"Does God hate gays" book recommendations

This discussion was created from comments split from: Homosexuality.

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  • A young friend, who is in her last year reading Theology at university, has emailed me to ask for help with her dissertation (working title, "Does God Hate Gays?). I'm very happy to help, but it's made me realise my reading must be rather out of date. Can anyone recommend a good recent book on the topic? One really good one would be more useful than a book list!
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    edited August 2019
    Posting as a Shipmate

    Hi Robert

    Given that your young friend is reading Theology, it occurred to me that, rather than a book, she may find the two articles on Homosexuality from this link illuminating. I'd encourage them to be read as Part 1 followed by Part 2. They show a radical evangelical and a traditional evangelical approach. Not a book, of course and she may have already seen them.
  • it depends on what you actually are looking to achieve. A dissertation cannot be supported by a single book. Ironically, the best books I know on the subject are fiction - written by Michael Arditti. Both "the celibate" and "Easter" present what I would call an incarnational theology of the immediate and underlying issues, particularly the problems the church has with human sexuality as an overall concept.

    For a fantastic if rather quaint-feeling exploration of the effects of self-rejection and self-hatred, which is the underlying issue for the homosexual person themselves, see Harry Williams's 'The True Wilderness". A story of somewhat unquiet resurrection.
  • Jemima the 9thJemima the 9th Shipmate
    edited August 2019
    A couple of books I have enjoyed & found helpful were Unclobber by Colby Martin, and Undivided by Vicky Beeching. Both combine personal experience with Biblical study - they could be too personal in nature for what your friend is looking for though.
    If YouTube is permitted (!) then Matthew Vines has a brilliant little lecture here https://youtu.be/ezQjNJUSraY his book God and the Gay Christian, is apparently also good, though he himself says it’s dated rather and he would write it differently now.
    Lastly, a podcast - yes, I know, not a book, but this series often references books and recent research which sounds to be of high quality. I think this link will take you to a useful place, I hope so! https://almostheretical.com/
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    Robert Armin

    Thought this might be well worth a separate thread, so here it is. At least you'll get all the recommendations together.

    B62, Epiphanies Host
  • That's very kind B62. Thank you.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Although it’s nearly a quarter of a century old, I think Michael Vasey’s Strangers and Friends is worth a look, and, although I’ve not read it, Robert Song’s Covenant and Calling, although both are quite British and Church of England oriented.
  • ECraigRECraigR Shipmate
    Would you be able to give more context for what your friend’s dissertation is on? If it’s church and society, and their interaction over homosexuality then I won’t be of much help probably, being American.

    But if it’s theology, then the Matthew Vines book recommended above comes up a lot. Doing a reverse bibliographic search on that would then probably yield many results, but that would only get you articles.
    For biblical resources, Anthony Thisleton’s Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians in the New International Greek Testament Commentary series is quite invaluable. The bibliography alone on one of the Greek Paulisms we’ve been arguing about forever makes the book worth it’s academic price.

    A book that’s wildly interesting, but possibly limited to Americans, is Mark A Noll’s The Civil War as a Theological Crisis. This book examines the theological battles that waged between priests and theologians during the American Civil War. There are many passages in the Bible that supports slavery, and many American priests, pastors, and theologians were fully in support of slavery. What’s excellent about this book is that it demonstrates that many of the arguments that were being foisted in favor of slavery are the same kind of arguments that are now being foisted in favor of anti-homosexual theology and praxis. I don’t recall if the book explicitly makes this point, but it’s all there.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    edited August 2019
    Yes, the connection between earlier justice battles (slavery, emancipation of women) and the biblical arguments advanced in favour of the status quo is I think one of the most telling arguments around.

    (Steve Chalks makes that point in the article I linked above).
  • The first book I came across on that theme was Slavery, Sabbath, War, and Women.
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    This is another of those historical and linguistic minefields. My reading too is out of date but I began with Bernadette Brooten, her articles in various academic journals and then her 1998 Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism. And a friend of mine said she found Sarah Ruden's Paul Among the People (2010) helpful.
  • My wife asked some others in our church for some reading material on this, the Youth Worker recommended People to Be Loved by Preston Sprinkle

    she found it helpful, I haven't read it (yet)
  • Candace Chellew-Hodge's book, "Bulletproof Faith" is excellent. Highly recommended. She is a minister in Columbia, South Carolina. She's a lesbian. She's also an acquaintance of mine.
    I know of other resources but I'm tired and my brain is not working very well at the moment. When I can think clearly again, I'll post more information.
  • HotlipsHotlips Shipmate Posts: 6
    Consider the book David P. Gushee, Changing Our Mind: Definitive 3rd Edition of the Landmark Call for Inclusion of LGBTQ Christians with Response to Critics (Canton, Michigan: Read the Spirit Books, 2017).

    He also gives a good talk on this: The Reformation Project, David Gushee - Ending the Teaching of Contempt Against Sexual Minorities (Washington D. C., 2014) available at his activism website.
  • Back in the 70s, IVP (the main evangelical publisher in the UK) brought out a booklet entitled "Homosexuality: A Christian Option?". I am told they had to pulp the first print run as the ? had been left off the cover.
  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    I remain terminally eye-rolling at anything past "does god hate". What religion do they pretend to ascribe to? Fucking Leviticans.
  • Essex JoeEssex Joe Shipmate Posts: 6
    Would also recommend Vicky Beeching's "Undivided" and Sam Allberry's "Is God anti-gang?"
  • RooK wrote: »
    Fucking Leviticans.
    Practically a quote from Job!

    That's what I love about @RooK; he's so deeply Biblical....
  • AnteaterAnteater Shipmate
    I would recommend Sex and the single saviour, by Dale Martin. He's a bit post everything but good. Started at an uber-fundie. He has a whole set of free lectures on YouTube, if you want to get his general drift.
  • tclunetclune Shipmate
    A young friend, who is in her last year reading Theology at university, has emailed me to ask for help with her dissertation (working title, "Does God Hate Gays?). I'm very happy to help, but it's made me realise my reading must be rather out of date. Can anyone recommend a good recent book on the topic? One really good one would be more useful than a book list!

    I would just urge your friend to avoid special pleading, which seems to abound in hermeneutical circles. I recall being angry when I read Gomes' The Good Book because the author, who is black, did a wonderful job establishing a hermeneutic that distanced scripture from embracing slavery, and then insisted on constructing an ad hoc and flimsy argument against Biblical homophobia -- even though his slavery arguments were appropriate and more forcefully applicable to the task.

    ISTM that the real theological challenge when we are faced with cognitive dissonance between our way of reading scripture and our understanding of truth as we see it in the world is to come to an understanding of how to read scripture that harmonizes the two, and then apply that understanding to the many remaining places of ignorance and bigotry in our lives, When we engage in special pleading, we salvage our current understanding at the cost of our spiritual growth.
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