DeYoung, Kevin. What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? Wheaton: Crossway, 2015.
Kevin DeYoung in his new book, What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?, gives a concise evangelical guide to the issue of homosexuality. Divided into two parts, 12 chapters, and only 150 pages, this book is easily readable in one or two sittings. Part one—chapters one through five—tackles the significant biblical texts that deal with homosexuality and shows how they clearly prohibit homosexual behavior. He looks at Genesis 1 & 2, Genesis 19, Leviticus 18 & 20, Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6, and 1 Timothy 1 to build a Biblical view on homosexuality. Each of the five chapters dealing with a biblical text is organized similarly. First, DeYoung shares the biblical text in question; then he gives common revisionist objections to why this should be read as not necessarily against homosexual behavior; and then he concludes with his own reading of the text.
Part two of the book—chapters six through twelve—answers the most common objections from revisionist Christians who believe that homosexual activity is not sinful. He answers objections like,
- The Bible hardly mentions homosexuality
- The Bible doesn’t prohibit committed, monogamous same-sex relationships
- The Bible also condemns gluttony and divorce but the church doesn’t make a big deal out of those
- Being against homosexuality is to be on the wrong side of history
- It’s just not fair that God wouldn’t let someone express his/her love in a same-sex relationship
In each of the chapters dealing with an objection DeYoung articulates the revisionist objection and then seeks to answer the objection with biblical clarity.
The book also has three essays in the appendix section that gives DeYoung’s take on gay marriage, seeks to answer whether same-sex attraction is in itself sinful, and also gives 10 commitments that leaders should make as they seek to be biblically faithful on homosexuality.
Overall the book is concise, helpful, and necessary for any leader that wants to be biblically faithful and compassionate on the issue of homosexuality.
Benefit for Pastoral Ministry
This is one of those books that needs to be read by every leader. It is probably the best concise treatment on a Christian’s view of homosexuality out there right now. DeYoung is able to take very complicated ideas and articulate them in ways that anyone can understand. Along with a very readable writing style that is approachable and winsome, DeYoung helps all of us understand what the Bible has to say about homosexuality. But that is not the only thing I appreciate about Kevin’s new book.
I appreciate that DeYoung treats the arguments of revisionists fairly. He takes the time to concisely share their ideas, their reasoning behind it and does so without being condescending. As leaders we must be able to engage in this cultural debate in winsome ways without compromising on the truth. Kevin shows us how to do that because he does it so well.
I also appreciate that he gives substantive answers to revisionist assertions and objections. He does this by being thoroughly biblical and building solid arguments. This book is grounded in the scriptures. From beginning to end, DeYoung keeps taking us back to what the Bible has to say. Again, Kevin shows us how as leaders we must move forward. Our ideas or riding the cultural band wagon will not help those we lead follow Jesus. Instead, it is faithful exegesis of scripture and faithful standing for the gospel that is needed. This book does that and helps us to do the same.
Finally, I appreciate that this book is short. At a 150 pages, any leader can read this and read it quickly. Leaders are busy, and it can be hard to take the time to be thoughtful and thorough on such an important issue. DeYoung has done the hard work for us and we get to enjoy the fruit of his labor.
Essential — Recommended — Helpful — Pass It By
If you are a Christian leader and want to be faithful to Jesus on the issue of homosexuality, you need to read What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?