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Written by Al Mohler, James Hamilton, Denny Burk, Owen Strachan, and Heath Lambert. Addresses the biblical, theological, historical, and pastoral issues raised by Vines’s new book.


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Written by Al Mohler, James Hamilton, Denny Burk, Owen Strachan, and Heath Lambert. Addresses the biblical, theological, historical, and pastoral issues raised by Vines’s new book.

30 review for God and the Gay Christian?: A Response to Matthew Vines

  1. 4 out of 5

    David

    This is a response to Matthew Vine's book God and the Gay Christian. I reviewed that one and I figured for ninety-nine cents I'd read the response. This book, edited by Albert Mohler is not such a good response. Well, the arguments from scripture are not bad arguments. Like Vines book, these arguments give a lot to think about. At this point I am not sure which side I think is stronger. But the tone of Mohler's book is incredibly disappointing. It starts off with a chapter by Mohler himself wher This is a response to Matthew Vine's book God and the Gay Christian. I reviewed that one and I figured for ninety-nine cents I'd read the response. This book, edited by Albert Mohler is not such a good response. Well, the arguments from scripture are not bad arguments. Like Vines book, these arguments give a lot to think about. At this point I am not sure which side I think is stronger. But the tone of Mohler's book is incredibly disappointing. It starts off with a chapter by Mohler himself where he refers to those scholars who would support Vines' position as “revisionist” Bible scholars. This seems like a smear tactic, guilt by association – why read such scholars since we already know they are, gasp, revisionist? Mohler goes on to say that if Vines is right then the Bible has nothing to say about sin or salvation. This despite the fact that Vines is clear in his book that he believes in both sin and salvation. It is good rhetoric for those who already agree with Mohler or who are easily susceptible to fear, but it is not helpful in the absence of any statements from Vines where he would say he doesn't believe in such things. The rest of the book is similar. One author compares Vines to Satan because in Genesis 3 Satan asked Eve, “Did God really say?” and Vines is also asking us to question what God said. Of course, Vines is not asking us to question God but rather to question our interpretations of the Bible. And that's the thing, this e-book does offer some good responses to Vines' interpretations but they are surrounded by personal attacks and all around jerkiness as to distract from the actual arguments. In the same chapter Vines is faulted for not encouraging readers to study scripture for themselves. The assumption by the author is that Vines knows if people do, then they will not buy Vines' argument. Thus, his motives are questioned. Now I read a lot of books on the Bible and I don't think, though I don't recall them all, that every single one offers a sort of cover page caveat calling on the reader to study for themselves. This seems like a case of listening to a sermon by a preacher and taking what is not said in that one sermon and assuming the preaching does not believe something or other. Vines does not explicitly say, “study for yourself” but this does not mean he does not want us to and to assume it does is another example of a low blow. One more thing from the chapter on the Old Testament. The author argues that the equality of men and women put forth in Genesis 1:27 is never forgotten throughout the rest of the Torah, that women always have a high status. Really? Because if the reader studies for herself, as this author wants us to, we find lots of examples in the Torah where women are lower status then men. What about the trial a woman accused of adultery must undergo in Numbers 5? Or that a woman who gives birth to a girl is considered unclean for twice as long as if she has a boy (Lev. 12)? Or in Leviticus 27 where the monetary value given to a woman is less than that of a man? My point is not that the Bible is inherently sexist or anything like that. I think if you compare women in ancient Israel they had a higher status then surrounding cultures. So by our standards, women are secondary citizens, though by the standards of the day it is better to be a secondary citizen in Israel then elsewhere. My point is that it does not help to say that women were equal in those days and that's that. The chapter on the New Testament sees Vines compared to a wolf in sheep's clothing: “As he gives lip-service to biblical authority and to the need for salvation, his sheep costume looks really convincing. But do not miss that there really is a wolf concealed within — one that would like to devour as many sheep as possible with a Bible-denying, judgment -inducing error” (Hamilton Jr., James M.; Burk, Denny; Strachan, Owen; Lambert, Heath (2014-05-12). God and the Gay Christian?: A Response to Matthew Vines (Conversant) (Kindle Locations 535-537). SBTS Press. Kindle Edition). Again, is this helpful? Do the authors of this book really see Vines as motivated by Satan, hiding ulterior motives, an evil fake Christian? Wouldn't it make more sense, at least be more hopeful and kind, to see him as someone they disagree with, someone mistaken, someone sincerely seeking to find the truth? Or in the worldview of the authors, is there no room for such charity on this issue? When we get to the chapter on historical issues, we find one of the most mind-blowing statements. The author says that Vines is like those who favored slavery in during the era of the trans-atlantic slave trade. Like Vines, they searched scripture for proof-texts supporting slavery. True Christians, he says, opposed slavery: “The abolitionists, by contrast, judged their experience by reference to Scripture. Unlike the pro-slavery faction, they did not go to the Bible to justify their behavior and their society’s practice, but to critique it” (Hamilton Jr., James M.; Burk, Denny; Strachan, Owen; Lambert, Heath (2014-05-12). God and the Gay Christian?: A Response to Matthew Vines (Conversant) (Kindle Locations 637-639). SBTS Press. Kindle Edition). Mark Noll, one of the top Christian historians, would disagree with this. Noll's book The Civil War as a Theological Crisis, is a must-read on this issue and I am surprised the author of this chapter is clueless as to its findings. Noll shows that the conservative biblical position, the position most like that of the authors of this volume, was that slavery was a God-ordained institution. Noll shows that Christians who opposed slavery were often seen as on a slippery slope (similar perhaps to the slippery slope the authors here think Vines is on) to heresy. Often abolition went along with questioning such orthodox beliefs as the Trinity. The author mentions one early abolitionist to support his case, Samuel Sewell. He ignores the giants of his own Calvinist heritage, the likes of Jonathan Edwards and George Whitfield, who supported the institution of slavery. And he ignores the fact that most abolitionists, at least in the beginning, were from unorthodox traditions like the Quakers. This makes me question – if this author twists history to support his own cause, why should I trust his arguments, or others in this book, as opposed to those of Vines? The final chapter is by a counselor and adds to the disheartening rhetoric. Again Vines' motives are questioned, as he is accused of twisting scripture to fit his own sin patterns (Kindle Location 642). What sin patterns? Vines, by his account, is currently celibate. His “sin” is to want a spouse like any of us. Again, this is not to say there is not an argument to be had with Vines about gay relationships, but accusing him of merely trying to justify his sin is not helpful. This author makes other ignorant statements: “There are professing evangelicals currently queuing up to endorse same-sex marriage and curry favor from the cultural elite when the moment is right” Hamilton Jr., James M.; Burk, Denny; Strachan, Owen; Lambert, Heath (2014-05-12). God and the Gay Christian?: A Response to Matthew Vines (Conversant) (Kindle Locations 697-698). SBTS Press. Kindle Edition). People like Vines who have come out in support of gay marriage risk losing friends and family. What evidence is there that he is only doing this to try to “curry favor”? Further, the accusation could be turned around – the only reason some continue to oppose gay relationships is to “curry favor” with evangelical elites like Mohler and others. It is almost the question, are the authors upset Vines is not currying favor with them? Again we see an accusation of motives, an assumption of Vines' motives: “The pleasing presentation and calm tone, however, conceal a neo-pagan heart. God and the Gay Christian is at its core a shocking call to bodily gratification and sexual revolution that, in places, outpaces even the irreligious in its permissiveness” (Hamilton Jr., James M.; Burk, Denny; Strachan, Owen; Lambert, Heath (2014-05-12). God and the Gay Christian?: A Response to Matthew Vines (Conversant) (Kindle Locations 763-765). SBTS Press. Kindle Edition). It is not enough to oppose Vines' arguments, we need to cast him as a pagan and Satan follower. Overall this book has some good arguments but they are too surrounded by personal attacks and assumptions about Vines to be helpful.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    I would recommend this book to anyone seeking clarity on this issue. It is written so poorly, with such bad arguments, that it bolsters every argument in Matthew Vines's book. Even with just an overview of this book, I can see that those who are writing it believe: 1. That homosexuality is a mental illness. 2. That a person can change their orientation (against all evidence to the contrary). 3. And that they are in a dwindling group that denies equality of men and women in service to God (all th I would recommend this book to anyone seeking clarity on this issue. It is written so poorly, with such bad arguments, that it bolsters every argument in Matthew Vines's book. Even with just an overview of this book, I can see that those who are writing it believe: 1. That homosexuality is a mental illness. 2. That a person can change their orientation (against all evidence to the contrary). 3. And that they are in a dwindling group that denies equality of men and women in service to God (all the while saying they don't - and that nowhere in scripture do people of God treat men and women as unequal). So, consider the source, I guess. I'm just glad I was able to download the PDF on their web page and didn't have to shell out a whole dollar to get it on Kindle. It's obvious when they reference "The Church" they are confining it to a much smaller group of fundamentalists than Christians worldwide. In the first chapter, written by Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the logical issues begin to pile up when the he begins to confuse the Gospel with doctrine. This is a common argument many fundamentalists use to raise their particular pet rules to the forefront. The Good News (the Gospel) doesn't have anything to do with Jesus, but The Good News = You Must Follow Every Rule I Say the Bible Says Or Go To Hell Also, in the first chapter, the author cannot imagine how we might be embarrassed and disregard 2,000 years of the church's teaching. Because, you know, we didn't just recently do that with slavery. Not like there's a precedent. He uses a lot of doublespeak in this chapter to confuse the issue that Vines is trying to seek clarity on, reading only the most basic, literal meaning of the English translation and not trying to understand deeper meaning, as well as ignoring context. He also tries to tie sexual complementarianism (men and women "fit" naturally, therefore homosexuality is bad) to gender complementarianism (men and women "fit" certain roles, aka Patriarchy, therefore women cannot lead or speak publicly), suggesting most of the Christian world still holds to this outdated theology. I don't know. I'd like to see the numbers on this one. A growing number of thinking Christians are rejecting both doctrines. The second chapter is even worse. James Hamilton comes out swinging with what Vines has done wrong (my note in italics) 1. Isolates a small number of texts that speak directly to the issue; No - actually, that's what fundamentalists have done with these texts to "prove" homosexuality is sin. 2. Extracts those texts from the wider thought-world in which they fit, replacing it with contemporary standards and expectations; No - he places them in context - is this "thought-world" some made up evangelical idea used merely to twist the meanings of passages? 3. Uses “evidence” that supports the case, whether that entails the reinterpretation of a few words or appeals to purported historical backgrounds that informed the author of the text but are irrelevant today; and No - he researches the meaning of words that English translators have mistranslated, and again, places them in context. 4. Makes pervasive use of logical fallacies: forces false choices, assumes conclusions, makes faulty appeals to authority, makes false analogies, etc. Mr. Hamilton lists all of these on his blog. Several a spurious. A few may hold water, but miss the point of the overall message. All are ironic, coming from a fundamentalist who relies on logical fallacy to "prove" his doctrine is more correct than every other doctrine. Hamilton continues to evoke this "thought-world" idea. To which I want to ask - isn't the "thought-world" of the biblical writers an Eastern, pre-modern frame of mind, such that they wouldn't even approach scripture with the literal exactness that you do? Hamilton claims that the story of Sodom and condemnation of Leviticus still argue against homosexuality. Thought he notes the Ezekiel verse, he fails to actually quote it because it would argue against him: "This was the sin of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy." Wow. No wonder he left this out. Also - why does anyone even use Leviticus when it uses the same language to condemn the eating of shrimp and the wearing of cotton/polyester blends? I'm too tired to look up which logical fallacies these are. Though Denny Burk uses a nice Straw Man fallacy in opening the third chapter when he argues against the idea that Vines presents that the history the church has had in harming homosexuals is a bad thing. Vines talks about bearing fruit, and Burke brings forth the idea of Consequentialism. This isn't what Vines is saying. In this chapter, Burk also confuses the Gospel with Paul's specific suggestions to certain churches. He ignores Vines's attempts to place scriptures in their context and understand the meaning of the Greek, and instead relates them back to Genesis. And finally, fails to see sexual orientation as something that someone is born with, but a sinful desire - a "lifestyle". In Chapter 4, Owen Strachan tries to argue that just being gay is a sin. This is pretty extreme fundamentalism. Most who teach that the Bible is anti-homosexual focus on behavior. Strachan suggests the orientation itself is sinful. And of course, he focuses on procreation with the legitimacy of opposite-sex marriages. Then comes the question, would Strachan condemn opposite-sex marriages that didn't procreate? This line of reasoning is always curious to me. He closes out the chapter with the fundamentalist mantra, "preach the truth in love." Which non-fundamentalists have largely come to understand as "condemn everyone to hell who disagrees with you." The final chapter is where Heath Lambert suggests that homosexuality should still be classified as a mental illness. It also includes another Straw Man - suggesting that Vines says that the mere fact that someone has a homosexual orientation should make it okay (Vines doesn't suggest that). He also concludes here that orientation is changeable. There could be many reasons why an organization like Exodus International closed its doors. (Well, except for the reason that the organization gave, which is that orientation is not changeable - but that would really derail this book, wouldn't it?) Basically, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary saw God and the Gay Christian as something that might make people pause and think, and rushed out a poorly written, poorly researched, logically flawed answer to make sure they presented the Southern Baptist worldview that we are still allowed to hate gay people because God says they are bad. What a load of tripe.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    I've read Vines's book too (see my review here), and this response is very fair to Vines's position. Free PDF here. Mohler's contribution: Vines's arguments are not new, and he relativizes the six main biblical passages on the subject of homosexuality. Vines claims that the biblical writers were not aware of homosexual orientation that expressed itself in monogamous, permanent relationships, so what they were addressing were actually issues of hospitality, lust, excess, hierarchy, abuse, etc. The I've read Vines's book too (see my review here), and this response is very fair to Vines's position. Free PDF here. Mohler's contribution: Vines's arguments are not new, and he relativizes the six main biblical passages on the subject of homosexuality. Vines claims that the biblical writers were not aware of homosexual orientation that expressed itself in monogamous, permanent relationships, so what they were addressing were actually issues of hospitality, lust, excess, hierarchy, abuse, etc. The scholars that Vines cites are all on the far left. Mohler helpfully points out that if the Bible was not addressing our modern concern of homosexual orientation, then "the Bible simply cannot be trusted to understand what it means to be human, to reveal what God intends for us sexually, or to define sin in any coherent manner" (18). And if "the inspired human authors of Scripture were ignorant of the modern gay experience . . . [o]f what else were they ignorant? . . . What else does the Bible not know about what it means to be human?" (18-19). I think Mohler is right in pointing out that Vines is trying to seize upon one of the wedge issues in contemporary evangelicalism—complementarity. It is quite easy for egalitarians to accept Vines rejection of sexual complementarity. Hamilton's contribution (Old Testament): Vines isolates several passages, extracting them from the wider story of the Bible. When Moses sets up the wider story of expectations in Gen. 1-3, he doesn't need to repeat everything in Gen. 19 or Lev. 18 or 20. Vines assumes that since other cultures viewed women as being inferior, Moses must have been been thinking of patriarchy when he prohibited homosexuality (as if treating a passive homosexual partner as if he were a woman were the only thing problematic with homosexuality). But Vines is ignoring the equal dignity that Moses knew that women had, being created in God's image (Gen. 1:27). Furthermore, Lev. 20 capitally punishes both partners in homosexual activity. In Matt. 19, Jesus quotes Gen. 1 and 2, affirming that procreation is ideal for marriage, and sexual complementarity is required for "one flesh" union (32)—Vines denies both of these truths. Marriage is a creation ordinance, providing universal moral norms, because it was instituted by God before the fall. Ezekiel 16 makes a grammatical connection between sexual sin and the "abomination" of Sodom: the word for "abomination" (used in the singular here) is used in the singular only two other places in the Old Testament: Lev. 18 and 20, referring to homosexuality. The sin of Sodom may also have been a violent violation of hospitality, but it was not merely that. 2 Peter 2 likewise connects Sodom with sexual deviation, not inhospitality. While other, non-sexual things in the Old Testament are called "abominations" (e.g., certain foods), the New Testament adjusts our response to God's holiness, and the New Testament affirms the sexual norms of the Old Testament. See here for a longer version of Hamilton's contribution. See here for a list of logical fallacies in Vines's book. Burk's contribution (New Testament): Burk confronts Vines's "consequentialism," a fallacy that focuses on people's hurt feelings instead of the actual ethics of the activity. Part of consequentialism's absurdity is that is has no objective basis for defining good/bad consequences. Vines claims that Paul was really writing against lust and patriarchy, not faithful, monogamous homosexuality. But there are unique linguistic parallels between Paul's language and the language of Gen. 2, where God's norm for marriage appears. Burk writes, "Vines has an undue fascination with Paul's Greco-Roman context to the near exclusion of his Jewish identity" (52), and "his Jewish tradition [was] unambiguously opposed to all forms of homosexual behavior, not just exploitative ones" (51). Vines "reduces the norm of marriage to permanence," but the problem is that "Genesis 1-2 establishes at least seven norms for marriage: marriage is covenantal, sexual, procreative, heterosexual, monogamous, non-incestuous and symbolic of the gospel. To miss any one of these elements is to distort the meaning of marriage, and Vines misses six of them" (53). See more here. Strachen's contribution: Strachen addresses four major flaws in Vines's argument: 1. Vines's view that evangelicals sought the abolition of slavery primarily due to experience is incorrect. (Actually, "the evangelical abolitionist movement was richly exegetical," and it is Vines's own experience that drives his biblical interpretation [61].) 2. Vines's view that past Christians disapproved only of certain homosexual acts but not a homosexual orientation is deeply flawed. (Christians, especially Protestants, have long argued that not only is the sinful action wrong, but the inclination ["orientation"] to that action is wrong as well—it is part of the sin nature to have that bent in the first place. Vines misreads Chrysostom, who condemned all acts of homosexuality, not just excessive lust.) 3. Vines is wrong to argue that Christians have never made the case against homosexual practice based on "anatomical complementarianism." (Vines's second agenda seems to be to promote egalitarianism. Strachen writes, "We are in the age of equality, after all, which means a 20-something with no formal theological credentials feels no hesitation about telling an apostle of the living Lord, a man who saw Christ with his own eyes and shed blood for the gospel, 'Nice try, buddy'" [65]. Tertullian, Chrysostom, Luther, Calvin, and others all appeal to "nature" when they argue against homosexuality.) 4. Vines's view that celibacy is not enjoined upon all homosexuals is unbiblical and ahistorical. (Strachen writes, "There is no context, however covenantal, however relational, in which Scripture countenances morally permissible homosexual activity" [69].) Lambert's contribution: Vines assumes that homosexual orientation is neither addressed in Scripture, nor something that is changeable. Lambert responds with three points. 1) Vines overstates his case (that orientation is immutable). The APA went through a dramatic process of reversal from 1952 (homosexuality as a mental disorder) to 2000 (being troubled by homosexuality as a mental disorder), but this reversal had nothing to do with empirical data—it was based solely on the shift in public opinion. 2) Orientation does not make a behavior morally acceptable. Strong sinful desires are symptoms of the fall. 3) Orientation can change. The downfall of Exodus International may demonstrate that certain methods are unhelpful, but there are other possible reasons for its failure, including the fact that change can take a long time, and those seeking help may not have been fully committed to change. Lambert tells his own story of counseling a young man whose "orientation" did change over time, and Lambert references others who have experienced grace in battling their orientation (Wesley Hill) and grace in changing their orientation (e.g., Rosaria Butterfield). Such success stories are either ignored or unknown by Vines.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brianna Silva

    I guess I'm officially giving up on my no-negative-reviews rule. Sometimes, I find, I just can't honestly respond to a book otherwise. This is one of those times. This response to Matthew Vines' book does make a few good points, pointing out several weaknesses in his argument for LGBTQ+ inclusion in the church. To a point, I agree with the authors here. Vines' stance is not perfect. However, the larger portion of this book is spent in something like an angry, looping, nearly absurd rant. I get the I guess I'm officially giving up on my no-negative-reviews rule. Sometimes, I find, I just can't honestly respond to a book otherwise. This is one of those times. This response to Matthew Vines' book does make a few good points, pointing out several weaknesses in his argument for LGBTQ+ inclusion in the church. To a point, I agree with the authors here. Vines' stance is not perfect. However, the larger portion of this book is spent in something like an angry, looping, nearly absurd rant. I get the impression that the authors did not really read Vines' book, but rather skimmed through it quickly, looking for flaws and not expecting it to change their minds. Maybe that's unfair of me, but here's why I think this: * Several times they misquote Vines' arguments, or seem to miss his entire point on an issue. * They often resort to dizzying circular reasoning that sounds too much like "homosexuality is wrong because homosexuality is wrong". * They go so far as to state that even same-sex attraction is sinful, which is a rather cold, ignorance-laden thing to say, seeing that attraction is almost entirely uncontrollable (compared to, say, acting on that attraction). * They accuse Vines of ad hominem attacks, and then turn around and do the same to him by comparing him to the serpent in Genesis, and even outright calling him and his doctrine "satanic" (at which point I really stopped taking them seriously). There are better responses to Vines-like arguments out there. I believe Gagnon is the best author on this topic (though I've yet to read everything by him). This book, however, is not worth the time it takes to read it... ...unless you already agree with these authors and/or have a very rigid, very traditional view of gender. In that case, confirmation bias may blind you to just how weak, irrational, and sadly vitriol-laced this book is.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    So surprising that the Goodreads average rating is 3.88 for this book. I rarely say this about any book but quite honestly, the "Response to Matthew Vines" is not worth the 99-cent charge. Don't waste your money or -- more importantly -- your time reading it. While I knew that I wouldn't philosophically agree with the authors' perspective, I expected them to have at least tried to write their case in a compelling way. How disappointing that these five writers are seminary/theology professors yet So surprising that the Goodreads average rating is 3.88 for this book. I rarely say this about any book but quite honestly, the "Response to Matthew Vines" is not worth the 99-cent charge. Don't waste your money or -- more importantly -- your time reading it. While I knew that I wouldn't philosophically agree with the authors' perspective, I expected them to have at least tried to write their case in a compelling way. How disappointing that these five writers are seminary/theology professors yet don't have the base understanding of God's message to love one another.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Josue Manriquez

    In their short response to Matthew Vines’ book God and the Gay Christian, the staff of SBTS has done a great job exposing and correcting errors in Vines’ book. Although much more could have been written in their effort to expose and correct Vines’ errors, they have done an excellent job with what they’ve written. Vines definitely ought to be commended for his research. I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Preston Sprinkle that Vines seems to be sincerely searching the Scriptures as a Berean (http://f In their short response to Matthew Vines’ book God and the Gay Christian, the staff of SBTS has done a great job exposing and correcting errors in Vines’ book. Although much more could have been written in their effort to expose and correct Vines’ errors, they have done an excellent job with what they’ve written. Vines definitely ought to be commended for his research. I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Preston Sprinkle that Vines seems to be sincerely searching the Scriptures as a Berean (http://facultyblog.eternitybiblecolle...). Nevertheless, do I believe Vines is wrong? Yes! Do I believe Vines is misinterpreting Scripture? Without a doubt. Do I believe Vines is leading many people astray? Absolutely! Does this grieve me? Definitely! So for a helpful review, download this free eBook from SBTS (http://www.sbts.edu/press/). Also, check out Dr. Sprinkle's review at the link posted above.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Paterson

    Solid and much needed response to Matthew Vines' book. Solid and much needed response to Matthew Vines' book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    David Steele

    Very helpful treatment - biblical, compassionate, and pastoral.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elijah Abanto

    "In Christ, believers have a new identity. That is why a "gay Christian" is not consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ. That doesn't mean that change is easy. It is not. That doesn't mean that people don't struggle with homosexual desire. They do. That doesn't mean that we know all the best ways to help people change. We need to grow in wisdom. It also doesn't mean that people experience the fullness of change this side of heaven. Sin runs deep, and change is hard. But God takes all of us ad "In Christ, believers have a new identity. That is why a "gay Christian" is not consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ. That doesn't mean that change is easy. It is not. That doesn't mean that people don't struggle with homosexual desire. They do. That doesn't mean that we know all the best ways to help people change. We need to grow in wisdom. It also doesn't mean that people experience the fullness of change this side of heaven. Sin runs deep, and change is hard. But God takes all of us adulterers, murderers, drunks, swindlers -- and homosexuals, too -- and he changes who we are. He gives us a new identity. He no longer recognizes us by our sin, but by his own Son." -- Heath Lambert This is a very good book that contends for the biblical (and historical) teaching of Christianity on homosexuality against Matthew Vines' book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joey

    This small book is a phenomenal refutation of Matthew Vines's book. Vines is shown to lack any proper exegesis, any proper understanding of the historical issues, and any understanding of orthodox Christian theology. The good news of Jesus Christ is that all sinners who trust Him to make them clean before the Father will be made clean, including those who sin by practicing homosexuality. This small book is a phenomenal refutation of Matthew Vines's book. Vines is shown to lack any proper exegesis, any proper understanding of the historical issues, and any understanding of orthodox Christian theology. The good news of Jesus Christ is that all sinners who trust Him to make them clean before the Father will be made clean, including those who sin by practicing homosexuality.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Meyers

    He correctly debunked many of Vine’s arguments, but some of his review of Vine’s arguments could have used a little more elaboration, and he didn’t address all arguments. The book could have been a little more extensive and thorough.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Spurlock

    It's always a bit of a challenge to write a rebuttal work. You have to work within the bounds that another has set, much of your work has to refer back to their own, and you also have the unenviable task of trying to be winsome while not seeming petty or losing the impact of your rebuttal. Unfortunately, Dr. Mohler and his other contributors don't manage to transcend those hurdles. No one can question their zeal on the topic, as the passion fairly blazes through the pages. However, they come acro It's always a bit of a challenge to write a rebuttal work. You have to work within the bounds that another has set, much of your work has to refer back to their own, and you also have the unenviable task of trying to be winsome while not seeming petty or losing the impact of your rebuttal. Unfortunately, Dr. Mohler and his other contributors don't manage to transcend those hurdles. No one can question their zeal on the topic, as the passion fairly blazes through the pages. However, they come across as nearly histronic, portraying Matthew Vines as a wolf seeking to devour as many people as he can sink his teeth into, or an unrepentant sinner who- one may infer- is destined for hellfire for these views. It is one thing to have a theological disagreement- even a severe one- with someone else. But the instant that one accuses your opponent of such things, you've put things on a far different plane. Combine that with some deliberate distortions of the position you're trying to debunk, and you end up not doing your position any favors. It's worth reading this rebuttal, to see what the opposite position of Matthew Vines is, but chances are very good that this will not convince many people who might be on the fence or opposed to Mohler et al. In the end, that's perhaps the biggest strike against this book. All protests to the contrary, this is a book for the 'faithful,' perhaps better conceived as a shield against heresy than a half of a debate, and that view comes through in the writing. It's a true shame, because this discussion, more than many others, needs and deserves a truly charitable Christian response, instead of yet more division and harsh words.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    I am certain that the authors of this tiny book are proud of their work. They slept well after slicing and dicing Mr. Vines arguments where they could, though they count upon their readers not actually reading Vines' book as they went about. But in their superiority, their supercilious certainty they strip Christ of his flesh. They embrace instead the bloodless, heartless gospel of "if you are different from my imagined perfection then you shall go to hell." This is what will ultimately sever me I am certain that the authors of this tiny book are proud of their work. They slept well after slicing and dicing Mr. Vines arguments where they could, though they count upon their readers not actually reading Vines' book as they went about. But in their superiority, their supercilious certainty they strip Christ of his flesh. They embrace instead the bloodless, heartless gospel of "if you are different from my imagined perfection then you shall go to hell." This is what will ultimately sever me from the evangelical church. I choose instead to walk into the fire. I choose instead to love my LGBT neighbors as my self as the gospel demands I do. I choose instead to acknowledge them to be like me in my brokenness and imperfection but loved wholly by a God capable of reaching into me and changing me from a blind man to one who sees. I choose to undress my love of judgement, hatred or ignorance. I choose instead to use the bible as my road map of who I am in Gods' eyes, where he embraces me I fully embrace those around me, rejected and reviled as he was. A book that blithely writes off a group of people as simply beyond Gods' love, His redemptive and impossibly implausible love, is a book written by the Pharisees who want to reject one group in order to justify their imagined elevated status. I feel in need of a shower having read this.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kari

    All you need to know about this book is that it was released under the same title as Vines's book under the the "Conversant" series (to echo the publisher of Vines's book - Convergent). They are clearly scared of his arguments and have to resort to trying to trick people into reading their book. I did read this and was surprised by how tone-deaf it is - comparing being LGBT to being a serial killer, citing Wesley Hill in one paragraph and then saying that there's no such thing as a gay Christian All you need to know about this book is that it was released under the same title as Vines's book under the the "Conversant" series (to echo the publisher of Vines's book - Convergent). They are clearly scared of his arguments and have to resort to trying to trick people into reading their book. I did read this and was surprised by how tone-deaf it is - comparing being LGBT to being a serial killer, citing Wesley Hill in one paragraph and then saying that there's no such thing as a gay Christian in the next. I disagree with their interpretation of scripture, but I see no need to question their salvation. They did not afford Matthew Vines that same respect. This book is not worth any of your time.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Matt Wood

    A Very Helpful Critique A Very Helpful Critique This is a helpful critique that lays out Vines's foundation and then responds biblically and clearly. It is also succinct and easy to read. I would recommend it to anyone seeking greater clarity on this issue from a biblical perspective. A Very Helpful Critique A Very Helpful Critique This is a helpful critique that lays out Vines's foundation and then responds biblically and clearly. It is also succinct and easy to read. I would recommend it to anyone seeking greater clarity on this issue from a biblical perspective.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Moses Flores

    Having just finished reading Vines' work, this response confirmed a lot of thing I felt but couldn't quite articulate. Thankful for faithful men who handle the word of God as the word of God. Having just finished reading Vines' work, this response confirmed a lot of thing I felt but couldn't quite articulate. Thankful for faithful men who handle the word of God as the word of God.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    Agree with some of the rebuttal, but the book itself has such a condescending tone that it certainly doesn't help the conversation. Agree with some of the rebuttal, but the book itself has such a condescending tone that it certainly doesn't help the conversation.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brad Burleson

    Repulsive. What a load of...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kez

    While the authors do point out several logical and theological flaws and biases in Vines' book, this rebuttal is also full of condescension, exaggeration of the arguments Vines makes, and even resorts to straight up mockery at times. This is unloving at best... especially when handling such a sensitive subject and it is generally off-putting to read. The authors also fail to understand that there is a substantial difference between same sex attraction, same-sex lust, and homosexual acts. They fr While the authors do point out several logical and theological flaws and biases in Vines' book, this rebuttal is also full of condescension, exaggeration of the arguments Vines makes, and even resorts to straight up mockery at times. This is unloving at best... especially when handling such a sensitive subject and it is generally off-putting to read. The authors also fail to understand that there is a substantial difference between same sex attraction, same-sex lust, and homosexual acts. They frequently denounce all three as sin and one author goes so far as to state that same sex orientation is worse than any single act of homosexuality since a pattern is worse than a single event. For a far better explanation than I can write of why this is both wrong and detrimental to christians struggling with same-sex-attraction, please read here: http://teaminfocus.com.au/dear-thomas... All in all, 1 star because while they have some valid and helpful points, they also make some terrible assertions and display a generally heartless and arrogant approach to the issue (as well as gender and transgender issues).

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    The SBTS krew responds to the BiG gAy coming from some of "evangelical" "Christianity" (if you even consider a PCUSA church a real church anymore). Shocking shorter than the work it responds to, being much more direct, standing upon historic Christianity, and not appealing to so much of the silliness that Matthew does. The SBTS krew responds to the BiG gAy coming from some of "evangelical" "Christianity" (if you even consider a PCUSA church a real church anymore). Shocking shorter than the work it responds to, being much more direct, standing upon historic Christianity, and not appealing to so much of the silliness that Matthew does.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tony Marconi

    The Need to Make Homosexuality Sinful This book is a good example of the mental gymnastics a “Cristian” must go through to reassure himself he’s got God on his side in his ignorant dislike of LGBTQ people. A great example of circular logic, and great insight as to why Jesus wept.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chris Whisonant

    This book consists of 5 brief essays that each critique a different area of concern with the book and assertions by Vines.

  23. 5 out of 5

    En Yi WEI

    My response found in my Amazon review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stacy Jo

    Ridiculous read trying to convince people using overly theological grammar that one person’s biblical views are wrong.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Faith Cummings

    A Response to THE GAY CHRISTIAN by Matthew Vines This book is a cup or maybe two cups, of living water! For those of us who are Christians, trying to live a Biblical lifestyle, and overcome sin as much as we can in this life, this book is mana to our hungry souls. I have been bombarded of late by mainline churches who accept the homosexual lifestyle as normal and valid even for those who call themselves believers. We are told by these brothers and sisters that any other viewpoint is old fashioned A Response to THE GAY CHRISTIAN by Matthew Vines This book is a cup or maybe two cups, of living water! For those of us who are Christians, trying to live a Biblical lifestyle, and overcome sin as much as we can in this life, this book is mana to our hungry souls. I have been bombarded of late by mainline churches who accept the homosexual lifestyle as normal and valid even for those who call themselves believers. We are told by these brothers and sisters that any other viewpoint is old fashioned and hurtful. It is very difficult, therefore, to find anyone with credibility who is willing to admit that they disagree with the prevailing secular beliefs. In my despair and frustration, I turned to those who counsel and pastor according to Scripture alone. I hoped that they would help me see that what I believed was true, that homosexuality in any form is sin. Opening this book, therefore, was an answer to my prayers for guidance and pastoral care. For those Christians who are looking for a great exposition of the answers they have always believed were in the bible, this is your starting point. This book will start you on a journey of renewal and hope. Thanks to all of those who contributed to this book, and provided us with resources to start the journey.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mark Trigsted

    This book came out almost simultaneously with the publication of Vines book. It seemed rushed to me even though the biblical arguments are air tight, there needs to be a more definite / seminal work on this issue from an historical / theological perspective. Although statements like "this has been the teaching of the church for 2,000 years" are certainly true, a running historical commentary on writings, sermons, and publication in every era of the church is needed. However, I personally believe D This book came out almost simultaneously with the publication of Vines book. It seemed rushed to me even though the biblical arguments are air tight, there needs to be a more definite / seminal work on this issue from an historical / theological perspective. Although statements like "this has been the teaching of the church for 2,000 years" are certainly true, a running historical commentary on writings, sermons, and publication in every era of the church is needed. However, I personally believe Dr. Mohlers premise in his opening salvo of the book. This is a moral revolution the likes that have never been seen before, and there is no middle ground on this issue. Either homosexual behavior is sinful or it is not... To be faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ and a member in good standing in the church local and universal one side of this debate must respond in faith and repentance. Period... There is no other option... Search the scriptures with an honest heart...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carey Chalifour

    I am glad that these men have shown how clearly the bible and history show that sexual orientation is nothing new. It is simply a new wording of the passions and desires of the flesh that we have. I also found the ending very well laid out and am overjoyed with the hope found in Christ that one walks away with. A gay christian is an oxymoron, it doesn't happen, a Christian that battles with homosexual desire, absolutely, Christians war against their sinfullness and Jesus is the answer beginning I am glad that these men have shown how clearly the bible and history show that sexual orientation is nothing new. It is simply a new wording of the passions and desires of the flesh that we have. I also found the ending very well laid out and am overjoyed with the hope found in Christ that one walks away with. A gay christian is an oxymoron, it doesn't happen, a Christian that battles with homosexual desire, absolutely, Christians war against their sinfullness and Jesus is the answer beginning to end.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    So I chose to read this in an effort to see both sides of the story. I misunderstood I believe what would be in this. I thought I would find factual information on how Matthew Vines misinterpreted or didn't examine x, y or z. However, 28 pages into it all I found was people saying he was wrong without showing the support for their argument. Once James Hamilton's section started I had to toss the book. I'm sure that I wanted this to be something I couldn't trust, however, I did have an open mind So I chose to read this in an effort to see both sides of the story. I misunderstood I believe what would be in this. I thought I would find factual information on how Matthew Vines misinterpreted or didn't examine x, y or z. However, 28 pages into it all I found was people saying he was wrong without showing the support for their argument. Once James Hamilton's section started I had to toss the book. I'm sure that I wanted this to be something I couldn't trust, however, I did have an open mind going in and was happy to hear a factual constructive argument I couldn't find them in 28 pages.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. When looking for a book that used scripture to renounce the homosexuality that has become so readily accepted, my old religion teacher suggested this one. Honestly, it beats around the bush a bit, but it still makes the point. Any argument (especially Matthew Vines') upholding the righteousness of homosexuality is wrong&absurd. 5 different highly educated theologians prove that full-well within this book. An excellent, not too long read to help reaffirm the belief that The Holy Bible does renoun When looking for a book that used scripture to renounce the homosexuality that has become so readily accepted, my old religion teacher suggested this one. Honestly, it beats around the bush a bit, but it still makes the point. Any argument (especially Matthew Vines') upholding the righteousness of homosexuality is wrong&absurd. 5 different highly educated theologians prove that full-well within this book. An excellent, not too long read to help reaffirm the belief that The Holy Bible does renounce homosexual behavior.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Grant Murdock

    This is a short book, which seeks to provide a good response to Matthew Vine's popular book "God and the Gay Christian". The book, edited by Mohler, includes contributions from different scholars and pastors, and provides a critique of Vines' book from biblical, theological, and historical perspectives. It's a great and short resource for those who have encountered Vines' book and thought, and a helpful resource which can be accessed for free on the website of The Southern Baptist Theological Se This is a short book, which seeks to provide a good response to Matthew Vine's popular book "God and the Gay Christian". The book, edited by Mohler, includes contributions from different scholars and pastors, and provides a critique of Vines' book from biblical, theological, and historical perspectives. It's a great and short resource for those who have encountered Vines' book and thought, and a helpful resource which can be accessed for free on the website of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in an e-book format.

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