Book Plunge: Homosexuality and the Bible — Two Views

What do I think of this book published by Augsburg Books? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Dan Via and Robert Gagnon come together in this book to discuss the view of the Bible on homosexuality. Via I have not known of prior to this, but I did know of Gagnon and I have to say that in this area, Gagnon is a force to be reckoned with. There is a reason people like Matthew Vines do not want to debate Robert Gagnon. Thus, when I saw that he was involved in a book debate on the topic of homosexuality and since I’m doing a research project on that in Romans 1 now, I thought this would be an excellent one to go through.

Unfortunately, if there’s a criticism I have of this, it’s that it is way too short. The book could be read in a few hours which I found troublesome. This is a serious topic and it deserves more time in the press than something this short. In fact, Gagnon had to restrict a lot of what he wrote because it was too long and so throughout his essay, he links to notes on his web site where readers can go to find a fuller treatment. I would have recommended that while Gagnon could have written something too long that Via would be asked to give a more engaging essay of greater length rather than just have Gagnon cut his. There are plenty of things that could have been said.

Much of Via’s arguments are exactly what you would expect along the lines of what was going on in Sodom and matters of that sort. Gagnon’s responses thoroughly show the weaknesses, though not at times as much as one would like in the book format and again, this is because Gagnon has a fuller treatment on the issue on his web site. Perhaps it would have also helped to have had other readers who were commentators on this debate. It might have even been better to have Via and Gagnon discuss separately the major Biblical passages on the topic in separate chapters.

This is also an issue the church needs to pay attention to as it has become the shibboleth of the day. Increasingly for Christians, it will become a major issue as many of our young people who are deciding what truth is more based on their feelings and experience than reason and Scripture are being thoroughly confused on all matters relating to sexuality. Sadly, few of them will pick up a massive tome like Gagnon’s and go through it and unfortunately, few of them will probably go to his web site to look at the in-depth research that he has done. It’s sad to think that we live in the information age but people today want all the information catered to them and are not interested in doing any work.

While short, I must say that it is good to see Gagnon demolish the opposition in this one. Those who are wanting to see a debate on the topic in book form can start here and hopefully more will follow and as this increasingly becomes more of an issue, I am sure that more will follow. I am also thankful that we have as astute a scholar as Gagnon on our side in this.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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