If there is one hot button issue both within and outside the church that has risen above all others it is undeniably the discussion swirling around homosexuality and same-sex marriage. With Christian bakers and photographers being sued and the seemingly never-ending avalanche of political rancor over same-sex marriage, let alone the increasing number of churches and denominations embracing this lifestyle going so far as to appoint homosexuals to positions of leadership, it is vital to grasp what God has to say. Kevin DeYoung, in his latest book What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality, shines the clear light of God’s Word on this very important issue, bringing clarity to confusion, a firm foundation to wavering belief systems, and providing a practical yet scholarly look at the arguments for and against homosexuality.
There have been quite a few books written on this subject matter of late from both sides of the debate. DeYoung’s effort rises to the top in my humble opinion for a number of reasons. Foremost, DeYoung rests his case on the firm foundation of Scripture. He rightly notes in the introduction that this is unapologetically a Christian based approach rooted in the truth found in Scripture. While DeYoung certainly explores the world of scholarship and historical fact, his commentary on this subject matter flows from the pages of Scripture.
As noted, DeYoung does not shy away from a scholarly discussion. While this is not as scholarly an approach as Dr. Robert Gagnon’s for example, DeYoung does go into great detail on a number of important Hebrew and Greek words that must be properly understood in order to have a proper perspective on what God has to say in His Word on the matter of homosexuality and its associated activities. I found DeYoung’s approach in this area to be quite excellent and those not familiar with Hebrew or Greek will not find themselves lost in translation. Conversely, DeYoung does a marvelous job breaking down terms, walking the reader through the meaning and application of those terms both from Scripture and other ancient texts, along the way ensuring the reader has a firm grasp on why God used certain terms and not others. Excellent exegesis on all fronts.
I also appreciated that DeYoung does not shy away from this difficult issue as a whole not does he shy away from addressing the various objections utilized by homosexual advocates. For instance, many object to the focus on homosexuality by the church, noting the plethora of other sins that permeate society. DeYoung rightly notes that all sin must be addressed and he uses examples from his own church and his role as a pastor in dealing with behavior such as divorce.
Perhaps the most often used approach in support of homosexuality outside of the “they were born that way” argument is that God is a God of love so we should just love everyone because God certainly would not this intolerant would He? DeYoung does a great job of dealing with this question, noting that true biblical love is more than just the mushy feeling that allows one to do whatever they feel is right in their own eyes. Biblical love involves discipline, correction, and helping your brethren back on the path of righteousness. True love has an eternal focus and it is rooted in the truth of God’s Word. God loves us so much that He sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins. Since homosexuality is noted throughout Scripture as being a sin, something DeYoung establishes beyond a shadow of a doubt, love must involve helping others through the power of the Holy Spirit deal with all sin in their lives, including homosexuality.
In a world where so much confusion exists on the issue of homosexuality and what Scripture has to say on this topic, DeYoung’s book could not have come at a better time. He adroitly deals with this important topic with grace, purposefulness, and lucidness. Furthermore, this is one of the most biblically rooted books I have read in quite some time on this subject matter. For those who have any question as to what Scripture has to say on homosexuality, I recommend you read this book. I echo the endorsement of Russell Moore in that every Christian should take the time to read this book. It will be informative, it will drive you to the pages of Scripture, and it will greatly assist you in developing a sound biblical apologetic on this issue.
This book is available for purchase from Crossway Books by clicking here.