A Review Of Jack Rogers.“ Jesus, The Bible, And Homosexuality: Explode The Myths, Heal The Church.” Revised And Expanded Edition. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2009. 208 pp. $18.00. -- By: Brian Neil Peterson

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 21:1 (Spring 2016)
Article: A Review Of Jack Rogers.“ Jesus, The Bible, And Homosexuality: Explode The Myths, Heal The Church.” Revised And Expanded Edition. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2009. 208 pp. $18.00.
Author: Brian Neil Peterson


A Review Of Jack Rogers.“
Jesus, The Bible, And Homosexuality: Explode The Myths, Heal The Church.” Revised And Expanded Edition.
Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2009. 208 pp. $18.00.

Brian Neil Peterson

Assistant Professor of Old Testament
Lee University
Cleveland, Tennessee

Jack Rogers’s revised edition of his book Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church was originally published in 2006 by Westminster John Knox Press. In the new revised and expanded edition of 2009, Rogers has added an eighth chapter (“All Are One in Christ Jesus”), an Appendix, and a Study Guide for using the book written by David Maxwell. While traditional reviews tend to summarize each chapter’s content, in what follows I will instead offer an article of critique of various aspects of Rogers’s book. With the Supreme Court’s ruling in June of 2015 legalizing same-sex marriage, a renewed look at Rogers’s arguments seems in order, especially in light of the fact that Rogers continues to influence at least branches of the Presbyterian Church in the West. What is more, Rogers himself acknowledges, positively mind you, that “We are witnessing a profound transformation in attitudes toward people who are LGBT throughout many American denominations” (144).

Rogers’s book begins in a very benign fashion. He traces his progression of thought on the same-sex issue beginning with a brief history of his life starting in 1930’s Nebraska and continuing to his tenure at Fuller Theological Seminary while also working in the Presbyterian Church. Rogers’s opening salvo into the discussion is already fraught with difficulties when he moves the discussion from the sphere of biblical “authority” to the realm of “interpretation” (6, 10-11). Of course he may not word his approach in this fashion, but in fact this is the heart of his thesis and approach. Directly connected to this thesis is his attempt in chapter 7 to show how the historic Confessions of the Reformed tradition also have gotten it “wrong” on the issue of allowing full “rights” and “equality” for practicing same-sex parishioners and clergy.1 It is Rogers’s extended discussions on how to interpret the Bible and where

authority lays that is most troubling.2 By dismissing the authority of the passages of the Bible dealing with same-sex issues, Rogers feels all the more emboldened to rework the historic confessions where needed to push his agenda.3

Furthermore, the u...

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