Kevin DeYoung, What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015), 158 pp.
DeYoung is using his gifts to serve the church; as I’ve said before, he’s a gifted popularizer. But that doesn’t mean this book is necessarily easy reading. The challenges made by “revisionist” scholars (DeYoung’s favored term for those who affirm the morality of homosexual practice and claim that the Bible can be read to support their view) are complicated. They’re not all easily understood, let alone easily answered. But people with the gifts and training need to do the work of patiently answering these complex evasions (2 Tim. 2:25), in the hopes that some people really do want to listen to what God says. That’s just what DeYoung has done.
Here’s an excerpt:
When the Bible uniformly and unequivocally says the same thing about a serious sin, it seems unwise to find a third way which allows for some people to promote this sin. Of course, there could be a third way if the other two ways are “perform same-sex weddings” or “be an obnoxious jerk and shun those who disagree.” No doubt, many on the traditional side must grow in asking questions, listening patiently, and demonstrating Christlike love. But those advocating for a third way usually mean more than this. They want churches and denominations and institutions to come to an “agree to disagree” compromise. They want a moratorium on making definitive pronouncements until we’ve all had the chance to mull things over a good deal longer. With so many emotions and so many things to learn, shouldn’t we keep talking to each other?
Talking is not the problem. The problem is when incessant talking becomes a cover for indecision or even cowardice. As one who has pastored for more than a dozen years in a mainline denomination, I have seen this far too often. It’s death by dialogue. The conversation never stops after reaffirming the historic position. There will always be another paper, another symposium, and another round of conversation. The moratorium on making pronouncements will only be lifted once the revisionist position has won out. Every doctrine central to the Christian faith and precious to you as a Christian has been hotly debated and disputed. If the “conversation” about the resurrection or the Trinity or the two natures of Christ continued as long as smart people on both sides disagreed, we would have lost orthodoxy long ago.
All of these third ways end up the same way: a behavior the Bible does not accept is treated as acceptable. “Agree to disagree” sounds like a humble “meet you in the middle” compromise, but it is a subtle way of telling conservative Christians that homosexuality is not a make-or-break issue and we are wrong to make it so. No one would think of proposing a third way if the sin were racism or human trafficking. To countenance such a move would be a sign of moral bankruptcy. Faithfulness to the Word of God compels us to view sexual immorality with the same seriousness. Living an ungodly life is contrary to the sound teaching that defines the Christian (1 Tim. 1:8–11; Titus 1:16). Darkness must not be confused with light. Grace must not be confused with license. Unchecked sin must not be con- fused with the good news of justification apart from works of the law. Far from treating sexual deviance as a lesser ethical issue, the New Testament sees it as a matter for excommuni- cation (1 Corinthians 5), separation (2 Cor. 6:12–20), and a temptation for perverse compromise (Jude 3–16).
We cannot count same-sex behavior as an indifferent matter. Of course, homosexuality isn’t the only sin in the world, nor is it the most critical one to address in many church con- texts. But if 1 Corinthians 6 is right, it’s not an overstatement to say that solemnizing same-sex sexual behavior—like sup- porting any form of sexual immorality—runs the risk of leading people to hell. (75–77)
This book is worth having, and making available to church members. Septuagenerian wedding cake bakers in our churches may be the first to have to publicly defend the biblical view for your local media. They—laypeople—need to know this stuff and have some answers ready. So note that right now you can buy in bulk from WTS Books: