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on 17 July 2013
My friend Sam Allberry has bravely spoken about his own struggle with same sex attraction, what he believes the Bible says about that, and his decision to live a celibate lifetyle as part of his devotion to Jesus Christ. The idea of anybody being willing to lay down his life in this way seems strange to the modern mind. But Allberry believes it is no sacrifice to him to do so. Too few people are able to really listen to those we disagree with, so read this whatever your view on the most controversial issue that today faces the Church and broader society (and their relationship). You will not be disappointed and will understand Sam's viewpoint better, and become more compassionate towards homosexuals. A friend of mine reported that in his workplace he is the only one who has a traditional view of marriage and sexuality. He is also the only friend of the one openly homosexual there. In the world many homosexuals still face discrimination and even hate crimes. Imagine the impact if every homosexual felt the people that were most accepting and loving towards them were the Christians.
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The author struggles with Same Sex Attraction which gives weight to his view on these matters. His theology is orthodox and entirely Biblical. He advocates love and truth as our main approaches, but this book empowers the reader to know what Christianity really does teach on this subject and gives guidance on how to help people who come across our path. he also explains why same sex marriage isn't compatible with Christianity.
The author also points out that although society tends to label us by our sexuality that "hetero" or "homo" are not our identity - the whole person is much bigger that our attraction.
Sam has been brave to write the truth as we live in a society that tends to censor our beliefs, but he is clearly a person who helps everyone who approaches him whatever their sexual history.
This book is compact and easy to read - I thoroughly recommend it.
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on 7 September 2013
This is the first Christian book I have found written by a Christian who struggles with his sexual orientation. It is sympathetic while upholding biblical teaching. I found it very moving and hope it will help many with the same dilemma.
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on 22 January 2014
This is a superb little book on one of the most controversial issues for the Christian church today. Recommended for all Christians who want to respond helpfully to homosexuality or to gay friends, or who have questions over their own sexuality.

Sam Allberry writes as a Christian who has faced (and still faces) same-sex attraction. So he knows what he's talking about; and he knows what a painful and emotive subject this will be for many. But he also writes as someone with a love for Jesus Christ and the bible's teaching that sexual activity is only right within heterosexual marriage. This combination, together with his ability to put complicated things clearly and concisely, makes the book an extremely useful one.

His fundamental point is a simple one: God is not 'anti-gay' any more than he is 'anti-pride' or 'anti-greed'. But God is 'anti' all of us who, by nature, are living apart from him and living for ourselves. We all face different pressures and temptations; and, by the same gospel, repentance and faith in Christ can bring salvation to us all. The Christian life, says Allberry, is supposed to be about 'taking up your cross'; and he doesn't think his 'cross' (which happens to include resisting same-sex attraction) is necessarily any harder to carry than the cross of anyone else who is serious about following Jesus. I was inspired by the way the writer positively delights in Christ and rejoices through his struggles, knowing that it is all for the best.

There are five short chapters: first, an overview of the bible's teaching on sex and marriage generally; then a look at its teaching on homosexuality specifically. Then come chapters on homosexuality and the Christian, homosexuality and the church, and homosexuality and the world. Along the way, he makes some great points about singleness, and about the importance of love in the church fellowship.

Especially valuable are a number of short 'question box' sections which tackle common objections raised to the bible's teaching. For example:
- Surely a same-sex partnership is OK if it's loving and faithful?
- Jesus never condemned homosexuality...
- Aren't we just picking and choosing which Old Testament laws to apply?
- Can't Christians just agree to differ on this?

All of which are gently and helpfully answered. The whole book is admirably concise and readable.

This is one of the top books I'd recommend to any Christian this year.
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on 3 November 2014
Don't get me wrong, this book has its uses, but it is far from what it says on the tin. The title 'Is God anti-gay?' implies a discussion on the matter; a review of both sides of the issue. This book is nothing more than a biased argument, heavily guarded from attacks by the opposing view point.
If you already hold an opinion similar to that of the author, then this book could be useful, as it talks through how to refine your view and how to deal with life as Christian under the consideration that your opinion is true. Half the book is spent doing the latter.
If you are someone who is searching for help/clarification on the issue, look elsewhere. This is only half the story.
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on 15 February 2016
Let me start by saying that I don't normally write reviews; but having read this book I felt I must.
I was intrigued by the books title and thought I would see would the book said. This book feels like old fashioned brainwashing that God can make you straight and if not you should stay single as that's what the bible says. It reminds me of the extreme methods they used in "A Clockwork Orange".
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on 8 December 2013
See my full review here: [...]

Homosexuality is a hot topic in the church and in some of our countries today today. What does the Bible say on homosexuality? And do the Christians in the church accurately reflect what it teaches? We need to remember that we are dealing with real people who have real struggles and issues just like the rest of us.

The author, Sam Allberry, is the associate pastor of St. Mary's Church in Maidenhead, UK. He writes this book because it is well needed in a time like this. He clearly explains what the Bible says about marriage, sexuality, same-sex attraction (SSA), and how Christians should respond. Allberry writes this book from his own experience as one who had and still has same-sex attractions.

Summary

Allberry starts with the center. He keeps the main thing the main thing. What is the Gospel, and what does it say I should do? The Gospel declares that Jesus has come to save us from bondage, and that we are to 'turn' in repentance toward Him, which means we were not heading in the right direction in the first place.

Allberry then moves to chapter one with a Bible view of marriage and sex.

Chapter two continues with the Bible's view of homosexuality [Gen. 19; Lev. 18 and 20; Rom. 1:18-32; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Tim. 1:8-10] all the while explaining what each text means in context and some different issues within them.

Chapter three is on homosexuality and the Christian and what happens when a Christian is struggling with same-sex issues, or when a homosexual becomes a Christian but is still struggling?

Chapter four is on homosexuality and the church and what you should focus on if a homosexual couple starts coming to your church? Their spiritual needs come first: they need Jesus.

Chapter 5 is on homosexuality and the world. How do you respond when your friend comes out and tells you they're gay? How do you then share Christ with them? How could you be the most loving and effective witness to the world on this issue?

Allberry ends with a conclusion stating that "Jesus is the bread of life. He - and he alone - is the one who satisfies" (p. 82).

The Chocolate Milk (what I liked)

+Almost every chapter ends with a gray box with a significant question that many have asked before: "Surely a same-sex partnership is OK if it's committed and faithful?", "Aren't we just picking and choosing which Old Testament laws apply?", "Can't Christians just agree to differ on this?", along with others. Each section is answered in a few paragraphs, but the depth of the answer given is perfectly adequate for the posed question. They are not easy question, but the answers are spot on and complete.

+This is a simple book to read. It's only 83 pages, and it's very Christ-focused. There are some hard truths, but they are not written out of hatred. Allberry understands what life is like living with SSA, denying himself, and saying "Yes" to Jesus. These are hard truths to accept, but these are also hard truths that he himself is accepting and living life accordingly.

Recommended?

Yes.

Allberry covers a lot of ground in such a small book, and in doing so he shows God's heart toward homosexuals, gays, lesbians, those who have same-sex attraction, and it's the same heart he has toward all who sin. God loves us, and He is not "anti-gay." Allberry writes for the benefit of those who experience SSA that God does love them, and for the benefit of those who don't share in experiencing SSA to know how to love and minister to those who do.

Homosexual lifestyles are becoming more common place, and Christians need to know how to say more than, "That's sin." But then what? How is that person supposed to live in light of that? We need to be more helpful in lovingly showing others how to live in light of the Gospel of Jesus. It is good news. Right?

[A big "thank you" to Dean Faulkner at Good Books UK for sending me a free copy to review. I was not obligated to give a positive review in return for reviewing my copy.]
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on 16 March 2014
I first came across Is God anti-gay on Carl Truman’s reading list and I am glad that I read this book. Sam has given the Christian community a book that it has needed for years! In this book, Sam carefully and skillfully handles the Bible text. He is pastoral and sensitive. While I would like to have seen Sam answer more questions, those that he has answered are the bigger, more common ones. I found his answers very useful and I will be coming back to read these time and time again. His answer to the question, ‘aren’t we just picking and choosing which Old Testament laws apply today?’ was good, but he could have taken a bit more time to explain the categories of the laws he uses (moral, civil, ceremonial) which may leave those unfamiliar with this categorization feeling a bit lost.

Aside from a minor quibble, ‘Is God anti-gay?’ is a readable and biblical response to handing the text and speaking the truth in love to those, who are experience same sex attraction, and yet are created in image of God. He is pastoral and exhorts us to careful listening and prayer, which will shape a Godly response of wisdom, counsel and gentle instruction.

Read my full review at [...]
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on 24 October 2013
Here at last is a concise book written with sensitivity and insight by a Christian who is himself gay. Sam Allberry discusses the issues he himself encountered, and offers a way to stay faithful to the Bible while not denying his essential identity. His point being that the very core of our identity does not lie in our sexual orientation anyway. As he puts it 'gay' does not define him as a person; he is a person of diversity, faith and richness who experiences same-sex attraction. With the issue in perspective he examines the whole range of the Bible's teaching about it. There is no compromise on truth or faith - no soft way out, but there is a positive, compassionate analysis of what is right and wrong. This no gay-bashing rant; we've had too many. It is without homophobia but with honesty. Even for those not confronting this issue in their own life but simply wishing to understand better and to feel confident in discussing it as a Christian without either bigotry or compromise, this is a superb book. Well done Sam Allberry for having had the courage and the faith to write it and to write it so clearly.
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on 26 March 2015
Not always an easy read but one that is supremely helpful in an age where liberalism and fundamentalism beat each other's brains out in the public sphere. For those coming to terms with their SSA, it is a great challenge and a great support.
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