Matthew Vines
For many years now, publishers have been releasing books that claim the Bible does not oppose committed homosexual relationships. That is nothing new. But it is a sad and shameful day when a major Christian publisher releases such a book and claims that it is a solid evangelical publication. This is abhorrent, disgraceful and terribly misleading. And it needs to be addressed and exposed. But first, the background to the story. In 2012, a young man named Matthew Vines, who professes to be a “gay Christian,” released a video of his talk about the Bible and homosexuality, and it quickly went viral. His demeanor was engaging and his appeal to the Scriptures very serious, but for those who know the Word well, there was nothing in the least bit persuasive in his presentation. In fact, it underscored just how impossible it is to use the Bible to justify any form of homosexual acts or to sanctify intimate homosexual relationships. The impossibility of Matthew’s position was further emphasized when my colleague, the well-known apologist James White, put out a series of YouTube videos that thoroughly rebutted Vines’ video. And both White and I have offered to debate Matthew and any colleague he would choose, but to date, there has been no response, although we’re still hoping that a debate (or a series of debates) will take place. There has also been a good amount of publicity over the last few months announcing the publication of Matthew’s book, God and the Gay Christian:
The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships, which, through no intentional planning on my part or my publisher’s, is due to be released two weeks before my own book, Can You Be Gay and Christian? Responding With Love and Truth to Questions About Homosexuality. (I sincerely hope that readers of his book will take the time to read mine as well.) But here is the disturbing news. The book is being published by Convergent Books, which is part of a publishing conglomerate that includes the much-respected evangelical publishing group WaterBrook Multnomah (also sharing some of the same staff). And the chief executive of the company, Stephen W. Cobb, is vigorously defending his choice to publish the book. In fact, he is making an extraordinary effort to publicize it and claiming that it is thoroughly evangelical. Have we totally lost our bearings as the people of God? Are we now debating the undebatable and trying to sanction the unsanctionable? The WaterBrook Multnomah group publishes books by authors like John Piper, Chuck Swindoll, Ravi Zacharias, David Jeremiah, Randy Alcorn, David Platt and Bill Gothard, and now its sister publisher is releasing a purported evangelical book defending homosexuality? (This is not being written on April 1 as some kind of April Fool’s joke. I am being dead serious.) Responding to an investigative piece written by Christian attorney Matt Barber, Cobb explains that his company is publishing the book “because [they] believe it offers a thoughtful examination of Scripture on the topic of same-sex relationships from a bold, young, evangelical writer whose first calling is to promote a civil, loving, and biblically based conversation on the subject.” More