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Publisher's Summary

God and the Gay Christian is a game changer. Winsome, accessible, and carefully researched, every page is brought to life by the author’s clear love for Scripture and deep, persistent faith. With this book, Matthew Vines emerges as one of my generation’s most important Christian leaders, not only on matters of sexuality but also on what it means to follow Jesus with wisdom, humility, and grace. Prepare to be challenged and enlightened, provoked and inspired. Read with an open heart and mind, and you are bound to be changed.” (Rachel Held Evans, author of A Year of Biblical Womanhood and Faith Unraveled)

As a young Christian man, Matthew Vines harbored the same basic hopes of most young people: to someday share his life with someone, to build a family of his own, to give and receive love. But when he realized he was gay, those hopes were called into question. The Bible, he’d been taught, condemned gay relationships. 

Feeling the tension between his understanding of the Bible and the reality of his same-sex orientation, Vines devoted years of intensive research into what the Bible says about homosexuality. With care and precision, Vines asked questions such as:

  • Do biblical teachings on the marriage covenant preclude same-sex marriage or not?
  • How should we apply the teachings of Jesus to the gay debate?
  • What does the story of Sodom and Gomorrah really say about human relationships?
  • Can celibacy be a calling when it is mandated, not chosen?
  • What did Paul have in mind when he warned against same-sex relations?

Unique in its affirmation of both an orthodox faith and sexual diversity, God and the Gay Christian is likely to spark heated debate, sincere soul search­ing, even widespread cultural change. Not only is it a compelling interpretation of key biblical texts about same-sex relations, it is also the story of a young man navigating relationships with his family, his hometown church, and the Christian church at large as he expresses what it means to be a faithful gay Christian.

©2014 Matthew Vines (P)2014 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"For anyone who wants to know why some evangelicals find that the Bible does not condemn same-gender marriage, Matthew Vines’s book answers the question. Christians who oppose gay marriage should consider what he has to say." (Tony Campolo, professor emeritus, Eastern University; coauthor of Red Letter Christians)

"Many people believe you can either hold a high view of Scripture or affirm gay relationships, but not both. Matthew Vines proves them wrong. Provocative and relentlessly Bible-focused, God and the Gay Christian offers hope and insight for Christians who have felt conflicted on matters of sexuality." (Justin Lee, author of Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate)

"A must-read for all Christians, but especially parents. Matthew Vines brings great insight and wisdom to the conversation so urgently needed by today’s church. God and the Gay Christian has the information I was searching for when my son, Tyler Clementi, came out to me. This book will have a great impact on families, freeing parents of misunderstandings about their LGBT children while letting them hold securely to their faith." (Jane Clementi, cofounder of The Tyler Clementi Foundation)

What listeners say about God and the Gay Christian

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Radical Opiniated and Revolutionary

The text opens by proposing its objective and main argument. it leads into a breakdown of the validity and efficacy of said argument. The book is ideal in that it provides structured arguments that need to be further examined and tested for reliability. The problem is that much like Matthew there are few who have taken the time to carefully consider what the implications of this change maybe. It is of my opinion that Matthew's V perspective is stubborn and selective but yet a farcry for a conversation too important to ignore. Allow this book to guide you in your pursuit for truth and God himself. Most importantly may all things be done in the holy spirit and for the service and glorification of God the Father.

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A graceful, accessible look at an important topic.

This book is perfect for anyone wanting to think critically about the topic of homosexuality from a Christian perspective. Matthew Vines shares from his own experience, with more grace and humility than I would be able to manage. It’s a great way to explore the topic, and a great book to share with family to open a dialogue. Highly recommended!!
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2019-12-09

"Trading the Gospel for modern, unbiblical catagori"

The reader did a good enough job reading his own material. Beyond that, he completely botched the Biblical presentation of gender and sexuality. He read categories back into Scripture that the author of Scripture (God) absolutely never had in mind. I'm afraid this book will lead many people astray from the biblical gospel that truly does change hearts, minds, and actions.

18 people found this helpful

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  • David
  • 2015-07-29

The revisionist side of the discussion

Matthew Vines is gay and is a Christian. This book tells his story of coming out and trying to reconcile his Christian faith with his local church, friends, family and his physical/emotional attraction to the same sex. While I don't agree with his conclusions or interpretations of scripture, I completely empathize with the hurt, rejection and self-doubt he and others like him have to endure with same-sex attraction. I can't say I understand how he feels, I am not attracted to other men, but I can feel his pain and understand (and identify with) his desire to find a way to reconcile his faith with his identity as a gay man.

What he writes is often painful to read and it is sad that our society treats people who are different poorly, many of those doing so identifying themselves as Christian. What he writes about is his journey and studies in reconciling his faith with his identity. Where he ends up is, in my and other's opinion, contrary to where he said (and concludes) he is going. He ends up offering views and conclusions which do not treat the Bible the way orthodox Christians do, as a whole written by God using human agents. He claims a lot of cultural influence in the Bible which he claims twist and alter God's intended meaning. He is definitely not holding to a High view of the scripture.

I don't want to belabor this and I know folks will disagree with my views/interpretation.

Regardless of which side you are on, YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK. It offers a clear perspective of this side of the discussion.

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  • Jeffrey S. Nading
  • 2020-10-06

bad logic. sets up a false dilemma.

the author has some touching stories. but misses it from a christo Centric perspective. where are the affirming cases in scripture? what did Jesus affirm as marriage.? what is sin?

6 people found this helpful

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  • Natalie Bartels
  • 2019-01-20

Influential and full of grace

I first came across Matthew Vine’s argument in 2015 when I was in a very dark psychological place because of having repressed my sexuality for five years. His speech gave me the message of grace and affirmation that I was yearning for and his work has inspired me to finally speak against the homophobic beliefs held by people in my family. I was delighted to listen to his more detailed argument in this audiobook.

This, Vine’s first published scholarly work, is well researched and quite an impressive opus for a writer aged 24. Some of the arguments he touches on here are so deep and complex that it is unfortunate that Vines could not have spent more time delving into them, but to me this books marks the beginning of his promising authorial career and I expectantly await the publication of more book and resources penned by this inspiring scholar and activist.

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  • Josef
  • 2019-03-19

Ambiguous

The author constructs his arguments from many logical fallacies often leaving his own position ambiguous.

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  • Ellen R. Davis
  • 2016-04-11

Changed My Mind

This book, along with three others helped to change my mind about how LGBT people are viewed in the eyes of the church and elsewhere. It was so good that I listened to the audio 3 times. Matthew Vines is a gifted researcher and writer and his approach on this topic is one of the best I have ever heard. While the audiobook is handy and can be listened to anytime, I suggest purchasing a printed copy for reference and study purposes. Thank you, Matthew Vines!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Jason Goodwin
  • 2019-03-24

Sincere arguments but...

LGBTQ here - No doubt Matthew is sincere in his beliefs ... but his argument fails . If you have to research for four years and spend six hours explaining remarkably clear scripture away , well there is your first red flag. There are a couple of points that are agreeable : Sodom and Gomorrah were likely not destroyed because of homosexuality alone or perhaps at all , what was considered homosexual was probably defined differently in biblical times , However , affirmation is clearly not in line with scripture . But It’s a shame Christianity (some of it ) treats homosexuality as either a lightning rod or something that a blind eye is turned to. In a scholastic style , Matthew tries to change perceptions of scripture . It’s a decent argument but doesn’t hold up .

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  • Paul F.
  • 2014-08-08

You'll Find What You Want in this Book

You will find what you are looking for in this book. For those in the Gay Community, you will latch on to the Author's justification in the passages. For those "non-affirming" (his term for Christians who don't accept the concept of Gay Christians), you will see his lack of being honest with the context. He reads his viewpoint into the scripture and comes out with conclusions which are skewed. There are some interesting points, but I would not take this stand into a debate. It's one thing to take a position and quite another to have it tested by opposing viewpoints. I agree with James Pyle's review (which see) for the most part. For those of us Christ followers who have spent decades in His Word, we find it interesting how he came up with some of the conclusions. I read the book to see what positions are out there in this world that I should know about. For that reason alone, some should read this book. I wasn't convinced by his scholarship, only by his sincerity. One other point is that he acknowledges no sin on his part in causing a church split. That, along with other points along the way, tells me he is more interested in justifying his position than anything else.

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  • zexy
  • 2021-11-19

Does it truly reflect truth?

I appreciate Matthew telling his story in this book. I read it at the request of a friend. I am a follower of Jesus and I love His word. I have a family member who has had many difficulties in his life and things have not been fair for him in many ways.

The Lord loves all of us so much that He came and suffered many things that were also unfair so that we could be His and be free and live forever with Him - yet He does require some things of us. Those who don’t follow him He requires very little, but those who do He requires much - and things are often not fair or even. He requires that we put His word before our own thoughts and feelings. Mercy and loving kindness must walk hand-in-hand with truth. Unfortunately this book strays often from truth. I am praying for Matthew that he would be able to take up his cross and follow Jesus regardless of the cost.

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  • Stephanie W.
  • 2021-06-22

Making the Bible say what you want to hear

I wanted to like it… but… The author’s position was clear. He wants to convince the reader that his theology is far superior to others. The logic was a huge stretch of faith for me.

1 person found this helpful