In this revised and expanded best seller, evangelical theologian and former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Jack Rogers makes a biblical case for equal rights for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). Throughout history, he observes, Christianity has moved towards ever greater openness and inclusiveness. Today's church is led by many of those who were once excluded: people of color, women, and divorced and remarried people. He argues that when we interpret the Bible through the lens of Jesus' redemptive life and ministry, we see that the church is called to grant equal rights to all people. Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality describes Rogers' own change of mind and heart on the issue, charts the church's history of using biblical passages to oppress marginalized groups, argues for a Christ-centered reading of Scripture, debunks stereotypes about people who are LGBT, refutes the conventional wisdom about the texts that are often used against people who are LGBT, and presents ideas for how the church can heal itself and move forward again. A fascinating combination of personal narrative, theology, and church history, this book is essential reading for all concerned with the future of the church and the health of the nation.
The revised and expanded edition also includes:
· A new preface with "stories from the road" as a result of Rogers's two year book tour in support of the first edition;
· Updates on recent developments within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.);
· A new chapter that examines God's radical welcome for all who have faith as revealed in Scripture;
· A new appendix that maps the recent progress toward LGBT equality in major U.S. denominations;
· A study guide for group or personal reflection.
Praise for the Revised and Expanded Edition
"Rogers offers both a rigorous yet accessible theological study and a model of spiritual discernment that is essential reading for anyone struggling to reconcile their faith with the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community."—Harry Knox, Director, Religion and Faith Program, The Human Rights Campaign
"The compelling biblical and theological case Jack Rogers makes for the full acceptance of gay couples is simply impossible to ignore."—William Stacy Johnson, Princeton Theological Seminary, author of A Time to Embrace: Same-gender Relationships in Religion, Law, and Politics.
"Rogers's biblical scholarship, humane love, and openness to evidence helps us discern what Jesus would do, and what we, his people, should do."—David G. Myers, Hope College, co-author, What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage.
"I'm overflowing with gratitude for this work. Jack Rogers continues 'to equip the saints for the work of ministry,' directing his gifts as prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher to building new understandings and relationships in the church."—Rev. Deborah A. Block, Pastor, Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Milwaukee, WI
"The book is masterful at describing how the church can learn from its past struggles in moving forward beyond the current divide. Rogers issues a prophetic and persuasive call for a more inclusive and more faithful church."—Jeffrey S. Siker, Professor & Chair, Department of Theological Studies, Loyola Marymount University
"A valuable book has gotten even better in this new revised edition. Rogers' s new prefatory relating of particular stories is compelling, the appendix draws important information together from other denominations, and the new chapter 8 will be useful to many. I strongly recommend this book."—J. Philip Wogaman, Professor Emeritus of Christian ethics, Wesley Theological Seminary, and former senior minister at Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C.
"Searching Scripture even more widely, sharing the progress toward equality across a broad range of denominations and describing his encounters with so many devout LGBT folk, Jack shows us how we can biblically and truthfully include all our children in the gospel promise, 'Jesus loves me, this I know.'"—Rev. Janet Edwards, Parish Associate, Community of Reconciliation, Pittsburgh, PA
"Rogers is more than a professor. He is one of the great evangelists of our time. He has heard the good news of God's love for all people, and he has given his life to sharing that news with others. This is a book that saves lives."—Ted A. Smith, Assistant Professor of Ethics and Society, Vanderbilt Divinity School