Why do some Christians welcome marriage equality? Resources to consider

I won’t try to summarize it into a blog post. I attempted to do that already. But I know it is a complicated argument—about how to interpret the Bible, how experience plays into our ethical and theological decisions, and much, much more.

So, if you would like to understand why some Christians have changed their minds, here are a few resources that might help you see why many Christians are rejoicing today, rather than lamenting, over the Supreme Court’s decision to affirm marriage equality in all 50 states.

There are many, many resources available. Here are a few that I have found helpful coming, as I do, from a conservative Evangelical background.


Achtemeier, Mark. The Bible's Yes to Same-Sex Marriage: An Evangelical's Change of Heart. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2014. (Written by a Reformed pastor/theologian/ethicist in an easy to read manner for lay people.)

Brownson, James. Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdamans, 2013. (This book is a must-read for evangelical pastors/leaders/theologians as it engages the Bible with exegetical precision and hermeneutical depth. It is more academic in nature.)

Gushee, David. Changing Our Mind. David Crumm Media, 2014. (This book is written by the leading Southern Baptist ethicist. It flows from high level scholarship but delivers at a level lay persons or those not used to seminary text books can appreciate.)

Lee, Justin. Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate. New York: Jericho Books, 2012. (Justin writes accessibly as a Christian gay man.)

Marin, Andrew. Love is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2009. (Andrew Marin does not come out on one side of the debate or the other but offers a beginning point for Christians who have no lesbian or gay friends. If you are brand new to this conversation and can’t even fathom why Christians are not condemning gays, this is a good place to begin.)

Rogers, Eugene, ed. Theology and Sexuality: Classic and Contemporary Readings.Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers, 2002. (Rogers is a theologian, a Christian, and a gay man. He authors important chapters in the volume and curates other essential contributions.)

Song, Robert. Covenant and Calling: Towards a Theology of Same-Sex Relationships. Norwich, UK: SCM Press, 2014. (A theological account which draws on traditional theology of marriage and argues for a third way -- relationships not oriented toward procreation which would include both heterosexual, same-sex couples--and by extension intersex and transgender people. Accessible and under 100 pages.)

Smedes, Lewis B. “Like the Wideness of the Sea?” Perspectives. Sept./Oct. 2014. (Smedes wrote Sex for Christians which has become an evangelical classic. It wasn’t until later in life, after its publication, that he changed his mind on equal marriage.)

Vines, Matthew. God and the Gay Christian. New York: Convergent Books, 2014. (Matthew Vines is a Christian gay man and founder of the Reformation Project.)

Wilson, Ken.  A Letter to my Congregation: An evangelical pastor’s path to embracing people who are gay, lesbian and transgender into the company of Jesus. Canton, MI: Read the Spirit Books, 2014. (Wilson is an evangelical Vineyard pastor who documents his change of heart. This book is also very accessible for lay persons or those who are not used to reading seminary-style academic books.)

Online Resources

David Lose, “What Does the Bible Really Say About Homosexuality?

ELCA, “Journey Together Faithfully, Part Two: The Church and Homosexuality

Gay Christian Network, “The Great Debate

Reformation Project offers numerous videos of lectures.

David Myers,  “Response by David Myers: Another Christian Perspective on Homosexuality and the Church” in Reformed Review Autumn ’05, Vol. 59, No.1 page 139.

David Myers, “There’s a Wideness In God’s Mercy

Walter Wink, “Biblical Perspectives on Homosexuality

Southern Baptist Pastor Danny Cortez explains “Why I Changed my Mind on Homosexuality” in a talk to his congregation.

Vineyard Pastor Ken Wilson, “An Appeal to Evangelical Pastors”

Johnson, Luke Timothy. “Scripture & Experience.” www.commonwealmagazine.org.  Commonweal Magazine, 11 June, 2007. Web. 20 Sept. 2014.

(originally published 6/26/15, revised 2/26/16)