Author: Colby Martin
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
Publication Date: 16th September 2016
Rating: 3/5. Stars
Summary: Churches in America are experiencing an unprecedented fracturing due to their belief and attitude toward the LGBT community. Armed with only six passages in the Bible often known as the clobber passages the conservative Christian position has been one that stands against the full inclusion of our LGBT brothers and sisters. Unclobber reexamines each of those frequently quoted passages of Scripture, alternating with author Colby Martin’s own story of being fired from an evangelical megachurch when they discovered his stance on sexuality.
UnClobber reexamines what the Bible says (and does not say) about homosexuality in such a way that breathes fresh life into outdated and inaccurate assumptions and interpretations.
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Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
First off all I want to start this off by saying that I am a member of the LGBT+ community and raised Catholic. I’m also not American, so I can generally not really relate to the evangelical us-centrist point of this book.
While this book is nothing new (or at least not for me, as I already have read about some people trying to “unclobber” these passages f.e. in Matthew Vines – God and the Gay Christian or Fr. Shannon T.L. Kearns – Queer Theology) it is still kind of interesting since it came from the viewpoint of an ally christian. Especially from the viewpoint of one that did not personally know any LGBT+ people when he realized that maybe his church’s treatment of them was wrong.
UnClobber is actually two books in one. One part of the book dissects the clobber passages in the bible and shows while pointing to mistranslations or different interpretations logically and clear why the bible does not actually condemn LGB(T)+ people in monogamous same-gender relationships. The arguments are logically sound and biblically grounded, and they are definitely a good starting point for Christians who are wondering about what the Bible says about LGBT+ people. However they are not necessarily comprehensive enough to convince people who disagree heavily with Colby Martin.
The second part of the book shows Martin’s journey from questioning to fully affirmative pastor, his struggles with a church where he was excluded for not condemning LGBT+ people, finding an affirmative church and finally opening his own church that’s affirmative and very centered in Evangelism.
These two stories are written very accessible and understandable. However I am not very comfortable with Martin using words like “coming out” or other terms that are heavily associated with the LGBT+ movement. I can see what he’s trying to achieve there and while his struggles as an affirmative Christian are definitely real, they are not comparable to the struggles of LGBT+ people, especially those of us who are religious.
Despite my problems with it is definitely an important book and I hope that unsure Christians can find a good starting point there.