What Does The Bible Teach About Homosexuality? – Kevin DeYoung (2015)

aI read an important book today.  It is not a weighty theological treatise.  It is not a book about spiritual formation.  And it certainly is not written to inspire.  This book is about homosexuality.  Like it or not, in our culture, the topic of homosexuality has moved from stage left to center stage.  Everyone is talking about it.  Many people are affirming homosexual relationships – liberals and conservatives alike.

I recently read Steve Chalke’s booklet, A Matter of Integrity.  The author, who happens to be a Baptist pastor, seeks to legitimize and normalize homosexuality.  The booklet is written with tones of grace and the author appears very kind.  The only problem – the book is dead wrong.  The book opposes Scripture.  And the book fails to glorify God.

Kevin DeYoung’s new book, What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality addresses a controversial topic with grace but never at the expense of truth.

Part One – Understanding God’s Word

The author guides readers through a maze of texts and helps them unravel what Scripture really says about homosexuality.  His tone is gracious.  Yet he is unafraid to proclaim what God proclaims – homosexuality is a sin to be repented of.  Everyone who turns from their sin may find peace and forgiveness that flow freely from Jesus who paid to set sinners free.  DeYoung is quick to demonstrate that homosexuality is not acceptable in God’s economy.  But he is even more eager to point people to a God who forgives:

“The God we worship is indeed a God of love.  Which does not, according to any verse in the Bible, make sexual sin acceptable.  But it does, by the witness of a thousand verses all over the Bible, make every one of our sexual sins changeable, redeemable, and wondrously forgiveable.”

Part Two – Answering Objections

DeYoung has left no stone unturned here.  In part two, he answers typical objections and responds with grace and truth.  All his answers are supported by the weight of Scripture.

There is much to commend here; more than one review can cover.  However, Kevin DeYoung helps readers understand what is at stake in this debate and uncovers four vital issues that every Christian should be concerned with.  I urge readers to purchase the book and study these powerful warnings:

  1. The moral logic of monogamy is at stake.
  2. The integrity of Christian sexual ethics is at stake.
  3. The authority of Scripture is at stake.
  4. The grand narrative of Scripture is at stake.

What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality will not be the most inspiring book you’ll read all year.  However, it may be the most important book you read.  It is a book that may cause you discomfort.  It is a book that will certainly cause you to reevaluate your position on homosexuality.    Ultimately, this book will point you to the Book.  And sacred Scripture clearly reveals God’s position on homosexuality.  Homosexual behavior, like any other ungodly behavior, is sin; a sin which must be repented of and forgiven.

The Supreme Court has spoken.  Their historic decision on June 26, 2015, will leave an indelible mark on American history.  But God has also spoken.  Our sovereign God has the final word on every subject and in every nation.  Our response must be to submit to his authority and render joyful obedience.  Unfortunately, obedience is being jettisoned in the highest court of the land.

May readers approach this subject with minds and hearts that are open to God’s revelation.  May they be challenged and moved to obedience.  And may the gospel open doors of hope so that many will find their rest in Christ the Savior!

I received this book free from the publisher.   I was not required to write a positive review. 

 

MESSY GRACE – Caleb Kaltenbach (2015)

Messy Grace by Caleb Kaltenbach is an insider’s look at a pastor whoA MESSY has developed a deep and growing love for the LGBT community.  Pastor Kaltenbach has a unique perspective on this subject, as he grew up with parents who were gay.

After revealing some of the details of his painful story, the author challenges the church to reach out to the LGBT community in practical ways.  What really stands out in this book is the balance between truth and grace.  Most churches and indeed, most Christians appear to land in one arena or the other.  Some professing Christians simply overlook the sin of homosexuality and give such people a pass.  Grace covers a multitude of sins.  Others, in an effort to be faithful to the Scriptures condemn the sin of homosexuality and alienate the LGBT community in the process.  The truth shall set you free.

Kaltenbach argues for a radically different approach.  His aim is to see the church demonstrate grace to the LGBT community, but never at the expense of truth.  He challenges believers to love these people who struggle deeply with their sexual identity but without compromising biblical morality.

I anticipate this book will stir up a hornet’s nest in the evangelical world.  It is a bold book.  It is a controversial book.  It will challenge conservative evangelicals.  Most important, it will reveal the heart of the Pharisee.

May Christ-followers learn from Pastor Kaltenbach’s godly example.  More importantly, may they follow the example of Jesus by reaching out and befriending people in the LBGT community.  The recent Supreme Court decision, while disturbing and discouraging actually opened a huge door to Christians.  This door will enable followers of Jesus to demonstrate love to people who are created in the image of God; people created with dignity and a purpose.  Kaltenbach warns that such a move will prove costly.  Such a move will be messy.  But messy grace is the result of life-on-life relationships which are prompted by a desire to please our great God and sovereign king.  Messy Grace is fueled by a deep desire to penetrate the nations with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I received this book free from the publisher.   I was not required to write a positive review. 

4 stars