James Brownson’s Bible, Gender, Sexuality has gained a prominent place in church debates about homoerotic behavior. Brownson asserts that a revisionist view affirming same-sex unions can be just as biblical as the traditional view. However, his major premise is suspect. As Andrew Goddard puts it:

Brownson has a commitment ‘to establish a wider, transcultural vision for human sexuality into which committed gay and lesbian unions might fit’ (52) and to create a ‘wider biblical framework’ which proposes ‘the underlying forms of moral logic’ (52) that will achieve this revisionist end. The difficulty is that in order to do this he has to overturn the uniform witness of the text on the basis of a reconstructed underlying moral logic which is strongly shaped by a reading of the surrounding culture (biblical and contemporary).1

How Brownson Constructs a Moral Logic for Scripture

Texts need interpretation. For example, Brownson offers Genesis 34, where the sons of Jacob murder the males in Shechem in retaliation for the rape of their sister. This cannot serve as a precedent, because Genesis 49:5-7 clearly rejects such behavior (7). The example hardly helps his argument against following the consistent biblical disapproval of homoerotic behavior. Jacob censured his sons both immediately (34:30) and later. The scriptural prohibitions of same-sex intercourse – which are not censured anywhere else but rather are linked intertextually to other Scriptures – stand in the way of following the hypothetical moral logic Brownson uses to override them.

Brownson nods to Richard Hays in rejecting that Love and Justice can be sufficient bases on which to build a Christian sexual ethic (46-49). He also agrees with several hermeneutic proposals of Hays: serious exegesis is required;3 substantive tensions within the canon should be acknowledged; Scripture is fundamentally the story of God’s redemptive action; narrative texts are sources for normative ethics; the use of Scripture requires an integrative act of imagination; and right reading of Scripture occurs where the Word is embodied. Brownson disagrees about the following proposals of Hays: one should not override the witness of Scripture in one mode (rule, principle, paradigm, symbolic world) by appealing to another mode;4 extrabiblical sources are not independent counterbalancing sources of authority to Scripture;5 it is impossible to distinguish timeless truth from culturally conditioned elements in Scripture; and the focal images. Brownson chooses eight themes by which to explore the moral shape of Scripture with regard to sexuality: patriarchy, one flesh, procreation, celibacy, lust and desire, purity and impurity, honor and shame, and nature.

A possible alternative approach to that taken in Bible, Gender, Sexuality would be to read Scripture guided by concepts that are most important to Scripture itself.6 Hays describes each major New Testament (NT) author, lets the tensions stand, and attends to the literary genre of the texts. Then Hays proposes a synthetic reading using three focal images (Community, Cross, and New Creation) that are widely represented, that do not stand in serious tension with any major emphasis of a NT witness, and that highlight central and substantial ethical concerns of the texts. Hays rejects Love and Liberation as focal images because they do not meet these criteria. After making normative hermeneutical proposals, Hays takes up test cases. Homosexuality is Hays’ example of a minor concern in the Bible in which the witness of Scripture and tradition is univocal.

Bible, Gender, Sexuality portrays contrasting streams in the Bible and chooses one over another. One text is the fulcrum for understanding patriarchy (60-64). “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28) is proposed to resolve the tensions. Paul’s eschatological vision sweeps away the distinctions between insider and outsider, between powerful and powerless (67). But, against Brownson, consider Holly Taylor Coolman’s reading of Galatians 3:27-28. Coolman thinks Paul argues for the equality of each term in the polarity despite upholding their differing Torah obligations.7 And as Goddard notes,8 Paul relativizes marriage by making way for celibacy, not for new forms of sexual relationship.

Brownson intends to differentiate between “elements that are culturally contingent and those that transcend time and place.” (50-51) This is impossible, because all of the Bible is culturally conditioned.9 Surely the continuing normativity of NT ethical norms cannot depend upon their ahistorical character. Brownson, however, can invalidate any text if he looks closely enough to discern cultural particularity. The irony is that if any scriptural teaching could rightly claim to be timeless truth, it would be the intentions of the Creator that are evident in the Creation (Rom 1: 19-20). Brownson sidesteps these verses.

Complementarity of Male and Female?

The Lord God puts the adam to sleep and takes woman from the side of the adam. She is called woman (ishah) because she was taken from man (ish). Therefore a man will leave his parents and be joined to his wife; the two become one flesh. The complementarity of male and female is patterned after the complementarity of heaven and earth, and sea and dry land in the creation story.10

Bible, Gender, Sexuality dismisses Robert Gagnon’s main argument for gender complementarity in these passages.11 Gagnon argued based on Philo and a later rabbi that the adam was a binary or sexually undifferentiated being who was split into male and female. The sexual union of male and female thus joins what had originally been whole. Brownson counters that the myth comes from Plato, not the Bible (26-29). He criticizes Gagnon for not choosing between “binary” and “sexually differentiated.” (27)Yet, Brownson’s critique confirms the wisdom of not committing to one choice. If instead as Brownson argues, woman is taken from man – already a male – in Genesis, one still has the reconstitution of an original whole when husband and wife unite.

Barth restricted himself to biblical material, and thus did not propose a distinctive physiology or psychology of the sexes.12 Yet they are not interchangeable.

What is at the heart of this belief is that there is theological and moral significance in the sexual differentiation of humankind in God’s creation purposes. There is a created unity-in-difference which means that within the sameness of a shared humanity there are two different ways of being human – male and female – which are important for understanding what it means to be a human creature and what the flourishing of humanity consists in.13

Patriarchy and One Flesh Union

Brownson defines patriarchy as “the cultural pattern in which males are assumed to be dominant and females are expected to be submissive” (57). He contrasts patriarchy in the Bible with a countervailing egalitarian stream. Patriarchal NT texts rein in excesses of the egalitarian eschatological vision that damage the life and witness of the Believing community. For example, 1 Timothy 2:8-15 apparently calls for women to learn in silence and all submission, and not to have authority over men, but more accurately means that women may teach men calmly and not aggressively bid for domination (76). The implications for the homosexuality debate are that “the hierarchy of genders cannot be used today as a form of gender complementarity, which is allegedly violated by same-sex intimate relationships (84). Certainly the Hebrew “baal,” which means both husband and master, is evidence of patriarchy as Brownson defines it. Arguably this resulted from the first sin, after which “your husband… shall rule over you [Eve].” (Gen 3:16)

Let me suggest a more important connection between patriarchy and homosexuality. At present, “patriarchy” seems to have little meaning except as a smear.14 Study of the great apes, of contemporary human hunter-gatherers, and paleoanthropology suggest that prior to the rise of agriculture, mothers raised children without the help of the father. The father-involved family is a fragile cultural achievement that cannot be taken for granted. In contrast to Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and Canaanite deities, the biblical God is an involved father whose compassion is often mother-like. The Torah supports the father-involved family through the redemption of the first-born son, circumcision, and the Passover story which the father tells his children. The NT fosters the growth of spiritual families under the leadership of spiritual fathers and God as father.15

The contemporary West is witnessing a decline in the father-involved family, and serious social problems are tied to growing up fatherless. The ideology supporting same-sex marriage is that children do not have a right to know who their biological parents are, and are not disadvantaged by being raised by any two people rather than a mother and father. This ideology weakens the societal norms that keep men involved with, and responsible to, their children. The benefit to children in a father-involved family supports the biblical disapproval of homoerotic behavior.

Brownson’s chapter on One Flesh builds on prior conclusions against gender complementarity. Brownson proposes that a one flesh union requires sexual intercourse (1 Cor 6:16-17), but not a man and woman.16 He argues that “one flesh” means a kinship bond, not physical complementarity. I affirm the first part, without excluding the second (so also Goddard and others). Still, Bible, Gender, Sexuality correctly states that Paul urges the Corinthians not to say with their bodies what they are not saying with the rest of their lives (34).

Ephesians 5:22-30 teaches that husbands are the head of wives as Messiah is the head of the church. Brownson interprets male headship as a function of being the breadwinner (99). Hence, if the husband is not the breadwinner, the passage has no application. Brownson would have no use for symbolic headship through servant leadership consistent with Ephesians. I doubt that he would approve of distinctions between Yeshua-believing Jews and Gentiles.

Analogy between divine covenant and marriage establishes for Bible, Gender, Sexuality that marriage should be permanent (96). Yeshua forbids divorce, polygamy, and serial monogamy as incompatible with the one-flesh union.17 Because sexual union creates kinship bonds, the Bible rejects promiscuity. Brownson concludes that there is nothing inherent in the biblical concept of one-flesh unions that would exclude gay or lesbian unions. Here it would have been helpful for him to clarify why incest is wrong.

Procreation and Celibacy

The next chapter in Bible, Gender, Sexuality opposes the teaching that procreation is the chief purpose of marriage. Goddard considers the analysis unfair to both Catholic and Protestant teaching.18 On the question of how same-sex marriage might affect children, Bible, Gender, Sexuality (125) cites the American Psychological Association (APA) brief that asserted no harm. However, the APA presents only one side of a dispute about the quality of the data and appropriate statistical adjustment.19 Does statistically controlling for family stability make comparisons fair or instead eliminate instability that characterizes same-sex relationships, leaving small unrepresentative samples of stable same-sex parenting? As an example of instability, one study found that over five years, 7% of married heterosexual couples broke up, as did 14% of cohabiting male couples, and 16% of cohabiting female couples. In Norway and Sweden gays were 50% more likely, and lesbians, 167% more likely to break up within five years than heterosexual couples.20 Sullins reported better outcomes for American children raised by a father and mother, compared to same-sex parents, even after controlling for family stability.21 Regardless, the non-religious argument for conjugal marriage does not depend on whether social science finds that children fare better when raised by their biological parents than by same-sex parents.

The New Testament discussion of celibacy is situated by Bible, Gender, Sexuality in Stoic-Cynic debates. Marriage was considered primarily in terms of the responsibilities and duties required to sustain a household (145-6). Brownson argues that not all today can receive Yeshua’s teaching about eunuchs, and it is better to marry than to burn, so celibacy cannot be required. But many persons would deny having a gift either to marriage or celibacy; many want to marry but are unable. Humans experience a variety of desires that should not be fulfilled in ways they want.

Desire, Impurity, Shame, and Nature

The boundary language of Romans 1:24-27 is explored in three chapters of Bible, Gender, Sexuality. Brownson locates the problem in excess, self-centered desire.22 He critiques churches that either tell same-sex attracted people not to be concerned about their thoughts, or call gay and lesbian people to reject their homoerotic impulses and desires, “even when they are not excessive.” (172) His valid point is that churches should call upon people to focus on more than behavior. Brownson asks where one draws the line between “desire for friendship, admiration for another’s beauty, desire to be with another person, to touch them, to kiss, or for sexual contact.” (175) One can answer that friendship and non-sexual touching are fine, sexual touching is not.23 Integrating same-sex attractions into an identity in Messiah is an alternative to the “gay script” of discovering a gay identity based on having same-sex attractions.24 By contrast, Brownson does not distinguish gay identity from homosexual orientation, affirming both.

In the chapter on purity and impurity, Brownson appears not to appreciate that Paul and the Apostolic Decree follow the Tanakh and contemporaneous Judaism in assigning some commandments to both Jews and Gentiles, and others to Jews only. According to Brownson, the NT “moves away” from defining purity externally toward purity of the heart and will. This misleading expression allows him to place actions in opposition to thoughts. Brownson claims supporting verses in Mark 7:19, Acts 10:15,25 and Romans 14:14. He is somewhat right: Gentiles who joined the Yeshua movement did not have to become Jews. But Paul insisted that Gentile Messiah-believers adjure porneia (1 Cor 6:12).26 Paul often associated porneia – which Brownson (194) implicitly acknowledges to be more on the objective side of behavior – with impurity.27

Brownson correctly describes the NT movement away from contagious impurity to contagious purity, illustrated by Yeshua touching and cleansing lepers; Paul concluding that the children of a Christian and a non-believer are holy (1 Cor 7:14); and Philip baptizing a eunuch (Acts 8:26). Making oneself a eunuch for the sake of the kingdom (192) suggests, however, a limit on sexual expression that refutes Brownson’s argument for homoerotic behavior. The supposed movement from Sabbath to Sunday (Rev 1:10) is not convincing.

A third alleged movement is from ethics based on creation to ethics based on the new creation. Brownson admits that the shift should not be absolutized (192), but he ignores the references to creation in Romans 1. Another problem: there being no marriage in heaven (Mk 12:25) does not sanction homoerotic behavior; rather, it supports the argument that people with exclusive same-sex attraction should be celibate.

Brownson concludes that in the NT the language of purity is reframed away from objective approaches (196). But Paul condemns the man living with his father’s wife without inquiring into the quality of their commitment (1 Cor 5), and condemns sex with a prostitute without inquiring into the subjective state of the client. Within Romans 1:24 itself, Paul connects impurity not only with lusts, but with degrading one’s body.28 With regard to sex, Paul retains behavioral, external, objective standards. The language of impurity in Romans 1:24-27 refers to Leviticus 18-20 where impurity is a defining condition of prohibited sexual unions. Brownson argues that 1 Corinthians 5 does not use the word “impurity” because incest is objectively wrong, but does use “impurity” for homoerotic behavior because the latter is not objectively wrong (199-200). I am unconvinced.

Although Brownson admits that “the biblical writers qualify in important ways the common assumption that only the passive partner in male-male sex was degraded or culpable” (209), he denies that Paul considered homoerotic behavior itself degrading or shameful. Brownson concludes that honor-shame codes do not have a culture-transcending status. Indeed, the NT challenged the honor-shame codes of its day (214). But in the chapter summary, nothing is ascribed to Paul’s argument in Romans that reflects the Jewish honor-shame code regarding homoerotic behavior. Brownson has no basis for avoiding the references to Genesis and honoring God, and to instead simply interpret Romans according to the surrounding culture.29 A fundamental question is whether Brownson’s approach allows Scripture to critique culture.

While shame can have a positive role (215), Brownson faults the “welcoming but not affirming” position because it means “we love you but abhor how you operate emotionally.” (216) This is because traditionalists consider homosexual orientation shameful. Brownson potentially makes a good point, but again fails to distinguish between orientation and identity.

Brownson proposes three aspects of Paul’s argument from nature. First, one’s individual nature. Brownson cannot agree with Paul since Brownson knows that some people have a homosexual inclination by nature. But Goddard and Hays persuasively show nature in Romans 2:14 to qualify the Gentiles collectively, not individuals. Second, nature means social convention. Goddard grants this usage but questions whether it is too narrow in Romans. Third, nature can mean biology. Brownson restricts this to procreation, and denies that homoerotic behavior is unnatural although nonprocreative. Goddard suggests instead that nature can mean the recognition of a natural created order.30 The judgment of unnatural based on lack of procreative capacity is inescapably a judgment based on the same-sex nature of the sexual union. But Bible, Gender, Sexuality fails to offer any account of the meaning of creation as male and female.31 Brownson juxtaposes to creation an eschatological vision for humanity that annuls the created order rather than perfects it (250).

The brief treatment of other texts at the end of Bible, Gender, Sexuality has several problems: (1) Brownson’s moral logic is developed without passages about homosexuality except Romans 1; (2) the use of other ancient texts sometimes distorts rather than uncovers the meaning of biblical texts; (3) by denying a logic based on being male and female, Brownson postulates a wide but selective range of homosexual behaviors that prompt the biblical objections, despite the biblical texts lacking obvious differentiation, or limited reference to, such postulated behaviors; (4) lack of engagement with biblical commentaries on the texts.32

Intertextuality and Supersessionism

The scriptural prohibition of same-sex intercourse is linked to its wider understanding of sexuality. The Genesis creation story is referred to in the Levitical holiness code, by Yeshua when asked about divorce, and by Paul in Romans 1. The Levitical prohibition of same-sex intercourse is referred to in the Apostolic Decree, Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6:9, and 1 Timothy 1:10.33

In Bible, Gender, Sexuality the Apostolic Decree is not mentioned. This is unfortunate, for the Decree affirms particular Levitical prohibitions, while Brownson argues that advance from Old to New Testament makes them inapplicable. Brownson’s inattention to the use of Leviticus in the NT constitutes structural supersessionism, as his neglect of distinction between Jew and Gentile is economic supersessionism.34 His use of “neither Jew nor Greek” to critique all other Scripture is amenable to supersessionism on many levels. Together these support economic supersession of the biblical prohibition of same-sex intercourse.

Israel is to divide between clean and unclean animals (Lev 11:47), just as God separates between light and darkness (Gen 1:4).35 Jiri Moskala proposes ten points of agreement between Genesis 1 and Leviticus 11: First, key terminology: earth, water, seas, animals, birds, kind, these, all, God, eat, separate, be holy. Second, universal taxonomy: all, everything, everyone. Third, three habitats for the living creatures in the same sequence. Fourth, four categories of creatures: animals, fish, birds, and “swarmers.” Fifth, reproduction “according to its kind.”36 Sixth, separation or division. Seventh, locomotion. Eighth, what is proper for human diet. Ninth, God is the Creator and the giver of dietary laws. Tenth, the concept of holiness and imitation of God.37

The call to holiness is a summons to live in God’s image.38 Leviticus 11:44, 19:2, 20:7, and 20:26 command Israel to be holy as God is holy. Leviticus 20:10-21 lists prohibited sexual conduct; 20:22-24 commands separation from the Canaanites and their ways; 20:25 instructs to distinguish clean and unclean animals for food; and 20:26 relates holiness to separation. Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 likely therefore share with Leviticus 11 an appeal to the Genesis creation story for their logic.39

In relation to intertextuality, Brownson possibly affirms that Genesis influences Leviticus.40 However, links between Genesis and other scriptures do not figure in a moral logic of homoerotic behavior, since Brownson denies gender complementarity. As the use of the creation account by Leviticus implies gender complementarity, Brownson effectively claims that Leviticus, and all NT passages that use it to understand sexual expression, misunderstand Genesis. Yeshua must also have misunderstood, since his view of marriage presupposes male-female complementarity in the creation story.

Underlying Issues

Brownson had previously opposed homoerotic behavior, but changed his mind after his son came out as gay. This led him to reinterpret Scripture. Brownson is disturbed by the harmful effects upon same-sex attracted Believers of holding the traditional position. I think that he has in mind loneliness, secrecy, and shame. Yarhouse advises that Christians with same-sex attraction are our people, and that the real issue is supporting our people. The traditional Christian sexual ethic does not hinge on whether or not sexual orientation can change. But when churches focus on the causes of homosexuality and possibility of change, the message that sexual minorities hear is God hates you. You need to change.41 Thus, the proponents of blessing homoerotic behavior often see themselves holding the moral high ground while seeing their opponents as defending an immoral position.

Among the wrong beliefs held by traditionalists are that homosexuality is a willful orientation that can easily be changed, that homosexuality has no biological factors, attributing all homosexuality to Oedipal conflicts, equating homosexuality with sexual predation, and the efficacy of certain treatments. But many revisionists also hold wrong ideas about homosexuality: that sexual orientation is determined at birth and unchangeable, that attempts to change it are necessarily harmful, that homosexual relationships are equivalent to heterosexual ones in all important respects, and that personal identity is properly constituted around sexual identity.42

The biblical witness against homoerotic behavior is consistent, absolute, severe, and counter-cultural. Reading the NT as Jewish literature in continuity with the Tanakh, of Yeshua and Paul walking in the Torah, strengthens the coherence of Scripture and discredits the foundational assumptions for the revisionist argument that Scripture has no real objection to all forms of homoerotic behavior. The revisionist view sees the Bible as a collection of incompatible texts, from which different interest groups selectively pick passages that appeal to them.43 The main attraction in Bible, Gender, Sexuality is Brownson’s effort to avoid an openly selective retrieval of Scripture where parts are repugnant to one another. He does not succeed.

Readers who accept my arguments44 are left with manageable exegetical and hermeneutical problems,45 but further tasks of treating people rightly, and of restoring a compelling story and credible intellectual alternative to cultural sexual norms.46 It is crucial to listen to same-sex attracted Yeshua-believers who seek to follow the scriptural witness against homoerotic behavior. For a credible intellectual alternative, three ideas should be taught: (1) the conjugal view of marriage;47 (2) a concept of sexuality and human flourishing in conversation with Jewish and Christian thought;48 and (3) the three-tier scheme of desire, orientation, and identity. The most compelling aspect of personhood for the Yeshua-follower is identity in Messiah (Gal 3:28),49 which indeed relativizes all other identities.

Jon C. Olson is Clinical Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts School of Public Health.

1 Andrew Goddard, “James V. Brownson, Bible, Gender, Sexuality: a Critical Engagement” (Cambridge, Eng.: KLICE, 2014), 4 (hereafter referred to as Brownson’s Bible), accessed September 20, 2016, http://klice.co.uk/uploads/Goddard%20KLICE%20review%20of%20Brownson.pdf.

2 Richard B. Hays, The Moral Vision of the New Testament (San Francisco, CA: Harper, 1996).

3 However, as Goddard notes, Brownson offers no overall exegesis of Romans 1 and ignores Paul’s language of exchange and his allusions to other Scripture.

4 Brownson’s Bible, 63.

5 Ibid., 4.

6 Richard B. Hays, The Moral Vision of the New Testament (San Francisco, CA: Harper, 1996).

7 Holly Taylor Coolman, “Christological Torah,” Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 5 (2010): 8.

8 Brownson’s Bible, 24.

9 Hays, Moral Vision, 299.

10 Russ Resnik, “The Two Shall Become One Flesh: The Beginning and End of Marriage,” Kesher 29 (Summer/Fall 2015): 3-26.

11 Brownson neglects Yeshua’s use of Genesis (Mark 10:6-9) and the parallel in CD 4:19-5: 2 which asserts that a marriage needs exactly two persons, implies two sexes, and rules out male polygamy or serial monogamy. However, his own moral logic requires some notion of gender complementarity. Brownson’s Bible, 14, 67-68.

12 Christopher Roberts, Creation and Covenant: The Significance of Sexual Difference in the Moral Theology of Marriage (New York:
T & T Clark, 2007), 145-46.

13 Brownson’s Bible, 13.

14 John W. Miller, Calling God “Father” (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1999), 151.

15 Ibid., 71-83.

16 Brownson’s Bible, 87, 107. See Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson, and Robert P. George, What is Marriage? Man and Woman:
A Defense
(New York: Encounter Books, 2012), 79 for the moral logical by which societies have always required vaginal intercourse to validate a marriage.

17 Brownson’s Bible, 90-97. When Yeshua cites Genesis 2:24 he connects it to Genesis 1:27, “male and female he created them.”
Thus, the twoness of the sexes and persons in marriage is grounded in the twoness of the sexes and persons in creation.

18 “The chapter itself does not give much attention to procreation and homosexuality in the biblical texts but, significantly, he later acknowledges that this is part of their moral logic – it is part of the “unnatural” judgment of Paul in Romans 1 and the purity concerns in Leviticus.” Brownson’s Bible, 32.

19 Loren Marks, “Same-sex parenting and children’s outcomes: a closer examination of the American Psychological Association’s brief on lesbian and gay parenting,” Social Science Research 41 (July 2012): 734-51.

20 Stanton L. Jones, “Same-Sex Science,” First Things (February 2012), https://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/02/same-sex-science; Report for the House of Bishops Working Group on Human Sexuality (the Pilling Report) (London: Church House Publishing, November 2013), 64, accessed September 20, 2016, https://www.churchofengland.org/media/1891063/pilling_report_gs_1929_web.pdf.

21 Brief for American College of Pediatricians; Family Watch International, as amicus curiae in Support of Respondents, Obergefell v. Hodges, www.supremecourt.gov/ObergefellHodges/AmicusBriefs/14-556_American_College_of_Pediatricians.pdf, 21; D. Paul Sullins, “Child Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Same-Sex Parent Families in the United States: Prevalence and Comorbidities,” British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research 987 (2015): 17, 25; D. Paul Sullins, “Emotional Problems among Children with Same-sex Parents: Difference by Definition,” British Journal of Education, Society and Behavioral Science (2015): 99.

22 Goddard objects, “The fact that those described abandon “natural” relations . . . rather than supplement them with same-sex relationships suggests excessive sexual desire is not Paul’s primary problem and that Loader is right to argue that “the focus is not primarily or solely excess, as Martin suggests, but the misdirection it inevitably entails.” Brownson’s Bible, 42. If an action is wrong, then any expression of it could be termed excessive. Ibid., 43.

23 Sean Doherty, “Celibate Same-Sex Couples?” accessed September 15, 2016, http://www.livingout.org/resources/celibate-same-sex-couples.

24 Mark Yarhouse, Homosexuality and the Christian (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2010), 48-53.

25 Against these interpretations, see Mark S. Kinzer, Postmissionary Messianic Judaism (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos, 2005).

26 Mark D. Nanos, “Paul’s Non-Jews Do Not Become ‘Jews,’ But Do They Become ‘Jewish’?” Journal of the Jesus Movement in its Jewish Setting 1.1 (2014): 26-53), https://issuu.com/jjmjs/docs/jjmjs_1_online. Accessed September 20, 2016.

27 Brownson’s Bible, 45, citing 2 Corinthians 12.21, Galatians 5.19, Ephesians 5.3, Colossians 3.5, and 1 Thessalonians 4.3-7.

28 Brownson’s Bible, 47.

29 Ibid., 49.

30 Ibid., 55.

31 Ibid., 56.

32 Ibid., 59.

33 Jon C. Olson, “The Jerusalem Decree, Paul, and the Gentile Analogy to Homosexual Persons,” Journal of Religious Ethics 40:2 (June 2012): 361-85; Jon C. Olson, “Paul Employing Leviticus: Same-Sex Intercourse,” Kesher 26 (Summer/Fall 2002): 75-95.

34 On supersessionism see R. Kendall Soulen, The God of Israel and Christian Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996); Matthew A. Tapie, Aquinas on Israel and the Church (Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2014).

35 Lance Hawley, “The Agenda of Priestly Taxonomy,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 77:2 (2015): 247.

36 This phrase occurs ten times in Genesis 1, and nine times in Leviticus 11. Samuel E. Balentine, Leviticus, Interpretation (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 2002), 94.

37 Jiri Moskala, “Considering Levitical Food Laws,” Perspective Digest 18:1, accessed August 16, 2015, www.perspectivedigest.org/article/88/archives/18-1/considering-levitical-food-laws.

38 Balentine, Leviticus, 94.

39 Robert A.J. Gagnon, “A Critique of Jacob Milgrom’s Views on Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13,” 5, http://www.robgagnon.net/articles/homoMilgrom.pdf. Accessed August 16, 2015.

40 Brownson’s Bible, 186, 198, 269, 271, 273. Brownson initially seems to concede that Leviticus seeks to replicate the order of creation but later appears to claim that Leviticus is uninterested in a proper gender role in sexual relationships given in creation. Brownson’s Bible, 60.

41 Yarhouse, Homosexuality and the Christian, 164.

42 Jones, “Same-Sex Science,” 27; Ending Conversion Therapy: Supporting and Affirming LGBTQ Youth (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, October 2015), http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content/SMA15-4928/SMA15-4928.pdf), 1. Note the difference between “always” and “can be” harmful. Yarhouse is among the experts behind Ending Conversion Therapy. See also his blog Limning the Psyche, 21 June 2013, https://psychologyandchristianity.wordpress.com/page/9/. Those who attempted change in the study by Yarhouse and Jones did not experience harm. The director of the APA’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Concerns stated “[W]e know that some straight people become gay and lesbian – so it seems totally reasonable that some gay and lesbian people would become straight. The issue is not whether sexual orientation changes… the issue is whether therapy changes sexual orientation.” Willard M. Swartley, “Inqueery,” in Michael King, ed., Stumbling Toward a Genuine Conversation on Homosexuality (Telford, PA: Cascadia Publishing House, 2007), 247.

43 John Bauerschmidt, Zachary Guiliano, Wesley Hill, and Jordan Hylden, “Marriage in Creation and Covenant: A Response to the Task Force on the Study of Marriage, accessed November 14, 2015, http://www.anglicantheologicalreview.org/static/pdf/conversations/MarriageInCreationAndCovenant.pdf.

44 Olson, “Paul Employing Leviticus.”

45 Brownson’s Bible, 63-66, explores possible reasons why Brownson’s proposed moral logic of the Bible would lead to different conclusions than the biblical writers themselves: 1) the biblical writers never worked with a full canonical moral logic because they lacked the full canon; 2) if the biblical writers had known of stable, faithful homoerotic relationships they would by their moral logic have reached revisionist conclusions; 3) if they had understood homoerotic relations correctly, they would have reached revisionist conclusions; 4) their moral logic cannot be applied to our situation.

46 See Ed Shaw, The Plausibility Problem: The Church and Same-Sex Attraction (Nottingham, England: Intervarsity, 2015);
Glynn Harrison, “A Better Story: Re-Imagining the Biblical Vision for Sex and Marriage,” accessed December 8, 2015,
http://www.eggscofe.org.uk/uploads/5/5/6/3/5563632/a_better_story_-_gh.pdf.

47 Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson & Robert P. George, What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense (New York: Encounter Books, 2002), http://public.ebib.com/choice/publicfullrecord.aspx?p=908914; Ron Belgau, “What is Marriage to Evangelical Millennials?”, First Things (May 22, 2015), http://spiritualfriendship.org/2015/05/22/first-things-what-is-marriage-to-evangelical-millennials/#more-5698.

48 Roberts, Creation and Covenant, 233-47, summarizing Augustine, Bernard of Clairvaux, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Barth, and John Paul II; Evangelicals and Catholics Together, “The Two Shall Become One Flesh: Reclaiming Marriage,” First Things (March 2015): 23-31; Chaim Rapoport, Judaism and Homosexuality: An Authentic Orthodox View (London, Eng.: Vallentine Mitchell, 2004).

49 Yarhouse, Homosexuality and the Christian, 49, 51.