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People to Be Loved: Why Homosexuality Is Not Just an Issue Paperback – December 8, 2015

4.2 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This is a remarkable book. The tone overflows with love, compassion, and grace. Preston is an exceptional biblical scholar, and as such, his exegesis of Scripture is excellent. As I read, I kept thinking, “Preston really loves the LGBTYQ Community.” This book will be a resource at Transformation Church. -- Derwin L. Gray, , Lead Pastor Transformation Church, author of The High Definition Leader

With the poignant accuracy of a scholar and the passionate heart of a pastor, Preston challenges Christians to look at the LGBT community from a deeper level. Specifically, he drives home the point that LGBT people in our lives aren’t nameless faces, but real individuals that God loves. Each person has a voice, deserves to be listened to, and needs to be valued. I’m thankful Preston has pushed us further into the tension of grace and truth. -- Caleb Kaltenbach, , lead pastor, Discovery Church; author, Messy Grace

In his new book, People to Be Loved, Preston Sprinkle serves as a trustworthy guide through the debated passages of Scripture that relate to homosexuality. His thoughtful, balanced reflection on the arguments on both sides, as well as his willingness to share with the reader what he has concluded, reflect the kind of “convicted civility” that is often lacking in any discussion of the topic. Sprinkle’s approach also models for the Christian a commitment to respectful engagement with others with whom you may disagree. -- Mark A. Yarhouse, , PsyD, Professor of Psychology and Rosemarie S. Hughes Endowed Chair, Regent University

In a conversation polarized by hate, fear, and misunderstanding, Preston Sprinkle steps into the fray with a thoughtful, articulate, nuanced, humble, and courageous take on the current debate over sexuality and the Bible. His particular cocktail of professor, pastor, and down-to- earth regular Joe is an intoxicating blend that makes for good reading and even better learning. I’m thankful for Preston and this book. -- John Mark Comer, , pastor for teaching and vision, Bridgetown: A Jesus Church in Portland

Preston Sprinkle has a deep reverence for Scripture and a great love for people, meaning this book is not just accessible and lively, but rewarding and compassionate. It deserves to be widely read. -- Sam Allberry, , associate pastor, St. Mary’s Church, Maidenhead, UK

Preston Sprinkle does conservative Christians a needed service by guiding them into the complexity of biblical interpretation, sexual ethics, and compassionate listening. His meticulous research is applied with an even hand as he affirms and critiques arguments coming from both affirming and nonaffirming Christians, all the while offering wise pastoral counsel to straight and gay alike. Affirming scholars will disagree with various points in his interpretation but there is no question that Sprinkle is going as far as he can go within a nonaffirming viewpoint to move this debate away from the rhetoric of the culture war toward a more productive, respectful, loving conversation. -- Megan K. DeFranza, , author, Sex Difference in Christian Theology: Male, Female and Intersex in the Image of God

Powerful and accessible, People to Be Loved engages top scholarship from all sides of this conversation in a way that’s easy to read and down-to- earth, respectfully avoiding straw men while exploring Scripture with conviction and grace. Moreover, Preston models a posture for straight Christians to allow the abuse and mistreatment gay people have experienced to break and reshape us, to let their beauty and dignity draw our eyes to Jesus, and to “front love” as we seek to embody the sacrificial love of our King for his world. -- Joshua Ryan Butler, , pastor, Imago Dei Community (Portland)

Amidst the arguing at fever-pitchcomes Preston Sprinkle and People to Be Loved. I am grateful for his thoughtful perspective and great desire to love at the risk of being both criticized and marginalized. I pray more people will opt into relationship and conversation with one another in the way Preston has and find deeper friendship and understanding. -- Alan Chambers, , author, My Exodus: From FEAR to Grace; www.AlanChambers.org

With honesty, empathy and all-too- uncommon grace, Preston Sprinkle contributes brilliantly to the ongoing conversation our culture is having regarding Christianity and sexuality. Preston has done a rare thing: addressing controversial issues and dealing with perplexing questions in a way that is fair and gracious to all participants. This is a refreshing and immensely helpful book in navigating the deep waters of sexual ethics. I highly recommend it! -- Mike Erre, , pastor, First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton

About the Author

Dr. Preston Sprinkle (PhD, University of Aberdeen) serves as the director of the extension classes for Eternity Bible College in Boise, ID. He previously taught at Cedarville University (Ohio) and Nottingham University (UK). Preston is author of Paul and Judaism Revisited (IVP Academic, 2012), co-author of Erasing Hell:  What God Said About Eternity, and the Things We Made Up (David C. Cook, 2011) with Francis Chan, and co-editor of The Faith of Jesus Christ:  Exegetical, Biblical, and Theological Studies (Paternoster, 2009) with Michael Bird.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (December 8, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310519659
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310519652
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In People to Be Loved, New Testament professor, Preston Sprinkle, presents the traditionalist case against same-sex relationships. The book is an easy to read, lay level introduction to the six biblical passages on same-sex intercourse (along with a few chapters on related issues). Divided into three primary sections—Old Testament, New Testament, and pastoral issues—the bulk of his discussion is on the Graeco-Roman period and the New Testament.

There are pros and cons to the book.

Pros:
I love Preston Sprinkle’s compassion and desire to listen to LGBT folk. He tends to “get it” more than other conservative writers. For example, I can tell Sprinkle has heard the hearts of those who are gay affirming in way that say, Kevin DeYoung, has not. Sprinkle also demonstrates humility, even acknowledging that it's always possible his views could shift in the future if additional study warrants that. So, even though Sprinkle has a non-affirming position on same-sex relationships, those who disagree with him will appreciate his efforts to befriend and listen.

Surprisingly few books exist from the traditionalist perspective providing a solid discussion of the biblical texts; the ones that do tend to be written by ultra-conservatives who don’t typically grasp important nuance to the discussion or can be antagonistic toward LGBT people. Sprinkle’s book is a breath of fresh air in its sensitive approach to the topic. His book generally provides a decent overview of the key biblical passages.

Cons:
I didn’t love this book as much as I had hoped. Having read Sprinkle’s blog I had high expectations. I was surprised to see that it took the tired “Let’s discuss the six passages on homosexuality” approach. The six passages have been debated ad nauseam.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Preston Sprinkle does a great job of framing this book. I liked it so much I've read it multiple times. In today's world, the Church has social issues that it needs to address. Many think these issues cannot be addressed politely, but in People to be Loved, Preston does a great job of addressing them in that way.

I love the way the discussion starts with the words we use, framing it is a time to listen. If we listen to others, we cannot dehumanize them. Then, it addresses specific Bible verses and his interpretation, which he did with care. Woven throughout is how our posture should be in these discussions.

I've read 4 or 5 books on homosexuality and the church, and NONE have been better than this!
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The issue of same sex attraction in the church has become an increasingly divisive issue, and one that needs to be addressed from both sides of the aisle. In this well thought out and generous book Preston Sprinkle addresses the issue of homosexuality by carefully considering both the Scriptural teachings on the issue, and through interactions with those who identify as gay.

The book is well written by a New Testament scholar. People who want a careful consideration of the texts of Scripture that refer to homosexuality (and the author rightly points out that there are really only 6 in the entire Bible -- he even knocks that number down to 5) should read this book. The author is fair in his interpretation (even in areas where I disagree with his conclusion) I cannot say that the author has not thought through this issue and presented a compelling case.

The author carefully considers each passage, gives the relevant background, and dives deep into the context and history of each passage. While I would find areas of disagreement with the end interpretation of some of the passages, Sprinkle has given a clear, concise interpretation of each passage that is based in love and adheres to the non-affirming position of homosexuality.

At the end of the day Sprinkle believes homosexuality to be at odds with God's plan for human sexuality. Whether or not you agree with his final position, this is a book that Christians should read. We need to hear the voices on both sides of the aisle, and this book is an excellent example of someone who gives a clear, fair, and well-balanced argument for the non-affirming position.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well written, thoughtfully written and well researched (without overpowering a non-scholar). Very helpful for those who are trying to stay faithful to the Bible while also seeking understanding and compassion.
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Format: Kindle Edition
(I was sent an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review)

If you follow Preston Sprinkle, you know how he operates. He tackles the uncomfortable, elephant-in-the-room topics head-on with a grace and posture that is practically unheard of in today's world of tweets and soundbites. This book is no different.

Full of good exegesis and application, Preston hits hardest, in my opinion, in the constant references back to how Jesus interacts with people. Jesus' love is a "love without footnotes," and as his followers, we are to love in the same way. That phrase stuck with me, and has been haunting me in the weeks since I read this. Jesus does not tell anyone to clean themselves up and earn his love. He just loves.

Even if you don't agree with all of Preston's conclusions (I do), I think you'd benefit from his wise and humble posture of grace. It's a lesson we all need to learn.
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