What do I think of this book published by Hamilton and Burk? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
I recently did review Matthew Vines’s book and apparently, sometime I had purchased this response book so afterwards, I decided to read it. This one is decidedly shorter and written by multiple authors to deal with different issues. It would be my hopes that a work like this would engage far more with the issues than I was used to and bring out aspects of the text that I was not familiar with.
Unfortunately, I was wrong.
The book is really a basic response that looks more like saying “This is what the Bible says and Vines is wrong.” I do agree that Vines is wrong, but I don’t think a convincing case was made here. There were a few times when there were answers given, but for the most part, they weren’t there. This might be the kind of thing that would convince you if you were someone who was a strong fundamentalist and just needed some emotional reassurance, but when I check a book like this, I want to know how convincing this book would be if I put it in the hands of someone who holds the opposite viewpoint. Do I mean that they would find their minds totally changed by the position? No. There are no miracle books that do that, especially since all people think differently. Would it at least give them something to think about?
This one does not. The most worthwhile part I thought was the last chapter where it was written by someone in the counseling field and spoke about experiences talking to people who were struggling with homosexual temptation. I do think it’s important that those in the counseling field who have such experience speak out regularly, but that means the rest of the book dealing with the Biblical material was lacking. This leads to a problem in the church.
Too often, we are making a case to people and we are assuming our position right from the start and assuming that everyone speaks the way that we speak, and they don’t. We are not going to reach people unless we understand where they are coming from and why they hold the positions that they hold and just saying the Bible says something is not going to be enough any more because so many times, it’s the interpretation that is called into question as well. It’s not enough also to add in so often that the interpretation that is held is the traditional interpretation. I cannot help but think of when Al Mohler was on Unbelievable? and was debating Chris Date. Mohler was defending the more traditional viewpoint of eternal conscious torment. I agree with Mohler’s position, but his defense of it was abysmal by just pointing to certain Bible passages and assuming that his interpretation was unable to be touched.
I would have much more preferred to see something by Gagnon on this. Vines does not make a good case, I agree. Christians need to make a better one in opposition.