love is an orientation

June 16, 2009 | 2 Comments

In recent years, I’ve had the opportunity to develop friendships with three different men who were trying to navigate the tension between what it meant to be gay and Christian. Each was at a different place in his story when I first got befriended him, but each story had one thing in common…living between the Christian and GLBT cultures is not an easy place to be.

From my experience, pockets of Christianity are becoming more aware of this tension and there is less stereotyping happening. But there is still a long way to go and this is one of the most important conversations for churches to engage with, not in the next few years, but now.

When I received Love is an Orientation, by Andrew Marin, for review, I began reading as a skeptic. I feared it would be a watered down effort to say that Christians should be nice. But I finished reading it knowing that it was helping to bring the conversation to where it needed to be.

Andrew’s experience is not like my own and based only on a few friendships. As a straight Christian man, he has immersed himself in the GLBT subculture. Out of that experience, he started The Marin Foundation to help build bridges between Christians and the GLBT community.

The subtitle of the book is “Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community”. The tone of the book does that, and I hope it will be widely read.

  • brent

    I almost picked this book up the other day. I look forward to reading it.

    The frustration that I have been experiencing is that the more I’m involved in the church (institution), the less connected my friends in the GLBT community have been. When we met in my house the, It seemed to offer a place for dialogue and acceptance, a place to wrestle with the some of these deeper questions that take more time and trust .

    All that to say, I’m looking forward to reading the book.

    grace and peace!

  • John,

    Have you read anything by Mark Yarhouse? If not, I highly recommend him as a solid evangelical scholar on the homosexuality issue from a research/practice standpoint. He did a conference at our seminary last year that was (a) outside of the evangelical box, and (b) extremely helpful both in understanding the complexity of the issue as well as thinking through the proper responses. Check out his article on Narrative Identity Therapy if you get a chance.