Kevin DeYoung’s new book What The Bible Really Teaches About Homosexuality is a short, yet incredibly helpful, book written for Christians to better understand the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality. In a world opposing, ridiculing, and often attacking the Scripture’s teachings, this book is a much needed resource for the church.
Part One looks at many of the most relevant verses related to homosexuality. He happily begins with Genesis 1-2 which is foundational for the Biblical understanding of homosexuality as it defines how God designed humanity, sexuality, and marriage (chapter 1).
He then goes on to look at Genesis 19 (chapter 2), Leviticus 18 and 20 (chapter 3), Romans 1 (chapter 4), and I Corinthians 6 and I Timothy 4 (chapter 5). Each chapter addresses the basic issues and shows how the text supports the traditional interpretation. I particularly found his connection of the words used in I Corinthians 6 and I Timothy 4 with the words found in Leviticus 18 and 20 to be quite helpful and conclusive.
Certainly more could be said for each passage, but overall DeYoung does an admirable job summarizing the main points in an accessible way for the every-day Christian. The chapters taken together provide a good case for the traditional Biblical understanding.
Part Two addresses common objections to the Biblical understanding of homosexuality. In chapter 6, he shows that the Bible really does take homosexuality, and indeed all sexual sin, very seriously (this is not an irrelevant issue). Chapter 7 points to the widespread homosexual activity in the Greek and Roman world that counters the often heard argument that Paul wasn’t talking about the same homosexual behavior we see today. In reading this chapter and the earlier one on Romans 1, I was reminded that we are quickly returning to the religious climate of the early church, and that we shouldn’t be surprised by the rise of homosexuality as our nation veers further and further from God.
Other chapters helpfully address the necessity of repentance for the Christian and the church, and the folly of the “wrong side of history” argument. I thought he drifted a bit in chapter 8 as he dissected the sin of gluttony, and again in chapter 12 as he discussed the church at Thyatira in Revelation 2, but perhaps these have been important points in experiences he has had on this issue.
Meanwhile, chapter 11 was spot on as it addressed the objection that the Bible’s position on homosexuality just isn’t fair. He treats the struggle of having homosexual desires, the necessity of celibacy in connection to those desires, and the misery many feel because of the struggle. Here DeYoung moves from scholar to pastor, and addresses these real feelings with both grace and truth. This chapter alone is worth the price of the book for any Christian with friends or family members who identify themselves as homosexual.
All in all, the book makes an excellent resource for any Christian who wants to better understand the Bible’s teaching on this important issue. As a pastor I can see myself recommending it to people in my church and using it as a resource in my own teaching.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.