Navigating a Complex Issue
My pastor is fond of a saying which goes something like this: “The church marries the spirit of the age and finds itself a widow in the next.” Indeed, the church does often find itself seeking to “keep up” with the latest cultural trends and topics only to find itself a latecomer.
The church in particular faces this challenge keenly as it seeks to address the topic of sexuality and gender in an increasingly hostile age. Both the church as a whole and individuals need to be equipped to defend, but also promote the Bible’s historic and orthodox position when it comes to gender and sexuality. It is into this cultural milieu that Kevin DeYoung’s latest book, What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality?, arrives to help navigate this complex issue. DeYoung has an inimitable ability to write succinctly and clearly so that the laity of the church can be informed and encouraged, which is admirably demonstrated in this work.
A Concise, Yet Thoroughly Researched Presentation
The book divides roughly in two halves. Kevin writes, “Part 1 consists of five chapters which examine the five most relevant and most debated texts related to homosexuality. Part 2…on seven of the most common objections to this traditional view of sexual morality.” For someone looking for a concise, yet thoroughly researched defense of the traditional view, DeYoung’s chapters will serve you well. His defense and promotion of the traditional view does not come off with a strident tone, but rather charitably.
Throughout the book, DeYoung’s position (the traditional view) is clearly and compellingly put forth. He notes in the introduction that some will read this convinced that homosexuality is wrong (his view), but that “the right conclusion can be handled in the wrong way. Focusing on other people’s sins, while ignoring our own, would be the wrong way. Being haughty about biblical correctness, instead of humbled by our own fallenness, would be the wrong way. Turning every conversation into a theological throwdown would be the wrong way. Treating people like projects to fix or problems to solve or points to be scored, instead of people to love would be the wrong way.”
As I finished the book, I found the appendices to be extremely helpful. In the appendices he covers further topics: same-sex marriage, understanding same-sex attraction and the church’s commitments in how we speak about homosexuality. The price of the book is worth it simply for those. DeYoung’s understanding of how we dialogue about this important issue was developed from a blog post he wrote for The Gospel Coalition which I often commend to people.
In the end, I would consider this book a must-read for those convinced of the traditional view because I believe you will find a thorough, concise, and biblically-sound defense. For those who are opposed or hostile to the traditional view, Kevin’s book lays out a well-researched defense, which I believe is well worth consideration. For those who are confused or searching, I would commend Kevin’s book because I believe he genuinely desires for people to know and understand God’s word on this issue.
I’m confident that in the midst of an increasingly difficult climate where theological vagueness and moral accommodation flourishes, this excellent work from Pastor DeYoung will help many people discover what the Bible really teaches about homosexuality.