It's the hot topic of the moment. Christians, the church and the Bible seem to be out of step with modern attitudes towards homosexuality. And there is growing hostility towards those who hold a different view. So is God homophobic? And what do we say, and how do we relate to to both Christians and non Christians who experience same-sex attraction.
In this short, simple book, Sam Allberry wants to help confused Christians understand what God has said about these questions in the scriptures, and offers a positive and liberating way forward through the debate.
- Best book on homosexuality and the Christian faith.
I have got more from this book than any other (and I've listened to/read more than 10 books on the subject). I love the way that Sam Allberry is able to get to the core issues on the Gay-debate. He shows love and compassion and truth in his writing. In this current climate I believe this is a book that all Christians should read.
- Good teaching
The use of scripture to show what god's views on in this subject are wonderfully put together in this book
- Scriptural and Compassionate
I love listening to audio books that are narrated by the actual author. There is always something a little extra that comes through in the reading by the author over the reading by a narrator. The emphasis on certain words is always appropriately placed, and there is almost always a very personal "feel" to the audio book. You feel as if the author decided to sit down and read their book to you. The most recent audio book that I finished listening to, called Is God anti-gay? (Questions Christians Ask), was written and narrated by Sam Allberry. This audio book is no exception, and that personal touch came through very clearly.
This personal touch was a wonderful addition to a book on such a "touchy" subject. Sam Allberry is currently an associate pastor at St Mary’s Church in Maidenhead, UK and Sam Allberry has dealt in his life with Same Sex Attraction. His compassion and understanding paired with his Biblical wisdom and knowledge came through in the actual words and the narrating of this book.
Is God anti-gay? is an amazing resource as well. I am considering purchasing a hard copy of this book to have for my church library. The teaching he does on the Bible's perspective was better than most that I have heard. There are several specific points that he makes regarding scriptures truths on this topic that you can tell have come from specific encounters with working through these teachings and dealing with others that have had to work through these issues.
If you are looking for a book on this topic, a book that is unashamedly Christian and Scriptural, but that won't leave you embarrassed at being a Christian, then I would recommend this book. It is insightful, realistic, but full of grace and the gospel message.
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- Biblical Discussion Of Homosexuality
Is God Anti-Gay? by Sam Allberry is a short but comprehensive discussion on the topic of homosexuality or as it is referred to in the book – same sex attraction. It is stated early on that the author has struggled with same sex attraction without acting on it, which makes his insights, experiences and guidance to be much more informative.
Despite being a short book there is a lot packed into its pages relating to God's view of homosexuality in the context of sin in general, advice for those struggling with same sex attraction and effective ways to reach out to people with these struggles.
Personally I have never struggled with same sex attraction but I know several people who do and would like to be able to assist them as well as provide Biblical guidance and love. The chapter on living a single life when all your friends are married really resonated with me because I often have similar thoughts and experiences to the author and his insight was very beneficial.
The narrator was quite simply brilliant. It was fantastic to hear a British accent and he was so clear and easy to follow. Also this is in many places a very personal book and his calm tone and pastoral nature make this a good audio book narration.
This book is a must for anyone struggling with same sex attraction or anyone who has family or friends with this struggle because it addresses the issues clearly and Biblically as well as providing helpful advice.
This audio book was gifted as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. More information can be found about this and other Christian audio books at christianaudio.com.
- Is God anti-gay? by Sam Allberry
Is God anti-gay? (Questions Christians Ask) by Sam Allberry discusses the topic of homosexuality from a Christian perspective.
I heard Sam Allberry at the T4G conference and I was interested in reading his book. I was also interested in this book with all of the questions and controversy over homosexuality.
This book starts off with Sam talking about his struggle with homosexual desires. I was immediately interested in what Allberry had to say because I felt like he understood the struggle many individuals face.
Through the book, Allberry talks about Biblical responses to homosexuals and talks about what the Bible has to say about that kind of lifestyle. I found this book to be very beneficial, as it helped me understand others better, and it gave me a different perspective of how to talk to individuals in a non judgmental way.
I love audiobooks that are read by the author because I think it enhances the book in a way that many other narrators are not able to do. This audio book was read by Allberry and I really enjoyed it. I believe Allberry is from England, so he had an English accent, but that did not bother me. This book was short, but I found it to contain a lot of helpful information. This was a very valuable read for me and I know it will be one that I will recommend to individuals who are either struggling with homosexual desires or to individuals who want to talk to someone they know who is.
I received a copy of this audiobook from the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.
- Concise, yet personal and powerful
It goes without saying that homosexuality is a controversial subject in Christian circles. How should the church as a whole approach this issue? How should individual Christians respond to non-Christian friends who identify as gay or lesbian, or struggle with same-sex attraction? What about Christian brothers and sisters who struggle with same-sex attraction?
What Sam Allberry gives us in his excellent book, Is God Anti-gay? is a fresh perspective on this complex issue. The book is short, but packed with incredible insight. Allberry himself has struggled with same-sex attraction since his teen years, and lives a life of singleness and celibacy while pastoring a church. Because of this, the book is deeply personal and raw. However, it is also deeply theological and applicable. To top it off, Allberry is an excellent writer; presenting his thoughts logically and clearly.
Predictably, Allberry addresses the handful of verses that mention homosexuality, but he also lays out a compelling theology of sex and heterosexual marriage. It is that theological underpinning that makes this book a must-read for pastors.
I found myself rewinding sections of the audiobook to listen again. The book is short enough, I may just listen to it again to glean additional insights I missed before. I’m thankful to Allberry for the gift of a concise, yet personal and theologically meaty treatment of the homosexuality issue. Knowing that this book was born out of years of pain and rejection, as well as his innumerable difficult conversations with broken people only serves to make the book even more valuable.
I’m glad Allberry narrates the audiobook version himself, since this is a very personal work. He does an excellent job. Highly recommended.
- Brief, personal, biblically careful
I fear that we have already descended into the sloganeering phase of the argument over homosexual acts, just as we did long ago with abortion. “It’s a choice!,” shout the pro-choicers. “It’s a life!,” shout the pro-lifers.
With regard to homosexuality, “It’s a choice!” isn’t exactly the Christian position. And this seems to be the special contribution of a man like Sam Alberry. He is clearly a Bible-believing, gospel-loving, evangelical Christian. And yet he experiences same-sex attraction (SSA). He did not choose to experience these desires (that’s why “it’s a choice” isn’t a good slogan in this debate); but precisely because he is a Christian (and a pastor) he has chosen not to act on them. He will not validate and reify that attraction by calling himself a “gay Christian.” He lives a celibate life.
Alberry explains theologically how regenerated people could experience SSA, and he explains exegetically in a short space how wrong it is to try to twist the Bible into validating homosexual acts. Little of this material is new; Alberry’s virtue is his ability to explain it winsomely in short space, backed up by his personal testimony and experience.
I will mention, however, that Alberry made one key argument that needs to be added to every Western Christian’s understanding. It’s key because it reminds us that we may not let the sloganeering between conservatives and “the gay Christians” turn into an agree-to-disagree, permanent standoff. We can’t agree; we can’t grant Christian recognition to people who endorse homosexual behavior.* Why? Because otherwise we face the judgment of our Lord, Alberry says. He points to Christ’s words to the church at Thyatira in Revelation 2. Christ holds them accountable because they “tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols” (Rev. 2:20). A number of erstwhile evangelicals have become modern-day Jezebels. Just because Thomas Nelson publishes their books doesn’t mean we’re brothers.
The only criticism I could possibly have would be regarding Alberry’s counsel to pastors who find a homosexual couple attending their church. He said he wouldn’t make their sexual activities the first item of discussion—and I can certainly understand that. I mean, I think I would say, “Hello! Welcome!” first. I wasn’t quite sure I understood what Alberry was recommending, and perhaps the UK is just a different culture, but it seems to me that along with the call to faith in the gospel (which Alberry rightly makes central) comes Jesus’ call to repentance. I wouldn’t incorporate anyone into the life of the church in any way who hasn’t already received that call with obedience. Again, I was a bit confused as to what Alberry was saying here.
The book is brief. It’s biblical. You could easily hand it to a Christian struggling with same-sex attraction—or a church struggling with how to help its members bear that particular temptation. I definitely recommend this book, and I appreciate Sam’s willingness to make himself vulnerable before the Christian community for our own good.
I received a review copy from Christian Audio, and Sam himself read the content. I think that’s the best way to experience an audio book—I like to hear the author himself.
*There is a difference between an immature Christian who doesn’t yet understand the issues and a leader who is morally obligated to know better. I don’t say that we refuse to call the former “Christians.”
- What if the church was more like a doctors office instead of treating others like they are on a job interview with SSA?
Thank you christianaudio Reviewers Program, for the opportunity to review this work and for the investing in my sanctification that ripples throughout this journey called my life.
Sam Allberry. Is God Anti-Gay? And Other Questions about Homosexuality, the Bible, and Same-Sex Attraction. Purcellville, VA: The Good Book Company, 2013. 88 pp.
Looking for a resource to answer the ‘noise’ in Christian circles lately? One would have thought we were in Sodom and Gomorrah. What if we really brought this topic close to home. What if your son comes home from high school and says, “Dad, I’m gay” or how about the standard “Same-sex attraction is biological and genetic, that is the way God made me.” Even this week on the finale of Parenthood, SSA was the uncomfortable struggle of one of the characters was one of the topics.
Then look no further, you have found a good resource in our Christian culture that holds this sin higher than God does. If you search the internet with the key word ‘gay’ and ‘Christian’, there is some 29+ million results. This topic is not going away. Sam Allberry answers these questions and more from the unique perspective of being a pastor, and previously struggling with SSA (same-sex attraction), as a single.
This audio book was very interesting to me the 2nd time through, in that I was struck with the pastoral heart with which Sam Allberry presented/read the material. He was very compassionate and humble with his gospel saturated answers, which kind of reminded me of reading the Heidelberg Catechism. I too, have homosexuality in my past, and through the grace of God, have been married now for 17yrs to God’s gift and kindness Connie, and this work was a fantastic reminder of 1 Corinthians 6:11 for me.
As a Biblical Counselor, I am constantly struck by how harsh our churchianity is toward folks with SSA. I remember once, introducing a friend of mine to a pastor friend, knowing the history of my friend, was that of having a father ‘come out’ which resulted in divorce and he now lives with his partner. This had always been a tender topic with he and I. I remember thinking as my friend was talking with my pastor friend, “please don’t drop that bomb on him, your not going to like his answer.” Sure enough my friend asked my pastoral friend what his view on homosexuality was. My pastor friend laid into him with all the usual – the exact things that Sam Allberry tells us NOT to do. I got up from that meal and ‘went to the bathroom’ so I would not influence the conversation. Later, my friend after that meeting says to me, “how come Christians are so harsh about homosexuality? That was my Dad I was talking about. He did not even ask me why I was asking the question or listen to anything I said, all he had, was his own agenda to tell me the traditional ‘abomination’ stance we have all heard before. How come you never did/do that to me?” I did not know what to say, I was disappointed with my pastor friend, but more importantly grieved with how sin has affected us all. I replied, “I don’t know, bad chicken wings?”
Sam has given me answers to this uncomfortableness I felt with my friend, and others who have been around ‘hair on fire” Christians who have forgotten the gospel. There were two quotes that I will now use to put these points in these future conversations and will be the basis for the rest of my review. These quotes are paraphrases of the actual quote.
“Being labeled Gay comes with a lot of baggage in our culture. It implies a lifestyle and most importantly, this term reflects that my identity is linked to my sexual preferences. What is wrong with this, is it like saying that because I like meat (steaks, beef, etc.) that my identity is that of a carnivore. We don’t think like that when it comes to meat lovers, then why is our identity tied to our sexuality.”
“How about if those with SSA were made to feel like they were in a Doctor’s office rather than a job interview when they came to our churches or were around Christians? The reality is that we are all ‘sick’ in the body of Christ, and if we remembered that, we would be reaching more people.”
I really liked the second quote, in that it stresses that we are all messes, and in need of help and just like a Doctor’s office, we are all on the same ground. However, if folks feel and are treated like they are in a ‘job interview’, they are putting on a good smile, hiding their faults, and exaggerating their character all the while, dying inside. I have to admit, this is is what my pastor friend did. He put my friend through a ‘job interview’ and forgot that he was given the privilege to reflect the doctor’s office because of the reality of
“Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”
Colossians 3:12-13 (ESV)
This book did challenge, inspire, and enlighten me as you can tell Sam’s merciful tone also made me think about how to minister to my ‘pastor friends’ in my life. This short work was perfectly presented in a cohesive, yet appealing manner, and is read by Sam which makes it even better I believe. You can hear his compassion as he shares the gospel, his tone when he admits that it was hard to hear some things etc. Sam impeccably conveyed Biblical truth and was a breath of fresh air in our current culture of ‘hitting send’ and blog tirades. I would highly recommend this book to others from all walks of life. I am also going to share it with my ‘friend’ whom had his hair parted. Looking forward to what God is going to do there.
*Other good reviews/resources regarding this book
http://counselingoneanother.com/2013/07/01/resource-same-sex-attraction/ (EXTENSIVE RESOURCE LINK – HIGHLY RECOMMEND)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from christianaudio Reviewers Program, as part of its Book Review Blogger Program. 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”