Skip to comments.Evangelicals Review Matthew Vines' 'God and the Gay Christian' Book
Posted on 04/23/2014 8:23:21 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
With the release of Matthew Vines' God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships, conservative Evangelicals are responding with warnings that the book should not cause confusion regarding Scripture's teaching on homosexuality.
The book, Andrew Walker director of Policy Studies for the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission says, "is the first step in a larger effort to fundamentally recast long-held, universally acknowledged norms pertaining to sexual ethics."
In his review, Walker notes that not only does Vines identify himself as a conservative evangelical and claim to uphold the authority of the Bible, but his book also comes at a strategic time for the gay rights movement as it was likely written to introduce confusion among Evangelicals "one of the last remaining constituencies in America that has not embraced homosexuality with gusto."
"This book need not be 100 percent compelling or accurate in order to succeed. All that needs to happen for Vines to claim victory is for his readers to be confused and not necessarily convinced of his argument," Walker writes.
Vines drew attention in 2012 when a video of him making the case that homosexuality is not a sin went viral. The former Harvard University student, who is gay, rejected traditional Christian teaching on homosexuality and explained in an over hour-long argument using Scripture that the Bible does not condemn loving, same-sex relationships.
In a September 2012 interview with The Christian Post, Vines, who was raised in a Christian home in Wichita, said he came to that conclusion after taking a leave of absence from Harvard to study the Scriptures and scholarly works on the subject of homosexuality.
"The Bible never directly addresses, and it certainly does not condemn, loving, committed same-sex relationships. There is no biblical teaching about sexual orientation, nor is there any call to lifelong celibacy for gay people," Vines now founder of The Reformation Project, which seeks to reform church teachings on sexual orientation maintained.
God and the Gay Christian was released Tuesday. The publisher, Convergent Books, says that the book will "radically change the conversation about being gay in the church."
In an article on Monday in The Wichita Eagle, Vines says that his message is not that change in the church is inevitable, but that it is possible.
"My message is that change is possible. I think it's only really possible with the right biblical approach to arguments. That's what the book is all about. But once you have that, it's going to take a tremendous amount of persistence and effort and determination and grit for years to make that happen. But I'm convinced that it's possible," the author states.
"I want the Christian church to be an effective, authentic witness of God's love to the world," he adds. "That's what most Christians want, too."
Several Southern Baptists have released reviews or critiques of the new book. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. and his colleagues released on Tuesday an e-book, titled God and the Gay Christian? A Response to Matthew Vines.
Mohler told Southern Seminary News that many people may believe Vines' "treatment of the Bible is legitimate."
"I think that it's very important that evangelicals be reminded that the church has not misunderstood Scripture for 2,000 years," he said.
While Mohler is offering a 100-page critique, Walker has provided a more brief review, summarizing Vines' arguments and his response in nine pages.
"If I was to condense the substance of Vines' book, here's what is happening: Vines has compiled liberal biblical scholarship and popularized it for a non-technical audience," Walker sums. "Let me be clear: Vines is not advancing new arguments. In fact, his work draws largely from existing gay-affirming scholarship. Vines is making liberal scholarship accessible for common audiences and then compounding its effect by bringing in the emotionally laden context of our times."
Aware that Vines may read his review, Walker says the first thing he would do is tell Vines that he loves him and that he deserves dignity and respect.
"I would apologize to him for what I can only assume are the countless insensitivities and insults he's experienced as a same-sex attracted person. I would also apologize to Matthew for the pat, unhelpful answers and rejection he's received from Christians who don't know how to speak about homosexuality."
He adds, however, that he would also tell Vines that he has been "deceived."
"He's believed the lie that homosexuality will prosper his life."
He says he would also "implore Matthew to repent of a book designed to cast a shadow of suspicion and doubt about the Scripture's teaching on sexuality;" and "exhort him to a path of discipleship with incalculable unknowns unknown difficulties I will not experience and can only sympathize with. But I will commend him to set his desires before the cross, knowing that Jesus is better than any desire we think needs satisfied; that Jesus is better than marriage, than children, than sexual fulfillment itself."
Andrew Walker's full review of God and the Gay Christian, which includes pastoral considerations, can be read here
Here are the chapters:
“God, the Gospel and the Gay Challenge: A Response to Matthew Vines”
“How to Condone What the Bible Condemns: Matthew Vines Takes on the
“Suppressing the Truth in Unrighteousness: Matthew Vines Takes on the New Testament”
“What Has the Church Believed and Taught? Have Christians Been Wrong All Along?”
“Is a Gay Christian Consistent with the Gospel of Christ?”
Read the booklet by clicking here
“The former Harvard University student, who is gay, rejected traditional Christian teaching on homosexuality and explained in an over hour-long argument using Scripture that the Bible does not condemn loving, same-sex relationships.”
Well, sure, the Bible in fact demands that we love everyone regardless of their sex. Having homosexual sex, on the other hand, is roundly denounced as an abomination.
And Luther’s great work continues.
RE: And Luthers great work continues.
I don’t see how this relates to Luther at all...
Matthew Vines is standing on the shoulders of giants.
Yes Sir, the bible is extremely clear on this, there’s no way to misinterpret it. I’m an evangelical Christian, and I know myself and others are not going to be “confused” as he would like. Just another false prophet, nothing to see here, move along.
“God and the Lustful Christian: A New Look at Looking and Drooling”
“God and the Angry Christian: An Alternative View to Suppressing Real Feelings”
“God and the Covetous Christian: Another Perspective on Wanting More Stuff Than You Have”
“God and the Obese Christian: A Second Look at a Second Helping”
Well, today we have three lesbians in a marriage in Massachussets. Hopefully Vine will write a wonderful book about how that’s God’s will too. </s>
“And Luthers great work continues.”
Spreading misinformation and sowing discord is never a admirable attribute.
My, aren’t you a little ray of sunshine?
Dude looks possessed literally...
“nor is there any call to lifelong celibacy for gay people”
No, there isn’t, since God does not acknowledge ‘gay’ as a real thing. Same sex attracted people are free to find a wife or husband of the opposite sex and engage in sexual activity within marriage with that person.
What does God say about same-sex sexual activities?
“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” Lev 20:13
Pretty damn clear on the moral law their. The word abomination doesn’t have double-meanings.
the gay christian along with the virgin prostitute and the honest thief.
“And Luthers great work continues.”
And the work of many of your buggering priests.
So there are no heretics or queers in the Catholic Church?
Butt boy drivel
Well that's just the thing, isn't it?
The ones in our ranks don't even bother to argue that what they are doing is defensible according to Church teaching. They either publicly denounce Church teaching or they hide.
They can't really argue that they are following the Church's interpretation of Scripture or that they are following the Church's tradition.
They are forced to either be non-Catholics or disobedient Catholics.
What Vines is doing is quite different. He is insisting on two core Reformation principles: the sufficiency of Scripture alone and private judgment of Scripture.
He is arguing that traditional morality is not sufficiently supported by Scripture alone and he is also arguing that his own prayerful, deliberate searching of the Scriptures supports his view.
There Matthew Vines, he can do no other.
And who can refute him on these grounds? Albert Mohler - a very intelligent and learned theologian of a thoroughly reformed background falls back on a 2,000 year interpretive tradition to refute Vines.
As well he should, because he cannot fight Vines on either sufficiency or private judgment grounds.
Please see post 18.
Sure ... those are called friendships.
When those "same-sex relationships" turn sexual -- they are condemned throughout the Bible for the perversions that they are.
Sodom and Gomorrah got a front row preview seat regarding those that 'go after strange flesh' (Jude 1:7).
We are told not to deceive ourselves into believing that God will 'wink' at these sins (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God).
And the first Chapter of Paul's letter to the Romans tells us that a Nation should expect this outbreak of 'perversion' when it forgets God (or as Psalm 9 puts it: Psalms 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God).