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The Children Are Free: Reexamining the Biblical Evidence on Same-sex Relationships Paperback – April 2, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jeff Miner is the pastor of Jesus Metropolitan Community Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was raised in fundamentalist independent Baptist churches, and received his undergraduate degree from Bob Jones University.

In college, Jeff felt called to the ministry, but deferred that calling while trying to come to terms with being gay. In the meantime, he attended Harvard Law School, graduating with honors in 1983. Several years later, after intensive study of the Bible and homosexuality, Jeff came to peace with being gay. Soon he discovered the Metropolitan Community Churches, a Christian denomination that has arisen out of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. There, Jeff realized he could fulfill his call to ministry. He completed his clergy training and was ordained in 1997.

Before his ordination, Jeff worked as an attorney for 13 years, last serving as a Deputy Chief Council for a federal banking agency.

Jeff lives with his spouse, David Zier. They were joined in Holy Union on September 8, 1990.

John Tyler Connoley is the son of Wesleyan missionaries. He spent most of his childhood years in Zambia, Africa, and has lived in Korea, the Philippines, and all of the West Coast states.

He came out to himself in 1991, while attending Indiana Wesleyan University, and has since sought to live a life that integrates his deep faith in God with his sexuality. While working on this book, Tyler completed his M.A. in Biblical Studies at Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Indiana.

He is married to Rob Connoley.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 106 pages
  • Publisher: LifeJourney Press; Softcover Ed edition (April 2, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971929602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971929609
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

106 of 115 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Digbee VINE VOICE on August 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book argues convincingly that the Bible does not condemn committed same-sex partnerships. This means that if you don't like the argument, you have to go back to the Bible and explain why your reading is better than Miner and Connoley's reading. It also means that if you like their conclusion, you still have to go back and figure out whether the argument was persuasive.

They make the argument in three ways.

First, they argue that the biblical passages used to "clobber" gays have been misread. This misreading is most convincing for Lot and Sodom, where the anti-gay interpretation is clearly twisted. The authors' argument is more debatable for Leviticus, Romans, and 1 Corinthians. If you read the Bible in historical context, you'll probably be convinced; if you like to memorize passages in isolation, you won't be persuaded.

Second, they argue that gays and lesbians can be found in the Bible and receive sympathetic treatment. I loved this part of the book, though parts are pretty speculative. David and Jonathan was the most convincing, Ruth and Naomi the weakest. However, Christians should be most interested in the New Testament and not the Old. This makes the account of Cornelius, a Roman centurion, and his slave (whom Peter healed) particularly interesting.

Third, the authors move beyond close readings of the biblical text to argue that Jesus's central message affirms gay and lesbian partnerships. I was pleasantly surprised to see this chapter in a book by two admittedly conservative Christians. It's good to remember that Jesus rejected the narrow legalisms of the Judaism of his time.
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71 of 80 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
Many books have argued that the Bible does not condemn same-sex relationships. In the vast majority of cases, however, the arguments sound like loopholes and excuses, not a sincere reading of Holy Scripture. (Sadly, this includes even the ever-popular "What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality.")
This book is remarkably different! The authors don't make excuses or water down the text; instead, they take the Bible seriously and treat it respectfully, allowing the Bible itself to provide the best evidence for their case. Meanwhile, this book is so short, simple, and easy to read that anyone can benefit from it.
"The Children Are Free" is chock full of anecdotes and examples, making it a delight to read, even for people who don't normally read about the Bible. Those of us more familiar with the subject will appreciate the clarity of the authors' argument.
Other, similar books made me think, "Yeah, I guess I can see that," but this one left me wondering, "How could you come to any other conclusion?"
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By D. Eason on March 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book was a Godsend for me. I grew up in a faith that was very condemning of the feelings I quite naturally experienced. As a result, I was very unhappy for years, even marrying and divorcing as a result. After my divorce, while searching for guidance, I happened upon this book and found the answers I had sought for so many years. The authors make a logical, reasoned argument for their affirming position that addresses common points of contention for people of faith. My only complaint is the somewhat hoky writing style that seems to be a way of making the book as casual and conversational as possible. However, this is a vast improvement over the other books that I have read, which are so steeped in intellectual dissection and examination that they confused me and left me with no "ammo" for later discussions. This book lays out understandable evaluations of Scripture that are easy to understand and even easy to recall during later discussions. Thank God for this book! It said all the things I knew but couldn't articulate.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful By James DeLaHunt on November 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
This compact and readble book shows convincingly that the mainstream anti-gay sentiment in the church is based on a misreading of the Bible and of Jesus. But that's just the first chapter. The book goes on to show same-sex relationships affirmed by the Bible. It shows how Jesus' own approach -- affirming people over rules -- calls for Christians to embrace gay people as good, and part of God's creation. If you are a Christian with a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender relative or friend, you owe it to yourself to read this wonderful book. You will then want to buy a stack of them and give them to your friends and church, as I have just done. Slim, well-argued, to the point, and complete, it is the best book for this purpose I have found.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
For any Christian who wonders if the Episcopal Church did the holy thing by elevating an openly gay Priest to Bishop, for every Christian who questions if God loves and accepts homosexuals, for all Christians who wonder what Jesus would say about same-sex relationships, this book is the is the answer. Excellent! It is a well researched, clearly written and concisely presented investigation of what the Bible has to say about these confusing and often perplexing questions. Recommended as required reading for every Christian parishoner and Pastor. Especially inspiring for those who have ever experienced rejection by the Church.
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