Frequently asked questions on homosexuality

Sexuality | Solid books available on the Christian response
by Marvin Olasky
Posted on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, at 11:24 am

I received a letter from a WORLD Member:

“LGBT advocates tell us to be tolerant of their views. I would like to hear from one of their representatives how we should express our Christian views on their lifestyles. Let’s ask them to write down a critique from a conservative Biblical viewpoint that they would consider tolerant. Of course, it must not contradict clear Bible teaching. Do you think we could find someone who would do this?”

Since I’m asked questions like this often, I thought other WORLD Members could benefit from my response:

Thanks for your request. Many LGBT advocates have written what they say is a critique from a Biblical viewpoint of standard Christian views. They claim that the Old Testament’s critique of homosexuality was just part of ancient Israel’s holiness laws and not relevant to us, and that the New Testament was criticizing a particular set of Greco-Roman homosexual practices rather than all of it. See, for example, Ken Wilson’s A Letter to My Congregation. The search engine on WORLD’s website shows we’ve noted at least a dozen times the position of Matthew Vines in a book with a title that shows his thesis: God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships.

Last year I reviewed two books from the other side: Transforming Homosexuality by Denny Burk and Heath Lambert, and Dennis Jernigan’s Stand in Love: Truthful Answers to Questions about Homosexuality, Identity, and the Church. Previously, WORLD reviewed Kevin DeYoung’s What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality? (we also ran an excerpt from this book as a part of our online Saturday Series), Sean McDowell and John Stonestreet’s Same-Sex Marriage, Adam Barr and Ron Citlau’s Compassion Without Compromise, Glenn Stanton’s Loving My (LGBT) Neighbor, Rosaria Butterfield’s The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, Christopher and Angela Yuan’s Out of a Far Country, and Sam Allberry’s Is God Anti-Gay?

Since then, I’ve received a book by Joe Dallas, Speaking of Homosexuality (Baker, 2016), that critiques the work of Matthew Vines and others. Another, J. Alan Branch’s Born This Way? Homosexuality, Science, and the Scriptures (Weaver, 2016), awaits review. So many solid books on this subject have come out that I’ve given some away and am storing others in a closet.

Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. His latest book is Reforming Journalism. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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  •  Bruce's picture
    Posted: Thu, 04/27/2017 01:58 pm

    Hi Marvin, I appreciate you sharing this, but I thought the question was more about how folks in a certain community, those that support 'being actively gay', would define an tolerant, acceptable Biblical critique of that value/moral position.  I agree that it seems most folks would present such critiques as intolerant and bigotted.  The books you provide are examples of what are published works.  Are you saying these books have been accepted as tolerant, acceptable presentations of such a critique?