As a young Christian man, Matthew Vines harbored the same basic hopes of most young people: to someday share his life with someone, to build a family of his own, to give and receive love. But when he realized he was gay, those hopes were called into question. The Bible, he’d been taught, condemned gay relationships.
Feeling the tension between his understanding of the Bible and the reality of his same-sex orientation, Vines devoted years of intensive research into what the Bible says about homosexuality. With care and precision, Vines asked questions such as:
Unique in its affirmation of both an orthodox faith and sexual diversity, God and the Gay Christian is likely to spark heated debate, sincere soul searching, even widespread cultural change. Not only is it a compelling interpretation of key biblical texts about same-sex relations, it is also the story of a young man navigating relationships with his family, his hometown church, and the Christian church at large as he expresses what it means to be a faithful gay Christian.
©2014 Matthew Vines (P)2014 Random House Audio
"For anyone who wants to know why some evangelicals find that the Bible does not condemn same-gender marriage, Matthew Vines’s book answers the question. Christians who oppose gay marriage should consider what he has to say." (Tony Campolo, professor emeritus, Eastern University; co-author of Red Letter Christians)
"Many people believe you can either hold a high view of Scripture or affirm gay relationships, but not both. Matthew Vines proves them wrong. Provocative and relentlessly Bible-focused, God and the Gay Christian offers hope and insight for Christians who have felt conflicted on matters of sexuality." (Justin Lee, author of Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate)
"A must-read for all Christians, but especially parents. Matthew Vines brings great insight and wisdom to the conversation so urgently needed by today’s church. God and the Gay Christian has the information I was searching for when my son, Tyler Clementi, came out to me. This book will have a great impact on families, freeing parents of misunderstandings about their LGBT children while letting them hold securely to their faith." (Jane Clementi, co-founder of The Tyler Clementi Foundation)
Long commutes need something to remove the boredom! Love history, mysteries/thrillers, scifi and bios, but read a little bit of everything.
Matthew Vines is gay and is a Christian. This book tells his story of coming out and trying to reconcile his Christian faith with his local church, friends, family and his physical/emotional attraction to the same sex. While I don't agree with his conclusions or interpretations of scripture, I completely empathize with the hurt, rejection and self-doubt he and others like him have to endure with same-sex attraction. I can't say I understand how he feels, I am not attracted to other men, but I can feel his pain and understand (and identify with) his desire to find a way to reconcile his faith with his identity as a gay man.
What he writes is often painful to read and it is sad that our society treats people who are different poorly, many of those doing so identifying themselves as Christian. What he writes about is his journey and studies in reconciling his faith with his identity. Where he ends up is, in my and other's opinion, contrary to where he said (and concludes) he is going. He ends up offering views and conclusions which do not treat the Bible the way orthodox Christians do, as a whole written by God using human agents. He claims a lot of cultural influence in the Bible which he claims twist and alter God's intended meaning. He is definitely not holding to a High view of the scripture.
I don't want to belabor this and I know folks will disagree with my views/interpretation.
Regardless of which side you are on, YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK. It offers a clear perspective of this side of the discussion.
You will find what you are looking for in this book. For those in the Gay Community, you will latch on to the Author's justification in the passages. For those "non-affirming" (his term for Christians who don't accept the concept of Gay Christians), you will see his lack of being honest with the context. He reads his viewpoint into the scripture and comes out with conclusions which are skewed. There are some interesting points, but I would not take this stand into a debate. It's one thing to take a position and quite another to have it tested by opposing viewpoints. I agree with James Pyle's review (which see) for the most part. For those of us Christ followers who have spent decades in His Word, we find it interesting how he came up with some of the conclusions. I read the book to see what positions are out there in this world that I should know about. For that reason alone, some should read this book. I wasn't convinced by his scholarship, only by his sincerity. One other point is that he acknowledges no sin on his part in causing a church split. That, along with other points along the way, tells me he is more interested in justifying his position than anything else.
As a Christian who affirms gay rights and wouldn't want to imagine life without fully supporting all of the LGBT people in my life, I thank God that he set this young man on the path to this book. Matthew goes to great lengths walking the line between subjective and objective thought, trying to be fair while firmly standing his ground. This book articulates every thought I've ever had on the subject. It has also helped me articulate some of my own incomplete opinions. Bravo, sir!
If you have ever wanted to truly understand the angst experienced by gay Christiandom, then this may be your book. Although I didn't agree with all of his conclusions, I deeply appreciated his honest approach to scripture, leaving no stone unturned in his approach to the more difficult passages that address same-sex relationships.
As a straight, married Christian I feel that this book has brought me an understanding and empathy that I needed to show love and compassion to my fellow believers who are same-sex oriented.
Blessings and peace in the name of Yeshua the Messiah.
This book, along with three others helped to change my mind about how LGBT people are viewed in the eyes of the church and elsewhere. It was so good that I listened to the audio 3 times. Matthew Vines is a gifted researcher and writer and his approach on this topic is one of the best I have ever heard. While the audiobook is handy and can be listened to anytime, I suggest purchasing a printed copy for reference and study purposes. Thank you, Matthew Vines!
I listened to this immediately after listening to Justin Lee's "Torn". Though there is some overlap, I appreciated the academic nature of Matt's book. I would recommend both books to anyone dealing with this complex issue. Thanks for sharing your story, Matthew.
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