Christianity and Sexuality: What We Believe, Why We Don’t Believe It

Jeremy Bouma on 1 month ago. Tagged under ,,,.

9780310535355Recently, a number of books have been published grappling with what the Bible and reality says about same-sex practice. Yet pastor Todd Wilson believes there is a crucial gap in these resources:

I don’t think we’ve dealt adequately with the question of homosexuality in the light of God’s design for human sexuality. Instead we’ve addressed the issue too narrowly—at times almost too exclusively in biblical or personal practical terms. (13)

Our approach typically asks one of two questions: What does the Bible say about homosexuality? How can I love homosexuals like Jesus? Although important, these questions miss something: “We need to put the question in a larger theological context” (14).

Enter Mere Sexuality, a cogent, compact book exploring what Christians have always believed about human sexuality. In a culture that’s deeply confused about…

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What Does It Mean to Be Gay … and a Christian? An Excerpt from All But Invisible

ZA Blog on 1 month ago. Tagged under ,,.

“Christians who aren’t straight but who also observe a traditional sexual ethic are some of the least acknowledged and understood people today,” writes Nate Collins. “They don’t fit into the mainstream gay culture, but neither do they feel entirely at home in your typical evangelical church.”

All But Invisible: Exploring Identity Questions at the Intersection of Faith, Gender, and Sexuality “is a book about people, like myself, who don’t see themselves as heterosexual or straight,” writes Collins, who explains: “much of what follows is, unavoidably, the result of my reflection on my experience as a gender minority who is also a conservative Christian with traditional views on sex and marriage.

Hear more from Nate Collins in today’s excerpt from All But Invisible.

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9780310526025I was twenty-three years old and one…

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Gender & Sexual Identity: We Need a Fresh Perspective for Our People

Jeremy Bouma on 2 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

9780310526025For many years the intersection of gay identity and Christian identity in the United States was a virtual no-man’s land. Nate Collins is one of the more recent voices bridging that gap with his new book All But Invisible.

While similarly focused books emphasize the biblical and theological issues surrounding faith, gender, and sexuality, he provides a renewed vision of gospel flourishing for LGBT people by speaking from his own experience as a gay man in a mixed orientation marriage.

Collins is committed to helping churches include LGBT people in the family life of the church. But first, he addresses two big-picture problems facing Christians who want to explore identity questions at the intersection of faith, gender, and sexuality.

1) Vision Problem: The Abundant Life for LGBT People

This first problem is…

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Can Someone Be Gay and Christian, and Faithfully Christian?

Jeremy Bouma on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,,,,.

9780310519652Should same-sex attracted Christians call themselves gay?

Let’s go further: Is same-sex attraction itself sinful?

And perhaps more pressing: Can gay Christians be faithfully Christian?

These questions sit at the heart of an ongoing discussion within the Church about the meaning of sexuality. They also form much of the pastoral thrust to a new book exploring why homosexuality isn’t just an issue.

In People to Be Loved Preston Sprinkle freshly engages the biblical passages and human faces behind the issue in a way that respects both. The engagement below reveals such a respect. It also reveals what it means to be gay and Christian, and to live faithfully unto Christ.

Gay and Christian?

First, should Christians who are same-sex attracted identify as gay? Sprinkle distinguishes between two senses…

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Have We Misunderstood Romans 1:26–27? 6 Interpretations Say ‘Yes’

Jeremy Bouma on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

People to Be LovedPreston Sprinkle believes we need a new discussion around the most potent topic in the church these days: same-sex relations and marriage.

Eschewing recycled responses and easy answers, his new book People to Be Loved freshly engages the passages and people behind the issue in a way that respects both, while challenging Christians across the spectrum.

“Are we sure we’ve understood what the Bible really says about same-sex relations?” (15) Sprinkle asks. Especially the crucial Romans 1 passage? Have we misunderstood it?

Six views say, ‘Yes’!

We’ve briefly outlined and engaged them below to bring clarity and offer a way forward.

1) Heterosexuals Having Homosexual Sex

Though largely abandoned, some interpret Read more

How Should Nonaffirming Christians View Affirming Christians? – An Excerpt from People to Be Loved

ZA Blog on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,.

“This is, perhaps, one of the most pressing ethical questions facing the church today.” Referring to the issue of same-sex attraction, Preston Sprinkle says in People to Be Loved, it’s “not about what the Bible says but what the Bible means.” But one step beyond the issue of interpretation is how should we interact with others who hold differing views? As difficult as it is, Sprinkle encourages us to listen well and love well in this excerpt.

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This is by far one of the hardest questions I’ve had to think through as I wrestled with this topic. It’s one thing to weep with those who experience same-sex attraction but think it’s wrong to act on it. But what about those Christians who have studied the Bible and disagree with my interpretation? They love Jesus, believe in…

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If the Gospel Isn’t For Everyone… – An Excerpt from People to Be Loved

ZA Blog on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,.

9780310519652In an age of confusion, disillusionment, and bashing others, Preston Sprinkle speaks up with solid truth and radical love. Sprinkle exhorts us to stop thinking of homosexuality as an “issue” to fix. That does us no good, he says. If our truth or love dilemma is driving people away from the church at such a great rate, something is wrong. Sprinkle starts a better conversation in his recent release, People to Be Loved.

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Eric Borges was raised in a conservative Christian home. At a young age, Eric realized he was different, and other kids at school let him know it. He endured relentless and ongoing bullying throughout kindergarten, and the rest of his elementary school years were tarnished with horror. “I was physically, mentally, verbally, and emotionally assaulted on a…

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2 Reasons Why We Need a New Conversation About Homosexuality

Jeremy Bouma on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,,.

9780310519652Has Christ’s Church handled the question of homosexuality with Christlike love? Are we sure we’ve understood what Scripture really says about same-sex relations?

Preston Sprinkle weaves together these two questions in a new book, appropriately titled People to Be Loved: Why Homosexuality Is Not Just an Issue. With rhetorical deftness, pastoral sensitivity, and theological depth, he offers Christians from across the spectrum an honest, engaging, surprising look at the Zeitgeist’s most important existential topic.

“Studying the issue of homosexuality is not enough,” writes Sprinkle. “We need to listen to gay and lesbian people…Homosexuality is about people. At the same time I want to be ruthlessly biblical about how we formulate our thoughts about homosexuality.” (19, 21)

Defying simple, thin answers to complex, thick questions,…

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7 Myths About the Bible & Homosexuality Debunked

Jeremy Bouma on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,,.

9780310518471_394_600_90When I first started reading David Lamb’s new book about Old Testament-style love I thought to myself, “Yeah, but what does he say about homosexuality?”

Given the current tectonic sexual shifts within Western culture, I imagine others will be searching for the same kind of biblically rooted, pastorally sensitive answers I was interested in. In this final chapter, Lamb doesn’t disappoint; he surprises!

In a sensible, down-to-earth, well-informed examination, Prostitutes and Polygamists exposes and debunks seven important myths about the Bible and homosexuality.

1) Gay Sex Is No Big Deal

While homosexuality itself never appears in the Old Testament, two verses in Leviticus do briefly address the issue: Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13.

“Leviticus clearly teaches that homosexual practice is wrong,” Lamb concludes.…

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McKnight Outlines Ancient & Pauline Views of Sexuality, Offers a Way Forward— An Excerpt from “A Fellowship of Differents”

Jeremy Bouma on 2 years ago. Tagged under ,,,,,.

9780310412144Scot McKnight has done it again.

He did it with Bible study and hermeneutics in The Blue Parakeet; discipleship in One Life; and personal evangelism in The King Jesus Gospel.

By “it,” I mean helping regular churchgoers engage Jesus and his world, and equipping pastors to take popular theology to the people in their pews.

His latest book firmly targets ecclesiology and its impact on the Christian life. In A Fellowship of Differents, McKnight’s thesis is simple, yet eye-opening for anyone in vocational ministry:

Church life shapes the Christian life.

One of the more important chapters brings clarity to the biblical text and a cohesive response to a conversation romping through the American church: human sexuality.

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