Frequently Asked Questions about Sexuality, the Bible & the Church: Plain Talk About Tough Issues

Twenty-six scholars from nineteen seminaries and colleges offer short, accessible essays to inform discussion about the appropriate participation of gay and lesbian Presbyterians in church life and leadership. Intended for lay readers, the essays address core biblical and theological questions with clear thinking, lively faith, and deep concern for the church.


Table of Contents

Files are PDF, suitable for downloading, printing and distributing for local congregations.


What are the questions? And what is this booklet?

Ted A. Smith
Vanderbilt Divinity School

What do Presbyterians believe about the authority of Scripture?

William C. Placher
Wabash College

What does Genesis 1-3 teach about sexuality, and how should we live in response?

Patrick D. Miller
Princeton Theological Seminary

For what sin did God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah?

Christine Roy Yoder
Columbia Theological Seminary

What does Leviticus teach about same-sex relations, and how should we live in response?

Robert B. Coote
San Francisco Theological Seminary

On matters of sex, what kind of “textual orientation” does the wisdom literature provide?

William P. Brown
Columbia Theological Seminary

What do the Gospels say about sex and sexuality?

Margaret P. Aymer
Interdenominational Theological Seminary

What does Romans 1 teach about homosexuality, and how should we live in response?

Beverly Roberts Gaventa
Princeton Theological Seminary

What does 1 Corinthians 6:9 teach about sexuality, and how should we live in response?

Robert L. Brawley
McCormick Theological Seminary

Since the Bible seems only to condemn same-sex relations, how can some Christians affirm same-sex marriage or the ordination of openly gay and lesbian Christians? Where is there any support for this approach in the Bible?

Jeffrey S. Siker
Loyola Marymount University

What does Christian baptism have to do with the current controversy in the church about sexuality and ordination?

Thomas G. Long
Candler School of Theology

What do the Confessions teach about sexuality? And how do they inform the ethical commitments of Presbyterian Christians?

Christopher Elwood
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

What has ordination implied for Reformed Christians, and how might Reformed theologies of ordination inform our current debates about ordination and sexuality?

Dawn DeVries
Union Theological Seminary – PSCE

What do Presbyterians say about marriage?

David H. Jensen
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Is gender complementarity essential to Christian marriage?

Mary McClintock Fulkerson
Duke University

Can God use sex for our sanctification?

Eugene F. Rogers, Jr.
University of North Carolina – Greensboro

What can we learn about the texture of Christian ethics by observing how African American congregations have historically dealt with issues related to sexuality?

Gayraud S. Wilmore
Interdenominational Theological Center

If the church accepts homosexuality, what is to keep us from accepting sins like adultery, incest, bestiality, and sex with children? Don’t we have to draw the line somewhere?

Mark Douglas
Columbia Theological Seminary

How does the struggle for full inclusion of gay and lesbian Christians relate to the civil rights movement and other struggles for freedom and equality?

J. Herbert Nelson, II
University of Memphis

What do Presbyterians teach about sexuality?

Su Yon Pak
Union Theological Seminary

Is there room in the PC(USA) for those of differing orientations?

Jeanne Stevenson-Moessner
Perkins School of Theology

Can people change their sexual orientations? Should the church require gay and lesbian Christians to try to change their orientations in order to be ordained?

Nancy J. Ramsay
Brite Divinity School

How might we respond in debates among Christians on homosexuality when told to “love the sinner but hate the sin”?

Robert C. Dykstra
Princeton Theological Seminary

Would inclusivity alienate our global partner churches?

M. Thomas Thangaraj
Candler School of Theology and Bishop Stephen Neill Study and Research Center

What could bring a person to change his or her mind about sexuality and ordination? What happened in your case?

Jack Rogers
San Francisco Theological Seminary

Which side are you on? And are there more than two?

Cynthia M. Campbell
McCormick Theological Seminary

Reprinted from previous publications

What do leaders and scholars in the Black Church say about sexuality and ordination? An Open Letter to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

What do biblical scholars say about homosexuality and scripture? The Whole Bible for the Whole Human Family

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