What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?
Without doubt the social and theological controversy of our day is that of homosexuality and the Christian response. For this reason, and many others, we are grateful to the Lord for this opportunity to recommend Kevin DeYoung's new book What Does the Bible Teach about Homosexuality?. Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church in East Lansing Michigan. He also regularly contributes to the online resources of the Gospel Coalition. Homosexuality? is the latest of numerous books by DeYoung; which include Just Do Something, What is the Mission of the Church?, The Hole in Our Holiness, and Crazy Busy. The following are a handful of reasons we encourage everyone to read this book:
* This book is useful and recommended to a wide array of people; from lay people to pastors, from married people to singles, and even from same-sex strugglers to those firmly committed to the homosexual lifestyle. DeYoung doesn't pander to a particular person or agenda. He only takes one side - the side of Scripture.
* This book is scriptural. Homosexuality? is written with the sole purpose of fulfilling the first part of the title: What does the Bible teach?. And this purpose is comprehensively accomplished. The book is comprised of two parts. In the first part, DeYoung explores five key passages of Scripture relative to the question of homosexuality (Genesis 1 & 2, 19, Leviticus 18 & 20, Romans 1, and 1 Timothy 1). In part two, seven more chapters cover the most common objections to the scriptural considerations of the topic.
* This book is fair and calm. Having read this book quickly but closely, I do not remember one page on which DeYoung's argument turned emotional or unfair. In books about such charged topics as homosexuality, readers expect arguments to turn sour and derogatory at points. Not so with Homosexuality? DeYoung sounds calm and reasonable at each turn and he answers objections with a gentle but confident response.
* This book is pastoral. DeYoung, a pastor, displays a genuine concern and recognition of the struggles of this issue; both the intellectual and personal concerns people express and experience. He takes these stuggles into account and shows himself to be caring, but not pampering. In other words, he shows concern for truth and care for people, but this concern does not turn his arguments into anything like sales pitch to persuade others of Scripture's position.
* This book is relatively short and well-paced. I imagine every reader dreads the book that stalls three-quarters of the way through. And those who don't have a lot of time often struggle to enjoy the long-winded treatment some books offer. Readers be of good cheer: This book is a huge bang for your time-sensitive buck. These 147 pages fly by and deliver maximum help and insight in a short time. Nothing is under or over treated.
* This book springs from both law and gospel. DeYoung's treatment of this challenging topic is not one-sided, as some other resources are. DeYoung grounds his teaching on homosexuality on the righteous requirements of God's law as well as God's glorious good news in Christ. Law and gospel are two golden threads woven nicely throughout Homosexuality?.
* This book is accessible. As soon as I finished reading the book I thought Anyone can read and understand this. Evident in all of DeYoung's books is a everyday man approach to hard topics. I think you too will find Homosexuality? a resource you could offer to anyone who wants to better understand what the Bible says, and you can be sure he or she needs only the ability to read in order to understand. While DeYoung does at times utilize important grammatical concepts for sucking the scriptural marrow on his topic, readers will find no high brow concepts standing in the way of grasping biblical truth. And when theological language is needed, DeYoung does well to bring it down to a low shelf where all can reach.
Homosexuality is an important topic. Flags are waving in our culture. Laws are passing to protect the practice. Debates are raging and arguments are waging war. In the midst of it all, the truth of Scripture is sufficient and a door for the gospel is opening. Take time to read this book. It will help you, whoever you are.