Kevin DeYoung writes with his clear and insightful style, a concise yet competent volume on a hotly debated topic. This is a topic that Christians need to be greatly informed of so that they will be gracious and godly in their witness. I believe this book is just the tool for that.
What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? is divided into two parts. The first part, which is titled ‘Understanding God’s Word’ examines the key passages from Scripture regarding sexuality and specifically homosexuality. DeYoung does a really sound job in providing exegetical insight into the meaning of the relevant passages. In the first chapter (‘One Man, One Woman, One Flesh’), DeYoung provides five reasons why Genesis 1-2 “establishes God’s design for marriage and that this design requires one man and one woman” (p. 27). Chapter 2 deals with the judgment of God on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Though there have been attempts to prove that this judgment occurred die to violent sexual sin or even a lack of hospitality, DeYoung shows why this was not the exclusive reason behind God’s judgment. Next, a consideration of the holiness codes in the book of Leviticus is examined. Many view this section of Scripture as irrelevant to present situation. DeYoung does a fine job in showing how this section of Scripture can be taken seriously as it reveals God’s holy character and what he requires of us. Chapter 4 takes the reader to Romans 1 and helps the reader understand how Paul “concludes that same-sex sexual activity, like idolatry, is an affront to the design of the Creator” (p. 49). The final chapter in this section provides a helpful exegetical word study based on 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10. The two words under analysis in this chapter are malakoi and arsenokoitai. The point of this chapter is to show that though the meaning of these words is disputed, are careful consideration of their meaning reveals that they refer to “men who have sex with other men, the passive and the active partners” (p. 67). He concludes that “homosexual activity is not a blessing to be celebrated and solemnised but a sin to be repented of, forsaken, and forgiven” (p. 67).
Part 2 of the book answers 7 common objections raised in support of homosexuality. The headings are “The Bible Hardly Ever Mentions Homosexuality” (chapter 6), “Not that Kind of Homosexuality” (chapter 7), “What about Gluttony and Divorce?” (chapter 8), “The Church is Supposed to Be a Place for Broken People” (chapter 9), “You’re on the Wrong Side of History” (chapter 10), “It’s Not Fair” (chapter 11), and “The God I Worship Is a God of Love” (chapter 12). This section is written with great compassion and Biblical clarity and is a great example of how to interact with objection in a winsome and wise way.
At the end of the book are three appendices discussing same-sex marriage, same-sex attraction and ten commitments for the Church when it comes to the topic of homosexuality. These are all very careful written and demonstrate great wisdom.
I believe this is an important book that provides well researched and well written material on the topic of homosexuality. It is clear, compassionate and committed to stating what Scripture teaches. I highly recommend it.