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Nomad: A spirituality for travelling light Paperback – August 30, 2018
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'In these times of reconfigurations and re-alignments within global Christianity, Brandan Robertson stands out as a thinker and as one of the young leaders whom we would be wise to watch and to listen to.' -- Phyliss Tickle 'Brandan Robertson is one of the brightest and most hope-inspiring young Christian leaders you'll meet ... I was so impressed with his ardent spirit - a great example of 1 Timothy 4:12.' -- Brian D. McLaren
About the Author
Brandan Robertson is a evangelical thought-leader and commentator working at the intersections of spirituality, sexuality, and social renewal. He has written for TIME, The Washington Post, Religion News Service, and Dallas Morning News and regularly for Patheos, Sojourners, and The Huffington Post. He has been interviewed by outlets such as TIME Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Associated Press. A much sought-after speaker and consultant to churches, denominations, conferences and universities in North America, he will tour the UK and Ireland in June 2016
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Brandan Robertson’s Nomad will grab any mind that questions the “Truth” of the religious doctrine it’s been fed. Nomad is the wanderings of a young man trying to reconcile his fundamentalist Bible education with his blossoming doubt driving him towards his “True Self.” He allows us to see the transformation along the way, the way that reveals the love and grace only Jesus can provide, the way that unravels an abusively staunch and bias Christian indoctrination into a redeemed position of tolerance and self accepting enlightenment. From personal experiences of same-sex attraction to reinterpretation of Scripture to what it means to be holy through a faith that lives “every moment consciously aware that ‘in God we live, and move, and have our being’ (Acts 17:28a)” [p.138], Brandan shows us how a sacred life of wonder allows mystery; not to settle down, but be ready to go beyond boundaries to discover what God is doing “with joy and expectation instead of fear and apprehension” [p.67]. Read Nomad to open your mind to the new perspective our Christian faith is headed and be amazed to the workings of God through this young dynamic pastor. LJM
Nomad is not easily categorized, it is both a treatise on Christian spirituality and ethics and an autobiographical journey chronicling salient points from Robertson’s life. It touches on a wide range of subjects from the healing of wounds from abuse, to the roles of gender and sexuality, to grace and wonder in faith.
Unfortunately, this is not a book without controversy. Nomad’s original publisher Destiny Image withdrew their contract when Robertson refused to sign their statement renouncing homosexuality. Fortunately for us, Nomad was later picked up by Darton, Longman and Todd (DLT) and has been released in the United Kingdom. Brandan is still looking for a publisher to bring it stateside—he expects this to happen within the next six months or so.
This is a book that will reach out and speak to your heart—possibly causing you some lost sleep, like it did me (in a good way). I heartily recommend you acquire a copy at your earliest opportunity.
Brandan shares his experiences visiting churches of other Christian traditions and how he found edification in that. Something many of us sorely need—looking at Christian denominations as something other than a zero-sum game. Here’s one of my favorite parts:
"As soon as we walked out of the church, my friends and I looked at each other. The color drained from our faces. We were in shock. We had just had a very positive, Jesus-centered experience at a church we had been warned had abandoned the faith. We felt encouraged and even convicted by the Holy Spirit by the message the woman pastor preached. The people were so genuine. They even had a bible study. These realizations shook us to our core. We had been told that this church was dangerous, but what we found was a community of beautiful brothers and sisters in Christ… In other words, we continued to find Jesus hanging out in places where he wasn’t supposed to be, according to our religious leaders. How very Christ-like of him."
Robertson goes on to further make his point. It’s certainly one worth further exploration. How many of us have been taught that those people weren’t real Christians? When you take a moment to think about that, doesn’t that sound remarkably judgmental? (You know, in a way that seems to conflict with the lessons of the Gospel?)
When asked what his favorite part of the book is, Robertson replied, “My favorite chapter is probably "Holy" or "Journey"-- these sum up the heart of who I am today and what my spiritual journey has taught me. Many of the concepts described at length in these chapters are repeated throughout the book. To sum up their message: We are called to embrace ourselves in all of our queerness and know we're loved and we are called to take the first step beyond the boundaries of comfort and certainty and into the vast expanse of life- that's where the adventure is!”
Brandan doesn’t stick just to scoring easy points either. He bares his own wounds in such a way as to describe how, with faith and grace, you can heal from even the most insidious wrongs and abuse. He confesses to much hurt and makes himself vulnerable in sharing how he was able to recover from that—building closer, healthier relationships with others.
Robertson was kind enough to chat with Queer Voices for a brief interview:
Q: "You wrote movingly about the abuse experienced as a child and the subsequent healing you were able to foster. You made yourself quite vulnerable with this... thank you. What feedback have you received so far about this? What were you hoping to accomplish by being so open?"
A: "My hope is that as I share my story about the pain and suffering that I went through as a teenager, others will be able to connect their own pain and suffering and begin thinking about it all in a redemptive paradigm. That's what saved my life, literally. Understanding that all things belong to and that everything was redeemable. Even my worst pain. Abuse is far more common then many people realize and so I hope my vulnerability serves as a connection point from many people."
Q: "Do you have any regrets about the book?"
A: "I don't regret anything, but I do want to remind people that this book was written in three of the most transformative years in my life thus far, so much of what I started off with (I began writing while I was in bible college) I might not say the same way or agree with wholeheartedly. But that's the beauty of the book—the reader can see my literal spiritual journey unravel and watch the changes and transformation take place. So no regrets, but sometimes I do find myself laughing at how I said something in an older chapter versus where I am today!"
Q: "Do you already have plans for another book? If so, what should we be looking forward to?"
A: "Yes! I have two books in the works right now. One will be an LGBT theology book that lays out the case for a revival that God's Spirit is igniting through the minorities around the world. The other is a book about spirituality in general. More on that coming soon."
Even though you won’t likely find a copy in your local bookstore (at least until another publisher steps up), Nomad can be ordered on Amazon’s UK site and through the publisher. What're you still doing here? Go buy Nomad!
This article appeared originally on "Queer Voices" and can be found on The Huffington Post.