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People To Be Loved: Why Homosexuality Is Not Just An Issue

Christians who are confused by the homosexuality debate raging in the US are looking for resources that are based solidly on a deep study of what Scripture says about the issue. In People to Be Loved, Preston Sprinkle challenges those on all sides of the debate to consider what the Bible says and how we should approach the topic of homosexuality in light of it. In a manner that appeals to a scholarly and lay-audience alike, Preston takes on difficult questions such as how should the church treat people struggling with same-sex attraction? Is same-sex attraction a product of biological or societal factors or both? How should the church think about larger cultural issues, such as gay marriage, gay pride, and whether intolerance over LGBT amounts to racism? How (or if) Christians should do business with LGBT persons and supportive companies? Simply saying that the Bible condemns homosexuality is not accurate, nor is it enough to end the debate. Those holding a traditional view still struggle to reconcile the Bible’s prohibition of same-sex attraction with the message of radical, unconditional grace. This book meets that need.

Paperback: 224 pages

Publisher: Zondervan (December 8, 2015)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0310519659

ISBN-13: 978-0310519652

Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches

Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #26,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #11 in Books > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Gender & Sexuality #65 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Christian Living > Social Issues #120 in Books > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Criticism & Theory

In People to Be Loved, New Testament professor, Preston Sprinkle, presents the traditionalist case against same-sex relationships. The book is an easy to read, lay level introduction to the six biblical passages on same-sex intercourse (along with a few chapters on related issues). Divided into three primary sections—Old Testament, New Testament, and pastoral issues—the bulk of his discussion is on the Graeco-Roman period and the New Testament.There are pros and cons to the book.Pros:I love Preston Sprinkle’s compassion and desire to listen to LGBT folk. He tends to “get it” more than other conservative writers. For example, I can tell Sprinkle has heard the hearts of those who are gay affirming in way that say, Kevin DeYoung, has not. Sprinkle also demonstrates humility, even acknowledging that it's always possible his views could shift in the future if additional study warrants that. So, even though Sprinkle has a non-affirming position on same-sex relationships, those who disagree with him will appreciate his efforts to befriend and listen.Surprisingly few books exist from the traditionalist perspective providing a solid discussion of the biblical texts; the ones that do tend to be written by ultra-conservatives who don’t typically grasp important nuance to the discussion or can be antagonistic toward LGBT people. Sprinkle’s book is a breath of fresh air in its sensitive approach to the topic. His book generally provides a decent overview of the key biblical passages.Cons:I didn’t love this book as much as I had hoped. Having read Sprinkle’s blog I had high expectations. I was surprised to see that it took the tired “Let’s discuss the six passages on homosexuality” approach. The six passages have been debated ad nauseam.

When it comes to the conversation of same-sex attraction, we have seen a sort of “Red Rover” happening among some folks. We’ve picked our sides and dared others to come join us. The focus is on building our viewpoint, our “camp” so to speak. Along the way, when setting up the campground, have we forgotten people? The issue of homosexuality is, as Preston Sprinkle reminds us in his new People to be Loved: Why Homosexuality is Not Just an Issue, that what we are dealing with is so much more than an issue, we are talking about people. It is in this vein that Sprinkle seeks to remind us, especially those of us who belong to the Church, that the LGBT community will never benefit from the truth if the truth is not delivered in love.I’ll start with the things I loved about this book. Sprinkle, a “non-affirmer,” is foremost someone who has walked with the LGBT community. This is deeply convicting in and of itself. Many Christians, in my estimation, sit in their ivory towers making lofty assumptions about what LGBT life is like. Since Sprinkle knows and walks with people within the LBGT community, he listens to them, he sees their struggles, and he journeys with them.To illustrate Sprinkle’s compassion and heart for those in the LGBT community, I share these sobering words:“Let me get real with you. I have become so discouraged over the years at how evangelicals have postured themselves against the LGBT community. And it’s not just my isolated experience. According to the statistics, when young non-Christians were asked about the first thing that came to mind when they thought of evangelical Christianity…Ninety-one percent said…“antihomosexual.” The next two perceptions are that Christians are “judgmental” (87%) and “hypocritical” (85%).

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