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Scripture, Ethics, and the Possibility of Same-Sex Relationships

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  111 ratings  ·  26 reviews
WHEN IT COMES TO SAME-SEX RELATIONSHIPS, this book by Karen Keen contains the most thoughtful, balanced, biblically grounded discussion you’re likely to encounter anywhere. With pastoral sensitivity and respect for biblical authority, Keen breaks through current stalemates in the debate surrounding faith and sexual identity.

The fresh, evenhanded reevaluation of Scripture,
Paperback, 160 pages
Published October 11th 2018 by Eerdmans
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Lee Irons
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2019
This is another book attempting to argue that the church should permit same-sex relationships. However, the author, Karen Keen, has crafted a somewhat unique argument. The standard pro-gay argument for the morality of same-sex relationships goes something like this. First, the verses in the OT (Lev 18:22; 20:13) and NT (Rom 1:26-27; 1 Cor 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10) explicitly condemning same-sex relations are addressed. It is argued (e.g., by Robin Scroggs) that these verses are attacking a specific form ...more
Andrew K
Jul 25, 2020 rated it liked it
The last sentence of this book reads "As we continue the conversation, may God grant us wisdom, grace, and charity." This is a posture that is representative of Keen for a majority of her work. Writing with "traditionalists" in mind, each chapter charitably espouses the traditional view of same-sex relationships before presenting an alternative reading.

What I agreed with / learned:
- Keen's understanding of Genesis 1 and 2. Rather than focus on the differences in sex, she argues that the focus
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Probably the most helpful book from an "affirming" perspective that I have read so far! ...more
Beth Carlson-Malena
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
People are regularly asking me to recommend books on LGBTQ+ theology, and I've been all too aware that my list of recommendations are almost all authored by men. The only notable exceptions, like "Gay & Catholic" by Eve Tushnet, and "Unnatural" by Rachel Murr, tend to be more autobiographical in nature.

So despite my overall weariness with the rehashing of this topic in multiple recent books, I was thrilled to hear Karen Keen would be publishing a book called Scripture, Ethics & the Possibility o
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
The author presents a good organization of the issues here, starting with the church’s response to LGBT people. This first chapter a good overview, but there’s not a lot new here. If you’ve been following these issues at all, you’re familiar with the history. I was not familiar with the new ex-gay movements (ugh) but they appear to be pretty small. Of course, she mentions Justin Lee and Matthew Vines, whose books put me on the path of reading about these issues!

This is followed with an interest
Brandon Hannon
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is AMAZING!! Keen really does her research. I like what she says in the introduction: when studying for this subject, she didn't want the results to be one sided (affirming.) She wanted to approach both the traditionalist and progressive view of homosexuality. And, boy, did she do that.
Toward the end, there were times where she lost me (she talks about science and homosexuality), but it only lasted for a short time (and from what I DID understand, she did a good job.)
Wheather you're a
Laura Engelken
Jun 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Karen Keen's book is a clear, well-researched, and thoughtful argument to justify same-sex relationships to conservative Christians. Although she tries to reference some diversity of theology and practice within the tradition, Keen continually centers a fundamentalist, evangelical expression as the normative, historical understanding of Christianity. As I began the book, I was not surprised by this perspective, albeit a bit annoyed. However by the end, I was just sad.

Keen describes the book as a
Brian Hui
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First, there are a few things I appreciate about this book:
- It avoids the binaries we usually see in the politicized culture war (in culture & church)
- It takes Scripture seriously
- The author (Karen Keen) speaks as someone who really loves God, was, and is (as of the books writing) celibate. So she doesn't appear to be simply justifying her actions.
- It's short! A lot of great endnotes, but actual content is only about 115pps (see pic)

Keen's argument can be summed up in a few movements:

Jul 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
I held out hope for this book. I wanted it to provide me with the insights from Scripture needed to let me change my mind. And, I admit that Karen Keen did a better job than most have of presenting two sides of the issue. One of her arguments was always that Traditionalists say, but Progressives say - and because what the Progressives say MIGHT be true, we must accept that what Progressives say IS true. The same goes for her Traditionalists say/Science says arguments. She also addressed the mar ...more
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2018
A thoughtful, careful investigation of the issues from someone with a high regard for Scripture, an abiding desire to serve God, and an enduring faith in the church to be the loving body of Christ. I hope many who hold a traditionalist view of Christian marriage will take the time to sincerely consider Keen’s work.
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well written and argued.
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The topic of same-sex relationships is easily one of the most triggering topics for people in the church today. Because of this, I struggled to find a resource that was accessible and readable, as well as scholarly robust enough to anticipate and respond to the typical theological concerns of people holding to conservative theologies. Scripture, Ethics, and the Possibility of Same-Sex Relationships fills this gap in my education toolbox. While I strongly dislike the descriptor of “balanced” in t ...more
Jamie Arpin-Ricci
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Few topics can produce more division, stress, confusion, and exhaustion than the topic of "same-sex relationships". I have reading thousands of pages on the topic over the last three decades and while many of the books I've read have been deeply helpful, most of them were not the kind of book I could easily recommend to others. This book is a refreshing exception to that rule.

With deeply respectful acknowledgment of the various (and often opposing) perspectives on this topic, Karen Keen manages
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
The author offered a number of scriptural paradigms to clarify ways of approaching the concept of same-sex relationships, many of which I have not read before. I did not always follow her line of thinking as she progressed through each argument and didn't always agree, but I found them interesting and thought-provoking. I really appreciated the end notes. As a personal preference, I would rather she used footnotes as I would not have had to keep flipping back and forth between the text and the n ...more
Megan Byrd
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-books-read
The author states the various views in the church on homosexuality and whether it's a sin or a normal but minority difference of human sexuality. She gives the traditional and progressive arguments for sexuality, the purpose of marriage, and same-sex relationships. She also gives her research into the Bible's verses about sexuality and marriage along with the different ways the Bible's intent is interpreted.

I found it very interesting, informative, and thought-provoking as someone who wishes to
Mariah Vega
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Is homosexuality a sin? I believe this is one of the most important questions facing the church today and will be/has been one of the most important theological debates we deliberate over in our time.

Karen offers a well-written, grace-filled, balanced view of how we should begin to approach this conversation from both a traditionalist and progressive perspective. I learned a lot. I was challenged on quite a bit and I was offered a lot of tangible, sensible facts and history. I would 10/10 recomm
Jay Butler
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-work
I received this book in exchange for a fair and balanced review.

This is a wonderful book. I was incredibly pleased with the organization and arguments that Karen put forth. I could tell that she really put a lot of effort not only her research, but also in how she formed her arguments. This is a very academic book, which I like. I think it’s a wonderful companion to books that are heavily anecdotal, i.e. God and the Gay Christian and Torn. A must read!
Annie Anderson
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lots of perspective. Very well thought out viewpoints, grounded in history and research. I really value her work. I'm still not quite sure my thoughts on the topic, but this piece is so inclusive, so compassionate, so well-rounded, that I feel more equipped than ever to venture into this conversation with the Lord. Thank you Karen Keen! ...more
John Jacobson
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book because it's easy to read, covers the historical perspective, how Jesus and the New Testament writers interpreted Scripture to answer questions of ethics, and is incredibly gracious and respectful to all sides of the debate. Highly recommended book to read if you are wanting to engage in one of the most important issues facing the church today. ...more
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
A decent entry into the debates over how Christian scripture is to be interpreted in regards to LGBTQ folks. Keen is affirming and argues for that position, but is fair to both sides in her presentation.
Alison Henry
A well-written, carefully researched, comprehensive introduction to a progressive view of same-sex relationships within the Christian tradition. Would highly recommend to anyone who has an interest in the subject.
Alan D.D.
Really appealing! I never thought there could be a place for LGBT+ people on the Bible, but turns out it is possible after all! I liked the author's style and how she explained everything. Really worth the time. ...more
Nikayla McIver
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The jig is up. Open the doors.
Shana Carroll
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An absolute must read for anyone in the Christian tradition looking to learn more about the affirmation of same-sex relationships.
Andrew McNeely
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Keen offers here a great introduction on this issue and contextualizes where the debate currently resides. I’m not aware of any other books on this issue that do this (maybe William Loader’s? But I haven’t read it yet.) A good place to start for those interested in studying this issue. One thing she does not fully address, however, is how does the Church as a living tradition, and Scripture as a living voice, speak to us today. Ascertaining what the author meant when the author stated it is a gr ...more
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtq
Clear and concise. One of the top books on the subject available.
Audrey Gibson-Altrock
rated it really liked it
Nov 21, 2020
Andrew Jarrell
rated it really liked it
Mar 16, 2020
Kevin Dood
rated it it was amazing
Oct 25, 2020
rated it really liked it
Apr 25, 2020
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