Unchanging Witness: The Consistent Christian Teaching on Homosexuality in Scripture and Tradition - eBook
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Vendor: B&H Academic
Publication Date: 2016
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Jimmy ReaganLeesville, SCAge: 45-54Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Irrefutable!August 17, 2016Jimmy ReaganLeesville, SCAge: 45-54Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This issue of homosexuality is the roaring issue on the doorstep of Christianity. That the world is embroiled in it is no surprise, but that some corners of Christendom are bowled over by it is. The biggest shock of all is what is proclaimed to be biblical and historic in Christianity on the subject. That is why this new book by S. Donald Fortson III and Rollin G. Grams is so timely, helpful, and important.
The task these scholars tackle with such aplomb is showing that homosexuality has always been biblically and historically wrong in our Christian faith. They show in one succinct chapter how the gay movement has proceeded since it embarked upon a political path in the 1960s. Then the next 6 chapters show what all parts of Christianity has believed on the subject since the beginning with plenty of direct historical quotation and analysis. They may provide more than you will feel you need, but you will appreciate their careful labor.
The balance of the book examines the biblical passages mentioning homosexuality. They spend time mentioning every argument presented by pro-homosexual scholars. You see these other scholars have been incredibly unscholarly, careless, and even dishonest. Some may not like all that scholarly interaction, but this is a case where its needed appreciated.
A person can say they think homosexuality is acceptable because they choose not to accept the truthfulness of Scripture, but one cannot logically or honestly say the Bible supports homosexuality. These authors have put any Christians who study this subject in a great debt by so ably providing that proof.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.
RLJ5 Stars Out Of 5Nothing New--And That's The PointJune 4, 2016RLJQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Unchanging Witness by S. Donald Fortson III and Rollin G. Grams desires to answer the recent challenges to traditional evangelical views regarding homosexuality. The authors seek to respond to the challenge not only by examining pertinent biblical passages but also by looking to the traditional teachings of the church. They hope their book will be a resource book for those who hold the traditional view.
If the intent was to become a resource book, the authors are successful. A 380-page book is remarkably brief to reach the desired goal of the authors. The structure of the book is easy to follow. Pastors and Bible teachers looking for resources to help shape their response to attacks on the churchs views of sexuality will find this book to be a valuable resource. The structure of the book, which begins with the historic church views moving to modern views and then concluding with sections regarding the Bibles teaching, is easily followed and can be quickly referenced.
The book is high on doctrinal truth. It is weak on pastoral care for those who are dealing with homosexual desires. It was not the intent of the authors to write a manual on pastoral care; so, I recognize that my criticism is not entirely fair. I bring it up to say that ministers will want other tools on their bookshelf to go along with this one. Also, this book is not accessible to just anyone. The language is technical and theological. Pastors and teachers will need carefully and respectfully to convey this material to their congregation or class. The book is ideal for a seminary class or college level class on the subject of Christian ethics.
This book contains nothing new, and that is precisely the point that the authors want to make. Through the centuries, the church has had one authoritative voice on the issue of homosexuality. I am most qualified to analyze this book from a missiological perspective. New teachings regarding the acceptability of homosexual behavior are what missiologists call local theologies. They are developed to answer questions that arise in a particular culture. In this case, the culture is our own, and the theology is that homosexual behavior in a committed relationship is biblically acceptable. Fortson and Grams say no to that conclusion.
Fortson and Grams bring the local theology that homosexual behavior is acceptable into dialogue with the rest of the churchs teaching. Many proponents of accepting same-sex marriage argue that evangelicals no longer have a universal view on the subject, and therefore, freedom exists for evangelical churches to sanction same-sex marriage. However, Fortson and Grams demonstrate that they assume too much.
The fact that disagreement exists does not make all views equal and warranted. Missiologists and theologians have devised various dialogical methods for analyzing local theologies for the purpose of determining if a local theology is worthy of either universal acceptance or, at the very least, toleration. Part of that dialogue includes not only the witness of Scripture but also the historical teaching of the church. Fortson and Gram initiate the conversation using both history and the Bible. They find the case for same-sex marriage and acceptance of homosexuality to be wanting. This book is one of the most important recent books on this subject.
(I received a free copy of this book from B&H Academic in exchange for a review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review.)
Booklover105 Stars Out Of 5a great book full of informationMay 13, 2016Booklover10Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Unchanging Witness is definitely a book for our current times. This topic is front and center in our nation today and Christians run the gamut as to what they think God teaches on this topic. Non-Christians stick to the typical verses to try to say "judge not" and all of the other typical arguments. To say that both of these groups are clashing is an understatement.
Being that I am younger, I had no idea as to when the entire Gay Movement started and what all it entailed. I was surprised by my lack of knowledge towards this history. I appreciated that the authors spent time laying a strong foundation in the history of this movement and how we have gotten to this point in our culture now.
I have not been to seminary but I like to be challenged in my reading choices. With that said, I found this book to be very well written and it included any and every question I could think of. I appreciated that these questions weren't backed by opinion, but were backed by Scripture. Not having a seminary degree or lots of knowledge in the history and culture of certain texts, I really enjoyed this background.
I wouldn't qualify this book as "light" reading, and I don't think that the authors consider this book to be taken "lightly." It deals with some weighty topics and is counter-cultural. It is definitely a book I'd like to reread because there is so much in it that I'm afraid I've missed!
I received this book free from B & H Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.
John M KightMichiganAge: 25-34Gender: Male5 Stars Out Of 5Easily One of the Most Important Books of 2016!!February 11, 2016John M KightMichiganAge: 25-34Gender: MaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5We are now witnessing a moral transformation before our own eyes. It is a cultural shift that continues to sweep the land, and it is the issue of same-sex marriage and homosexuality that stands at the forefront of this fast-moving revolution, and its agenda is being bolstered on nearly every street corner. Are Christians to assume that they have got it wrong all this time? Has tradition really misunderstood what appears to be the clear and consistent message of Scripture on these issues? In todays increasingly post-Christian world it is imperative that such challenges are met with gentleness and love, and the Christian must be well-equipped to meet such tasks. It is here that S. Donald Froston III and Rollin G. Grams have provided a unique and timely volume that aims to fill a much needed void amid an ever-changing world.
Unchanging Witness: The Consistent Christian Teaching on Homosexuality in Scripture and Tradition (B&H Academic, 2016) begins with a history of the Gay Christian movement in Americafrom the New York Stonewall Inn riots of 1969 to the publication and proclamation of the Boswell Thesis in the early 1980s. This is an appropriate place to start the conversation for the reader. Not only does it provide a well-documented outline of events for where we are today, but it also helpfully places the conversation amid its proper historical context. This context then becomes an essential part of the initial section as the reader is guided through nearly two millennia of church history, beginning with the Church Fathers and ending with the current landscape of many modern mainline denominations. Froston and Grams systematically dismantle the revisionist claims that characterize the Gay Christian movement, but it is the abundance of primary source material that carries the bulk of their argumentative weight.
With the historical foundation firmly established, Froston and Grams can now direct the appropriate attention to the Scriptures that rightly motivated the previous convictions of the Christian Church. This section is divided into three parts: (1) The Bible and Homosexuality, (2) Creation and Law: Old Testament Text and Homosexuality, and (3) Creation, the Law and the Gospel: New Testament Text and Homosexualitywith the latter two parts comprising nearly half of the content of the book. There is no Scriptural concern that is left unturned as Froston and Grams carefully guide the reader through the biblical passages, what the text says about homosexuality, how the text was understood historically and culturally, and how the text has been understood and interpreted by Christians (p. 2). The interaction with the major interpreters of the Gay Christian movement is ample, and the reader will benefit greatly from the level of scholarship and documentation provided therein.
The attention to scholarly detail in this volume is incredible. On a stylistic note, Froston and Grams have chosen to utilize the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible because of the similar ecumenical intent of the volume and translation. Froston and Grams have also provided a whole host of primary source material in the initial section of the book, and to make interaction easier for the reader they have used italics to highlight the portions of text that are most important. In regards to the content, it would be difficult to differentiate between the quality of work therein. Every chapter is equally important to the thesis of the book and the interaction with the Gay Christian movement is witnessed throughout. Nevertheless, some points of particular enjoyment will be the parallels presented between the law code text of Leviticus and Pauls exhortation in 1 Corinthians 5-7 and the revisionist readings of Romans 1:24-28. Moreover, the assessment of the Pauline argument of nature/creation and nurture/law in Romans was also extremely helpful for interacting with some of the contemporary arguments against the traditional understanding of the texts. One major downfall of the volume is the lack of a bibliography. While skimming the footnotes is more work, and I am reluctant to recommend such, it will certainly prove beneficial for the interested reader.
Unchanging Witness: The Consistent Christian Teaching on Homosexuality in Scripture and Tradition by S. Donald Froston III and Rollin G. Grams is easily projected to be one of the most important books of 2016. The comprehensive treatment of the issues at hand are presented in a clear and persuasive manner that only the most uninformed of readers would be willing to ignore. Of course, while continuing to play interpretive leapfrog with the biblical text may work in prolonging the conversation among supporters, the nearly two millennia of unchanging witness within the Christian community is not easily dismissedat least not without severe logical and historical implications. The testimony of both Scripture and the response of the people of God to such have been unanimously opposed to the current revolutionary trend that is sweeping the nation, and Froston and Grams have displayed this fact with undeniable precision. The Christian would do well in reading this book with careful and attentive eyes of compassion for the ever-changing world around them. It comes highly recommended!
I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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