What are the Top Five Revisionist Books on the Bible and Homosexuality?
In my first two posts, I gave top five lists for popular books and academic books on the Bible and homosexuality. Even though I hold the traditional view of homosexuality, I have read numerous books by revisionist scholars. If you want to be informed about homosexuality and the church today, you need to strongly consider reading and interacting with these books as well.
1. Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-Vs.-Christians Debate, Justin Lee (Jericho Books, 2012). Justin grew up in an evangelical home, but came to grips with his same-sex attraction as a teen. After trying to rid himself of these attractions, he now believes, and argues in this book, that God is okay with monogamous, mutual, loving same-sex relationships. He is one of the most articulate voices in the revisionist movement. Even if you disagree with Lee (as I do), this book is a must-read to understand how discussions and debates about homosexuality are framed in the church today.
2. Changing Our Mind, David Gushee (Read the Spirit Books, 2015). Although Gushee has been a leading evangelical ethicist over the past couple decades, he began changing his mind on homosexuality when he personally interacted with many gay people, including his own sister. He is now one of the leading revisionist scholars. This is a must-read book for those who want to understand why many evangelicals have changed their views on homosexuality.
3. God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same Sex Marriage, Matthew Vines (Convergent Books, 2013). After his YouTube video on homosexuality and the Bible went viral, Vines instantly became one of the leading voices in the gay-Christian movement. This book is his magnum opus, and is one of the books most widely cited and used in popular circles. I have written a brief response to one of his claims on my blog here. See the excellent review of this book by Christopher Yuan.
4. A Letter to my Congregation: An evangelical pastor’s path to embracing people who are gay, lesbian, and transgender into the company of Jesus, Ken Wilson (David Crumm Media, 2014). This book has become somewhat of a watershed book for those congregations trying to find a “third way” forward on this issue. Wilson argues that homosexuality is a “disputable issue” that we can agree to disagree on. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, A Letter to my Congregationhas become an influential book that deserves a careful read.
5. Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community, Andrew Marin (IVP, 2009). This book challenged me deeply to consider my posture towards the gay community. He writes with genuine compassion and care for the LGBT community, and a desire to see bridges built between this community and the church. Marin will challenge you to put yourself in the shoes of those with same-sex attraction and to understand how many LGBT people see the world.
Sean McDowell, Ph.D.is a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, a best-selling author of over 15 books, an internationally recognized speaker, and a part-time high school teacher. Follow him on Twitter: @sean_mcdowell and his blog: seanmcdowell.org.