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Space at the Table: Conversations Between an Evangelical Theologian and His Gay Son Paperback – February 23, 2016
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Brad and Drew Harper's Space at the Table fills a cavernous void in the evangelical conversation around homosexuality. At once theologically orthodox and lovingly relational, this book will be enormously helpful to individuals and families caught in the painful space between evangelical belief and the real-life presence of a gay loved one. People should make a space at their table for these authors and their remarkably irenic book.(Tom Krattenmaker, USA Today Board of Contributors and author of The Evangelicals You Don't Know)
This book is brave, vital, and future-altering. From the first page to the last, Drew and Brad Harper share the full complexity and compassion of their familial love. This book can save lives.(Stephen Winter, award-winning director of Chocolate Babies and Jason and Shirley)
Brad and Drew Harper have written an incredibly relevant book with the potential to influence a culture that is skeptical of evangelical Christian and LGBTQ reconciliation. They invite us into their conversation as father and son, evangelical and gay, and show us that love and dialogue are not only possible, but necessary and beautiful. The Harpers demonstrate what it looks like to come to the table with honesty and humility, while acknowledging the fullness of who they are and what they believe. I want ALL of my friends, no matter who they are, to read this book.(Kevin Palau, president of the Luis Palau Association and author of Unlikely: Setting Aside our Differences to Live Out the Gospel)
About the Author
Brad Harper is a professor of theology at Multnomah University and Biblical Seminary in Portland, Oregon. In the past, he has served as a pastor and church planter of two evangelical churches. Over the last several years, Harper has spoken to churches, conferences, pastors' groups, ministry leaders, and hundreds of college and seminary students on the topic of Christianity and homosexuality. He is the father of three adult children and lives in Vancouver, Washington, with his wife, Robin. He holds a BA in biblical studies from Biola University, an M.Div. from Talbot Seminary, and a Ph.D. in theology from St. Louis University.
Drew Stafford Harper was born in Missouri and raised in St. Louis and Vancouver, Washington. He was educated at New York University and Evergreen State College. Harper is a journalist and an actor, splitting his time (and his wardrobe and furniture) between Manhattan, Los Angeles, Portland, and Cairo. Although he has played a bestselling author on stage, Space at the Table is his first book in real life.
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Top customer reviews
This is a MUST READ if you are struggling with your gay or lesbian child coming out to you.
While I loved the book and I do not want to pick on the beautiful and engaging story of these two men, I do want to offer a couple of critiques of the book and their portrayal of their story:
Primarily, Drew's experience of growing up in a theological conservative, evangelical Christian home is FAR different than that of many American Christians. While theologically conservative, Brad and his family were definitely not fundamentalist. They encouraged their children to engage in the arts, culture, literature, and history. They encouraged questioning and intellectual conversation. They allowed their son to participate in activities that did not conform to gender stereotypes. They gave them freedom to fail and make mistakes. While I'm so glad Drew was able to experience this kind of life growing up, unfortunately, that is not the same story of many of my peers (both gay and straight). Because of this, I think that the audience they are targeting is severely limited: to those non-affirming Christians that are also open-minded and non-judgmental.
Secondly, I don't like how they brushed over Drew's struggles with substance abuse and his promiscuous lifestyle. I know that they mentioned that they didn't want take away from the point of the book, but it almost seemed like they were trying to gloss it over or make into "not a big deal."
It is difficult because while--on the one hand--I realize that they are merely telling their own story, it is NOT the story of most gay children of Christian parents. Not all parents are as cool about it as the Harpers. Not all gay children ultimately grow up to reject their parent's faith. They never intentionally TRY to claim that they are the standard for Christian parents with gay children, but it does seem like they are setting up a model or a precedent for others to follow.
so wanted to read this book! My daughter was one of Drew's early babysitters! This open and sometimes painfully honest book was
at times difficult to read, but I felt like I was right there in the middle of the back and forth conversation between father and son.
Thank you both for being willing to be vulnerable and share your deepest thoughts about this journey that God's had you on as a family!
(Thanks to Robin, Breegan and Corey as well!) You are loved and missed in STL!!!
This book will help you do that. I invite you to read it and learn how we ALL can have (and show) more love toward each other.
Most recent customer reviews
Thank you to both authors for writing this book.