A Christian publishing group with ties to such conservative evangelical leaders as John Piper, David Jeremiah, Chuck Swindoll, and Kay Arthur is now publishing a book that argues one can be both a practicing homosexual and a Christian. On April 22, Convergent Books, part of the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, released God and the Gay Christian:The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships.
The book is authored by openly homosexual “Christian” Matthew Vines, whom the book's website describes as “founder of the Reformation Project, a Bible-based, non-profit organization that seeks to reform church teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Vines was a student at Harvard University for two years “before he took a leave of absence to research what the Bible says about homosexuality,” the website bio relates. “His teaching on this topic has been featured in media worldwide, including USA Today, the Washington Post, and the New York Times.
At one time Waterbrook Multnomah, which published, among other works, John Piper's modern Christian classic Desiring God, was solidly biblical in its outlook, particularly at its beginnings as the publishing arm of Multnomah Bible College in Portland, Oregon. That all began to change when it was purchased by the liberal secular publisher Penguin Random House, and was absorbed into the same publishing group that would later launch Convergent Books, an imprint that appears to focus on publishing books that fall outside the circle of accepted biblical teaching.
Stephen W. Cobb, who oversees the WaterBrook Multnomah and Convergent publishing imprints, told Baptist Press News that Convergent focuses on readers who are “actively exploring and practicing faith and framing that faith in Christian terms, but they're very open in their approach to issues that face the church today, and they really defy conventional labels.”
Cobb told Baptist Press that the Convergent imprint has been used to publish books that would not be considered appropriate for the more conservative Christian readership represented by Multnomah or Waterbrook. “Generally speaking, I wouldn't expect a Multnomah reader to be drawn to a Convergent title,” he said, noting that works published by WaterBrook Multnomah can be expected to reinforce the accepted evangelical interpretation of Scripture that condemns homosexual behavior as sin.
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Image: screengrab from godandthegaychristian.com