Sugguested | Topic: LGBT

Hide or Seek: When Men Get Real With God About Sex

Freeman, John. Hide or Seek: When Men Get Real With God About Sex. New Growth Press, 2014.

In today’s world, men struggle to understand the purpose, place, and practice of sex in their lives. Cultural messages have combined with personal brokenness to lead a growing number of men – Christian and non-Christian alike –  into engaging in and becoming enslaved to all kinds of sexual brokenness (lust, pornography, adultery, etc). In this book, John Freeman, the President of Harvest USA, helps men understand the never –ending cycle of defeat and shame that hinders men from being the husbands, fathers, and friends God has made them to be. Freeman takes readers intoon a journey to discover how the Gospel and God’s love speaks to these hidden areas of life in ways that bring the true freedom that men desire. This a powerful book that all men, husbands, and fathers should read. It would serve as a great text for a men’s small group.

Available in the CPYU Resource Center.

The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics

Gangon, Robert. The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics. Abingdon Press, 2002.

This is currently the definitive text offering sound exegesis and hermeneutics resulting in a thorough engagement with all the Scriptures dealing with the issue of homosexual practice. Gagnon demonstrates convincingly why attempts to classify the Bible’s rejection of same-sex intercourse as irrelevant for our contemporary context fail to do justice to the biblical texts and to current scientific data. Gagnon’s book powerfully challenges attempts to identify love and inclusivity with affirmation of homosexual practice. This is perhaps the most important book for those who want to grapple with the true meaning of the Scriptures on homosexual practice. A must-read resource that will be referred to time and time again.

Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality

Hill, Wesley. Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality. Zondervan, 2010.

“Gay,” “Christian,” and “celibate” don’t often appear in the same sentence. Yet many who sit next to us in the pew at church fit that description, says author Wesley Hill. As a celibate gay Christian, Hill, New Testament Professor at Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, gives us a glimpse of what it looks like to wrestle firsthand with God’s “No” to same-sex relationships. What does it mean for gay Christians to live faithful to God while struggling with the challenge of their homosexuality? What is God’s will for believers who experience same-sex desires? Those who choose celibacy are often left to deal with loneliness and the hunger for relationships. How can gay Christians experience God’s favor and blessing in the midst of a struggle that for many brings a crippling sense of shame and guilt? Weaving together reflections from his own life and the lives of other Christians, Hill offers a fresh perspective on these questions. He advocates neither unqualified “healing” for those who struggle, nor their accommodation to temptation, but rather faithfulness in the midst of brokenness. “I hope this book may encourage other homosexual Christians to take the risky step of opening up their lives to others in the body of Christ,” Hill writes. “In so doing, they may find, as I have, by grace, that being known is spiritually healthier than remaining behind closed doors, that the light is better than the darkness.” This book offers what we believe to be a balanced, realistic, biblically-based response to the homosexuality issue. Hill’s scholarship, biblical exegesis, and hermeneutic are exemplary, a contrast to similar attempts to interpret the Scriptures by writers Matthew Vines and Justin Lee.

God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships

Vines, Matthew. God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships. Convergent Books, 2014.

As a young evangelical Christian, Matthew Vines struggled with his realization that he was a homosexual, and the fact that he had been taught that the Bible condemned homosexual relationships and activity. Vines began to research what the Bible says about homosexuality, coming to the conclusion that he could, in fact, become a faithful, gay Christian. This book has gained a growing and dedicated audience among those who are looking to reconcile the Gay lifestyle with Scripture and faith. It is especially popular among those who, live Vines, are young in age and looking for a perspective other than the one held throughout history by orthodox Christians. We are including this book because it offers insight into how many are mis-interpreting Scripture in an effort to justify their lifestyles, as opposed to conforming their lifestyles to the Scriptures. Following Vine’s truly gut-wrenching journey and seeing how he comes to his conclusions will offer us insight into how a growing number of people are jettisoning Biblical orthodoxy and reading the Scriptures through the times. We believe that Vines’ exegesis and hermeneutic are clearly faulty. Still, this is a book that will help us as we frame our discussions with Christians who are choosing to follow his logic and guidance.

Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs. – Christians Debate

Lee, Justin. Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs. – Christians Debate. Jericho Books, 2013.

Like Matthew Vine’s God and the Gay Christian, this book is written by a young gay man who has worked to interpret Scripture in a way that reconciles his Christian faith with his sexual orientation and practice. We recommend this book not because we agree with Lee’s conclusions (we don’t), but because it’s flow and argument model how to begin with the emotional pull that gets readers rooting for Lee to “win” in his struggle to reconcile his orientation with his faith (his struggle is intense, touching, and very real), followed by exegetical/hermeneutical gymnastics that allow him to come to such a place of reconciliation. Lee is the founder of the Gay Christian Network. This book had developed a growing audience among young Christians who are looking for an option on the issue other than that offered by historical orthodox Christianity. We are including this book because it offers insight into how many are mis-interpreting Scripture in an effort to justify their lifestyles, as opposed to conforming their lifestyles to the Scriptures.

The Secret Thoughts of An Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey Into Christian Faith

Champagne Butterfield, Rosaria. The Secret Thoughts of An Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey Into Christian Faith. Crown and Covenant Publications, 2012.

An amazing story of God’s grace and healing! Rosaria, by the standards of many, was living a very good life. She had a tenured position at Syracuse university in a field for which she cared deeply – women’s studies. She owned two homes with her lesbian partner, in which they provided hospitality to students and activists that were looking to make a difference in the world. There, her partner rehabilitated abandoned and abused dogs. In the community, Rosaria was involved in volunteer work. At the university, she was a respected advisor of students and her department’s curriculum. And then, in her late 30s, Rosaria encountered something that turned her world upside down-the idea that Christianity, a religion that she had regarded as problematic and sometimes downright damaging, might be right about who God was, an idea that flew in the face of the people and causes that she most loved. What follows is a story of what she describes as a “train wreck” at the hand of the supernatural. These are her secret thoughts about those events, written as only a reflective English professor could. Rosaria’s story was unknown until she was featured in a January 2013 Christianity Today article, which has been read by more than 1.7 million people. This is an amazing story of conversion, the power of grace as shown by God’s people, and the liberating power of God’s truth. Today, Butterfield is following Jesus, living in a heterosexual marriage as a pastor’s wife and mother.

Sexual Authenticity: An Intimate Reflection on Homosexuality and Catholicism

Selmys, Melinda. Sexual Authenticity: An Intimate Reflection on Homosexuality and Catholicism. Our Sunday Visitor, 2009.

Columnist and author Melinda Selmys gives readers an unusual opportunity to explore the topic of homosexuality and the Catholic Faith from a fresh, sincere perspective. Her intensely personal reflections help clarify the misconceptions that have hindered meaningful dialogue between Catholics and homosexuals. Transcending stereotypes and avoiding pat sentiments, she speaks directly to every Christian who has experienced same-sex attraction or knows someone who has. In addition to her personal story of exchanging secular lesbianism for Catholicism and resolving her own inner conflicts, the author presents an enlightening analysis of history, social theory, and media influence on the subject of homosexuality. She refutes much of the clumsy theorizing and junk science common from both sides of the debate, effectively bridging many gaps between perceptions and reality. Selmys addresses the complexities surrounding sexual identity with pronounced compassion, adding a practical discussion of the Theology of the Body to complete the circle from a Catholic perspective.

Same-Sex Partnerships?: A Christian Perspective

Stott, John. Same-Sex Partnerships?: A Christian Perspective. Revell, 1998.

This is the late theologians typically clear, concise, and direct reflection on what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. Stott examines and answers several arguments commonly put forth to justify same-sex relationships. As with most of Stott’s writing, this book was in many ways before it’s time due to Stott’s sharp scholarship. Stott effectively and concisely argues that marriage is to be between one man and one woman, while at the same time offering a clear and necessary reminder (one we all need to hear) that every kind of sexual activity and relationship that deviates from God’s order and design is displeasing to Him.

Love Into Light – The Gospel, The Homosexual, and The Church

Hubbard, Peter. Love Into Light – The Gospel, The Homosexual, and The Church. Ambassador International, 2013.

How can the church best address the myriad of issues related to homosexuality and sexual orientation that are embodied in the lives and stories of real people who fill our pews, seek our advice, and are part of our families? Written by a pastor, this book is a biblically-sound and pastorally-driven book that can serve as a guidebook for us as individuals and as the church. Hubbard has found that sweet spot where grace and truth come together in a way that we believe brings great honor and glory to God. Hubbard writes, “Partial truths, no matter how beautiful they sound, act as a poison to the Christian community. The freedom of grace, for example, is cancerous if it does not generate purity. And the call to holiness is malignant if it is not embedded in God’s empowering love.” This is a must-have resource for all pastors, youth workers, and church leaders.

Available in the CPYU Resource Center.

Ministering to Gay Teenagers – Practical Help for Youth Workers and Families

Harrison, Shawn. Ministering to Gay Teenagers – Practical Help for Youth Workers and Families. Group, 2014.

With truths drawn from his own personal experiences, youth pastor Shawn Harrison seeks to equip youth workers, parents, and churches in ministering to gay teenagers, their families, and the gay community at-large. The church must not compromise truth, he says, but it should not withhold grace either. How gay students first encounter God personally and communally and how Christians react to them can determine subsequent steps in their faith journey.

Homosexuality and the Christian

Yarhouse, Mark. Homosexuality and the Christian. Bethany House, 2010.

Mark Yarhouse gives honest and accurate answers to parents and pastors who have questions about homosexuality. Throughout the book, the author uses a new framework for understanding the issue, carefully separating the concept of same sex attraction from a gay identity. In a clear and compassionate style, he explains the research regarding what causes same-sex attraction and whether or not it can be overcome. He also discusses what Christians can do when someone they know opens up to them about their homosexual attractions.

Understanding Sexual Identity: A Resource for Youth Ministry

Yarhouse, Mark. Understanding Sexual Identity: A Resource for Youth Ministry. Zondervan, 2013.

Reframing the focus away from the culture wars, Yarhouse introduces readers to the developmental considerations in the formation of sexual identity—all of which occurs in the teen years.  He offers practical and helpful ways to think about homosexuality along with suggestions for talking with people who experience same-sex attraction. He also helps parents and youth volunteers learn to graciously respond to children and teens who struggle with questions of sexual identity, and discusses how youth ministry can become more relevant in the lives of youth who are navigating these issues.