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Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church Paperback – February 10, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jack Rogers is Professor of Theology Emeritus at San Francisco Theological Seminary and was moderator of the 213th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He is the author of Reading the Bible and the Confessions; Claiming the Center: Churches and Conflicting Worldviews; and Presbyterian Creeds.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 169 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press (March 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664229395
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664229399
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #576,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Professor of Theology Emeritus at San Francisco Theological Seminary.
Vice President for Southern California of San Francisco Theological Seminary (1990-1999)
Moderator of the 213th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (2001-2002)
Associate for Theological Studies in the Theology and Worship Ministry Unit, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1988-1990)
Professor of Philosophical Theology at Fuller Seminary (1971-1988)
Professor of Philosophy, Westminster College, PA (1963-1971)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

119 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Janine Adams on May 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
The issue of whether to allow ordination and marriage of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is being debated in almost every major Christian denomination. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to be informed about this issue. It's meticulously researched (483 footnotes!) but also very clear and accessible. It's thoroughly Biblical--something that I believe will be appreciated by people on both sides of the debate. Dr. Rogers wrote the book from his own Presbyterian perspective but it will be a wonderful resource for people of all Christian denominations. Looking at each chapter in turn:

Chapter 1, "Studying Homosexuality for the First Time," describes Dr. Rogers' background as an evangelical and how he first began to study the issue of homosexuality in his local congregation.

Chapter 2, "A Pattern of Misusing the Bible to Justify Oppression," documents how leading theologians, for two hundred years, misused the Bible to try to justify the enslavement of people of African descent and the subordination of women to men.

Chapter 3, "A Breakthrough in Understanding the Word of God," shows how Biblical interpretation has changed for the better over the last two hundred years.

Chapter 4, "Interpreting the Bible in Times of Controversy," outlines the 7 guidelines on Biblical interpretation officially adopted by the Presbyterian Church and applies them to the issue of homosexuality.

Chapter 5, "What the Bible Says and Doesn't Say about Homosexuality," takes a close look at each of the passages that supposedly condemn people who are LGBT and shows that much of the conventional wisdom about these passages is simply incorrect.
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52 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Andrew G. Lang on September 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book has much to commend it, but the author's summary of Barth on male-female relationships (and his subsequent rejection of same-gender love) disregards Barth scholarship of the past 10 years, and is a superficial reading of Church Dogmatics in any case. A brief conversation with George Hunsinger at Princeton--one of the leading Barth scholars in North America--would have cleared this up and resulted, I think, in a very different argument. Eberhard Busch, Barth's longtime secretary and a respected theologian in his own right, would also have been helpful.

Barth, in the last months of his life, dictated a letter to a pastor struggling with the issue of homosexuality, in which he said that while he was too old to give the issue the attention it deserved, he suspected that if he were to rewrite the offending paragraphs in Church Dogmatics III.4, he would have said that homosexual relationships, too, shared in "freedom for community." That comment is brief, but striking, since "freedom for community" is precisely the divine gift in which heterosexual married partners participate, according to Barth.

To argue that Barth believed that the male or female is incomplete without the other does not mean that Barth concluded heterosexual marriage was normative for everyone. In fact, in the context of Protestant theology in the early 50s when Barth wrote III.4, he rather boldly praised vocational celibacy and reminded the reader that Jesus had no wife. Therefore, if Rogers is right, Barth believed that Jesus was "incomplete" or "not fully human" because he was unmarried.

On the contrary, if you dig deep enough, you can see a trajectory leading from III.
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171 of 218 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Byers on March 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
Jack Rogers takes a fresh look at what the Bible says and doesn't say about homosexual people and relationships, in this very readable and greatly needed book. With the clarity born of a lifetime of teaching and the passion born of a lifetime of bible study, he lays out the principles of Reformed biblical interpretation and then takes on each of the famous verses most often used to demean and exclude.

As a happily married, Bible-believing church member, I am deeply saddened when people misuse the Bible to drive people away from the church. And I'm very tired of hearing the erroneous claims that the Bible "clearly condemns" anything other than mom-pop-two-kids-&-a-dog families. The clearly presented scholarship in this book could open conversations with many people who take the Bible seriously and want to know how they can accept their gay relatives or neighbors. I'll be giving a copy to my church library and to several friends.
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38 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Ken Fuquay on November 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
Significant! Eye opening. This is an important read for any person who wants to be a disciple of Christ in this Post Modern Era. Missional Churches, intra cultural communicators, and ministers prepare your hearts and read this book. Jack Rogers affirms that the Bible is the inspired word of God, but offers insight on man's interpretation of "the word." If you are gay, read this book. If you are anti-gay, read this book. If you are homo-phobic, read this book. If you are a minister looking to reach out to the homosexual community, read this book.
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46 of 58 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on September 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
From the moment one begins to read Dr. Roger's book, "Jesus, the Bible and Homosexuality:Explore the Myths, Heal the Church," there is a sense of being in his presence engaging in a conversation about a topic through which he has struggled and, obviously, has well researched. He writes with a keen understanding of church history as well as one who is quite knowledgeable of the Biblical texts that people have claimed to be expressive on the topic of homosexuality. He writes with great sensitivity, knowing that this topic is one that elicits deep-seeded emotional responses. In his writing, one gets the sense that he is saying to the reader, let's explore this "defining issue" without judging or demonizing one another. His approach is multifaceted. He uses history, the creeds, and the Bible to develop his argument. This approach helps to broaden one's thinking about the subject. I would highly recommend this book for groups and individuals who want to work with the texts, confront the issues, and engage in open and honest reflection and/or discussion. It would also be helpful to read it with Freda Gardner's and David Maxwell's companion study guide.
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