The Skeptical: For those who doubt the Biblical affirmation of LGBT people yet are willing to explore more.

Changing Our Mind

David P. Gushee, 2015 (format: book)

If you’ve read previous work from David Gushee, you’d be surprised to find a review of one of his books here. Rev. Dr. Gushee, an ordained Baptist minister and graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Union Theological Seminary, has been described as “America’s leading evangelical ethicist.” In his previous work, Dr. Gushee has repeated the evangelical line that same gender relationships are always unacceptable.

However, in this volume, Dr. Gushee describes how he has changed his mind on this issue and calls on the church to do the same.

Dr. Gushee describes how a look at the the way the church treats LGBT people, along with personal relationships with LGBT people, have shown him how the church has harmed many with this teaching even as he has come to see that the lives of LGBT people can exhibit Gospel values as well as any other.

While Dr. Gushee does take a look at these scriptures that are frequently used to claim that same gender relationships are contrary to Biblical teaching, this is not an in depth Bible study into these texts. Dr. Gushee also describes the ethical issues involved in various options available to Christians as they consider their relationship towards LGBT people and from this ethical viewpoint he calls upon the church to make choices based upon biblical gospel values.

This is an excellent volume for those who approach the Bible from a rather conservative or evangelical viewpoint who are starting to question the conservative stance on LGBT issues.

Don’t miss the study guide prepared by Rev. Dr. Robert Cornwall, pastor of Central Woodward Christian Church in Troy MI.

For more resources for those who approach the Bible from a rather conservative or evangelical viewpoint, see this review of the books Torn and The God Box.

For a more direct look at the scriptures commonly used to condemn LGBT people, see the resources listed in the Bible Study section of GLAD’s Resources tab, especially What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality and God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality.

For information on how best to use the resources provided in our Resources Tab, see the page The Welcoming Journey.

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Hearts Unbound: Engaging Biblical Texts of God’s Radical Love through Reader’s Theater

David R. Weiss, 2013 (format: free-download)

An excellent resource that invites you to explore ten Biblical stories of radical love and welcome. Designed for a small group in a ‘readers theater’ format. Entertaining, thought-provoking, and participatory, each session looks in-depth at the story, the historical context out of which it came, and insights to be gained.

Also, don’t miss the great sermon series preached by James Brewer-Calvert in Decatur, GA, based on Hearts Unbound.

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Inclusion: Making Room for Grace

Eric Law, 2000 (format: Book)

Published by Chalice Press, Inclusion is a practical and theologically based guide in responding to diversity. The author is careful to understand that the impulse to exclude is very human and very understandable, yet the Christ who was accused of spending too much time eating with sinners calls us to expand our welcome.

Rev. Law explains with theological clarity how our safe sense of community is continuously challenged from the outside and describes with practical insight how Christian communities can respond to these challenges patiently and carefully with an eye to the scriptural mandate to welcome and include.

Inclusion provides a simple language and framework for understanding what is happening when we exclude and how we can include, thus providing a simple but insight filled guide for making practical and sound choices when confronted with diversity and challenged to include.

This is not a book about LGBT inclusion, it’s a book about Christian inclusion; a must read for all who seek guidance on building an ever more inclusive Christian church.

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Making Sense of the Bible: Rediscovering the Power of Scripture Today

Adam Hamilton, 2014 (format: Book)

Making Sense of the Bible by Rev. Adam Hamilton is a clear, readable book which, in about 300 pages, gives an introduction to the entire Bible and wrestles with the questions that cause 21st century Christians to struggle with the Bible and their faith.

In this book, Pastor Hamilton describes how his own faith story intersected with the Bible, bringing him to faith and forcing him to question his faith.

This book is especially valuable for groups that have a conservative background and have started asking questions such as “I’m finding it difficult to believe that the Bible is literally true – how do I honor the Bible and struggle with it at the same time?”

Church members studying this text will come away with a fresh perspective on how to read the Bible and with basic tools for examining their own relationship to their faith and scripture.

Click here for the leader guide.

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New Testament and Homosexuality

Robin Scroggs, 1983 (format: Book)

This is an excellent book for anyone curious about the Scriptural basis in Christian debates over the morality of homosexual acts. Starting with a brief overview of various positions on homosexuality and how those different positions are claimed to be supported by Scripture, Scroggs moves to a detailed examination of the cultural background of the time and place where the New Testament was written. Scroggs is intellectually honest and rigorous about both his research and analysis.

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Reading the Bible Again for the First Time

Marcus J. Borg , 2002 (format: Book)

Sometimes a congregation needs to start its affirming journey at the basics: how to read the Bible. Without seminary training, many of the members in our pews read the Bible like our fundamentalist neighbors. Marcus Borg is a great place to start teaching our members how to read the Bible.

Rev. Dr. Terrye Williams, pastor of Hilton Christian Church in Newport News, VA, writes this in her review of Reading the Bible Again for the First Time in GLAD’s Crossbeams newsletter:

Borg guides the reader to the understanding that it is, in fact, possible to reconcile the Bible with both scientific and critical thinking as well as deep faith. Borg actually takes readers along his personal journey of faith, sharing how he was able to move from unquestioning childhood belief, through a crisis in faith when his childhood belief struggled to a more mature understanding, to an ability to encounter the text in a more powerful way – seriously, but not literally.

Read Dr. Williams’ review in Crossbeams here, and also take a look at other resources from Marcus Borg, The Heart of Christianity and Living the Questions 2.0

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Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays vs. Christians Debate

Justin Lee, 2013 (format: Book)

Provides insightful, practical guidance for all committed Christians who wonder how to relate to gay friends or family members–or who struggle with their own sexuality. Convinced that “in a culture that sees gays and Christians as enemies, gay Christians are in a unique position to bring peace,” Lee demonstrates that people of faith on both sides of the debate can respect, learn from, and love one another. Read the review of Torn published in Crossbeams.

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Colby Martin, 2016 (format: book)

An evangelical pastor is fired because he has re-read the scripture and concluded that the evangelical rejection of LGBT people is misguided. In UnClobber Colby Martin tells his story and shares his understanding of the scriptures.

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