Homosexuality is the new hot-button political issue all across the country and in the church. Some see it as a breaking point in the current church, a new tidal wave of challenges for people with traditional values and the church.
What does the Bible say about homosexuality? What should a Christian do when struggling with same-sex attraction? What should the church’s response be to homosexuals?
In Is God Anti-Gay?, Sam Allberry addresses these questions in a thoughtful and pastoral manner while sharing his life experience of struggling with same-sex attraction.
Allberry obviously knows popular thought on homosexuality, and winningly presents the Christian attitude toward homosexuality, sin, and grace in light of popular thoughts, bringing clarity and truth to a complex and emotional issue.
Several mini-articles are scattered throughout the brief 5 chapter book, including “But Jesus never mentions homosexuality, so how can it be wrong?” “Aren’t we just picking and choosing which Old Testament laws apply?” and “What should I do if a Christian comes out to me?” These articles greatly complement the book’s main focus and make this a book that I would feel comfortable giving to a wide variety of Christians of different perspectives.
Since this book is part of the “Questions Christians Ask” series, it is made for believers (or at least people who consider themselves believers). Perhaps the best thing about this book (besides its brevity, 83 pages) is the practical counsel Allberry gives for Christians to deal with their own same-sex attraction, others who are gay, and what the church’s response should be (see a sample below).
What you get in Is God Anti-Gay? is a clear, concise, and gracious treatment of the Christian view of homosexuality with practical ways of shaping your attitude and actions in regards to homosexuality.
Allberry explains that God is NOT anti-gay or anti-anybody–but that he earnestly desires people to know Him, be forgiven, and be consumed with the gospel of grace. This is evidenced in God sending His Son to the cross to die for sinful humanity.
At a time like this, I think that every Christian would benefit reading this book. I think this would make the perfect book for pastors to have on hand to give people in their church who have questions about this issue. This is a book I will reread and give to my friends to read and reread.
Allberry writes about his experience,
Ever since I have been open about my own experiences of homosexuality, a number of Christians have said something like this: “the gospel must be harder for you than it is for me”, as though I have more to give up than they do. But the fact is that the gospel demands everything of all of us. If someone thinks the gospel has somehow slotted into their life quite easily, without causing any major adjustments to their lifestyle or aspirations, it is likely that they have not really started following Jesus at all. (pg 10)
Allberry also shares a hermenueutical principle for understanding what the Bible says about homosexuality:
…the Bible is not fixated on homosexuality. It is not what the Bible is “about.” Our understanding of what the Bible does say on the subject therefore needs to be read in the light of the bigger themes of Scripture. What the Bible says about homosexuality does not represent everything God wants to say to homosexual people; it is not the whole message of Christianity…
Christians who want to explain the Christian faith to gay friends need to know that what the Bible says about homosexuality is not the only thing they need to explain, and it is probably not the first thing, or even the main thing they need to focus on. (pg 23-24)
Buy Is God Anti-Gay? on Amazon.
Below is an interview The Good Book Company did with Sam Allberry: