Sensitive. Skillful. Sound. Straightforward. Succinct. “What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?” has a pithy quality that reminds me of the delight I’ve experienced reading G.K. Chesterton, but it also has a pastoral quality that reassures me that the author wants what’s best for me. It’s challenging in an accessible, hopeful way. The author deftly exegetes the relevant biblical passages, and then steps up to the plate to face common revisionist arguments. The book is full of thought-provoking quotes. Here are a few:
*The central plotline of the story of Scripture was set in motion: a holy God making a way to dwell in the midst of an unholy people.
*The biblical teaching is consistent and unambiguous: homosexual activity is not God’s will for his people. Silence in the face of such clarity is not prudence, and hesitation in light of such frequency is not patience. The Bible says more than enough about homosexual practice for us to say something too.
*In America, the first abolitionist tract was published in 1700 by Samuel Sewall, a devout Puritan. Clearly, the church’s opposition to slavery is not a recent phenomenon. We do not find anything like this long track record when it comes to the church supporting homosexual practice.
*“Continue to love me, but remember that you cannot be more merciful than God. It isn’t mercy to affirm same-sex acts as good. . . . Don’t compromise truth; help me to live in harmony with it” (A former lesbian)
*The challenge before the church is to convince ourselves as much as anyone that believing the Bible does not make us bigots, just as reflecting the times does not make us relevant.