I had a friend ask me for some suggested reading on Christian evaluations of homosexuality (from more than one perspective). I thought I would share my response here.
The links in the titles take you to Amazon. Some of the books are also available for partial viewing on googlebooks (for example, see here).
BOOKS COVERING MORE THAN ONE VIEW
Via, Dan O. and Robert A. J. Gagnon. Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2002.
-Written by biblical scholars but for a popular audience. It obviously covers two views. The authors respond to one another and it is short to boot (only 128pp!). Gagnon has some additional material to supplement this book on his web page.
Holben, L. R. What Christians Think about Homosexuality: Six Representative Viewpoints. North Richland Hills, TX: Bibal Press, 2000.
-Observes that there are more than two views on this issue and the author critiques each view from the other five views. The six views are condemnation, promise of healing, call to costly discipleship, pastoral accommodation, affirmation, and liberation.
Siker, Jeffrey S., ed. Homosexuality in the Church: Both Sides of the Debate. Lousville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 1998.
-Again, this book has perspectives from “both sides.”
MORE AFFIRMING OF HOMOSEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS
Countryman, L. William. Dirt, Greed, and Sex: Sexual Ethics in the New Testament and their Implications for Today. Revised edition. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007.
-Countryman’s revised edition includes references to Gagnon’s earlier work (below).
Rogers, Jack. Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church. Revised edition. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2010.
-Written by an evangelical who changed his mind on the matter (now affirming).
Michaelson, Jay. God Vs.Gay? The Religious Case for Equality. Boston: Beacon Press, 2001.
-A more popular level book (though the author is well qualified). It starts with the “bigger arguments” in favor of affirming homosexuality (e.g., love and justice), but it also has a section looking at specific verses in the Bible.
DON’T AFFIRM HOMOSEXUAL SEXUAL ENGAGEMENT
Gagnon, Robert A. J. The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics. Nashville: Abingdon, 2002.
-Since it is such a thorough treatment of the subject (over 500 pages!), it addresses just about any interpretive question. Because Countryman’s book (above) was originally published in the 1990s (revised since), Gagnon includes responses to Countryman at times (but many others of course).
Grenz, Stanley J. Welcoming But Not Affirming: An Evangelical Response to Homosexuality. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 1998.
-A classic evangelical text on the issue.
Webb, William J. Slaves, Women and Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2006.
-Discusses more than homosexuality (as the title indicates), but all for the purpose of arguing that there is a “redemptive movement” in Scripture with respect to slaves and women, but not with respect to homosexuals. In this, Webb focuses on the role of “culture” in our interpretation of the Bible.
ON A RELATED NOTE, BOOKS ON MINISTERING TO HOMOSEXUALS (written from conservative perspectives)
Haley, Mike. 101 Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2004.
-Another popular level book. The author used to work with Exodus International and then Focus on the Family. It includes ministry questions (even as specific as ministering to women vs. men) as well as responses to contemporary arguments.
Chambers, Alan, ed. Gods Grace and the Homosexual Next Door: Reaching the Heart of the Gay Men and Women in Your World. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2006.
-A popular level book by people associated with Exodus International.
As you wait for your books to arrive :-), here are a couple of short online resources I have seen that give a good sense of opposing views on this issue (I’m sure there are better one’s out there, but these are helpful).