Here is R. Albert Mohler Jr.’s Foreword to Transforming Homosexuality: What the Bible Says about Sexual Orientation and Change by Denny Burk & Heath Lambert.
The modern secular consensus is that an individual’s pattern of sexual attraction, whether heterosexual or homosexual, should be accepted as a given and considered normal. More than that, the secular view demands that this pattern of sexual orientation be accepted as integral to an individual’s identity. According to the secular consensus, any effort to change an individual’s sexual orientation is essentially wrong and harmful. The contemporary therapeutic worldview is virtually unanimous in this verdict, but nothing could be more directly at odds with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The New Testament reveals that a homosexual sexual orientation, whatever its shape or causation, falls out of line with the Creator’s purpose for humanity. All sinners who are saved by the Lord Jesus Christ know the need for the redemption of our bodies—including our sexual selves. But those with a homosexual sexual orientation face another dimension to this reality: they also need a fundamental reordering of their sexual attraction. About this, the Bible is clear.
But the issue here is not merely undoing same-sex attraction. Christians know that heterosexuals are just as in need of sexual redemption as homosexuals. The Bible and the testimony of the gospel point us to the cross of Christ and to the sinner’s fundamental need for redemption, not for mere moral improvement. Further, the Bible offers no hope for any human ability to change our sinful desires—only the power of the gospel can do that.
The believer in the Lord Jesus Christ receives the forgiveness of sins, the gift of eternal life, and the righteousness of Christ imputed by faith. But the redeemed Christian is also united with Christ, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and given means of grace through, for example, the preaching of the Word of God. The Bible reveals that God conforms believers to the image of Christ, doing that work within the human heart that sinful humans cannot do themselves. The Bible reveals that believers are to grow into Christlikeness, knowing that this growth is a progressive process that ends with their eventual glorification at the end of the age. In this life, we know a process of growing more holy, more sanctified, and more obedient to Christ. In the life to come, we will know perfection as Christ glorifies his church.
This means that Christians cannot accept any argument suggesting the impossibility of fundamentally reorienting a believer’s desires in such a way that increasingly pleases God and is increasingly obedient to Christ. To the contrary, we must argue that this process is exactly what the Christian life is to demonstrate. As Paul writes, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
The Bible is also honest about the struggle to overcome sin and sinful desires. Paul writes about this in Romans 7, but the exhortations of the entire New Testament also make this clear. Christians who experience same-sex attraction must know that these desires are sinful. Thus, faithful Christians who struggle with these desires must know that God wants both their affections and their patterns of attraction reordered according to his Word. All Christians struggle with their own patterns of sinful desires, sexual and otherwise. Our responsibility as Christians is to be obedient to Christ, knowing that only he can save us from ourselves.
These are challenging theological issues and represent one of the urgent pastoral tasks of our time. This is why Denny Burk and Heath Lambert’s new book, Transforming Homosexuality: What the Bible Says about Sexual Orientation and Change, is such a tremendous gift to the church. These men are scholars of the highest caliber with pastoral hearts. Further, in this book Burk and Lambert keep the hope of the gospel and Christ’s cross and resurrection at the very center of their counsel. Something as deeply entrenched as a pattern of sexual attraction is not easily changed—our doctrine of sin explains that—but we do know that with Christ all things are possible.
Christians know that believers among us struggle to submit their sexual desires to Christ. This is not something true only of those whose desires are homosexual. It is true of all Christians. Yet we know that those believers who are struggling to overcome homosexual desires have a special struggle—one that requires the full conviction and support of the body of Christ. We will see the glory of God in the growing obedience of Christ’s redeemed people. And, along with the apostle Paul and all the redeemed, we will await the glory that is yet to be revealed to us.
R. Albert Mohler Jr.
“A clear, compassionate, and thought-provoking book. . . . Essential reading for every pastor and for any seeking to bless and minister to those with same-sex attraction in our churches.”
—Sam Allberry, Author, Is God Anti-Gay?
“[Many] have adopted the position that homosexual desire may in some sense be ‘normal.’ . . . Denny Burk and Heath Lambert address that idea with biblical clarity and godly wisdom. This is an important book about an issue that has overwhelmed our culture.”
—John MacArthur, Pastor and Teacher, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California
“A bold and provocative book. . . . But predominantly a loving book that seeks to help people with unwanted homosexual desires be transformed by the full knowledge that God’s grace for us in Christ is sufficient for all our various struggles.”
—Rosaria Butterfield, Author, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert