The Newsletter of IBTM
with Douglas Jacoby

22 May 2024

Buon giorno da Laglio (Italia)!

After a two-hour flight from Manchester we’re enjoying some time in Northern Italy—and catching our breath after what’s been an action-packed spring.

On Sunday we’ll visit our sister church in Milan, where it’s my privilege to deliver the sermon, and our pleasure to share in a fellowship meal with friends.

In this week’s bulletin, five items for your attention:

  • A thought-provoking (guest) article on dialogue
  • The July webinar with Rubel Shelly
  • “Why Does God Hate Gay People?” — Q&A with Guy Hammond
  • More cool quotes
  • A request for help with Middle East materials (thanks!)


Guest article

“My wife and I recently listened to the eight-part podcast entitled “The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling,” hosted by Megan Phelps-Roper. It was largely about the vociferous resistance Rowling has encountered on social media after, as a left-leaning feminist herself, she nevertheless raised some concerns about the transgender movement—especially questions concerning women’s sports and her concerns about children “transitioning” when, she argues, they are not mature enough to make such momentous decisions and, in most all cases, eventually would grow out of the desire to do so.

“The backlash she has received for raising these concerns is well known, and it’s just the most public example of a recurring pattern of demonization and bullying that’s taking place right now directed against women, especially, with the temerity to call into question any aspect of the trans agenda. (The firing of philosophy professor Kathleen Stock from Sussex is another example.) KEEP READING


“Rubel Shelly has given us a gift. In a time when a growing number of authors are working to rewrite biblical truths to suit the cultural moment, Shelly has written a thoroughly researched work directly addressing what Scripture says, and doesn't say, about LGBTQ issues. What many readers will find most refreshing is that the author expertly combines the meticulousness of a scholar with a pastor's heart…”— Dr. Chad Ragsdale (Ozark Christian College)

“This rich and robust work upholds the sexual ethic that has marked Christian faith overwhelmingly for two thousand years… A particularly important feature is the three chapters surveying recent historical work on same-sex behavior in the Greco-Roman world. This evidence counters the frequent claim that the biblical texts prohibiting homosexuality are referring to abusive and exploitative behavior and that biblical writers did not know of—and thus did not condemn—committed and loving relationships…”—Dr. Leonard Allen (Lipscomb University)

RUBEL SHELLY, educated at Harding School of Theology (MA, MTh) and Vanderbilt University (MA, PhD), has spent his adult life in both academic settings and local church ministry. He is the author of several books, including I Just Want to Be a Christian, Marriage & Divorce: A Redemptive Theology, and I Knew Jesus Before He Was a Christian.

Don't miss this webinar!


Of course he doesn’t! But a lot of people think this way.

Check out the guest response from Guy Hammond, my friend and head of Strength in Weakness, a ministry compassionately addressing same-sex attraction.

Click HERE.


Today, more thought-provoking quotes on the mind:

  • The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you shine into it, the more it will contract.
  • Nothing dies more quickly than a new idea in a closed mind.
  • An open mind, like an open window, should be equipped with a screen to keep the bugs out.

شكراً  (THANK YOU)

Finally, if you’d like to donate towards teaching materials in the Middle East, there are still a few needs. (Special thanks to the brothers who made donations during the past week, a total of $1500.)

  • Bahrain—$438
  • Oman—$140
  • Qatar—$1040
  • Saudi Arabia—$766
  • United Arab Emirates—$3267

Please donate (any amount you choose) HERE. In the drop-down menu, click on Teaching Materials, then in the Memo box write the name of the country where you’d like your gift to go. Thanks for your support—financial, moral, and prayer. — Douglas