Recommended Reading on the Topic of Homosexuality

Note: Except for the first recommendation, which contains competing views, I have paired books whose authors have examined the same evidence and come to very different conclusions. The pairings have to do with the authors themselves, who write from very similar life and work experiences. The first pair are Christian men struggling with same-sex attraction. The second pair are practicing evangelical pastors. The third pair are well-respected Christian academics.  The opinionated comments are mine alone.  —geno

  1. Homosexuality: Two Views.  Dan Via & Robert Gagnon.  2003.

(Two academics who hold to a high view of scripture lay out their very different views on the issue of homosexuality and coming to very different conclusions. The most instructive part of this small book is in their critique of one another’s work. Recommended because it is a very fine, and relatively short, summary of several of the most prominent academic arguments regarding how to interpret what the Bible says on the subject.)

  1. Washed and Waiting. Wesley Hill.  2010.

{read with}

God and the Gay Christian: The biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships. Matthew Vines.  2014.

(Two first-person accounts by Christian men with same-sex attraction who come down on different sides of the debate. Some of the best popular writing on the subject. Highly recommend both books for clarity of thought, depth of experience expressed and commitment to scripture.)

  1. What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality?.  Kevin DeYoung.  2015.

{read with}

A Letter to My Congregation: An evangelical pastor’s path to embracing people who are gay, lesbian and transgender in the company of Jesus. Ken Wilson. 2014.

(Two practicing pastors, both well-experienced, both previously-published authors, both committed to a high view of scripture, but landing in different places. Especially with Wilson’s work one begins to see how embracing the very real pain of same-sex persons can have a dramatic impact on how one then turns to read the Bible. Wilson is a long-time pastor in the Vineyard movement. His work in this book was formally countered by his denomination in a position paper available at: http://vineyardusa.org/site/files/PositionPaper-VineyardUSA-Pastoring_LGBT_Persons.pdf)

  1. The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Text and Hermeneutics.  Robert A.J. Gagnon. 2001.

{read with}

Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships. James Brownson.  2013.

(Both authors are highly-respected scholars with lengthy academic careers. Both hold a very high, evangelical view of scripture but manage to come out at two very different places. Gagnon’s book is the gold standard for a traditional reading of the text on the subject of homosexuality. Brownson offers a tremendous critique of Gagnon’s work. Gagnon plans to reply in the future. This is the fullest debate on the topic at an academic level between two great students of the Bible. These books are both lengthy and take some time to get through. I also recommend Dr. Gagnon’s website: http://www.robgagnon.net)

 

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