Same-Sex Relationships, God, and the Search for Truth

Over the Christmas holiday last year, my sister and I were driving to an antique shop with teenage nieces in the back seat when she turned to me and asked, “Did you know Jen Hatmaker decided to accept gay marriage? I don’t understand her theology. Can you explain it?” As a biblical scholar, who also researches sexuality, I am frequently asked what Scripture says about same-sex relationships. So, I decided to write this series for evangelical Christians like my sister. But I also hope it will be helpful to people regardless of theological position.

You might wonder whether there is anything more to say. This topic has been turned over and dissected ad nauseam. But the recent internet explosion over influential pastor Eugene Peterson’s support then retraction of gay marriage (as I was working on this series) demonstrates unresolved tension within the Body of Christ. We are still seriously wrestling with this issue. Yet, too often parties in the debate lack an understanding of why the other side believes as it does. We also tend to rehash the same outdated arguments even though scholarly conversation has more to offer. So, if we are going to engage in a meaningful discussion, we should have one that centers on the crux of the matter and incorporates up to date research. I hope this series will contribute to that endeavor and help move the conversation forward.

The following five post series is intended to be read in order. Each essay is essential for understanding the full picture. My hope is to publish this in book form soon.

1.  The Conservative Church’s Response to the Gay Community: A Historical Perspective

2.  Homoeroticism in Israelite and Early Jewish/Christian Thought

3.  Key Arguments in the Debate on Same-Sex Relationships

4.  How Should the Bible Be Used for Ethical Practice?

5.  The Question of Celibacy for Gay and Lesbian People

See also:

Is the Nashville Statement Biblical?

Blue Babies Pink: A Southern Coming Out Story by Brett Trapp. I have read many, many books and articles on faith and sexuality, but this is the best one I have come across so far. I binge-read it. I couldn’t put it down. His memoir is the heart and soul to my cerebral scholarship. He tells my own story better than I could tell it myself.


7 thoughts on “Same-Sex Relationships, God, and the Search for Truth

  1. […] Same-Sex Relationships, God, and the Search for Truth (Karen R. Keen, Interpreting Scripture, 17 July 2017): This is a series of five (long!) posts on LGBT issues and Scripture/the Church.  There are dozens of books that look at this issue, some better than others (I would personally recommend Torn by Justin Lee and God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines for a Side A perspective, and Spiritual Friendship and Washed and Waiting by Wesley Hill for a Side B perspective).  I appreciated this series of posts because it is accessible, relevant to the moment (eg, as a culture we’re beyond debating whether you can “change” orientation), honest, ethical, thorough, practical , and most of all, compassionate.  Of all the posts that I reference here, this is probably the one (well, set) I would most strongly recommend reading. […]

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