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9781433549373I highly recommend Kevin DeYoung’s new book, What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? (You can get it for less than $10 at Amazon. WTS also sells them by the case.)

The book has a simple structure.

The first part is on understanding God’s Word:

  • One Man, One Woman, One Flesh
  • Those Infamous Cities (Genesis 19)
  • Taking a Strange Book Seriously (Leviticus 18, 20)
  • The Romans Road in the Wrong Direction (Romans 1)
  • A New Word from an Old Place (1 Corinthians 6; 1 Timothy 1)

The second part is on answering objections:

  • “The Bible Hardly Ever Mentions Homosexuality”
  • “Not That Kind of Homosexuality”
  • “What about Gluttony and Divorce?”
  • “The Church Is Supposed to Be a Place for Broken People”
  • “You’re on the Wrong Side of History”
  • “It’s Not Fair”
  • “The God I Worship Is a God of Love”

He then closes with three appendices:

  • What about Same-Sex Marriage?
  • Same-Sex Attraction: Three Building Blocks
  • The Church and Homosexuality: Ten Commitments

All of this in 160 pages.

Here is one of the things I appreciate about Kevin. Not only is he an excellent writer and an insightful thinker, but he brings pastoral wisdom and care to this contentious and often personal discussion. For example, here is one section from the book that I appreciated, something that conservatives (in particular) who care about this issue should take to heart:

Of the many complexities involving the church and homosexuality, one of the most difficult is how the former should speak of the latter. Even for those Christians who agree that homosexual practice is contrary to the will of God, there is little agreement on how we ought to speak about it being contrary to the will of God. Much of this disagreement exists because we have many different constituencies in mind when we broach the subject. There are various groups that may be listening when we speak about homosexuality, and the group we think we are addressing usually dictates how we speak.

  • If we are speaking to cultural elites who despise us and our beliefs, we want to be bold and courageous.
  • If we are speaking to strugglers who fight against same-sex attraction, we want to be patient and sympathetic.
  • If we are speaking to sufferers who have been mistreated by the church, we want to be winsome and humble.
  • If we are speaking to shaky Christians who seem ready to compromise the faith for society’s approval, we want to be persuasive and persistent.
  • If we are speaking to those who are living as the Scriptures would not have them live, we want to be straightforward and earnest.
  • If we are speaking to belligerent Christians who hate or fear persons who identify as gay or lesbian, we want to be clear and corrective.

In the following video, I was able to sit down with Kevin to ask him a few questions about the topic and the book.

In the following video, I was able to sit down with Kevin to ask him a few questions about the topic and the book.

And here is a special talk Kevin gave, seeking to answer four categories of objections to traditional biblical ethics:

  • not that much—Jesus didn’t say anything about homosexuality, we are only dealing with a few verses
  • not the same—there was a different kind of homosexuality in the ancient world
  • not a big deal—we are all broken, we ignore other sins, can’t we find a third way?
  • not fair—the traditional view doesn’t lead to human flourishing and doesn’t lead to fruitful ministry

For more information on the book—including a sample chapter and a free study guide—go here.

Finally, here are some endorsements for the book:

“This book provides a short, accessible, and pastoral toolbox for all Christians to navigate the shifting cultural landscape of sexuality and find confidence and hope in how the Bible directs our steps. DeYoung offers wise and readable apologetics here, providing his readers with both motive and model for how to think and talk about homosexuality and the Christian faith in a way that honors Christ and gives hope to a watching world.”
—Rosaria Butterfield , former tenured Professor of English at Syracuse University; author, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert; mother, pastor’s wife, and speaker

“DeYoung takes on the most pressing issue of our day: whether we will be conformed to the spirit of the age or whether we will follow Christ. Against the sexual revolution and its high priests, DeYoung presents an alternative vision, the ancient wisdom of a Christian sexual ethic. This is the best book on this subject that I have read. Every Christian confronted with these issues, which means every Christian, should read this book. You will finish this book better equipped to preach the gospel, to love the lost, to welcome the wounded, and to stand up for Jesus and his Word.”
—Russell D. Moore, President, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission; author, Tempted and Tried

“What a gift this book is to the church! Kevin approaches the difficult question of sexuality with compassion and clarity, showing us what God’s Word says about it and why it is important. Well researched, accessibly written, and gospel saturated—this, in my opinion, is now the book on this subject for our generation!”
—J. D. Greear, Lead Pastor, The Summit Church, Durham, North Carolina; author, Jesus, Continued…Why the Spirit Inside You Is Better than Jesus Beside You

“A superb, accessible resource for lay people in every walk of life who need help making sense of one of the most critical, defining issues of our day. Kevin DeYoung approaches this highly controversial topic in a way that is biblically faithful, pastorally sensitive, historically in-formed, and culturally aware. The stakes are high. We cannot afford not to understand what Kevin has so helpfully laid out for us here.”
—Nancy Leigh DeMoss, author; radio host, Revive Our Hearts

“Anyone looking for an accessible, reader-friendly, “one-stop” treatment of the biblical underpinnings of traditional Christian marriage and sexual ethics would do well to read this book. It is lucid but not simplistic, judicious but not obscure, and convicted but not shrill.”
—Wesley Hill , Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, Trinity School for Ministry; author, Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality

“Kevin DeYoung has written a good and faithful treatment on the Bible and homosexual practice for the average churchgoer. His work addresses most of the main issues and does so in a succinct and articulate manner. I commend it.”
—Robert Gagnon, Associate Professor of New Testament, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary; author, The Bible and Homosexual Practice

“In the heated atmosphere that currently surrounds discussion of every aspect of homosexuality, the most important domain where we need careful thinking and constrained rhetoric is what the Bible does and does not say on the matter. With his customary directness and clarity, Kevin DeYoung has now met this need. For those interested in careful exegesis of the relevant passages and patient discussion of the issues that arise from it, packaged in brevity and simplicity, it would be difficult to better this book.”
—D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“DeYoung provides a much-needed resource that addresses the important biblical and theological issues related to homosexuality while maintaining accessibility to a broad readership. The Ten Commitments at the end of this book display DeYoung’s pastoral heart and his understanding that regardless of our vices or virtues, we must preach the gospel, together strive for holiness, and exalt Christ above all things.”
—Christopher Yuan, Bible Teacher; speaker; author, Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son’s Journey to God

“Written with the deftness, clarity, and tender grace we’ve come to expect from DeYoung, What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? answers, point by point, the revisionist theology making inroads in even the most conservative theological circles. It is simply the very best resource any follower of Christ can have to answer the challenge of homosexuality in the church.”
—Gregory Koukl, President of Stand to Reason (str.org); author, Tactics and Relativism

“Solid exegesis and tight writing make this book stand out. Kevin DeYoung concisely explains the key biblical passages and clearly responds to the key objections.”
—Marvin Olasky, Editor in Chief, World News Group


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3 thoughts on “An Interview with Kevin DeYoung on What the Bible Really Teaches about Homosexuality”

  1. Jim Lee says:

    Grateful to see Kevin DeYoung address this controversial topic with grace and truth

  2. Philmonomer says:

    Two objections:

    •If we are speaking to cultural elites who despise us and our beliefs, we want to be bold and courageous.

    Who are these “cultural elites” who despise Christians? Do you have anyone or anything you can cite to? My sense is that the cultural elites look down on Christians, think them backward, or seriously mistaken, but don’t “despise” them. That just seems like odd wording, and not connected to reality.

    •If we are speaking to shaky Christians who seem ready to compromise the faith for society’s approval, we want to be persuasive and persistent.

    In my opinion, this unnecessarily belittles Christians who have changed their mind on Same Sex Marriage (SSM). Assuming that pro-SSM Christians have changed their mind for the purposes of cultural approval, rather than because they have thought about it, reflected on it (prayed about it), and seriously considered the issue is just an unnecessary slander.

    In any case, even if they haven’t done serious reflection on the issue, but are merely changing their mind because their Niece or Nephew (or Son or Daughter) has come out as gay, and they realize that they no longer hold their Anti-SSM position in the face of real-world people, that still isn’t “societal approval.” That is, you haven’t change your mind because you want society to approve of you, you’ve changed your mind because you want to affirm your Niece/Nephew/Son/Daughter/Etc. Because you’ve listened to their story, and you believe that that is what matters. IMHO, that’s the way it should be–and it has nothing to do with “societal approval.”

    1. David says:

      The dictionary definition of “despise” is “(1) to look down on with contempt or aversion;
      (2) to regard as negligible, worthless, or distasteful.

      So if your sense “is that the cultural elites look down on Christians, think them backward, or seriously mistaken,” then “despise” is exactly right.

      Your second point is quibbling over one example you cherry-picked from Mr. DeYoung’s lecture. If Mr. DeYoung had said all, or most, doctrinal revisionism on homosexuality is motivated by “society’s approval,” then you might have a point. But he didn’t; he was describing, rather, one kind of person he might encounter in the course of his ministry. The fact is there is a lot of societal pressure — economic, legal, and cultural — converging on this point right now.

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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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