What are the Top Five Books on the Bible and Homosexuality?

There are a lot of great books on the Bible and homosexuality that deal with subjects including theology, pastoral care, counseling, apologetics, parenting, communication, and evangelism. Since writing my own book with John Stonestreet, I have been reading everything I can get my hands on related to the topic in order to help the church respond both biblically and timely.

In this first post, I am simply going to list my top five popular books on Christianity and homosexuality. In upcoming posts, I am going to give my top academic books, narrative books, and revisionist books.

Same-Sex Attraction and the Church, by Ed Shaw (IVP, 2015). Ed Shaw is a pastor with same-sex attraction who was recently kind enough to answer some questions about his book for my blog. Shaw rightly observes that most people who have left the traditional Christian viewpoint have not done so because they have carefully examined the Scriptures and found the traditional view wanting, but because they no longer find the Christian ethic “plausible.” He counters this narrative with both reason and personal experience.

What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality, by Kevin DeYoung (Crossway, 2015). DeYoung unpacks the key biblical passages on homosexuality and responds to the most current revisionist arguments. And yet he writes with the heart of a pastor. He also counters some of the common assertions such as, “You’re on the wrong side of history.” This is the one book I chose to use with my high school students to train them to think more deeply about the issue.

The Ambassador’s Guide to Understanding Homosexuality, by Alan Shlemon (Stand to Reason, 2013). If you’re looking for one small book that deals fairly and yet convincingly with the biblical, cultural, and scientific issues, then this is the book for you. It is only 58 pages, and yet is carefully documented and forcefully written.

Is God Anti-Gay?, by Sam Allberry (The Good Book Company, 2013). This short book addresses the most common questions often raised about the Bible and same-sex attraction (81 pages). This book is both relational and gospel centered. Pastor Allberry begins the book by revealing his personal journey in discovering his same-sex attraction. As a result, he writes with commitment to the Scriptures but genuine love for gay people and the church.

People to Be Loved, by Preston Sprinkle (Zondervan, 2015). While this book is longer than most in this list, and does go into some considerable depth on particular passages, it is easily grasped and followed by non-specialists. Preston recently answered some questions about his book for my blog. He does a masterful job of articulating how homosexuality is not merely an issue to be debated, but deals with real people both inside and outside the church.

There are many other great books that deserve mention as well, such as Loving My (LGBT) Neighbor by Glenn Stanton, Love Into Light by Peter Hubbard, Compassion without Compromise by Adam Barr and Ron Citlau, and The Gay Gospel? By Joe Dallas.

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.

For more articles like What are the Top Five Books on the Bible and Homosexuality? visit Sean’s website at SeanMcDowell.org


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7 replies
  1. J. Chandler Arnett III says:

    Hey Sean, I too have been working on reading material and gearing up for a series of articles for my blog, I can’t wait to read your upcoming list of academic works, as Dr. Robert Gagnon’s epic work on the subject has been invaluable to me. Also, I have found that works on the moral argument for God’s existence have been extremely helpful in laying the groundwork for the discussion, not only in writing my articles, but in dialogue with those who oppose the traditional Christian view of marriage as well. Anyway, keep up all of the hard work!

  2. Alex says:

    Frank Turek,
    I don’t know if this is how questions are supposed to be asked since this is my first time posting a question on a blog post but I thought I would ask a professional like you who understands these issues how I should respond to an argument that my mother gives me in support of homosexuality being genetic and not a choice and I am sure you have heard this argument before.

    My mom leans more toward the liberal side of politics and she claims to be christians although I do question her faith now and then due to various responses I ask her about politics and biblical questions (but that’s another issue). The biggest and sometimes heated debate my mom and I get into is the debate over same-sex marriage/relationships and more specifically the arguments of whether a person is or is not born gay/straight.

    Here is my mom’s most common argument she throws at me that I feel comes out very emotional. Her argument for gay/lesbian people being born that way and how it is NOT a choice has to do with when she was in elementary school (4th grade), she knew this boy that ended up being one of her closest friends growing up who acted very feminine and flamboyant and then identified himself as a homosexual when he was in high school. When he was in elementary school, he was persecuted by many of his peers for having a flamboyant attitude and lived a young life of being bullied. Keep in mind, my mom claims that when he was in 4th grade he was homosexual judging by how he acted. She didn’t know with enough certainty that he was homosexual at the time. She later draws the conclusion in her argument by asking me if it really is a choice, then why would someone want to live a lifestyle choice that just leads to them being bullied and persecuted?

    I respond by being honest and saying that is a decent argument and it is something that I would look into. My issue is that it is very difficult to actually come to a conclusion in this debate whether it is a choice or not because of the point my mom has presented and the points I have seen from you in your presentations that I feel are logically acceptable for example (and forgive me if I misinterpret your information/position) sexuality being a behavioral lifestyle and a preference that can be changed just like any other behavior/preference. Don’t hesitate to correct me on any of that if I am wrong.

    Basically, if my mom gave you the same argument, how would you respond? Or better yet, if a person makes the choice to be gay or straight, why would they sexually prefer the same-sex (be homosexual) if it means they will be potentially persecuted for it? Let me clarify, I know people who are gay/lesbian and even though I don’t support the choice they make, I respect them as people and I believe they are nice people who do good things.

    • Andy Ryan says:

      “Here is my mom’s most common argument she throws at me that I feel comes out very emotional”

      This arguments seems to come from her observations rather than her emotions. And she’s not the only person to make this observation. I know many, many people who’ve seen a six-year-old or seven-year-old boy acting in a certain way and said “I bet he turns out gay” and 15 or 20 years later, sure enough, he is. It’s not that he was trying to kiss other boys at six or seven, but he certainly had behaviours that seemed to mark him out – indefinable things that people wouldn’t label ‘feminine’ but nonetheless made them figure ‘he’s going to be gay’. And similar for girls who turned out lesbian.

      And you can add this to other markers that don’t come down to choice: The sisters of gay men tend to have more children than the average. This holds even when you account for women just trying to ‘make up’ for the fact that their gay brother isn’t having kids. It’s almost like all the kids have a trait and in boys it results in being gay, and in girls it results in extra fecundity. This would explain how ‘gay genes’ get passed on.

      There are even physical traits that are associated with homosexuality, including finger lengths. And the fact that the more older brothers a man has, the more likely he is to be gay. This holds even if you’re put up for adoption – in other words, it can’t be explained by gay guys being bullied into it by older brothers. It’s not having older brothers around that causes it, it’s just being third or fourth out of the womb.

      All of these things make it less likely that it’s a matter of ‘choice’ or even a matter of experience/upbringing. All evidence points towards it being something that naturally arises in a section of the population – seemingly in the same proportion regardless of race or upbringing or geography.

  3. Luke says:

    Alex said:“Let me clarify, I know people who are gay/lesbian and even though I don’t support the choice they make, I respect them as people and I believe they are nice people who do good things.”

    Just go with that Alex. Respect them; recognize they are nice people. Don’t seek to make life worse for others, and I don’t try to make their lives worse.


  4. Luke says:

    Wow. I should read my comments before posting them. I should also try to form coherent thoughts. Eeeek… Sorry…


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