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Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  313 ratings  ·  47 reviews
In a powerful new book, evangelical theologian and former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Jack Rogers argues unequivocally for equal rights in the church and in society for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Throughout history, he observes, Christianity has moved towards ever greater openness and inclusiveness. Today's church is led by man ...more
Paperback, 169 pages
Published September 5th 2000 by Westminster John Knox Press
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 ·  313 ratings  ·  47 reviews


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Mark
Oct 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Powerful book in which a straight evangelical preacher reflects honestly and humbly on his journey from rejection of homosexuality to his recognition that if Christianity is to genuinely be the proclaimer of Christ's message it has to change its way of responding to those who are not heterosexual. This came about by his being brave enough to sit down and, in the power of the Spirit, He looked long and hard at the arguments used from scripture and found those arguments dubious and even immoral.
I
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Paul Hartman
Aug 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the best -- hands-down, no questions asked, irrefutable in my pea-brain, sure-fire -- book for anyone who is struggling with how to put "holy" and "homosexual" together. As a committed Christian, I believe the Bible provides the clearest view into our Creator's mind of all known communications. As a 65-year resident of The Closet, I struggled with a few Bible passages which appear on the surface to condemn my orientation. It took years of torment (of my own and in what I caused those I l ...more
ElaineY
Jul 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A clear and powerful account of the Presbyterian denomination's turnabout re. its view on homosexuality. Though Rogers discovery (clearly a surprise and shock to him!) that the Bible does not condemn same-sex love, it goes without saying the road's still a long one before we reach the same place as Evangelicalism has vis a vis slavery of the African blacks and the subordination of women.

Though Rogers hasn't quite satisfied me re. Romans 1, he more than adequately covered the other scriptural pas
...more
Rodrigo
Aug 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Amazing! Much more than a "pro-gay" speech, this book really enlightens the issue of LGBTT people among religious communities. It talks a lot about the prevention of gays being ordained as ministers at the Presbyterian Church and sets the grounds to actually understand, from a very religious point of view, why they SHOULD be permitted in the church. But much more than that it is a profound message of tolerance and acceptance, not only of gays serving as ministers, pastors, or in any religious po ...more
Stephen Hiemstra
Jul 02, 2015 rated it liked it
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA; PCUSA) approved ordination of homosexuals in 2012 and gay marriage in 2014. As moderator of the 213th General Assembly in 2001 and in other leadership roles, Jack Bartlett Rogers was an important advocate for these changes[1]. In his book, Jesus, The Bible, and Homosexuality, he lays out the argument for why he believes that:

“We need to give people who are LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender] full and equal rights within the church
...more
Giedra
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great book. The author, a straight conservative theologian from an evangelical seminary, recounts his journey from condemning gays and lesbians to believing they should be welcomed to full membership in the church. This was based on years of scholarship on behalf of his denomination (Presbyterian) and his concerns about how the issue was dividing his and other denominations.

The book differs from most other "defense of gay Christian" books because the author is not gay and has no gay family membe
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Rick Lee Lee James
Good thoughts to ponder but not the best scholarship

This book gives lots of excellent food for thought but the contorting it has to do to make the church gay friendly historically are pretty far off.

I love the author's heart on this matter and I am not unsympathetic to his desire for inclusion. However, I do feel like while many of his scriptural conclusions are correct, many are simply him sharing his opinions and desires and placing them on scripture.

An example of this is his treatment of the
...more
Jeremy
May 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
great read for anyone who thinks homosexuality cannot be reconciled with christianity. author is a very conservative theologian who isn't gay, doesn't have any gay family members and studied intensely the issue of homosexuality in the church because he felt like it was dividing denominations. Although unexpected and personally difficult for him at first, he comes to the conclusion that homosexuality is not a sin and that homosexuals should be treated no differently that anyone else, in the churc ...more
Sandy
Feb 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: gay Presbyterians
Jack Rogers is a former Presbyterian (PCUSA) moderator who was not GLBT affirming. He did some serious study on the issue and then did a 180. The book (like many gay Christian affirming books) goes through the clobber passages. But he then goes a step further and looks at how the Presbyterian church has changed its position on other issues (slavery, ordination of women, ordination of divorced and remarried people) as a model for change on the gay issue. It's a very timely book with the gay ordin ...more
Dan Wilkinson
Jun 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book should be required reading for every Christian. Rogers presents a clear and compelling case for full inclusion of homosexuals within the church. Obviously not all Christians agree with his exegesis, but Rogers discuss the subject with respect and compassion; he has changed his mind on the subject and takes the reader along his path of understanding. My only complaint was that at times he gets a bit caught up in the minutiae of Presbyterian politics, but regardless, his message remains ...more
Kristie
Feb 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual
"Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality" is an incredibly eye opening read. Written by a conservative Presbyterian pastor who, after exhaustive research, now embraces people of faith who happen to be gays/lesbians. This book, when read with a heart opened to His Truth, will move you to throw away any preconceived beliefs you may have of LGBTs and embrace them with arms wide open as our brothers and sisters in Christ. Read this book, talk about this book and let God's truth and love be shared by all ...more
Carolyn
May 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book by a reknowned theologian. He calls himself an Evangelical who through study and prayer changed from believing that homosexuality is a terrible sin to believing that God creats people differently. It addresses the question of ordination and seeks to help the Church heal from the schism that is developing on this issue.
John
Jun 02, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book makes interesting points but Rogers is too dogmatic. He sweeps away opposing opinions rather than addressing them analytically. I wanted to be challenged more in my own thinking and came away a little disappointed.
Paul Froehlich
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The crux of this book can be summarized in three sentences: “The trajectory of Christian history is in the direction of ever-greater openness and inclusiveness. We rejoice now in the leadership in our churches of people of color, women, and divorced and remarried people. The time will come when having gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in Christian leadership will be just as routine.”

A professor of theology emeritus at San Francisco Theological Seminary who also taught at Fuller, Jack
...more
Rebecca
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, religious
The author's argument was clear and well-reasoned, and I learned a lot from this book. It's not easy to read, because it's written like an academic thesis. But I like that there are citations everywhere, it shows that the author did a lot of research and work on the book. I do wish that more time was spent "debunking" the supposed anti-gay verses of the Bible. He dispatches them pretty quickly, and his arguments make sense, but for people who haven't put in the research work that he has, it's ki ...more
Julie
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is not light reading, but Jack Rogers message is clear: "All are one in Christ Jesus. When we read the Bible through the lens of Jesus's redemptive life and ministry, we are better able to discern God's revelation. Jesus welcomed every kind of person into God's community."
He clarifies the many misinterpretations of scripture that condemn homosexuality, and shows what the Bible really says. So many LGBT people have left the church because of the condemnation.The Presbyterian Church and some
...more
Carson Dean
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Enlightening! I appreciate the straight-forward and biblical, yet sensitive, approach Jack Rogers takes on such an incredibly important subject. Rogers offers up a lot to digest and I'm certainly going to read it again to make sure I didn't miss anything. The book is very readable and the notes are extremely useful. Make sure to read the revised and expanded edition. There is a great study guide at the end authored by David Maxwell that I plan to work through soon. I'd put it on my must-read sho ...more
Catherine Botts
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It was refreshing to walk along side the journey of Rev Rogers. At first it was hard to hear all the groundwork he was setting but it was key to the journey. So thankful for his wisdom and explanations. Grateful how he shared how individual’s changed the wording of the Book of Order because they thought it was a good idea and how it took many years for it was able to be restored to the original wording. A great explanation of the TRUE intent of the Bible.
john wright
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Out standing book!

Rogers speaks with such wisdom & eloquence. Very informative & easy to read.

I would highly recommend this book to any open minded person whose interested in their traditional sacred cows of traditional beliefs.
Amanda Coleman
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay
Rogers puts forth a convincing text-based argument for inclusion. The argument is highly influenced by the history and structure of the Presbyterian Church, USA. I found this book to be the most persuasive statement of equality I have read.
Gerald H
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
An excellent book. Some Presbyterian specific material many will not need. It is well researched, interpreted in a balanced and respectful way and demonstrated excellent scholarship.
Jeremy
Dec 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Out of date, but still very relevant! An efficient read for Presbyterians of all kinds, and Christians in general.
Hansen Wendlandt
Jul 31, 2011 rated it liked it
A better title would have been something like ‘Homosexuality and Other Debates in Presbyterian History’. Jack Rogers does an absolutely fabulous job of chronicling and comparing the arguments, and explaining the polity decisions, for issues of racial equality, women’s rights, homosexuality, and even a few more obscure moral questions that some Presbyterians have held up as barriers to ordination, namely divorce (pp 41-44) and tobacco (p 17). Just as fascinating is his personal story: a leading e ...more
Clifford Luebben
This book is well written and easy to read, so it may be a good place to start when trying to get an overview of the liberal understanding of the issue in the Christian world. Since the primary target audience is the Presbyterian, there is some information that I found personally irrelevant. If you are not a Presbyterian, you can just skip his chapter that is directly concentrated on the Presbyterian church and not miss out on the flow of his arguments.

If you are looking for a convincing, biblic
...more
Steve Lee Sr
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
The Bible is cut and dry on this issue, right? There is no wiggle room. Jesus condemned homosexuals and said they were going to dwell in the lake of fire prepared for Satan and his angels. It's all there in the Book, isn't it?

The first half of Rogers' book, "Jesus, the Bible, And Homosexuality" actually recounts the historical stand of the Presbyterian Church - USA, and it's forebears, in regard to three issues: slavery, women's rights, and divorce and remarriage. I found the account to be both
...more
Wes
Jun 19, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
While there is some valuable information in this book, I cannot give it high marks. mostly because of chapter 5 where he presents his Biblical arguments. Rogers first outlines how his opponents often fail to read the Bible in context then outlines how one should read the Bible and immediately goes the same path he accuses others of taking. His argument particularly on Romans 1 goes: 1. Romans 1 is addressing idolatry. 2. There are homosexual Christians who love Jesus. 3. Paul did not know anyone ...more
Joe
Mar 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This issue has been discussed among Christians in the main line churches for as long as Christian churches have existed. Passages from the Bible have been used, for the most part to call people with a homosexual orientation everything from "evil", to "depraved", to humans to be pitied with attempts to "cure them" of their "affliction".
Jack Rogers, a Professor of Theology Emeritus at San Francisco Theological Seminary and Moderator of the 213th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church(USA), ha
...more
Chris
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a fantastic book, discussing the history of a sensitive issue in the church today. Focused primarily on the Presbyterian Church (because of the author's background and hermeneutics), the book ranges from a discussion on the civil rights movement (how the questions of racial equality, gender equality and sexual orientation have historical similarities), to discussing different methods of biblical interpretation, to discussing the typical biblical passages cited in discussing LG ...more
Wesley Ellis
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jack Rogers calls for a revival of the biblical approach to homosexuality and marriage. He provides a patient, balanced, biblical, and even evangelical argument for the legitimacy of homosexual relationships and for the full inclusion of gay and lesbian Christians into the life and ministry of the church. I've read other, perhaps fuller exegetical arguments as well as personal and theological arguments in this stream, but never have I found the personal, the theological, and the exegetical woven ...more
Julia
Dec 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I have not yet finished this book, but I absolutely love it so far. Jack Rogers tells his story as he went from being an anti-homosexual Christian to a pro-homosexual Christian, just by looking at the history of the church and the Truth that is the Bible. If you ever find yourself questioning why Christians seem homophobic and why they shouldn't act that way, read what Jack Rogers, world-renowned Bible interpreter and theologian, has to say about the subject. ...more
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Jack Rogers is Professor of Theology Emeritus at San Francisco Theological Seminary and Moderator of the 213th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He also served as vice-president of San Francisco Theological Seminary and founded their Southern California campus. Earlier, he was Professor of Philosophical Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary for 17 years.

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