Review: Two Views on Homosexuality, the Bible and the Church, edited by Preston Sprinkle

two-views-on-homosexualityHomosexuality commonly draws out strident views. Oppositional positions seem to be the norm; dialogue is often elusive. The editor notes this is not a ‘Christian’ versus ‘non-Christian’ debate: it is a discussion within the church.

Seeking to encourage deep engagement, evangelical publisher Zondervan asked two scholars to present an ‘affirming’ and two a ‘traditional’ view. Elsewhere, the editor says, the “question of homosexuality defies simple answers … I refuse to give thin answers to thick questions …” These scholars do the same.

Two authors were new to me. Knowing little about intersexuality, DeFranza’s work intrigued me. Holmes sees no room for same-sex marriage and with Hill (a self-identifying gay man) perceives celibacy as the only same-sex Christian option.

The book is detailed, careful, and care-filled. The authors know their arguments affect real people. Each brings  valuable perspectives and engages respectfully and thoroughly with others’ views. Bill Loader’s contribution is built on years of research and many publications about ancient views on sexuality, particularly in the New Testament.

Whatever position readers bring, I believe this book is worth the trouble and it challenged me a lot. It needs to be read as a whole, so that all of the discussion enriches one’s response.

Ian Tozer

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