On those weeks that I do not preach, and therefore don’t have a sermon to post, I’ll try to post a book review or something else that will be beneficial. This week’s book is the one below:
This book was recommended to me by a friend. It’s a quick read, but one that I think will challenge many people. I certainly appreciated the book’s approach to handling a timely topic and doing so in a way that leaves you with a positive impression. Having finished the book, I did not feel a sense of woe over the direction of society. I felt excited. Novotny, through preaching the law and gospel, showed the opportunities Christians have to preach the Word. That hopeful tone is the first thing that I enjoyed about this book.
The second thing that has stuck with me was the way that he emphasized reaching people caught in the sin of homosexuality. He used the LGBT initialism to signify something else. He summarizes it this way: “LGBT. Love first. Gospel next. The Bible follows. And trust it works” (pg. 33). I think that this approach can be used for a person caught in just about any sin. Spend time loving and understanding them. Eventually, you’ll have the opportunity to tell them the gospel. After that, when the opportunity comes, share with them what the Bible says about their sin. Then, trust the Holy Spirit who promises to work through the Word.
I’ve considered giving this book to my confirmation students to read. I may also read it with some of my teens in Bible study. I do think that the book is very accessible and beneficial. It will help you face your own sins so that you can see how great a Savior Jesus is. From that position, you can understand how sin affects another person and tell them about Christ.
To finish, here are some quotes from the book I highlighted:
“Christian people have a problem. Sometimes those of us who claim to love a passage the most love people the least. That means we don’t really love the passages at all. We loved our version of the passage, the version that allowed us to be comfortable, to be right, to be bigots” (pg. 14).
“No one will ever be more faithful to you that this God. No one will ever bring you more joy, more comfort, more friendship, more affection, more hope, more peace, more life than the God who says, ‘You’ve sinned, but I won’t let that stop my love'” (pg. 31).
“You shouldn’t publicly share your views on gay marriage. You shouldn’t try to convince gay non-Christians to start living like they are. There’s a time, after lots and lots of love and lots and lots of gospel, when you can talk to LGBT friends who claim to be Christian about biblical sexuality” (pg. 32).
“The core of a Christian’s being is Christ. This passage says it best: ‘Christ…is your life’ (Colossians 3:4). Jesus Christ is the core of my being. Nothing else. He is all I need. I can deny that desire, the one Jesus says is sin, and I still have my identity” (pg. 47).
Gay & God is available here from Time of Grace. Let me know if you read it, or have read it, and what your thoughts are.
God’s peace be with you.