Dr. Michael Brown writes at Barbwire:
For many years now, publishers have been releasing books that claim that the Bible does not oppose committed homosexual relationships. That is nothing new. But it is a sad and shameful day when a major Christian publisher releases such a book and claims that it is a solid evangelical publication. This is abhorrent, disgraceful, and terribly misleading. And it needs to be addressed and exposed.
But first, the background to the story.
In 2012, a young man named Matthew Vines, who professes to be a "gay Christian," released a video of his talk about the Bible and homosexuality, and it quickly went viral. His demeanor was engaging and his appeal to the Scriptures very serious, but for those who know the Word well, there was nothing in the least bit persuasive in his presentation. In fact, it underscored just how impossible it is to use the Bible to justify any form of homosexual acts or to sanctify intimate homosexual relationships.
The impossibility of Matthew’s position was further emphasized when my colleague, the well-known apologist Dr. James White, put out a series of YouTube videos that thoroughly rebutted the Vines’ video. And both Dr. White and I have offered to debate Matthew and any colleague he would choose, but to date, there has been no response, although we’re still hoping that a debate (or a series of debates) will take place.
"Here is the disturbing news," Brown continues. "The book is being published by Convergent Books, which is part of a publishing conglomerate that includes much respected, evangelical publishing group Waterbrook Multnomah (also sharing some of the same staff). And the chief executive of the company, Mr. Stephen W. Cobb, is vigorously defending his choice to publish the book. In fact, he is making an extraordinary effort to publicize it and claiming that it is thoroughly evangelical."
This is the same "Waterbrook Multnomah Group" that "publishes books by authors like John Piper, Chuck Swindoll, Ravi Zacharias, David Jeremiah, Randy Alcorn, David Platt, Bill Gothard," Brown notes, "and now its sister publisher is releasing a purported evangelical book defending homosexuality? (This is not being written on April 1 as some kind of April Fool’s joke. I am being dead serious.)"
Cobb has responded "to an investigative piece written by Christian attorney Matt Barber," Brown writes. "Mr. Cobb explained that his company was publishing the book 'because we believe it offers a thoughtful examination of Scripture on the topic of same-sex relationships from a bold, young, evangelical writer whose first calling is to promote a civil, loving, and Biblically based conversation on the subject'."
Brown agrees that the "tone of the book is meant to be civil, and it does attempt to interact with the Scriptures," but "you can no more use the Bible to legitimize homosexual relationships than you can use it to legitimize adultery. . . . To describe the author as 'a bold, young, evangelical writer' is to make the word evangelical utterly meaningless."
Brown concludes: "As things stand now, the same publishing conglomerate that released books by an evangelical author like Joshua Harris with titles and subtitles like I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Sexual Purity in a Lust Saturated World is releasing a book championing the idea that God blesses two men (or women) having sex with each other as long as they are committed.
"This is madness."
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