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Looking for Clarity During Pride Month? Here Are Two Helpful Resources.

June 19, 2024

I have the privilege of leading College Press Publishing Company. We have been publishing Christian books since 1959. We have a solid partnership with RENEW.org, and we recently joined forces to create an updated version of Louis Cochran’s classic, The Fool of God. The Fool of God is a work of historical fiction telling the story of Alexander Campbell and his pursuit of a church that grows only out of the Word of God and not the traditions of men. In that partnership, College Press brings a history that goes back to 1959 as well as an in-print library of around 180 books and a backlist of nearly 900 titles. RENEW.org brings with it, among other things, an audience consisting of Christ followers who come from diverse backgrounds but who share the desire for a faith grounded in New Testament ideals and doctrines.

The reason I’m writing, though, is to let you know about two College Press books we encourage serious everyday Christians to own. I’m writing this in June, and these two books are utterly relevant during this month in which our culture worships at the altar of pride—specifically the pride of self-determination.

This altar of pride has been under construction for centuries. One helpful way of defining this altar is by the word “poiesis.” According to Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor, “poiesis” is a way of seeing the world “as so much raw material out of which meaning and purpose can be created by the individual.” Charles Taylor contrasts “poiesis” with “mimesis,” which “regards the world as having a given order and a given meaning and thus sees human beings as required to discover that meaning and conform themselves to it.”[1]

Unfortunately, the ideology of “poiesis,” though clearly unbiblical, has slowly crept into the Body of Christ, leading us to believe that even Christians have the right to determine our sexual identity and to take part in sexual perversion.


“This altar of pride has been under construction for centuries.”


When we depict pride as an altar, we’re going beyond mere metaphor. Some church fellowships and denominations are splitting because they can’t agree on which altar they’re supposed to bow before. For example, we’re seeing this split take place within the United Methodists, whose slide into progressivism has provoked a mass exodus of African Methodists, such that the United Methodists recently lost “more than a million members—in a single day.”[2] The Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) threatens to further drive theological conservatives from its ranks, as it weighs a measure which would “require ordination candidates to affirm LGBTQ orthodoxy.”[3] Even within the non-instrumental Churches of Christ, many churches are beginning to overcompensate for past legalism by embracing progressivism.

Thankfully, the ideology of “poiesis” has not taken root in all churches. Yet none of us can deny the weighty influence—both inside and outside churches—which make it tempting to accept any and (seemingly) all ideas of gender and sexual identity and activity as valid. We are told that to truly be like Christ, we must accept and affirm all LGBTQ+ identities and activities.

Amid this pull toward pride that we all face, we must return over and over to the one place that has never led us astray: the Bible. So, what does the Bible teach regarding sexuality and gender? And where do the Bible’s teachings stand in relation to LGBTQ+ views about sexuality and gender—views accepted as fact by many school boards and state legislatures alike?


“Amid this pull toward pride that we all face, we must return over and over to the one place that has never led us astray: the Bible.”


This is where a couple of recent College Press books are helpful. Rubel Shelly, teaching minister of the Harpeth Hills Church of Christ, has written Male and Female God Created Them: A Biblical Review of LGBTQ+ Claims and The Ink is Dry: God’s Distinctive Word on Marriage, Family, and Sexual Responsibility. These books are written for the church. They are for you, Christian, to clarify for Christ’s Body which way is God’s and which way is not. On our journey, these books are intended to fill in the myriad potholes of sexual confusion, perversity, and delusion that have eroded our path.

Male and Female God Created Them

Male and Female is a highly-researched deep dive into the texts of God’s Word that speak to the questions of LGBTQ+ claims in the church. It is a 426-page reference work that will serve you well as you work to answer tough questions about sexuality and gender.

One of the most helpful points made in this book is the conviction that Hebrews 13:4 is a summary statement of everything the Bible affirms about the place of sex in human relationships: “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Shelly expounds on this verse by saying,

“Sex between one man and one woman who have covenanted in good faith to live as husband and wife is ethical, honorable, and pure. All other sexual acts (i.e., consensual premarital sex, rape, prostitution, loving twosomes, non-exploitative couples—whether with a person of the same or opposite sex) come under divine judgment as disapproved behaviors. They are outside the will of God and sinful.”[4]

Yet also in this book you will find a presentation of deep compassion for people who are oppressed by deception regarding sexuality and gender. Shelly reminds us that these are people whom God loves and with whom He wants to be in full relationship even as they live trapped by the lies of their self-determined sexual identity and actions.


“You will find a presentation of deep compassion for people who are oppressed by deception regarding sexuality and gender.”


Every essential biblical text dealing with the question of sexual identity and ethics is dealt with in the book, along with the question of whether the biblical writers were limited in their awareness of the spectrum of gender and sexuality (e.g., did they even have a grasp of the sexual culture of the Greek and Roman world?).

The Ink Is Dry

The Ink is Dry is an approachable resource intended for families, small groups, or Sunday school classes to study together (of course, you can use it individually too). Its focus is on biblical sexual ethics, and it presents an orthodox biblical doctrine about the sanctity of marriage and family and the Christian standards for sexual responsibility. It is a book for Christians who have been confused by misleading statements and claims “in today’s aggressive campaign to lead Christians to ‘affirm’ same-sex marriage.” This book will help you to have a firm understanding of why Christians are held to different standards and what those standards are.

RENEW.org renews the teachings of Jesus to fuel disciple making. To help you toward that worthy pursuit, College Press offers both of these books to help equip you and the people you disciple. As Christians, we want to be able to present ourselves as a sexually pure, spotless Bride to our bridegroom, Jesus Christ. You can find both of these books at collegepress.com as well as on Amazon.


[1] This description of Taylor’s concepts of “poiesis” and “mimesis” is by Carl Trueman in The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution (Wheaton: Crossway, 2020).

[2] R. Albert Mohler, Jr, “The Exodus of the Faithful: The United Methodist Church Loses More Than a Million Members—in a Single Day,” World, June 5, 2024, https://wng.org/opinions/the-exodus-of-the-faithful-1717581522.

[3] Colin J. Smothers, “An Absurd—and Inevitable—Requirement,” World, April 12, 2024, https://wng.org/opinions/an-absurd-and-inevitable-requirement-1712871298.

[4] Rubel Shelly, Male and Female God Created Them: A Biblical Review of LGBTQ+ Claims (Joplin, College Press, 2023), 15-16.

Get Renew.org Weekly Emails

Want fresh teachings and disciple making content? Sign up to receive a weekly newsletters highlighting our resources and new content to help equip you in your disciple making journey. We’ll also send you emails with other equipping resources from time to time.

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