Sonderbooks

Sonderbooks Book Review of

God Believes in Love

Straight Talk About Gay Marriage

by Gene Robinson

IX Bishop of New York


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God Believes in Love
Straight Talk About Gay Marriage

by Gene Robinson
IX Bishop of New York

Review posted November 20, 2013.
Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2012. 196 pages.

Here's a thoughtful, intelligent, personal, and thoroughly Christian presentation on why it's time to make marriage legal for gays and lesbians.

Now, I come from a very conservative background. I grew up thinking the Bible was pretty clear that homosexuality is sinful. As I've grown up, though, I (obviously?) have far more gay and lesbian friends and co-workers, and I wonder. It was actually a sermon series on controversial issues in my own church that helped me see maybe the Bible is not so clear on that topic after all.

But this book helps me see intellectually what my heart had already figured out. That we're calling things sinful that God almost certainly doesn't call sinful.

I appreciate that Gene Robinson does take a Christian approach. He doesn't say that God is wrong in this area. He very much feels that gay marriage can be God-honoring.

Usually when I review a book on issues, I present snippets from different arguments. This book does present well-thought out arguments that address most issues I've seen presented in, say, Facebook posts against gay marriage. But I don't want to present sections out of context. When I do that, I often get arguments back, as if the quotation is all there is to say, and can be too easily refuted. Let me just encourage you, if you're honestly interested in this question, of whether Christians can legitimately support gay marriage, to read this book and give it plenty of thought and prayer. I'm glad I did.

I will simply quote from the bishop's summing up at the end:

I believe in marriage. I believe it is the crucible in which we come to know most deeply about love. It is in marriage that God's will for me to love all of humankind gets focused in one person. It is impossible to love humankind if I can't love one person. That opportunity to love one person and to have that love sanctioned and supported by the culture in which we live is a right denied gay and lesbian people for countless centuries. It's time to open that opportunity to all of us. Because in the end, God believes in love.