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God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  2,395 ratings  ·  385 reviews
As a young Christian man, Matthew Vines harbored the same basic hopes of most young people: to some-day 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 Bib
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published April 22nd 2014 by Convergent Books (first published January 1st 2014)
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Jun 08, 2015 rated it did not like it
Imagine someone claiming that, while he is committed to a "high view" of Scripture, the Bible doesn't really condemn adultery or polygamy. When, in the New Testament, Jesus affirms the Old Testament institution of marriage between one man and one woman, what he is talking about is commitment to that one person whenever you are with that person. But there is nothing that prohibits you from sharing that love, including sexual love, with someone else when you are with that other person. Yes, Paul s ...more
Rob Slaven
Apr 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Firstly and as usual I received this book free in exchange for a review. Also as usual I give my absolutely candid opinions about it below. To start, it should be noted that I'm not a Christian nor even remotely religious. I will review this book from an entirely secular viewpoint. This will, I suspect, be a fairly unique approach to this preeminently controversial book.

As a secularist, I can't really say much about this book aside from noting how well it seems to argue its point. In that regard
Todd Miles
Much has already been written about the Vines book. Here is a quick assessment:
The book is winsomely written and claims to be guided by evangelical sensibilities. That is, the author claims to respect the authority of Scripture. But claims to respecting the authority of Scripture are proven in the exegesis, not in their mere assertion. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.
Vines' strategy is to argue that the proof of genuineness and faithfulness is in the fruit of the truth claim (citing J
Clif Hostetler
Jun 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
This book offers a theologically conservative and biblically rigorous basis for a Christian faith that arrives at the following conclusion:
“Christians who affirm the full authority of Scripture can also affirm committed, monogamous same-sex relationships.” (p.3)
It is apparent that the author of this book identifies with a Christian theology that most people would classify as sincerely conservative but arrives at a position on same-sex relationships that is generally considered to be progressive.
Sep 25, 2015 rated it did not like it
It's amazing the lengths we go to try and fit the Bible to our lifestyle instead of the other way around. ...more
Apr 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was initially unsure whether I needed this book as I already have Justin Lee's Torn, which approaches the questions from the same basic theological framework. After reading God and the Gay Christian, I am glad I made the purchase. Vines' summaries of the Greco-Roman sex ethic and patriarchal structure of the ancient world are the best I've seen outside academic writing. The chapters directly addressing the pertinent biblical passages are very well argued, and I have yet to see anything from th ...more
Noel Burke
May 20, 2016 rated it did not like it
I read this book because I had never truly understood how some could justify living an openly homosexual lifestyle while maintaining a Christian lifestyle. I commend Matthew Vines for attempting to answer common questions from the opposing side. He could have set up several straw men and just knocked them down. I think there were a few faulty premises however with his logic. First, justifying today's homosexual activity based on ancient sinful practices does not make a case for its acceptance to ...more
Erin Thomas
Jul 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Where do I start?

Matthew Vines, as a gay Conservative Christian man, carefully and courageously invites The Reader into a daring journey: seeing Scripture in a new light. He refrains from condescension, passive-aggression and straight-up insults which sadly have become a hallmark in such debates. He is reverent of Scripture, thoughtful of The Reader, and passionately in love with Jesus Christ.

In terms of readability, I would feel safe giving copies of Vines' book to Grade 11 or 12 students. His
Kelly Hager
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book.

My only quibble---and it's a small one---is that I would've preferred if we had seen more of a personal side to it. But I absolutely understand why Matthew Vines made the choices he did: the people he's trying to convince are more likely to be swayed by Bible verses than by stories from his life and from his family.

I would recommend this book for anyone, but especially for gay kids who are in a Christian church. Obviously this is a great book for their families, too,
Aaron West
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: this-will-help
The very existence of this book embodies an incomprehensible stance and slippery slope to oblivion for some. To others, this book is a ray of hope in a world that seems unable to reconcile their orientation with a faith they cherish. As far as the discussion around the issue of affirming vs. non-affirming Christians goes, I found this book to take a serious, mature look at the implications of it for Christians at all points on the sexual-orientation spectrum. Whether or not you agree with Matthe ...more
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As controversy has swirled in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision upholding gay marriage I wondered if anyone had managed to write a rigorous, Biblically-grounded defense of gay marriage. The answer is: yes, this book is it, and boy is it a doozy.

For author Matthew Vines, the issue is personal: he was raised in a loving, Christian, Bible-believing home, but realized when he was 19 that he was gay. What to do? After coming out to his dad, the two of them began an in-depth reexamination of sc
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-nonfiction
This is one of the most thoughtful and scripture-focused books Ive read on this subject (and I've read a lot!) Matthew Vines depth of knowledge, clarity, and passion for the Bible are evident. This book is probably most valuable to someone who was raised in a more conservative or fundamentalist church as he speaks from that perspective and vernacular. If you've ever been told you can't "respect the authority of scripture" while affirming gay relationships this book is for you!

I'm sad that he had
Grant Hartley
Jul 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I should have read this book years ago, but I think I was afraid of being convinced that same-sex sexual activity is morally permissible for followers of Christ; I was deeply closeted and self-hating for so long, and I was afraid, I think, that coming to a new conclusion would destroy my life. Fortunately, over the past few years, I have grown so much, become so much more comfortable in my skin as a gay Christian man, and have become convinced of God's unconditional love for me. This book was si ...more
Beth Peninger
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Last month I read another book of the same topic but with a differing view. I couldn't get both books read in one month so I continued the exploration of this controversial topic this month. For my thoughts on last month's read of this same topic search for Same-Sex Marriage by Sean McDowell and John Stonestreet.

While Vines doesn't make any claims that his book is a thoughtful approach to same-sex relationships, it is. He presents his views without vitriol, with respect, and with a sincere desir
May 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Based on the reviews I've read, this book has been polarizing. My own assessment is that it's a very worthwhile book for the average Christian to read. No, Vines does not really make any new scholarly arguments in favor of homosexuality on the basis of the Bible. He doesn't claim to. He is interested in relating some of the many arguments he has come across in his studies, and he's a gifted communicator. I read some of the scholarly source material for Vines' book while in grad school, and I can ...more
Wade Stotts
Apr 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gender-issues
Matthew here expands the arguments from his talk on YouTube that came out in 2012. The talk and the book contain arguments that were refuted in books written when Matthew and I were both in grade school.

When Matthew's talk began to be passed around on social media, Dr James White offered a four hour response to the one hour presentation. Check it out if you'd like an interaction with the specific arguments.

One of the most helpful books I've read on this t
Katharine Rudzitis
Jun 18, 2014 rated it liked it
I can't speak to all of the arguments listed, but as a Classics major I support the translations of Ancient Greek and the views of sexual orientation (or lack thereof!) in the ancient world. I don't know much gender theory, so I can't endorse those arguments.

This is an easy read, since the author writes passionately and did plenty of research. I don't think the book will have much impact, just because no one ever wants to question what they've been told to think. I wish more people were intelle
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: theology
When Jehovah's Witnesses come to my door, I often ask them what would Jesus have to say in order for them to acknowledge his claim to be God. "Before Abraham was, I AM", maybe? Matthew Vines ought to be asked what the Bible would have to say in order for him to accept that it rejects homosexuality. There's a rare secularist who for some reason wants to do Gumby-exegesis with Scripture and find it endorsing sodomy, but apart from that lonely soul the only other people striving for this position l ...more
Feb 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
It's difficult to know how to rate a book like this. I fundamentally disagree with Vines' thesis that the Bible does not condemn committed, monogamous same-sex relationships. At the same time, I'm grieved by the difficult experiences that he describes from his own life and those of others who struggle with same-sex attraction. I long and pray that Matthew Vines will encounter Christians who faithfully challenge his truth claims, but also lovingly walk with him, and others like him, as they strug ...more
Annie Rose
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book presents what are probably the strongest arguments that one could make to attempt to support same-sex relationships from Scripture. Unfortunately, I found Vines' methodology for handling the various texts as well as his theological starting point to be flawed, so I didn't find the arguments convincing. I did appreciate having a glimpse into what it is like for many to be in the church and dealing with same-sex attraction: the fear, the rejection, the deep self-doubt, and alienation. ...more
May 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
Matthew Vines hermeneutic has more holes than swiss cheese. This is a great book if you are looking for a reason to validate homosexual practices and you don't really care about careful exegesis. ...more
Bolu Akindele
This is my second read of this book. I suspect it'll be my last.

The very first time I read it, I was in utter confusion. I was distressed, confused about my life, my Faith, and the way forward for an experience I was yet to name. I needed answers.

This time, however, I could engage with the material more critically, to see it with a new lens, to enjoy it, to dance with it, to interrogate it. It's very clear why this book is incredibly popular—the writing is simple, so simple, and utterly accessib
John Suddath
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two years ago Matthew Vines posted a video on YouTube titled “The Gay Debate: The Bible and Homosexuality” that went viral. This spring he followed up with a book titled “God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships.” It was written from an Evangelical Christian’s point-of-view, and many Evangelicals hav challenged his interpretations of the scriptures since he does not follow the literalist tradition. Several years ago Jack Rogers, former Moderator of the P ...more
I appreciated this book as a window into affirming theology. I felt, however, that the winsome writing style attempted to cover poorly done exegesis by an author who has more to prove if he wants to overturn the global and historical perspective of the church. This book is appealing as an easy answer to the current conversation about sexuality. Even though I find it unconvincing, it is helpful to learn more about this perspective and understand how this book influences the conversation.
Cara Cavicchia
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Matthew Vines gives a thoughtful, thorough and biblically based argument in support of same sex relationships. He examines and disproves many common biblical passages used against same sex relationships. It’s an understandable read that isn’t too academic but still maintains sound biblical exegesis and a high view of scripture. Really appreciate the work Vines has put into this book.
Anthony Jones
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great introduction, it accomplishes its intention.
Josh Cheng
Firstly, I think it would be hard to read this book and not think that Matthew Vines really does believe in Jesus. The way he talks about God's grace, the image of God, and God's plan of salvation wouldn't be out of place in an Evangelical book arguing against affirming LGBTQ relationships as biblical. And I think this is one of the strengths of the book- that the author comes from the Evangelical world and so can speak effectively to Evangelicals. Despite the pain that he personally has experie ...more
Mar 16, 2016 rated it liked it
I honestly struggled on whether or not to give this book 2 or 3 stars. Vines is a brilliant communicator. He is disarming; he speaks with respect and clarity. Though I still cannot agree with him, he makes his case skillfully.

What I liked:
1. He really does hold to a high view of Scripture, and demonstrates this fact on almost every page. He frequently handles Scripture in the same way I do.
2. He articulates his opponents' arguments and standpoints fairly and accurately, and without a hint of d
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
First, let me say that I believe Matthew Vines is sincere and genuine in this work. I don’t believe he is actively trying to deceive people here. That being said, “God and the Gay Christian” is a sincere and genuine work of poor scholarship, reasoning, and argumentation. There are some good points he makes along the way (most notably the need for understanding historical context and being willing to reexamine long-held beliefs in the light of new evidence), but he ultimately fails to give solid ...more
Gavin Stephenson-Jackman
Mr. Vines, has presented a well researched and reasoned reevaluation of the scriptural passages so frequently used to relegate LGBTQ Christians to the outer regions of faith or to dismiss them entirely. This has not helped to build the faith that Jesus taught. Jesus sought to build a faith of equality and acceptance, of service and sharing. Including LGBTQ Christians in all aspects of faith including marriage is more closely in line with the Gospel than what we normally hear. Too many times we h ...more
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91 likes · 38 comments
“But as I became more aware of same-sex relationships, I couldn’t understand why they were supposed to be sinful, or why the Bible apparently condemned them. With most sins, it wasn’t hard to pinpoint the damage they cause. Adultery violates a commitment to your spouse. Lust objectifies others. Gossip degrades people. But committed same-sex relationships didn’t fit this pattern. Not only were they not harmful to anyone, they were characterized by positive motives and traits instead, like faithfulness, commitment, mutual love, and self-sacrifice.” 6 likes
“The failure of reorientation therapy is why the "ex-gay" ministry Exodus International shut down in 2013. It places gay Christians who adhere to the traditional biblical interpretation in an agonizing, irresolvable tension. In order to truly flee from sin as well as the temptation to sin, they must constantly attempt what has proven impossible: to reconstitute themselves so they are no longer sexual beings at all.” 4 likes
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