Don’t let the size of this book fool you. It may be small, but the treatment of the subject matter is certainly not. DeYoung has done the church no small favor by providing such an accessible, pastoral, and convincing assessment of the Bible’s teachings on homosexuality. Of particular note in DeYoung’s writing is his ability to display compassion towards those who experience same-sex attraction without minimizing the force of what the Bible has to say to them.
DeYoung is very upfront about his stance on this issue from the very beginning of the book and leaves the reader with no doubt whatsoever about what they will find in the book. He addresses several of the most prominent texts pertaining to this discussion and provides much needed and hard to refute clarity regarding their meaning. DeYoung also provides very helpful guidance on some very difficult pastoral questions and situations regarding how to minister to those who experience same-sex attraction.
DeYoung did something in this book that I am so thankful for: he framed the discussion of homosexuality as one that exists within the greater framework of redemptive history. In other words, DeYoung doesn’t begin the book by asking “what does the Bible really teach about homosexuality”, but instead he asks “what does the Bible teach about everything?” The most prevalent error in most modern discussions of homosexuality is that those discussions take place in a forum that is compartmentalized from the greater worldview of the Bible. DeYoung corrects this error by providing a concise biblical theology that explains the grand narrative of scripture and then proceeds to discuss homosexuality within that narrative. What we’re left with is a treatment of homosexuality that is devoid of any sloppy proof-texting, as each text is discussed within its proper context and setting. This is an invaluable characteristic of this book.
DeYoung’s work provides a great introduction to the issue of homosexuality that all Christians should read. This issue is especially prevalent in our society and will only become more so with time.
“No doubt, the church is for broken and imperfect people— broken people who hate what is broken in them and imperfect people who have renounced their sinful imperfections.”
“No matter how many times we walk an aisle or pray a prayer— no matter how many times we feel like we’ve been saved or how long it’s been since we thought we were saved— the promise of appearing before God as holy and blameless is dependent upon continuing in the faith that is stable and steadfast (Col. 1: 22– 23). We must make our calling and election sure (2 Pet. 1: 10). As God keeps us from stumbling, so we must keep ourselves in the love of God and the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life (Jude 21, 24).”
“Simple, as a divine attribute, is the opposite of compound. The simplicity of God means that God is not made up of his attributes. He does not consist of goodness, mercy, justice, and power. He is goodness, mercy, justice, and power. Every attribute of God is identical with his essence.”
“The revisionist case also overstates the sexual freedom found in marriage. To be sure, intimacy in marriage is a precious gift, and it does provide an outlet for sexual desire. But even in the happiest of homes, marriage itself is not a sufficient outlet for all sexual desire. Every married man I know still wrestles with some measure of not-to-be-fulfilled sexual desire. The temptation to sexual sin does not end when you say “I do.” Resisting sexual desire is a part of discipleship for every Christian, no matter our marital status and no matter the kinds of attractions we experience. Desire must never be given the priority over obedience. Intense longing does not turn sinful wrongs into civil rights.”
“If everything in Christian community revolves around being married with children, we should not be surprised when singleness sounds like a death sentence.”
“Jesus is the fullest example of what it means to be human, and he never had sex.”
“But if the summum bonum of human existence is defined by something other than sex, the hard things the Bible has to say to those with same-sex desires is not materially different from the hard things it has to say to everyone else.”
“Marriage, in the traditional view, is a prepolitical institution. The state doesn’t determine what defines marriage; it only recognizes marriage and privileges it in certain ways. It is a sad irony that those who support same-sex marriage on libertarian grounds are actually ceding to the state a vast amount of heretofore unknown power.”