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.
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