Christians who are confused by the homosexuality debate raging in the US are looking for resources that are based solidly on a deep study of what Scripture says about the issue. In People to Be Loved, Preston Sprinkle challenges those on all sides of the debate to consider what the Bible says and how we should approach the topic of homosexuality in light of it.
In a manner that appeals to a scholarly and lay-audience alike, Preston takes on difficult questions such as how should the church treat people struggling with same-sex attraction? Is same-sex attraction a product of biological or societal factors or both? How should the church think about larger cultural issues, such as gay marriage, gay pride, and whether intolerance over LGBT amounts to racism? How (or if) Christians should do business with LGBT persons and supportive companies?
Simply saying that the Bible condemns homosexuality is not accurate, nor is it enough to end the debate. Those holding a traditional view still struggle to reconcile the Bible’s prohibition of same-sex attraction with the message of radical, unconditional grace. This book meets that need.
This is a remarkable book. The tone overflows with love, compassion, and grace. Preston is an exceptional biblical scholar, and as such, his exegesis of Scripture is excellent. As I read, I kept thinking, “Preston really loves the LGBTYQ Community.” This book will be a resource at Transformation Church. – Derwin L. Gray, Lead Pastor Transformation Church, author of The High Definition Leader
With the poignant accuracy of a scholar and the passionate heart of a pastor, Preston challenges Christians to look at the LGBT community from a deeper level. Specifically, he drives home the point that LGBT people in our lives aren’t nameless faces, but real individuals that God loves. Each person has a voice, deserves to be listened to, and needs to be valued. I’m thankful Preston has pushed us further into the tension of grace and truth. – Caleb Kaltenbach, lead pastor, Discovery Church; author, Messy Grace
In his new book, People to Be Loved, Preston Sprinkle serves as a trustworthy guide through the debated passages of Scripture that relate to homosexuality. His thoughtful, balanced reflection on the arguments on both sides, as well as his willingness to share with the reader what he has concluded, reflect the kind of “convicted civility” that is often lacking in any discussion of the topic. Sprinkle’s approach also models for the Christian a commitment to respectful engagement with others with whom you may disagree. – Mark A. Yarhouse, PsyD, Professor of Psychology and Rosemarie S. Hughes Endowed Chair, Regent University
In a conversation polarized by hate, fear, and misunderstanding, Preston Sprinkle steps into the fray with a thoughtful, articulate, nuanced, humble, and courageous take on the current debate over sexuality and the Bible. His particular cocktail of professor, pastor, and down-to- earth regular Joe is an intoxicating blend that makes for good reading and even better learning. I’m thankful for Preston and this book. – John Mark Comer, pastor for teaching and vision, Bridgetown: A Jesus Church in Portland
Preston Sprinkle has a deep reverence for Scripture and a great love for people, meaning this book is not just accessible and lively, but rewarding and compassionate. It deserves to be widely read. – Sam Allberry, associate pastor, St. Mary’s Church, Maidenhead, UK
Preston Sprinkle does conservative Christians a needed service by guiding them into the complexity of biblical interpretation, sexual ethics, and compassionate listening. His meticulous research is applied with an even hand as he affirms and critiques arguments coming from both affirming and nonaffirming Christians, all the while offering wise pastoral counsel to straight and gay alike. Affirming scholars will disagree with various points in his interpretation but there is no question that Sprinkle is going as far as he can go within a nonaffirming viewpoint to move this debate away from the rhetoric of the culture war toward a more productive, respectful, loving conversation. – Megan K. DeFranza, author, Sex Difference in Christian Theology: Male, Female and Intersex in the Image of God
Powerful and accessible, People to Be Loved engages top scholarship from all sides of this conversation in a way that’s easy to read and down-to- earth, respectfully avoiding straw men while exploring Scripture with conviction and grace. Moreover, Preston models a posture for straight Christians to allow the abuse and mistreatment gay people have experienced to break and reshape us, to let their beauty and dignity draw our eyes to Jesus, and to “front love” as we seek to embody the sacrificial love of our King for his world. – Joshua Ryan Butler, pastor, Imago Dei Community (Portland)
Amidst the arguing at fever-pitchcomes Preston Sprinkle and People to Be Loved. I am grateful for his thoughtful perspective and great desire to love at the risk of being both criticized and marginalized. I pray more people will opt into relationship and conversation with one another in the way Preston has and find deeper friendship and understanding. – Alan Chambers, author, My Exodus: From FEAR to Grace; www.AlanChambers.org
With honesty, empathy and all-too- uncommon grace, Preston Sprinkle contributes brilliantly to the ongoing conversation our culture is having regarding Christianity and sexuality. Preston has done a rare thing: addressing controversial issues and dealing with perplexing questions in a way that is fair and gracious to all participants. This is a refreshing and immensely helpful book in navigating the deep waters of sexual ethics. I highly recommend it! – Mike Erre, pastor, First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton
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