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“Evangelical” Theologian Argues for Gay Rights

March 24th, 2006
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Louisville, Kentucky—Taking on the most divisive issue in the church today the former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Jack Rogers, argues unequivocally for the ordination and marriage of people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) in Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church.

A life-long evangelical and a respected theologian, Rogers argues that fidelity to the Bible demands equal rights in the church and society for people who are LGBT. Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality describes Rogers’s own change of mind and heart on the issue; charts the church’s well-documented history of using biblical passages to oppress marginalized groups; argues for a Christ-centered reading of Scripture; and debunks oft-repeated stereotypes about gays and lesbians.

“The best methods of interpretation, from the Reformation on down through today, call upon us to interpret the Scripture through the lens of Jesus Christ’s life and ministry. Using this method we see clearly that Jesus and the Bible, properly understood, do not condemn people who are homosexual,” Rogers writes in a stirring conclusion that is sure to provoke debate.

Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality was released this March by Westminster John Knox Press to widespread attention and acclaim. Yesterday, Rogers was the featured guest on KQED San Francisco’s “Forum,” which skyrocketed sales on Amazon.com. And next week, Rogers will begin a national book tour with more than twenty speaking engagements confirmed.

The book has also received glowing reviews from some of America’s foremost religious leaders:

“This is an extraordinary book, arguably the best to appear in the long, drawn-out debates within churches over homosexuality,” says J. Philip Wogaman, former senior minister at Foundry United Methodist Church (where Bill Clinton worshipped) in Washington, D.C. “Rogers frames the issues on deep biblical and theological grounds, challenging superficial readings of Scripture. The book is wonderfully relevant… It is a gift to all of us.”

“This book is simply wonderful—an intelligent, well-researched, amazingly helpful contribution by a person of faith to one of the most difficult debates of our time,” declares Joanna Adams, pastor of Morningside Presbyterian Church in Atlanta.

“Rogers’s arguments are relentless, accurate, and devastating to those who claim that there are serious scriptural, doctrinal, or confessional reasons to deprive LGBT people from full participation in the life and ministry of the church,” states the Reverend Elder Nancy Wilson, the Moderator of the Metropolitan Community Church.

“Rogers adds immensely to those who argue for the full inclusion of gay and lesbian people in the church and in the clergy,” says the Right Reverend Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire, Episcopal Church. “His experience in and reflections on the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will be useful to people of ALL mainline denominations. Especially helpful was his analysis of how ‘other’ theories (natural law, complementary body parts, etc.) are superimposed onto scriptural texts without any scriptural basis. For those who truly wish to know what the Bible does and does not say, this is a real find.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:     March 24, 2006

For additional information contact:
Gavin Stephens, <mailto:gstephens@wjkbooks.com>gstephens@wjkbooks.com, (502) 569-5713

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  1. Ryan Schroeder
    March 25th, 2006 at 10:00 | #1

    I do not understand this movement in the church today. The Bible quite simply says that a man shall find a wife.
    (Genesis 2:24 ESV) Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
    And than any sexual perversion is a sin in God’s eyes.
    (1 Corinthians 6:13 ESV) “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”–and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
    Why then should we change our views of sexual immorality to fit what is popular in this day and age. Although the Bible (at least to my knowledge) does not specify as to what all is included in sexual immorality, it is still fairly obvious to us.
    We know that God wrote the law on the hearts of men before it was given to Moses and that this Law lasts to this day, it is our conscience. It is also true that nearly all people feel that there is something wrong with it (if you don’t believe this, just start asking people you meet, Christian or not, if they are gay and see how they react).
    It is overwhelmingly obvious that God did not intend for men to be with men and women to be with women. As Christians, we should want to do as God wishes, and therefore try to help these poor homosexual souls.
    We do need to show them Christian love, but truly showing Christian love does not mean approving of a lifestyle that God condemns. By doing this we could be sending them strait to Hell. It would also be sinful on our part to not only allow them to continue in their lifestyle, but to approve of it. No Christian shoudl approve of anything that God would not approve of.

  2. March 25th, 2006 at 15:14 | #2

    Why do you call this guy an evangelical? Most would consider the PCUSA “main line liberal,” not “evangelical.”
    Grace and Peace
    McCain response: Because the news story, which this article is, was titled, “Evangelical Theologian” and, if you would also note, I put the word in quotes.

  3. Ray
    March 27th, 2006 at 20:36 | #3

    Just one comment: Where any sin is *promoted* as “normal” can apostasy be far off?!

  4. Jenna
    March 29th, 2006 at 15:06 | #4

    “America’s foremost religious leaders” are giving this book glowing reviews?
    J. Phillip Wogaman, Joanna Adams, Nancy Wilson, and Gene Robinson are “America’s foremost religious leaders”?
    Yeah. Right. Okay.

  5. Helen
    March 29th, 2006 at 23:34 | #5

    The devil is rejoicing! It’s too bad that the faithful church does not speak out about this perversion. When are we going to wake up?! We are truly living in Laodicea!

  6. April 1st, 2006 at 14:39 | #6

    Ray, this IS apostasy. When mortal sin is called blessed by God, you are an apostate. You can become an apostate by rejected the 10 commandments, just as much as you can by rejecting the Creed.

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