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Does the Bible Affirm Same-Sex Relationships?

Examining 10 Claims about Scripture and Sexuality

from 7 reviews

Examines the arguments used to claim that the Bible affirms same-sex relationships. 


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Description

You may have heard the claim that the Bible, when read correctly, is not against believers entering monogamous, faithful same-sex relationships. The arguments sound quite compelling. "Jesus never talked about same-sex relationships.” “Paul was only condemning exploitative relationships, not consensual ones.” “We don’t keep the Old Testament food laws, so why would we keep the ones on same-sex sex?” “If God is love, he can’t be against relationships of love.” And more. Have Christians through the ages just been getting this one wrong?

In this concise book, Rebecca McLaughlin looks at ten of the most common arguments used to claim that the Bible affirms same-sex sexual relationships. She analyses the arguments and associated Bible passages one by one to uncover what the Bible really says.

For Rebecca, as someone with a lifelong history of same-sex attraction, this is not just an academic question. But rather than concluding that the Bible does affirm same-sex marriage, she points readers to the gospel purpose of male-female marriage, a different kind of gospel-centred love between believers of the same sex, and God's life-and-love-filled vision for singleness.

Rebecca McLaughlin gained a PhD from Cambridge University and a theology degree from Oak Hill Seminary in London before working at The Veritas Forum. She is the author of the award-winning Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion and a regular contributor for The Gospel Coalition.

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Contents

  • Introduction: A Tale of Two Testimonies

    Claim 1: Christians Should Just Focus on the Gospel Message of Jesus’ Love

    Claim 2: Jesus Was Silent on Same-Sex Relationships

    Claim 3: God’s Judgment on Sodom Isn’t a Judgment on Same-Sex Relationships

    Claim 4: It’s Inconsistent to Keep the Old Testament Laws on Same-Sex Sex but Not Shellfish

    Claim 5: Paul Condemns Exploitative Same-Sex Relationships, Not Consensual Ones

    Claim 6: The Word Homosexual Wasn’t Used in Bibles until 1946. It’s a Misinterpretation

    Claim 7: Paul Was Condemning Excessive Lust, Not Same-Sex Sexual Orientation

    Claim 8: The Trajectory of the Bible Is Toward Abolishing Slavery and Affirming Same-Sex Marriage

    Claim 9: Unchosen Celibacy Yields Bad Fruit

    Claim 10: A God of Love Can’t Be Against Relationships of Love

    Epilogue

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Specification

Contributors Rebecca McLaughlin
ISBN 9781784989712
Format Paperback
First published May 2024
Dimensions 110mm x 178mm x 10mm
Weight 0.11 kg
Language English
Pages 128
Publisher The Good Book Company
Endorsements

Peter J Williams

Principal, Tyndale House, Cambridge; author, Can We Trust the Gospels?

This is a timely and sensitive book that offers a positive vision for human relationships. It shows that responsible handling of the Bible can lead to more love, not less.


James Robson

Principal, Oak Hill Theological College, London

With sensitivity, faithfulness, and clarity, Rebecca McLaughlin addresses ten questions often raised about the Bible and same-sex relationships. For each, she deftly engages with different interpretations of the Bible’s teaching and, in dialogue with personal stories, provides a more compelling interpretation. A most helpful book for anyone wanting concise, accessible, sensitive, and biblically faithful approaches to these questions.


Kathy Keller

co-author of The Meaning of Marriage and Assistant Director of Communications at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York

Rebecca McLaughlin is not afraid to tackle the toughest questions our culture has for Christianity, and in this short book she has again shown her willingness to teach biblical truth clearly, straightforwardly, and compassionately. I hope this book is widely read by both those who agree and those who disagree.


Customer reviews


17 Jun 2024

“McLaughlin Models Kindess, Discernment, and Speaking Truth in Love”

Rebecca McLaughlin has written another gentle yet insightful and truth-filled book addressing one of the most controversial topics within our culture at the moment. "Does the Bible Affirm Same-Sex Relationships" addresses 10 claims people make to show how the Bible affirms same-sex relationships, and McLaughlin’s discernment and analysis of these arguments are both helpful and encouraging. This book is not meant to condemn but to point to Christ in whom all sinners–that is, everyone–can find eternal life.


7 Jun 2024

“Concise, honest, and elevates friendship”

The strength of this book is being able to articulate clearly in a short number of pages the biblical argument for sex and marriage to be between a man and woman, but also to elevate other kinds of relationships to their rightful place. It assures those with same-sex attraction that they still belong in the church and they still have a place in sharing in and portraying to others the love of Christ.

This book is short, barely 100 pages, and could easily be read in a day.

It’s not the most exhaustive book on the topic but it hits on 10 popular arguments that people, Christian and otherwise, give claiming that the Bible affirms same-sex sexual relationships.

The author is writing to us because she has been there and she currently is there. A place where she experiences same-sex attraction. She tried so hard to read the Bible in a way that affirms her heart’s longing.

She also shares the stories of some of her friends who had their own journeys of struggle and of coming to the Bible to shape it to their needs. But they all came to the conclusion that the Bible is clear in what it teaches.

“Following Jesus means being willing to give up everything— even our most treasured hopes, dreams, and relationships… Jesus is the treasure. When we find him, we find our life. And as we give ourselves to Jesus, we will find that we have gained each other too.”


30 May 2024

“Well-researched and sensitive”

How do you handle questions on the issue of same sex attraction, and the potential arguments some have that the Bible is supportive of same sex practice? Rebecca McLaughlin has systematically and carefully explored the main arguments that are being made, and shows how we can respond authoritatively yet sensitively to those claims. A very helpful resource to have on your bookshelf.


30 May 2024

“excellent - clear, touches the heart, faithful”

The personal gentleness of the writer oozes throughout this book, as does the biblical faithfulness and concern for compassionate truth and truthful compassion.
Each chapter is short but/and sufficient to address the concerns of many.
This is helpful for Christians, in equipping us for conversations with others, and yet so well written, it would be good to be given to anyone interested but questionning.


26 May 2024

“Speaking the truth in love”

Rebecca McLaughlin speaks directly to the issue of same-sex relationships, but she does so with compassions and empathy. At the same time, her answers to the questions are biblically based - not simply proof-texting but thoughtfully reasoned. Her inclusion of cultural context was also helpful, especially in contrasting Jesus and Paul's handling of sexual matters (i.e. the argument that Jesus did not address same-sex relationships). The book is succinct and accessible, a must read for those who desire to have a biblical understanding of this issue.


21 May 2024

“Gospel Hope & Instruction”

Compassionately written, this short book tackles a timely topic. McLaughlin summarizes some of the most common misunderstandings of what the Bible says about same-sex relationships. She also gets to the very crux of the matter--Jesus is better than anything else. Looking for satisfaction in anything other than him will only leave us empty & wanting more. She also highlights the call to healthy, loving, Gospel-centered relationships with those around us. This book is a valuable resource, giving Christians a basic understanding of how to reach out to those they know & love who are wrestling with these questions.


13 May 2024

“Another Excellent Primer from McLaughlin”

Rebecca McLaughlin writes some excellent books on key cultural topics, blending a sense of warmth and gentleness with some excellent biblical truth. I have enjoyed her book The Secular Creed, as well as her work for teenagers answering some big questions. This short primer is just as good, taking 10 reasons why people might try and claim that the Bible affirms same-sex relationships and then reviewing why these won't stand up to scrutiny. It's not only good for your minister to read but also good for any church member who wants to understand how to answer objections to the orthodox position on marriage.

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Does the Bible Affirm Same-Sex Relationships? | Rebecca McLaughlin |
$12.99