Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate

Hachette Audio

Narrated by Author

9 hr

As a teenager and young man, Justin Lee felt deeply torn. Nicknamed "God Boy" by his peers, he knew that he was called to a life in the evangelical Christian ministry. But Lee harbored a secret: He also knew that he was gay. In this groundbreaking book, Lee recalls the events--his coming out to his parents, his experiences with the "ex-gay" movement, and his in-depth study of the Bible--that led him, eventually, to self-acceptance.

But more than just a memoir, TORN provides insightful, practical guidance for all committed Christians who wonder how to relate to gay friends or family members--or who struggle with their own sexuality. Convinced that "in a culture that sees gays and Christians as enemies, gay Christians are in a unique position to bring peace," Lee demonstrates that people of faith on both sides of the debate can respect, learn from, and love one another.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Hachette Audio
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Published on
May 14, 2013
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Duration
9h 0m 0s
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ISBN
9781478951735
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Religion / Christian Life / Personal Growth
Religion / Christian Theology / Ethics
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Export option
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Eligible for Family Library

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This is a book written primarily for gay Christians and those who love them. Part memoir, part pastoral-theological reflection, this book wrestles with three main areas of struggle that many gay Christians face: (1) What is God’s will for sexuality? (2) If the historic Christian tradition is right and same-sex behavior is ruled out, how should gay Christians deal with their resulting loneliness? (3) How can gay Christians come to an experience of grace that rescues them from crippling feelings of shame and guilt?Author Wesley Hill is not advocating that it is possible for every gay Christian to become straight, nor is he saying that God affirms homosexuality. Instead, Hill comes alongside gay Christians and says, “You are not alone. Here is my experience; it’s like yours. And God is with us. We can share in God’s grace.” While some authors profess a deep faith in Christ and claim a powerful experience of the Holy Spirit precisely in and through their homosexual practice, Hill’s own story, by contrast, is a story of feeling spiritually hindered, rather than helped, by his homosexuality. His story testifies that homosexuality was not God’s original creative intention for humanity—that it is, on the contrary, a tragic sign of human nature and relationships being fractured by sin—and therefore that homosexual practice goes against God’s express will for all human beings, especially those who trust in Christ. This book is written mainly for those homosexual Christians who are trying to walk the narrow path of celibacy and are convinced that their discipleship to Jesus necessarily commits them to the demanding, costly obedience of choosing not to nurture their homosexual desires. With reflections from the lives of Henri Nouwen and Gerard Manley Hopkins, Wesley Hill encourages and challenges Christians with homosexual desires to live faithful to God’s plan for human sexuality.

“God and the Gay Christian is a game changer. Winsome, accessible, and carefully researched, every page is brought to life by the author’s clear love for Scripture and deep, persistent faith. With this book, Matthew Vines emerges as one of my generation’s most important Christian leaders, not only on matters of sexuality but also on what it means to follow Jesus with wisdom, humility, and grace.  Prepare to be challenged and enlightened, provoked and inspired. Read with an open heart and mind, and you are bound to be changed.”
— Rachel Held Evans, author of A Year of Biblical Womanhood and Faith Unraveled

As a young Christian man, Matthew Vines harbored the same basic hopes of most young people: to someday share his life with someone, to build a family of his own, to give and receive love. But when he realized he was gay, those hopes were called into question. The Bible, he’d been taught, condemned gay relationships.
 
Feeling the tension between his understanding of the Bible and the reality of his same-sex orientation, Vines devoted years of intensive research into what the Bible says about homosexuality. With care and precision, Vines asked questions such as:
 
• Do biblical teachings on the marriage covenant preclude same-sex marriage or not?
• How should we apply the teachings of Jesus to the gay debate?
• What does the story of Sodom and Gomorrah really say about human relationships?
• Can celibacy be a calling when it is mandated, not chosen?
• What did Paul have in mind when he warned against same-sex relations?
 
Unique in its affirmation of both an orthodox faith and sexual diversity, God and the Gay Christian is likely to spark heated debate, sincere soul search­ing, even widespread cultural change. Not only is it a compelling interpretation of key biblical texts about same-sex relations, it is also the story of a young man navigating relationships with his family, his hometown church, and the Christian church at large as he expresses what it means to be a faithful gay Christian.




From the Hardcover edition.
Now a New York Times bestseller, Nadia Bolz-Weber takes no prisoners as she reclaims the term "pastrix"(pronounced "pas-triks," a term used by some Christians who refuse to recognize female pastors) in her messy, beautiful, prayer-and-profanity laden narrative about an unconventional life of faith.
Heavily tattooed and loud-mouthed, Nadia, a former stand-up comic, sure as hell didn't consider herself to be religious leader material-until the day she ended up leading a friend's funeral in a smoky downtown comedy club. Surrounded by fellow alcoholics, depressives, and cynics, she realized: These were her people. Maybe she was meant to be their pastor.

Using life stories-from living in a hopeful-but-haggard commune of slackers to surviving the wobbly chairs and war stories of a group for recovering alcoholics, from her unusual but undeniable spiritual calling to pastoring a notorious con artist-Nadia uses stunning narrative and poignant honesty to portray a woman who is both deeply faithful and deeply flawed, giving hope to the rest of us along the way.

Wildly entertaining and deeply resonant, this is the book for people who hunger for a bit of hope that doesn't come from vapid consumerism or navel-gazing; for women who talk too loud, and guys who love chick flicks; for the gay man who loves Jesus, and won't allow himself to be shunned by the church. In short, this book is for every thinking misfit suspicious of institutionalized religion, but who is still seeking transcendence and mystery.


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