Cover Image: UnClobber: Expanded Edition with Study Guide

UnClobber: Expanded Edition with Study Guide

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I read the first edition of this book a few years ago and this expanded edition is even better. The language has been updated to be more inclusive of trans and non-binary people. There is also an afterward now where Colby talks about things he wishes he knew when he originally wrote and published the book.

The new study guide with questions for small group discussion is a helpful addition as well. I usually recommend God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines first, but UnClobber is a close second.

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I'm so glad books like UnClobber exist, that more people are talking about the Bible and LGBTQ+ without prejudice -- and that it's from a pastor! Seriously! It means SO MUCH to LGBTQ+ Christians when pastors speak out against the crimes done to the community.

My dad's side of the fam is conservative Evangelical who thinks being gay is a choice, while my mom's side of the family first calls it gross, then says, "Well, the Bible says..." in afterthought. There's so much discourse when there should only be love and acceptance as people are, right now, today, instead of pushing us away.

I totally used this in a debate with my family earlier this year. >.>

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This is an interesting and informative book about both Martin's personal journey and his theological journey. He alternates chapters sharing his personal experiences as a pastor and chapters explaining the six Bible passages that are traditionally used to condemn homosexuality.

Martin writes with compassion and humility in hopes of reversing some of the casualties caused through traditional interpretations of the "Clobber Passages." He makes a case that these scriptures deserve another look with fresh eyes, aligning convictions of the heart and beliefs of the head.

He does not suggest throwing away the verses that are uncomfortable but instead looking at them even more closely.

He writes, "There is so much work to be done to mend the damage the church has caused."

The 2022 edition includes a Small Group Study Guide that covers two chapters per session. It has suggested chapter readings, scripture readings, and questions for discussion.

My thanks to NetGalley and Westminster John Knox Press for the review copy of this book.

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Unclobber by Colby Martin examines the "clobber" passages of the Bible and explains what the Bible says and doesn't say about homosexuality. Here's an example of how the author clearly and carefully explains each passage: "In summary, the self-contained discourse that Paul utilized in Romans 1:18-32 was representative of the typical posture of Jews towards Gentiles. Paul argued that this sort of posture worked against the gospel, and he insisted that if the Jewish Christians in Rome resonated with the posture of the discourse, then they were the problem. They were just as guilty of suppressing God's truth, via their judgmental beliefs, as they maintained the Gentiles were in their supposed unrighteous living." I thought the author did a great job of explaining each passage, and I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has questions about what the Bible says about homosexuality. Thanks to NetGalley for the free digital review copy. All opinions are my own.

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With a pastor's heart for shepherding and teaching, Martin goes about the task of swimming against mainstream Christianity. He weaves his own story in with what he labels the "clobber" verses used to oppose homosexuality.

I'm so thankful for books like this that give a humanity to the discussion. It's a complex topic that impacts real human lives. My best advice for Christians who want to "solve" this issue, is read three or four books on varying opinions. Make sure they all demand we love like Jesus loved. This book should absolutely be on that stack.

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I was deeply evangelical when my teenager came to me, and that experience led me to re-examine the scriptures to find out what they said about LGBTQ folks. In the entire bible (66 books!) there are only 6 scriptures that seem to refer to homosexuality, and those 6 verses are often called the "Clobber" verses. I can't count how many times I've heard a well-meaning Christian say, "Well, the Bible clearly says that being gay is a sin". In truth, though, the scripture are much more nuanced and complex than those folks realize.

Author Colby Martin is a pastor who was forced out of his church when he dared to re-examine these scriptures and became fully affirming of the LGTBQ community. In this short book he shares his story of becoming affirming, along with a detailed hermeneutical exploration of those six "clobber" verses. Martin has a very high view of scripture, and this book will be (and has been) an essential resource for those who are deeply religious and want to get to the heart of this important issue.

The first edition of this book was published less than six years ago, and this expanded edition has made few changes. The language was made more inclusive of trans and non-binary folks, and an "afterward" was added in which the author shares things he wish he had known when he first wrote the book. (Here he addresses the critique that this book should have been written by an LGBTQ person, not a straight, cis-gendered man. While I understand and respect this POV, I note with Martin that to some ears, this message is better received from a straight person. It shouldn't be, but it is.) The biggest change in this edition is the addition of a small group study guide (I love the affirmations!) and sermon guides, which will be hugely helpful to groups hoping to delve into this study. Definitely recommend.

My thanks to the author, publisher, and #NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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