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Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate Paperback – May 14, 2013
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"Lee's writing is approachable, and he shows compassion for those on all sides of this debate."―Kirkus Reviews
"Disarmingly vulnerable...poignant..."―Christianity Today
"The beauty of this book is that Lee wants to challenge all kinds of Christians...Perhaps it is because of so many fights hard won that Lee is now able to move into more nuanced territory in this gracious and grace-filled memoir."―The Christian Century
"Lee, one of our leading voices on the issues of being gay and Christian, gives us this powerful look at ways that members on both sides of the lines can learn from and grow with each other."―SHE Magazine
"...His book offers helpful suggestions for Christians...[and] helpful suggestions for pastoral counseling..."―World Magazine
"This book is full of three things that are not always much in evidence in our debates on sexuality--fresh air, common sense and manifest love of Christ. What makes it different is that it is not essentially about arguing a case but abut bridging the gaps of understanding and sympathy that (inside and outside the Church) have distorted or muffled the overwhelming miracle of Gods gift in Christ and in Scripture. I welcome it very warmly."―Honorable Reverend Dr. Rowan Williams
"Justin didn't leave the church when he realized he was gay...he has been too determined to show them how much he loves them...This is the story of how one Christian man's faith taught him to accept himself, serve others who are in need, and bridge the gap for those who do not always understand."
―Jennifer Knapp, Singer/Songwriter, Founder of InsideOutFaith.org
"This is the most important book I've read in years, and it will be the first I recommend to anyone interested in bridging the divide between the LGBT community and the church. Justin has given us a precious gift with this story. May we receive it with the same courage and faith with which it was delivered."―Rachel Held Evans, blogger, author of Evolving in Monkey Town and A Year of Biblical Womanhood
"In TORN, Justin Lee blends simplicity, clarity, humility, honesty, and vulnerability in a gracious and eye-opening way. The book brings fresh perspectives to old and polarized debates, and it offers a wise and faithful way forward for pastors and other Christian leaders, parents and other family members, not to mention gay men and women themselves. This is the book that every Evangelical, Charismatic, and Roman Catholic Christian should read on the question of homosexuality."
―Brian D. McLaren, author of Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World (brianmclaren.net)
About the Author
A passionate Christian from a conservative evangelical background, Justin thought he knew everything there was to know about the Christian approach to homosexuality-until unexpected events turned his world upside down and forced him to reconsider everything he believed. Today, his organization works with individuals, families, and churches to stop the debate from tearing people apart.
Justin's work has garnered national attention and praise from gays and Christians from across the theological spectrum. He has been featured in numerous print, radio, and television venues including Dr. Phil, Anderson Cooper 360, the Associated Press, and a front page article in The New York Times. He is the director of the 2009 documentary Through My Eyes about the debate's impact on young Christians, and the co-host of popular long-running podcast GCN Radio. Justin lives in Raleigh, NC.
- Item Weight : 8 ounces
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1455514306
- ISBN-13 : 978-1455514304
- Product Dimensions : 5.25 x 0.75 x 8 inches
- Publisher : Jericho Books; Reprint Edition (May 14, 2013)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #59,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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2). What I didn’t like about the book...he claims it’s “just his story and he’s no theologian” yet he goes extensively into theology at the end of his book. In my opinion, his theology just didn’t line up with scripture.
3). Would I recommend this book? No. I think the title is misleading. I agree that from both sides there needs to be improvements in how the “other” side is treated. There’s all kinds of endorsements when gays make the case for God sanctioned same sex relationships, but when people try and make the case in the opposing view, it’s hate speech. I think there has to be a place in this culture to agree to disagree on this issue without being censored (and the censoring is all toward the Christians who think the scriptures state that homosexuality is wrong). Is this how we rescue the gospel?
You could have easily categorized me as a misinformed, misdirected Christian. I grew up in a relatively conservative Christian environment. I was fed a lot of deception about gay and lesbians. I have been involved in a lot of debates concerning gay lifestyles and whether being gay is a choice or not. I have heard a vast array of arguments from both sides, and just like Justin Lee, none of these arguments are satisfying. Every argument for or against seemed incomplete to me.
Justin Lee grew up in a solid Christian home with great parents, amazing friends, and strong church. However, there is one reality Justin could not shake; he was attracted to men and not women. He struggled constantly. What he believed and what he felt were polar opposites. He tried nearly everything but nothing worked. Unfortunately, most of his Christian friends did not greet him with simple compassion, they met him with Bible verses and condemnation. It is heartbreaking to read.
What I love most about Justin’s story is his heart for Christians. He would probably say he was a Christian before he knew he was gay. He saw Christians as nice people who loved each other. He didn’t see them as a faceless mob protesting gays.
Justin offers some great advice. One, we need compassion and grace. The life of Jesus is filled with grace towards others, especially the ones deemed outcasts by the social elites. Two, we need to educate Christians. Many Christians honestly believe they are doing the right thing by sharing Bibles verses of damnation because they do not want their gay friend to be separate from God’s love. However, if Christians spent more time listening and learning from others they can create a relationship with others and love people the way God loves people.
If you are looking for an argument for or against gay and lesbians, you are not going to find it here. Justin admits that he does not even know what to believe theologically, however he does acknowledge that the entire narrative of the Scripture is to love like God loves. It is difficult to damn someone you love.
“In the Bible, Truth and Love are two sides of the same coin. You can’t have one without the other.”
With the help of TORN I am writing down what I am experiencing. My book will be title, TUG OF WAR. I hope my words will be powered by my faith and prayers and open more eyes to acceptance of all God's children.