Un­clob­ber: Re­think­ing Our Mis­use of the Bi­ble on Ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews Adult Nonfiction - MEAGAN LOGSDON

Colby Martin West­min­ster John Knox Press Soft­cover $15 (184pp) 978-0-664-26221-1 Un­clob­ber is a breath of fresh air in the of­ten swampy re­li­gious con­ver­sa­tions on ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity.

Colby Martin’s Un­clob­ber is an hon­est per­sonal look at the way Chris­tians have used the Bi­ble when con­fronting ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity.

Part bib­li­cal study, part mem­oir, the book ex­plores the treat­ment of ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity in light of the six “clob­ber” pas­sages that Chris­tians turn to when declar­ing ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity a sin. Martin ex­am­ines these with grace in their his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural con­texts to show that while cer­tain be­hav­iors—tem­ple pros­ti­tu­tion, rape, adul­tery—were cer­tainly con­demned, com­mit­ted monog­a­mous ho­mo­sex­ual re­la­tion­ships were not.

Through com­pre­hen­sive and in­tel­li­gent dis­cus­sion, Martin of­fers a frank as­sess­ment of Chris­tian at­ti­tudes to­ward ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity, in­ter­twin­ing his own story of the­o­log­i­cal wrestling, in­clud­ing his ex­pul­sion from the pul­pit of his non-af­firm­ing church and his and his fam­ily’s search for a new spir­i­tual home. There is no bit­ter­ness here: Martin un­der­stands and ac­cepts that not ev­ery­one is go­ing to see ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity in the same way.

The au­thor’s mis­sion is to of­fer much needed anal­y­sis for Chris­tians who want to af­firm their LGBT friends and fam­ily with­out aban­don­ing their bib­li­cal con­vic­tions. Martin rec­og­nizes that any re-ex­am­i­na­tions of bib­li­cal texts around this is­sue are bur­dened with out­side ac­cu­sa­tions of the­o­log­i­cal equiv­o­ca­tion, and it is clear that he has not as­sumed this po­si­tion lightly.

The strong­est and most con­vinc­ing in­stance of ex­e­ge­sis is the book’s dis­sec­tion of the nar­ra­tive sur­round­ing Sodom and Go­mor­rah. Martin as­serts that the sin of Sodom was not ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity but in­hos­pi­tal­ity, ac­cord­ing to ci­ta­tions else­where within the Bi­ble, in­clud­ing from the mouth of Je­sus. Ev­i­dence pre­sented is thought-pro­vok­ing and could be com­pelling to Chris­tians wob­bling on the fence. For those wish­ing to delve deeper, ad­di­tional re­sources are pro­vided.

De­spite his clear stance, Martin does not at­tempt to push his con­clu­sions onto his au­di­ence. He in­stead in­vites care­ful in­ter­ac­tion with the scrip­tures, not only read­ing them at face value, but si­t­u­at­ing them within their proper frame­works.

Un­clob­ber is a breath of fresh air in the of­ten swampy re­li­gious con­ver­sa­tions on ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.