What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality?

bible-homosexuality

Few issues cause more handwringing among Christians in our day than that of homosexuality and same-sex marriage. For some, it’s not a lack of clarity on what they believe, but about how to express it without being accused of being bigots, homophobes or hate mongers. So many in this group, because they are uncertain of how to speak winsomely, say nothing.

For others, the issue itself is extremely cloudy. They don’t really know or aren’t really sure what, if anything, the Bible says about the issue, and how to interpret what’s there. So when they read the arguments of affirming or revisionist authors, they have no idea how to respond or what to think. And because they aren’t grounded, they risk falling into serious error.

You can see why pastor and author Kevin DeYoung would be compelled to write a book on the subject then, can’t you? Which is why What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality? exists. In this book, he wants to bolster the faith of those who know what they believe, but are unsure of how to communicate. He wants to bring clarity to those for whom the situation seems murky. And he wants to challenge those who, flying under the banner of Christ, would seek to revise what the Bible really says about homosexuality.

Where you start affects what you ask

Divided into two parts, DeYoung begins by first examining the texts which directly speak to humanity’s design and homosexual practice: Genesis 1-2, Genesis 19, Leviticus 18, 20, Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6, and 1 Timothy 1. The inclusion of Genesis 1-2 might surprise some, since it is the creation account, but including it makes complete sense. After all, we can’t truly understand what the Bible says about homosexuality without first understanding how God created human beings.

For the Christian, there is nothing more basic than this: humans were created unique in all of creation—the man and the woman were made in the image and likeness of God. They were made to be something like him, as unity in diversity. And this is repeated referenced all throughout the Bible. It is the foundation and framework of marriage in Ephesians 5, and in Jesus’ own teaching on divorce in Matthew 19:4-6. It is a picture of the gospel, and a type of the marriage that is to come in the new heavens and new earth (Revelation 19). Thus, DeYoung writes,

Marriage, by its very nature, requires complementarity. The mystical union of Christ and the church—each “part” belonging to the other but neither interchangeable—cannot be pictured in marital union without the differentiation of male and female. If God wanted us to conclude that men and women were interchangeable in the marriage relationship, he not only gave us the wrong creation narrative; he gave us the wrong metanarrative. (32)

DeYoung’s point here is pretty simple: how you view the male-female relationship is inevitably going to influence whether the validity of same-sex marriage is even a question in your mind. If you function, as some Christians do, within the complementarian framework of gender—that is, each gender is uniquely designed to perform separate, but complementary functions—honestly, you’re probably not asking any questions about whether or not homosexual practice is compatible with Christian belief. In this framework, the two are not interchangeable, and therefore homosexual practice cannot be compatible with Christian belief. The conversation, therefore, shifts more toward answering the challenge winsomely.

For the egalitarian, however, the challenge is significantly different. If you believe that gender distinctions fundamentally have no bearing on your role and responsibility, you’re more than likely having to deal first with the compatibility issue. I don’t say this to disparage those who do hold this viewpoint, but merely to show that what we believe about male-female relationships may have drastic affects on our starting point on this issue (and potentially our end point).

What’s the fruit we’re talking about?

Part two of the book focuses on answering the common objections to the historic orthodox view of homosexuality:

  • the Bible’s limited discussion of homosexuality in general;
  • the cultural distance argument (that is, the kind of homosexuality the Bible talks about isn’t the kind revisionists advocate the inclusion of);
  • our lack of condemnation of sins such as gluttony and divorce outside of the biblically permissible reasons;
  • the church being a safe place for broken people and sinners;
  • being on the wrong side of history;
  • the fairness of encouraging same-sex attracted Christians to commit to life-long celibacy; and
  • love as the overriding attribute and characteristic of God.

Each topic, as should be expected, is handled very carefully, though DeYoung is not afraid to be a little jabby in places. On this point, it’s important to remember that DeYoung is not being hostile toward those who experience same-sex attraction, nor is he particularly hostile toward revisionist authors. What troubles him greatly—and shines through on every page of this book—is his overriding concern about the seemingly blind acceptance of false teaching in our midst, and the diminishment of the authority of Scripture as a result.

This is especially apparent when DeYoung writes on the fairness issue, countering the oft-cited “good fruit/bad fruit” claims of of Matthew Vines and other authors who ask, “If embracing their sexuality were really a step away from God… why are so many ‘gay Christians’ spiritually flourishing?” (116) In other words, how can it be wrong if it’s yielding “good fruit”?

The problem, DeYoung argues, is that the definition of “good fruit” proposed is wrong. In revisionist writing, experience has a tendency to trump the what Scripture says. Thus, the good fruit is fulfillment, satisfaction or personal happiness. It is a feeling. This is necessary for us to remember in a culture driven by experience—what we feel is not unimportant, but we cannot escape the fact that as fallen human beings with hearts and minds corrupted by sin, our feelings will lie to us. “The heart wants what the heart wants” is true enough; however, what the heart wants is not always what the heart needs. Tim Keller said it well in a recent conference message, when the heart wants something, the mind will find it reasonable and the emotions find desirable. Thus, we should probably be a little more clear about fruit is, biblically.

Instead of a feeling, Matthew 7:21 reminds us, good fruit is obedience. One only bears fruit when doing the will of the Father. Thus, if one is doing something contrary to the will of God, it is bad fruit, regardless of what we feel.  We must remember “there are no genuinely healthy trees apart from obedience to Christ and the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:16-24)” (118).

Falling on deaf ears

As true as this is, and as beneficial as it is to be reminded of it, the reality is, as much as we might want them to, the revisionists aren’t likely to heed the warning DeYoung issues in this book. As I read the book, I kept thinking of how they might attempt to refute his claims. To be sure, those who hold the affirming position of same-sex relationships will almost certainly stand against it’s message, but those who do will be doing so on a shaky foundation.

The place I could see those standing in opposition to this book’s message appealing to most readily is experience.Because DeYoung doesn’t deal with same-sex attraction personally, one could argue, he doesn’t have a basis for writing this book. It’s a desperate argument, and a poor one, but one could still attempt to make the case. However, we should always remember that experience does not trump the Bible. Experience, as I said earlier, doesn’t supersede truth. And one does not need firsthand experience of something to be able to speak intelligently about it. Do we really expect pastors to develop a porn addiction before they can speak out against it? Or get divorced? Or become a drunkard?

And even if the argument were valid, one could just as easily point to Sam Allberry’s excellent book, Is God anti-gay?, which largely makes the same case as What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?—but he does so as a man who experiences same-sex attraction. Nevertheless, no matter how winsomely communicated, and no matter how rigorously defended, revisionists will likely remain entrenched in their position, despite its intellectual and theological dishonesty.

Pastoral responses and an urgent plea

Whether they are uncertain of what to believe, or simply struggle to effective communicate the truth, this book will be a great help to its readers. What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? offers clarity on disputed texts, pastoral responses to the common arguments, and most importantly, an urgent plea to hold fast to the truth in the face of mounting pressure to compromise. Lord willing, we will all carefully consider what DeYoung has to say in this book.


Title: What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?
Author: Kevin DeYoung
Publisher: Crossway (2015)

Buy it at: Westminster Bookstore | Amazon

Posted by Aaron Armstrong

Aaron is the author of several books for adults and children, as well as multiple documentaries and Bible studies. His latest book, I'm a Christian—Now What?: A Guide to Your New Life with Christ is available now.

Reader interactions

26 Replies to “What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality?”

  1. I noticed you review only books that believe as you do on homosexuality and the Bible, Not very balanced, is it?
    DeYoung is only rehashing Gagnon’s tired argument of “complementarity” and the same arguments from anti-gay apologists with the rest of the “clobber passages.”

    1. A tendency to review books that are only from either and not the other, is fairly standard though isnt it? I do read books from both sides, myself though.

      Why do you call Gagnon’s complementarity argument “tired”? It’s still in the focus of contemporary discussion, EG by the likes of Brownson.

      1. Myself, I read what others (Gagnon, DeYoung, Brown, etc) have to say and then I read the refutes if there are any. Gagnon’s made up “complimentary” argument really is too much and I don’t see them taken seriously by any legit scholar outside of Evangelical schools who would swallow anything he states.

        1. A situation where only evangelicals take Gagnon seriously, is kinda tautological though isnt it. Those without a level of commitment to Scripture that is of an evangelical grade, are not going to be bothered with an approach that treats Scripture with such authority.

          Why do you say that evangelical scholars would swallow anything Gagnon states? Do you have any examples of them swallowing errors from him?

          I see you regard the complementarity concept as “made up”. Do you feel the same way about the concept of the Trinity?

          1. Only Evangelicals treat Scripture with the greatest authority? Says who? I find Evangelicals come to Scripture with the greatest bias against homosexuality. Evangelical schools are run by Evangelical churches and God forbid if they make any gesture for gay acceptance contrary to church stance. It was F.F. Bruce who stated he would get e-mails from Professors at Evangelical Universities telling him they find no condemnation of loving gay relationships within the Bible, but were afraid of stating that opinion out of fear of being fired.

            Gagnon’s “Complementarity” argument was just quoted by Albert Mohler and Gagnon himself got it from the Greek pagan Aristophanes. The junk science in Gagnon’s book, even though it’s been refuted, is still quoted by religious conservative groups. Myself and others have critiqued Gagnon’s talking points with what are clearly deceptive errors, but you’ll never see those errors brought up by those who have a religious ax to grind with homosexuality.

            I do believe in the Trinity, as a Pentecostal it kind of comes with the territory ; ), but I don’t believe you are any less of a Christian if you don’t believe in the Trinity. Very different from what your getting at with Gagnon’s “complementarity” argument.

          2. Who says it’s evangelicals who treat Scripture with the greatest authority? Me. Im not aware of evidence to the contrary.

            Yes, Ive heard there are people in evangelical environments, who dare not reject the party line about homosexuality, for fear of it being a poor career move. I tend to assume they have some reason for rejecting Scripture. I know that conversely, there are evangelicals in liberal establishments, who watch what they say for fear of it being a poor career move. I guess that would include the risk of saying something negative about homosexuality. It goes both ways – so to speak.

            I havent heard of Aristophanes. But even if Aristophanes involves complimentarity, what reason do we have to think that it’s Gagnon’s source? Are your critiques of Gagnon available online? Id like to take a look.

            Thanks for answering my question about Trinity. Interesting.

          3. If someone is in an Evangelical environment, how is rejecting the “party line” with homosexuality going to hurt them? It will do the exact opposite. Did you forget what environment they’re in with how homosexuality is seen with the Bible by Evangelicals?

            I don’t know if you have read Gagnon’s book, but he quotes pagan sources, including Aristophanes, often.

            Your blog doesn’t accept links to other blogs. I tried several times.
            Try this:
            rottenqueerchristian.blogspot.com/2014/06/gagnons-poor-passion.html
            Just add the “https://” to link.

          4. Your comment has now been approved. Just an FYI, it’s not Tom’s blog; he’s a reader who chose to engage with your comment (which I appreciate).

          5. My response is being labeled as spam according to Disqus, It must be because I linked to my blog per your request. How do we resolve this?

          6. Well if you are a professor in a conservative Christian university, and you dont tow the line, do you think that would be advantageous to your prospects of promotion?

            Regarding Aristophanes, I see the page 2012/06/robert-gagnon makes reference to it. But as I wrote earlier, even if Aristophanes involves complimentarity, what reason do we have to think that it’s Gagnon’s source? Do you have page numbers or chapter numbers I can use to find it in Gagnon’s book?

          7. “Well if you are a professor in a conservative Christian university, and you dont tow the line, do you think that would be advantageous to your prospects of promotion?”
            That is exactly MY point with a professor in a conservative university who finds he just can’t find a general condemnation of homosexuality outside of the contexts they are in.
            Your link is Gagnon answering a question on a card, very different with having a dialogue back and fourth with someone in the audience who can point out the contradictions and errors of what he’s saying while and after he’s saying them.
            Like most junk, I threw away Gagnon’s book when I moved. Aristophanes is the earliest source of this pagan belief of man and women becoming one again. If he got it from someone else, they got it from Aristophanes.

          8. Ok. Maybe my use of the term ‘party line’ earlier wasnt clear. Sorry.

            If Gagnon’s concept of complementarity can be said to come from the first person who mentioned it, then in the same way, the anthropologists who claim there were pre-judeo-christian religions, would say that because they mentioned love first, love is not really a Christian belief, because Christianity adopted it from elsewhere.

            And are you really criticising Gagnon for lack of dialogue, in the midst of a context where dialogue is the very core of what he’s doing (IE a debate!) ??

          9. You make a good point. Prior to the Bible account of Noah and the flood was the “Epic of Gilgamesh” that was the first account of a man building a boat to escape a great flood, but we aren’t talking about what came first with a historical account, we are talking about “complementarity” of the two sexes theological claim that just doesn’t jibe with actual Scripture.
            It’s not the point how Gagnon debates with what he does or doesn’t do, the man is just wrong WITH what he’s debating. Gagnon loves to hear himself speak and I don’t take way from him being a master debater, But I’ve shown you how Gagnon is just wrong on almost everything with what are his main talking points, my refutes with of book, my refutes of his points with the Roman Centurion and if you like you can go back to my blog and go to the bottom of my blog to his tag label and just see all the posting myself and others with showing how he is wrong on all the many levels. The man really is an Emperor with no clothes.

          10. Interesting. I’ll take a further look. It seems strange to claim that complimartity doesn’t fit with Scripture.

          11. I appreciate the openness from you Tom. It really isn’t strange when you take a good look at what the writers of the NT say, or the lack of what they say, on this specified subject.

          12. Well FC, I clicked on a Robert Gagnon tag, as you suggested. Unfortunately, the first post that was listed, is rather crude, and seems to be an attempt at ridiculing Gagnon. So as you can imagine, my sense of you being serious, dropped a little. I realise you didnt write it, but why did you repost it? From what I have seen from Gagnon, the inference that he repeatedly rails against anal sex, simply isnt true. Sure he rails against “homosexual practice” but that is not the same thing and his logic is far from what is portrayed in the post.

            But moving on…

            Further down, you cite an old post from Karl Hand. Karl travels a bit, and Ive met him. Nice guy. But the post basically sets up a strawman, that does nothing to enhance your blog. Yes, Gagnon wrote the subtitle in question. But Karl has basically quoted Gagnon out of context, because following the subtitle, Gagnon details what sort of ‘risks’ he was referring to. The risks are not, as per Karl’s illustration, being thrown out of home, or committing suicide etc etc. Rather, they are largely of being labelled or regarded derisively. Sure the risks that Gagnon faces are not as severe as those faced by some gay people, but they are still risks, and it was unfair of Karl to gaslight Gagnon this way.

            Still further down the list, I then came across a post about the “Centurion and his Servant”. You write “It’s true ‘pais’ is used in other parts of the Bible without a sexual component. but in this SPECIFIC CONTEXT the outside-the-Bible historical record of a Roman Centurion with his male slave narrows it down for us. Even a historian like Kenneth Dover and Roberto Gagnon himself admits ‘pais’ likely is the younger half of a gay relationship (The Bible And Homosexual Practice, p. 163, footnote 6.)” I interpret you to be saying that Gagnon believes that the ‘pais’ in the Greek of Luke 7:1-10 is likely the younger gay partner. Is that right? Because that is not what Gagnon was saying. Gagnon’s chapter 2 begins with Gagnon citing various non-biblical references from within a few centuries of Jesus’ earthly life. Gagnon says the standard model of homosexual relationships in the examples, is pederastic. Footnote 6 is in reference to those non-biblical citations. Footnote 6 explains that pederasty involved eroticism with a boy who was approximately beginning puberty, but then Gagnon adds a note of caution, that ‘pais’ “could be used of any junior partner in a homosexual relationship, even one who was full grown.” Nowhere in the footnote, or in the relevant text or nearby text, does Gagnon mention the centurion and his servant. And does Gagnon believe that the story of the centurion and his servant involves a gay relationship? No. In separate material we can see that he interprets this instance of ‘pais’ using the standard definition of youth/son. EG http://www.robgagnon.net/HomosexCenturionStory.htm

            But I kept reading, looking for the refutation of complementarity. But I cant find it?

            By the way, are you Australian? I travel to various parts of Australia from time to time. I might be able to meet you and we could chat further while I buy you a coffee!

          13. Like you said, I didn’t write the first post, but this is what this individual came away with in reading Gagnon’s book from his personal perspective, though it looks like you strongly disagree. The only thing I saw as crude was him repeating “anal sex,” relevant with Gagnon who talks about it himself. If Gagnon puts himself out there as the voice from the conservative/revisionist viewpoint, what did he expect from his critics he hasn’t done himself? The man really believes he’s untouchable and people will persecute him for the sole reason he is right.

            You have me at a disadvantage because I no longer have Gagnon’s book with a post I wrote 3 years ago. Though with Gagnon’s “6 point” refute of the Centurion story, those points were answered by me. I KNOW Gagnon doesn’t believe the story involves a gay relationship, no shock there, but outside historical sources shows he’s wrong if he’s saying the youth was his son (I noticed Gagnon is now saying it was the son of an official with absolutely no evidence of it in the narrative stating as such and he even goes so far with forcing that interpretation with saying Luke was wrong in calling the ‘pais’ a slave). No matter, the central aspects with what I said on the story still hold true.

            “But I kept reading, looking for the refutation of complementarity. But I cant find it?”

            I think you might have missed this post with a link: http://rottenqueerchristian.blogspot.com/2012/09/refute-to-gagnons-adam-and-eve-fixation_1.html
            Brownson’s book; “Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships” also makes a solid argument against “complementarity.”

            Not to be pushy with what looks like you’re avoiding because I really don’t want to sound like I want to start a fight with what has thus been a civil discourse between us, but you haven’t even once admitted; “Gagnon IS wrong” on even with one with the many refutes others or myself have shown with him. It’s like you’re saying; “You proved him wrong on this and that, but so what? I still believe in him.” Do you hold the man at such a high level of regard he does no wrong? Is Gagnon’s book a Bible companion book you need to reference with what the Bible says?

            Just out of curiosity, why would you think I am Australian? US born and bred my friend.

            I’m in the middle of moving to San Juan Capistrano (beautiful house in a beautiful city) with leaving the Los Angeles area, but I would love to meet you for coffee once I am settled.

          14. Thanks FC. I dont get to California much, but I will keep Orange County in mind, if I return.

            I think I noticed a few Australian references in your blog, EG Karl Hand, so just wondered if you were from there.

            To clarify, no I dont think Gagnon is without error. I think there are faults with his classic book. I have not carefully read through the whole book yet. But my impression is that the number of errors in the book are far fewer and smaller than what you perceive, but still I think there are some.

            It sounds like you dont intend amending your blog in light of what I have said about that footnote above and about Gagnon’s introduction. If that’s the case, Im uncomfortable that you are not willing to give Gagnon the benefit of the doubt. I think if the situation was in reverse, and someone wrote on their blog things about your book that were not true, and did not amend it even when the error is explained, you would not be happy about it.

            Youre right, I did not notice the link to Brownson’s book. Sorry I guess the link was not obvious to me. Ive read that book, and although I think that Brownson is right that complementarity as an extensive doctrine, is not explicit in Scripture, I dont buy his wholesale rejection of it. I think the doctrine of complementarity has similarities with the doctrine of Trinity. IE the word Trinity is not found in Scripture, but Trinity is a good summary and a reasonable way of explaining how God is represented in Scripture in terms of composition. Likewise, i think that complementarity, if not taken too far, is a reasonable way of describing how male and female are presented in Scripture as the default and affirmed model for romantic human relations.

            Ill be fairly busy this week, but if time permits Ill look more deeply into the other elements of your post about the centurion, which I have not yet considered. I the meantime, thanks for your interaction.

          15. Not reading all of Gagnon’s book and making the claim you think there are less errors in it than I perceive is kind of odd, don’t you think? I see you won’t give an inch with what you set with yourself as Gagnon’s Gospel being the Gospel.

            I don’t see White, Gagnon or any other anti-gay apologist amend the errors they have published to a worldwide audience that deceive countless Christians, even though they have been proven wrong time and again, a little double standard and kinda hypocritical from you, don’t you think? I will add Gagnon’s ridiculous take on the ‘pais’ being the son of an a Roman authority because that slipped by me the first time. Thanks for pointing me to what he had to say about it again.

            You stated; “Gagnon says the STANDARD MODEL of homosexual relationships in the examples (Roman men and their male slaves examples), is pederastic. Footnote 6 is in reference to those non-biblical citations. Footnote 6 explains that pederasty involved eroticism with a boy who was approximately beginning puberty, but then Gagnon adds a note of caution, that ‘pais’ “COULD be used of any junior partner in a homosexual relationship, even one who was full grown.” Nowhere in the footnote, or in the relevant text or nearby text, does Gagnon mention the centurion and his servant.”
            If Gagnon admits a “pais” could be a junior partner in a gay relationships from non-Biblical historical sources (what I said myself with quoting those very sources), what makes you think it can’t be applied to the Centurion in the Biblical narrative even though Gagnon doesn’t mention it by name? Like I said, of course Gagnon isn’t going to read a homo angle in it, but Gagnon is looking ridiculous, again with this, with saying sexual relationships are the standard for Centurions and their slaves, BUT, not in this singular case of the Centurion and his slave in the Bible story? Really? And thanks again Tom, I will amend my post with what you told me.
            I really don’t see the Trinity and complementarity of the sexes as comparable. Even though both can be said as not explicitly coming from the Bible, one belief is not necessary for inclusion in the Kingdom of God and is a doctrinal issue while the other excludes people from the Kingdom of God with causing spiritual destruction that is sometimes carried over to the physical when homosexuals are told God doesn’t love them because of their “sin.”
            And I thank you as well for the interaction that to me proves I’m on solid ground.
            God Bless Tom.

          16. FC, yes not reading a book and then stating that it has a certain quantity of errors would be odd. I would not do that. But after reading part of a book and reading some reviews of that book, I think it’s quite reasonable to give your impression (‘impression’ is a key word in what I wrote) of whether the book overall is likely to be as flawed as what the reviews imply.

            In the same way that I have recommend that you correct errors on your blog, I have previously recommended to Gagnon that he correct an error on his blog. If you correct your errors while he does not, than in that regard, you are the better Christian. God honors truth.

            You write “Gagnon is looking ridiculous, again with this, with saying sexual relationships are the standard for Centurions and their slaves, BUT, not in this singular case of the Centurion and his slave in the Bible story?” Your first sentence becomes a key question for me. IE does Gagnon say sexual relationships are the standard for Centurions and their slaves? Where does Gagnon say that?

            I think that when talking theology, it’s important to not conflate and confuse unnecessarily. Conflating the concept of complimentarity, with homosexuals being told that God doesnt love them, is I think, a claim with an obscure reality. I read a lot and I read widely, but it’s highly rare for me to come across material stating that God does not love gay people. Sure, Westboro Baptist Church exists, but they are small and few take them seriously, and although I havent followed them closely, I dont recall them promoting complimentarity?

            You write “If Gagnon admits a ‘pais’ could be a junior partner in a gay relationships from non-Biblical historical sources … what makes you think it can’t be applied to the Centurion in the Biblical narrative even though Gagnon doesn’t mention it by name?” Interesting question. I’ll read through your blog post on that, and Gagnon’s post on it, and get back to you – hopefully by the end of the week.

            Tom

          17. You stated:

            “If you correct your errors while he does not, than in that regard, you are the better Christian. God honors truth.”

            Well I guess I am a better Christian because Gagnon still, how many years ago did he write the book? Hasn’t removed even the junk science refuted by the CDC, forget anything else.

            You stated:

            “… Your first sentence becomes a key question for me. IE does Gagnon say sexual relationships are the standard for Centurions and their slaves? Where does Gagnon say that?”

            Didn’t you just tell me:

            “… Gagnon’s chapter 2 begins with GAGNON CITING VARIOUS NON-BIBLICAL REFERENCES from within a few centuries of Jesus’ earthly life. Gagnon says the standard model of homosexual relationships in the examples, is pederastic. Footnote 6 is in reference to those non-biblical citations. Footnote 6 explains that pederasty involved eroticism with a boy who was approximately beginning puberty, but then Gagnon adds a note of caution, that ‘pais’ “could be used of any junior partner in a homosexual relationship, even one who was full grown.”
            If Gagnon is not talking about the “pais” with citing non-Biblical references, what is he talking about with citing non-Biblical references that were pederastic? You have me confused know. Ultimately it doesn’t matter because even though Gagnon didn’t cite non-biblical references to show the sexual aspect of a Roman male Centurion with his slave as you now claim, I did.
            Most of what homosexuals get from what “Christians” feel about them come from the media and not books. Some of the outrageous claims are that gay Starbuck employees put semen in your coffee, we are the cause of tornadoes and Ebola, the Nazis were controlled by militaristic gays, we want to throw Christians back to the lions, I could be here all day telling you the outrageous things being said. And aren’t talking about fringe groups or individuals here, we are talking about people like Gagnon who states gays are prone to pedophilia, Michael Brown who said gays want to throw Christians in jail and Albert Mohler who believes all gays are following some evil plan from a book published in the 70’s. The books you read are these individual putting on their “nice face” and is not how they are in the real world.
            If you want to continue going to go back and forth about Gagnon, I rather not. I’m not here to argue his semantics with the speck in my eye while he is ignored by you with the boards coming out of his.
            Take care Tom.

          18. Okay then; no more talk of Gagnon. Are you sure about that though? Because you talk about Gagnon a lot.

            Thank you for making that point about James White. I happen to have a book of his on my desk. Did you know that in chapter 4 of The Same Sex Controversy, on p. 87, it says this –

            “The rhetoric often flashes about in this way: “Oh so you want to kill all the gays.” No. That would be unbiblical …”

            This idea of God hating gays, is interesting isnt it. You seem to acknowledge (or at least not dispute) my claim that Christians dont tend to say that God hates gays. You say it’s a conclusion that gay people reach. I think youre right. I see a lot of comments in forums where gay people argue that God does not hate them. Sometimes I wonder whether gay people inadvertently promote the myth, by arguing against something that so few people believe in the first place.

            But lets ponder the logic. If God were to hate gays, on the grounds that gay relations are sinful, then doest that mean he would likewise hate all sinners? And lets remember that “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23). So does God hate everyone? Silly huh. Do murderers generally feel that God hates them? I doubt it. Do liars generally feel that God hates them? I doubt it. So why do gays? The perception intrigues me, but I dont have the answer, except that I think that in reality God loves everyone, irrespective of their sin.

          19. “Okay then; no more talk of Gagnon. Are you sure about that though? Because you talk about Gagnon a lot.”

            The thing is you aren’t talking about Gagnon being wrong or right like I did, you are only talking about ME talking about Gagnon.

            Maybe White should have expressed what he said in his book to the actual person who advocated stoning homosexuals. It would have told me he was being sincere in his book.

            I wouldn’t say gays promote the “myth” God hates them, they say anti-gay “Christians” SAY God hates them. And someone doesn’t need to say the words; “God hates you” when saying something like “gay marriage will bring the judgment of God on America” serves the same purpose. Liars and murderers tend not to give a lot of space to what God thinks because they know intrinsically what they do is wrong and they have no want with reconciling that with God.

          20. Yea I guess there is a tendency of people to think that God’s judgement equates to hate. It comes down to a lack of knowledge of Scripture. They dont realise that God chastises all, and judges all, including those he loves.

            Youre right that I dont talk much about whether Gagnon is right or wrong. On many elements I feel unable to judge. I dont know the Biblical languages, and I have little insight into the culture of Biblical times.

          21. FC, I just noticed that your blog states “I add Daniel Kirk’s name to the list of scholars who can’t find a prohibition on homosexuality with the Bible.”

            But please be aware of the following recent video. 7 minutes into it, Kirk says “… in fact in the large contours of that discussion, Professor Gagnon and I essentially agree. We agree that the Bible speaks with one voice in the Old Testament and NewTestament in the places where it speaks about same-sex relations, it condemns those relations as inappropriate for the people of God.”

            The video might not play here, but if you click on the link you can probably still access it.
            https://vimeo.com/142955069

  2. Thanks for the review. I haven’t read the book myself yet, but am thinking of getting a copy.

    One section of the review caught my eye in particular:

    “Thus, the good fruit is fulfillment, satisfaction or personal happiness. It is a feeling. … Thus, we should probably be a little more clear about fruit is, biblically.

    Instead of a feeling, Matthew 7:21 reminds us, good fruit is obedience…”

    Somehow I’m not following you here. Isn’t obedience the action that generates the fruit? It doesn’t seem like obedience can be both the action AND the result. Does that make sense?

    A straight-forward reading of Matthew 7:21 seems to speak about belonging to or entering the kingdom of God. I don’t see anything about fruit that comes from us, but discussing something we enter (or not) that comes from God. True, that entering or belonging has to do with action and not verbal claim. But I don’t understand how it applies to fruit equalling obedience.

    The actions which are the will of the Father in Matthew 7:21 are also not explicitly described in that verse, so it seems that we would have to look at the context to understand what’s going on. The previous few verses (15-20) speak of fruit, but do not define the actions to be obeyed which lead to good or bad fruit. However, if we back up to the beginning of this chapter, Jesus is talking about actions (to be obeyed to enter the kingdom, presumably) like: not judging others (7:1-5), asking for good things from God (7:7-11), and doing for others what we wish they would do for us (7:12).

    If we’re looking for a definition of fruit, it seems simpler to reach for Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

    If we look at fruit in this way – as a result instead of an action – then DeYoung’s counter-argument to affirming Christians on this particular point seems to not make any sense. That maybe there is room open to look for attributes (well beyond feelings) of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, etc, in our gay brothers and sisters in the process of dialoging on this issue.

    What do you think? Have I understood you or DeYoung incorrectly? I’m puzzled here.

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