When God Goes to Starbucks: a Review

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Tyler Seabloom
Contemporary Christian Belief

When God Goes to Starbucks
Coffeehouses are generally places that foster deep conversations; whether they be simple, philosophical or theological. In the book “When God Goes to Starbucks”, Paul Copan attempts to tackle some of the big issues that are brought up in a Starbucks setting. The main issues addressed are homosexuality, jihad wars and miracles. In Chapter 8 entitled “Does the Bible Condemn Loving, Committed Homosexual Relationships?” Copan dissects the issue of homosexuality in a delicate fashion. As Christians, it is very easy to place the “gay lifestyle” on the hot seat and think of it as one of the worst sins one can possibly commit. Not diminishing the sinfulness of homosexuality, Copan explains that “Scripture doesn’t highlight homosexual acts as the greatest wrongs but includes them in lists of other sinful practices.” (92) (Such as fornication, idolaters, and adulterers (1Cor. 6:9-10)) “All too often self-proclaimed “Bible-believing Christians” can act with a smug moral superiority toward homosexuals…” (78) Heterosexual people act this way because they cannot understand how something so unnatural can even be a coherent thought for a person. Copan states that as Christians we should be welcoming to everyone from every background and lifestyle. Another point that is made is that Scripture doesn’t speak against homosexual inclinations, only homosexual actions. Everyone lusts. Whether it is heterosexual or homosexual, lust is a sin; the decision to act on that lust is a different story. It is just as bad for a man to lust after a man, as it is for a man to lust after a woman (lust is lust). God says that we have already committed adultery in our minds just by lusting. Although the cause of homosexuality is unknown, people can have homosexual feelings AND still be a Christian as longs they do not act upon their desires. Many homosexuals use the excuse of “That’s the way I was born” in order to justify their gay lifestyle. Copan asserts that if everyone used that excuse, then pedophilia, bestiality and necrophilia would also be justified. This is ironic because homosexuality is thought of today to be a normal and “natural” feeling, and yet people see pedophilia and bestiality as disgusting fetishes. Although homosexuality goes directly against the sanctity of marriage, God and His Word can still transform those who have participated in homosexual activity. In Ch. 9, Copan approaches the question “aren’t we born gay?” in a more biological fashion. Without too much repetition from chapter 8, the biggest point in this chapter is that most data has supported that homosexuality is not caused by genetics, but rather a stream of dysfunctional same-sex attractions/relationships in one’s youth. Copan uses the example of an artsy, nonathletic boy who is intelligent and sensitive. If the masculine bullies of the school call him “sissy” and reject him, he will automatically surround himself with the gender that accepts him: women. Since this boy spends his time exclusively with women as he is developing through puberty, the conversations that surround him will be about how attractive boys are. In order to continue being accepted by this group, this artsy boy will join in on the conversation and eventually develop a curiosity and attraction to the very men that rejected him. Gay marriage is probably the most confusing discussion on homosexuality. Especially now that is becoming legal in states around America. In chapter 10, Copan starts off by saying that “Part of the problem in the gay marriage debate is that emotions run high on both sides. Each side digs in its heels and refuses to budge in any way.” (108) So should we as Christians act to the legalization of something we know is a direct violation of God’s Word? First, Copan states that we as Christians are called to show grace and reserve and to extend friendship to those who disagree with our...
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