Archives For LGBT


Reconciliation Without History?

A Feature Review of 

Us Versus Us:
The Untold Story of Religion and the LGBT Community

Andrew Marin

Paperback: NavPress, 2016
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [  Kindle ]


Reviewed by Caris Adel


There is a picture on the cover of the Moral Majority newsletter from July 1983 that prominently features a white heterosexual family with hospital masks over their faces. Above their heads is the word AIDS and below, the statement “Homosexual Diseases Threaten American Families.”

For over 4 decades, the conservative and evangelical church has been telling us that LGBT people pose a threat to the American family. This long history of Christian opposition to and the demonization of LGBT people hung over my head as I began to read Andrew Marin’s new book Us Versus Us.

This book is essentially the results of a survey of over 1700 people taken over 6 years which featured open-ended questions. Not only are we getting fresh statistics on the LGBT community and the church, we are also hearing plenty of stories and opinions from them and how their faith communities affected them. Marin says this book is written for both sides – the LGBT community and the church, and therein lies my main complaint with the book. He puts them on equal ground in the religious culture war.

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Pull Up a Seat at the Table

A Feature Review of 

Space at the Table:
Conversations Between an Evangelical Theologian and His Gay Son

Brad and Drew Harper

Paperback: Zeal Books, 2016
Buy now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]
Reviewed by Tim Otto.


(NOTE: The following outline [A-G] has some mild spoilers. If you wish to avoid them, skip to the first full paragraph.)

If you are evangelical, and married, here is an experiment you can try at home:

A. Make love to your spouse.
B. Give birth to a baby boy.
C. Notice that the boy prefers ballet over baseball. Boys more than girls.
D. When he is age ten go for walks with the boy. Have better theological conversations with the precocious, funny, sensitive boy than you have with most adults. Spend hours consoling him for his rejection by other boys his age.
E. Put the boy in an evangelical school in which baseball for boys, ballet for girls, and rejection by other boys, all get mixed up with God.
F. Wake up in the middle of the night crying. Realize you are crying because you love the boy so much. Spend the rest of the night awake, anxious about the principalities and powers arrayed against him.
G. When the boy is 17, learn that he has discovered sex. Realize that given his sensitivity, he is going to find other beautiful boys like him. Boys who, in some ways, understand his experience better than you. Boys whose caresses will feel like healing for the rejection he has felt. Boys he can hold, boys who will welcome it, boys who will return his affection.

If your results approximate those of father Brad Harper and son Drew, you should write a book (the above is an imaginative remix of the basic setup—that a conservative, evangelical pastor discovers he has a gay son). Space at the Table is a candid, funny, devastating account of the outcome. Brad and Drew take turns telling what happened. A terrific story, it features elements such as divine revelations, a fairy godmother, a recipe on how to cook yourself if you are gay, and a dead person who must ride in the backseat . . . in the middle.

Because it is a true story, you may want to take a couple of heart-hardening pills in advance. That is, unless you think books should saw through your chest bone, rip your ribs apart, and use your heart for a trampoline.

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

People to Be Loved: Why Homosexuality Is Not Just an Issue 

By Preston Sprinkle

Watch a trailer video for this book


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The Redemption of Desire

A Feature Review of

Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Church as a Celibate Gay Christian
Wesley Hill

Paperback: Brazos Press, 2015.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]


Reviewed by Tim Otto.


*** This review first appeared in our print edition (Summer 2015)
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Wesley Hill’s spectacular new book, Spiritual Friendship, explores one way gay Christians—especially those who embrace the traditional teaching of the church—are a gift to the church. As friendship has been eclipsed in western culture by romantic love, perhaps in God’s surprising and beautiful design, queer Christians might perhaps be the ones who help the church revive Christ’s commandment: that Christians love their friends sacrificially.  Spiritual Friendship displays Hill’s considerable intellect, pulls from an astonishing variety of sources, and inspires with its beautiful prose.

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CA Tim Otto-1

Becoming a Reconciled Community
An Interview with Tim Otto

By Joe Krall

Tim Otto’s book Oriented to Faith: Transforming the Conflict over Gay Relationships was one of our Best Books of 2014.

ERB intern Joe Krall recently had the opportunity to sit down with Tim and talk about the significance of his book in the wake of the recent Supreme Court case upholding same-sex marriage.

Editor’s note: Oriented to Faith is one of our Books of the Month for August. Join us in our forums for conversation on the book, starting Sat. Aug 1…


ERB:  After last month’s Supreme Court Decision, we saw a lot of polarization, especially in the church. In your book, you call Christians to resist pulling away from each other. How can the church create space to not diverge?
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That We Might Be One

A Review of

Oriented to Faith: Transforming the Conflict over Gay Relationships
Tim Otto

Paperback: Cascade Books, 2014
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle

Review by C. Christopher Smith

*** One of the Best Books of 2014! ***

This review originally appeared in our print magazine (Fall 2014 issue). Are you a subscriber
Questions about sexuality and marriage are, without a doubt, the most divisive issues facing churches in the early years of the twenty-first century. Some denominations have already split in disagreement over them; others teeter on the brink of splitting, with little hope of resolution in sight. Given this polarized atmosphere, what would it look like for churches of diverse perspectives to prefer our unity in Christ to our stances on sexuality? Is there a third way that does more than steer a middle road, tiptoeing around the deeply held convictions of both traditionalist and affirming Christians? Is there a conversational way forward that is guided by love and respect for all of our brothers and sisters in Christ and that seeks to listen and appreciate rather than to anger and condemn? These questions lie at the heart of Tim Otto’s helpful new book, Oriented to Faith: Transforming the Conflict over Gay Relationships. As a gay but celibate pastor for whom these questions have been deeply personal, Otto is well-suited as a guide for this sort of exploration.

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Tim Otto
I had the privilege of reviewing this book by Tim Otto in our current print issue.  I was delighted to find out today that this book trailer video has been made to introduce it. It might be one of the most important books released this year.
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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

> > > >
Next Book

Generous Spaciousness: Responding to Gay Christians in the Church

by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter

Read the Publisher’s Weekly review

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