Book Review: What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality? (Kevin DeYoung)

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“Relevant reading” doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Two weeks removed from perhaps the most significant decision made by the Supreme Court in my lifetime, I decided it was really important for me to read this book. The truth is, especially after reading this, that any Christian would be well-served in picking this book up. We are entering into a time where all eyes are on the Church. We must be ready to have compassion without compromise. We must be ready to walk with our gay and lesbian family members and coworkers and friends in humility, love, truth, and discernment. We must live for Christ. We should be overjoyed at the chance to witness the gospel work through broken spaces, and that must be what we strive to see. The time is now.

DeYoung explains the high stakes of these times well:

In our age of perpetual outrage, we must make clear that offendedness is not proof of the coherence or plausibility of any argument. Now is not the time for fuzzy thinking. Now is not the time to shy away from careful definitions.
Now is not the time to let moods substitute for logic.
These are difficult issues. These are personal issues.
These are complicated issues…and we certainly cannot keep our Bibles closed.(109)

Maybe the best response for the Christian is not to argue positions on Facebook, or throw their hands up in disgust at “the fallenness of our nation,” but rather to dig into Scripture, soak ourselves in its truth, and live as lights of the world. When we saturate ourselves in God’s Word on this issue and others, no hand-wringing will be necessary, our fuming anger will subside, and our compassion to make the gospel known will be intensified. Kevin DeYoung’s book helps us in these areas.

What I love foremost about the book is that it sticks exactly to its title. The focus, whether breaking down specific Scripture passages or responding to common arguments for homosexuality, is strictly on exegeting Biblical text, drawing conclusions from the authority of the Bible, and letting that be our position, simply. DeYoung is clear about what his book is: “This is a Christian book, with a narrow focus, defending a traditional view of marriage” (17).

DeYoung does a masterful job of theologically defending the traditional view of marriage. In part one, he spends detailed time looking at Genesis 1–2, Genesis 19, Levicitus 18 & 20, Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6, and 1 Timothy 1. In part two, he answers seven of the most common objections brought on by the revisionist view. Christians and non-Christians alike will benefit from this book by gaining firm and clear insight on the Bible’s stance on homosexuality. The book was short, succinct, very easy to read and won’t reach over anyone’s head given the recent political events in our country.

The one thing this book was missing was practical application. Certainly, a whole book could have been devoted to how we take the truth of what we learn from the Bible about homosexuality and apply it in our conversations, in our churches, on Facebook, and so forth. I think DeYoung could’ve spent a little more time addressing these ideas, but regardless, that wasn’t the main intention of the book.

This book matters because Biblical illiteracy is rising, the Church is dividing, our culture is shifting and people are watching. It is essential we stand behind the truth of God’s Word on this matter and not be tossed by every wind of doctrine. Kevin DeYoung has helped us do that with a reliable treatment on an important subject.

Stars: 4.5/5.0

I was provided this book by Crossway in exchange for my review.

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