In his powerful new
book, Independent Baptist minister Rick Brentlinger persuasively argues
that on the issue of homosexuality, the church has it wrong. In crisp,
readable language, Brentlinger lays out the case from culture, history,
linguistics and scripture, for full acceptance in church and society, of
gay and lesbian people.
Gay Christian 101 presents fascinating historical proof that our ancient
Jewish and Christian ancestors did not view the Biblical texts as
universal indictments of homosexuality.
Many who were once cast out - women, people of color, divorced and
remarried people - are leaders in the modern church. Gay Christian 101
argues that the trajectory of Biblical truth also supports full
inclusion of GLBT believers in the spiritual life of the church.
Brentlinger makes his case by quoting BC references to Sodom, by paying
careful attention to the context of the clobber passages and by noting
how ancient Jewish believers understood those passages and giving the
quotes. In the chapter dealing with the Levitical Holiness Code,
eighteen variant interpretations are offered.
A particularly interesting, ground-breaking section is the Gay Analogy
chapter. Taking up a challenge from anti-gay author Dr. Robert Gagnon,
that any Biblical analogy for homosexual relationships must closely
correspond in particular details (including life-long sexual activity),
Brentlinger presents five new, scriptural, gay analogies which strongly
support full inclusion of gay and lesbian Christians in the modern
In the New Testament section of Gay Christian 101, a strong historical
case is made that eunuchs in ancient times included gay men and lesbians
and that Jesus pointed out this fact to His disciples when He
specifically excluded eunuchs from participating in Adam and Eve style
marriage in Matthew 19:3-12.
In another chapter, particular attention is paid to the story of the gay
Centurion, his meeting with Jesus and Jesus' declaration that the faith
of the Centurion exceeds any faith Jesus observed in Israel.
The arguments for a limited interpretation of Romans 1:26-27 vs. the
traditional view that this passage condemns all homosexual practice, are
compelling. Besides listing 15 variant interpretations of the Romans
passage, Brentlinger demonstrates from history and scripture, that the
traditional view of Romans is simply wrong.
Many modern scholars are absolutely convinced that I Cor 6:9 and I Tim
1:10, use the Greek word arsenokoites to condemn all homosexual
practice. They frequently use Greek lexicons to support that viewpoint.
Brentlinger goes beyond Greek lexicons to the ancient sources cited in
the lexicons and lists the first 56 historical uses of arsenokoites to
prove that no ancient use of arsenokoites condemns all homosexual
practice. In fact, no ancient use of arsenokoites ever referred to two
men of equal status in a committed, faithful, noncultic relationship.
What many traditionalists find irritating about this book is that
Brentlinger cites the written opinions of conservative, evangelical
heterosexual scholars to support the points he makes throughout Gay
Gay Christian 101 is a fascinating conversation about history, theology
and God's truth about gay people. If you are gay or lesbian or have a
loved one who is, this book will help you reconcile the gospel truth
that one can be both gay and a Bible believing Christian.
Gay Christian101 is essential reading for everyone concerned with the
future of a church torn by the homosexual debate.