarcheblog.wordpress.com – and for having fairly routinely Liked my sermons. I’m not sure how you stumbled across my site, but I’m glad that you did and I welcome you. However, if you haven’t noticed as you’ve poked around the blog, I want to point out to you that all of those sermons that you’ve been liking have been prepared and delivered by an ordained minister and pastor who also happens to be a proudly, openly gay man.

    I don’t know you, but I truly want to give you the benefit of the doubt and believe that you really don’t have any desire to be hurtful in your holding to historical biblical interpretations regarding LGBT matters. I suspect that based on your compliments regarding this book – that the intention of the author, and I suspect you as reader, is not to be hateful, discriminatory, or homophobic in any way. Rather, you’re simply trying to offer witness to what you believe is the correct understanding and interpretation of scripture, and to be faithful to God and scripture. Unfortunately, in this case as with many others that can be seen in both our past and our present, merely having no intention of being harmful to others in one’s beliefs doesn’t necessarily result in that being the case. Great harm can be caused regardless of original intent, and that’s the case here. Further, many – including myself – argue that to hold to the historical understanding of these issues is not to be more faithful to God and scripture, but actually, less so.

    I want to commend you for trying to get a deeper understanding of this extremely important issue, both within the church and beyond, by seeking out books and, I assume, other media sources as you try to clarify the matter in your own life of faith. I realize that I’m making an assumption here – that you’re reading this book from the standpoint of an open and inquisitive mind, and that you’re genuinely seeking answers wherever that may lead; rather than simply looking for material to reinforce a predetermined position, but I’m willing to make that assumption. Given that, I’d like to recommend another book for your reference and review – “Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships”, written by New Testament Professor James V. Brownson. In his study, which began from a skeptical viewpoint – he had held to the historical understanding of scriptural interpretation regarding homosexuality his entire adult life before beginning the study that resulted in the book – he reaches a different conclusion than DeYoung. This is a far more in-depth book on the subject than DeYoung’s, and is heavily footnoted for even deeper digging if you wish. Brownson’s writing is hardly light reading, but it isn’t impenetrable, either; it would be accessible to most Christian readers. He lays out numerous interpretive arguments and discusses them with frankness, discussing both their strengths and weaknesses. While there are a number of other excellent books I could recommend, I think Brownson’s would be of great value to you if you’re genuinely seeking a balance in your reading on this topic. Grace and peace to you.

  17. Thank you for visit to my blog as retired pastor. Your words about this book are quite well written, and I thank you for having taken the time to read and then review this book. It does seem to be a good book well worth the read. I am sorry that there are some who will denigrate both the book and your review, however, that is the society in which we live. Our church welcomes all who wish to come and hear the gospel, and we hope that they will repent of their sins and come to know Jesus as Lord if the don’t know him already. Our Pastor’s sermons are available on our website as well for anyone who would like to hear. frontieratbrackettvilletx.org we are a southern baptist congregation. May our Lord richly bless your work.

  18. Thanks for visiting my blog David. It looks like you got some very good material here. This subject is one that I’m preparing to tackle with care, clarity and clemency. Does Crossway pay you to review books or is this a Pro Bono ministry? Regardless, glad you took the time to like my post.

  19. Hi there. That sounds like an interesting read. I have 3 family members who are homosexuals. I have learned they really don’t care what I say about the Bible. They just want to do their thing and be left alone. Any kind of remark I make about homosexuality being sinful, they call me all sorts of names and curse me. It’s almost to the point where I there I have nothing to say to any of them. Their siblings as well. They run around trying to say homosexuality is great, but I think deep down they know it isn’t. Why else would they be frantically trying to convince everyone it is? People who are confident in who they are don’t need to do that. So I haven’t found any evidence that they actually want to know the truth. Everyone says we need to love homosexuals. I think they are right but that requires, at least for me, a lot of prayer and asking God to help me love them. Because they are as bad as atheists–very hateful towards all things Christian, at least the ones I know. But I’ll be honest, I don’t go running towards them with arms wide opened. It’s asking to be abused. How can you come alongside someone when they hate everything you stand for? We just can’t expect sinful people who love their sin to love us back. So often times I find myself avoiding them. If I saw an opening, I would take it, but at this point, I don’t. The Bible has a lot to say about all kinds of sins and homosexuality is not just found in Leviticus. If you actually read the Bible, you can find it in several places, just as you can find discussions on hate, gossip, and a list of other sins. God does not condone homosexuality, but he loves them and I am praying he helps me to love them too.

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