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The lecture below by Professor Sam Williams (Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is not an exploration of or defense of interpreting the Bible with regard to homosexuality. The best material on that is Robert Gagnon’s The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics (see this video for a good introduction). Williams assumes the biblical perspective in this lecture.

Having followed this issue for some time, I would say that this is the best one-hour introduction you can find—or at least that I have found—for looking at issues like:

  • What causes homosexuality?
  • Can we be responsible for that which is not consciously chosen?
  • What is the difference between having same-same attraction, same-sex orientation, and being “gay” or “lesbian”?
  • How many people self-identify in these ways?
  • Do people with same-same attraction actually change?
  • How can they change?
  • What does the gospel have to do with this issue?
  • How can we promote change in the church for those who struggle?

You can listen to the audio at iTunes, though the video below is worth watching, if you can, to see a couple of the charts. It really is worth watching or listening to if you are interested in this issue and long to help people change.

For more on some of the social-science research see Mark Yarhouse’s summary paper, “At the Intersection of Religious and Sexual Identities: A Christian Perspective on Homosexuality.”

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11 thoughts on “The Best Introduction to Homosexuality: Causes, Change, and the Gospel”

  1. Don Sartain says:

    Very interesting! I’ll have to check that out when I get home. Seems like a good intro for the next session of Secret Church as well.

  2. Theologian says:


    Chris Davis out of Southern California at Whiten Avenue Baptist church has a great sermon on this. I think this guy used to study with Piper (?). I came across it one day, you might still be able to find it on the church website. Quite possibly the best sermon I have ever heard on the issue. He balanced grace and truth in a great way in my opinion.

  3. Michael says:

    Glad to see him say God condemns homosexual passions, as many in the Christian community are saying that it’s only the act that is sinful, not the “sexual orientation”.

    1. Daniel says:

      Dr. Williams is the primary tool that God used to bring about transformation in my practical struggle to live out the reality of my salvation. Quite simply I am here today because of his ministry. I learned through him to apply the truth of the gospel to my fight with homosexuality. He is my dear brother and I am so thankful to see this! I pray that God uses this beautiful declaration of Gospel hope and reality to help many like myself and those who would help them.

  4. Joe S says:

    A more appropriate title for this lecture would be ‘Clueless’. For the people with the actual condition the labels SSA, SSO, homosexual and gay are synonymous. Most gay people would happily stop using the word gay – except the moment they are honest about their emotions and attractions they get called something anyway. There’s no escape from this labeling process because homosexuals are a tiny minority and humans always give minorities a name. The key issue is whether it’s a pejorative or culturally ‘neutral’ term. Gay is a much nicer word than fag or queer – which is the main reason gays use it – and not because of all the identity politics drivel this guy talks about.

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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