Needless to say, in terms of the value of each new book read, diminishing returns set in some time ago. That is until I discovered — through looking at the IVP website for information on their other important book hopefully soon to be reviewed on Fulcrum Ex-Gays? As the identity of the publisher signals, this is a book particularly written for and from the evangelical constituency.
But it is a book like no other I know, a book which desperately needed to be written, a book which sadly very few people could write, a book which every Christian — or certainly every evangelical - who wants to learn about homosexuality and a Christian response to gay and lesbian people — should read. The book is, however, really not ultimately about homosexuality. It is a book about how — incredibly and miraculously as a radio host confesses in a story at the end of the book - a committed young evangelical Christian has been sharing his life and the gospel with the GLBT community in a major American city.
It is a book which, in ten chapters and pages, is packed full of wise insights, memorable stories both sad and joyful and helpful guidance about how to build bridges between Christians and GLBT people. I have also tried to listen to and learn from those Christians who cannot accept this understanding and who are seeking and developing alternative patterns of discipleship. In relation to the former Marin says little directly. In particular, his book showed me how narrow and in-house my listening — and probably most of the admittedly limited evangelical listening to GLBT people - has been, focussed as it has been on the church debate.
It has left me wrestling with whether and how I can participate in that debate from a traditionalist position and also find a way of doing at least a small part of what Marin has been doing by going beyond the confines of the church and its political battles and seeking and sharing Christ in the GLBT community. In the words of one brilliant review -. You are going to read what Marin says about the situation between Evangelicals and the Gay community with intense appreciation, but part of your ingrained evangelical training will be talking to you the whole time, telling you to stop thinking about anything other than the abomination of Gay sex and the verses that apply.
If so that would simply be a sign of just how far we all need to travel if evangelicals are in any sense going to be Jesus-like people with good news that can be received by GLBT people. I am however sure it must have an impact. My hope and prayer is therefore that — despite the fact it may not get much attention here as it has an American publisher and clearly comes from an American context - the book will get a wide readership.
Even more importantly it needs a wide followership of people who will explore together various ways of making its vision more of a reality. Outline and Summary of book. The rest of the book comprises his account of that journey and reflections on what God has taught him through it. The opening chapter helps readers get inside what it likes to discover one has same-sex attraction. He proceeds to summarise nine main concepts that lead GLBT communities, whether secular or religious, to fear conservative evangelical Christian churches and people and then shows how the church has failed them.
Both believe they are David and the other is Goliath. But even here his contribution is original. Does that make what I have asked you to do any less relevant? How that is done is simple — in theory: In one sense that should not be contentious but. Christians look at a gay or lesbian person and see a potential behavioural change instead of a person longing to know the same Christ we seek. What Marin offers is the most practical Christian advice there is: So if I were to love others as I love myself, I have to love them unconditionally and with open arms.
This is difficult to do with any relationship, but Jesus commanded it none-the-less. Mar 05, Jill rated it did not like it. I am not the intended audience for this book. I am a lesbian who has always been perfectly content in my identity. I didn't appreciate the condescending and patronizing way he viewed homosexuality. It seemed like his only purpose of making any attempt to understand gay people was to convert them to his view of christianity. I think this book could actually do harm to LGBT people who struggle with their identity and their religious beliefs.
The only redeeming thing about this book is that it is b I am not the intended audience for this book. The only redeeming thing about this book is that it is by an evangelical minister who isn't advocating aggressive hate for gay people. Jan 27, Matthew rated it really liked it Shelves: The complexity of the issue is sometimes hidden beneath the same old rhetoric from both sides. One side tends to boil it down to a simple injunction to stop, often in very insensitive ways. The other side, defensive and angry, has its own tendencies to resort to inflammatory language and hate of its own.
How can a bridge be built between these two communities? Enter Andrew Marin and his book, Love is an Orientation. Let me be clear about something up front. As a conservative both theologically and politically , bible-believing Christian, I found a decent amount in this book that I disagreed with. For the most part, however, I found myself challenged to take on a quality that the Christian community claims to value: This is a quality missing from much of the discussion Christians have regarding the issue of homosexuality.
Some of downright depressing. The same can be said of people from any group. Marin successfully and powerfully puts a human face on the issue, which is sorely needed for many to see. There are a few problems with the book, though. For one, Marin never really articulates accurately what the gospel is and how it applies to the GLBT community.
He also refuses to really answer the question of whether or not homosexuality is a sin. I understand why he does this for the purposes of the book, but it just left me thinking that it eventually has to be answered for GLBT people at some point. He seems content leaving that decision up to the individuals and letting the Holy Spirit speak to them on the validity of their sexuality. These issues aside, I think this is an important book for furthering and elevating, as Marin puts it the discussion.
There are still many questions that beg for answers, and I believe those answers are there, but the discussion needs to be re-framed. I believe that happens when Christians really put themselves in the shoes of GLBT people, really love them regardless of whether or not they ever change their lifestyle.
Feb 18, CJ Burgan rated it it was amazing.
This book is amazing. It finally approaches the topic from a sensible angle. It is not an angle of compromise, and it's not an angle of the evangelical definition of "tolerance," but rather an angle of love. I love the fact that he spends time pointing out the fact that we like to answer closed-ended questions to determine which "camp" someone is in. For example, "Do you think all gay people are going to hell? Rarely did Jesus answer any of the Pharisees' close-ended questions with a "yes" or a "no. What we believe as people won't get someone into heaven, nor will it keep them out.
Marin approaches this book from that angle Initiate relationships, build trust, and be truthful. It's not our job to change, it's our job to love. Hence, "Love is an orientation. Aug 24, Kurt rated it it was amazing Shelves: Like the Ragamuffin Gospel , I found I learn a lot from this book, and not just about the GLBT community and how Andrew Marin encourages us to work with him building a bridge with that community. I learn a lot about myself and how I view the world and how I think God views the world.
This is a very good book, a very honest book, and a great message for my generation. One of my favorite quotes from the book actually comes from the forward by Brian McLaren: Whatever your opinion on same-sex orienta Like the Ragamuffin Gospel , I found I learn a lot from this book, and not just about the GLBT community and how Andrew Marin encourages us to work with him building a bridge with that community. Whatever your opinion on same-sex orientation, you have to admit that Jesus didn't say 'They'll know you are my disciples by your firm stance on divisive social issues.
I found this book challenging and grace-filled at the same time. Andrew Marin believes the Bible and does not compromise those beliefs; he acts on them. I would recommend this book to anyone who believes the Bible is the inspired word of God and wants to think about what that means for Christians in America today, where GLBT issues are front and center in what is routinely seen as a culture war. This book was also important to me along a dimension I think more and more about these days: Remembering that God is the judge, that the Holy Spirit convicts, and I am called to love is a good plan no matter what the issue.
Also, we live in a world of objective truth, despite what post-modern America would like to think. There is a right, there is a wrong. God knows what those are, we think we understand what those are, but we may not. Even if we are right, we don't need to defend ourselves or God--He can take care of Himself. May 02, Josh Crain rated it it was amazing.
It's entirely possible that I shouldn't be reviewing this book on the same evening I finished it; after all, this short book took me much longer than I had anticipated to finish off based on how much thinking I did on its content in the process of reading it. So I think I'll be brief. If you're a pastor, minister, church leader, or follower of Jesus who cares deeply about seeing all of humanity restored and reconciled to God, please read this book.
It stands heads and heels above many I have read It's entirely possible that I shouldn't be reviewing this book on the same evening I finished it; after all, this short book took me much longer than I had anticipated to finish off based on how much thinking I did on its content in the process of reading it. It stands heads and heels above many I have read on the topic of Christianity and homosexuality as of late. Andrew Marin is someone who has been working in the trenches with the GLBT community for years and his knowledge, compassion, and love for the community are refreshing change of pace from other works on the topic that are filled with the theoretical and postulatory.
I may be walking away from the book with more questions than answers, but I know this for certain: Aug 11, Jared Totten rated it liked it. Andrew Marin has written one of the most illuminating and challenging books of the year, pressing his finger in on a sore spot in the side of Christianity with Love Is an Orientation. I found myself agreeing more often than not with Marin's approach and reasoning, attempting to "elevate the conversation" rather Andrew Marin has written one of the most illuminating and challenging books of the year, pressing his finger in on a sore spot in the side of Christianity with Love Is an Orientation.
I found myself agreeing more often than not with Marin's approach and reasoning, attempting to "elevate the conversation" rather than cut it short.
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One insightful point was that both the GLBT and fundamentalist communities will often ask closed-ended questions in order to force you to simply "pick a side" in the fight. Do you think homosexuality is a sin?
Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community
Do you think that someone can be gay and Christian? Are GLBT people going to hell? While I agreed and resonated with his approach to love, accept, and build relationships with the GLBT community, there was one full chapter with which I could not agree.
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When it came time to finally address the passages in the Bible about homosexuality or the Big 5 as he called them , he considered the particulars, interpreted them into an overarching principle, and then ignored the particulars. In this way, he never addressed the individual verses themselves, bypassing them in a sort of contextual paraphrase with the surrounding verses. I do feel that Andrew Marin soft-pedalled more than necessary around the homosexuality as sin issue.
Since I work in the travel industry, I spend a lot of time around hotel and airline employees where the GLBT percentage is higher than average. Yet I am baffled by the need to treat them any different than any of my other co-workers. I work with one guy who is living with his girlfriend. I work with another who is rumored to be having an affair.
Yet I do not feel compelled to go all "fire and brimstone" on them about their sexual deviance. While I am not softening in my mind the fact that they are sinners and in practicing sin, that sin is peripheral when it comes to my relationship with and evangelism towards them. I love my co-workers, I care for them, I want them all to see the superiority and beauty of Jesus. I want them all to believe on Him for salvation. While Marin in my opinion at times erred too far on the side of diplomacy, perhaps he is a product of fundamentalism erring too far in the opposite direction for far too long.
This is an important work for the Christian church, not always for the answers he gives, but for the questions he raises and the dialogue he starts. Sep 09, Jenny rated it liked it. Love is an Orientation is written by an avowed conservative Christian man who attempts to come to terms with his understanding of Scripture in light of his friends and neighbors he lives in a highly GLBT area in Chicago as they come out to him.
Marin weaves stories of interactions among exegetical research and thought that he has done, and that he has seen demonstrated through other thinkers. Although in the end Marin does not seem to buy into the liberal Christian biblical arguments supportin Love is an Orientation is written by an avowed conservative Christian man who attempts to come to terms with his understanding of Scripture in light of his friends and neighbors he lives in a highly GLBT area in Chicago as they come out to him.
Although in the end Marin does not seem to buy into the liberal Christian biblical arguments supporting homosexuality, he concludes that a Christian's ultimate responsibility is to love others accepting them as they are therefore do not try to change or convert , and that judgment belongs to God and ultimately does not involve humanity. I borrowed this book from my friend Roberta and I appreciated the thoughtfulness of it. I suppose I would rate it 3. Coming from a more liberal viewpoint, and having read many books on the subject, I think I was a bit disappointed in the author's seeming lack of serious consideration of the liberal biblical arguments which he intentionally gives a brief overview, leaving that work to more serious theological writing.
Additionally, I thought that the writing was so-so and, even though one of the book's great strengths is the enormous compendium of real-life interactions he has with members of the GLBT community, I thought that those examples came off from time to time as boasting. I think what I really appreciate about this book is the author's desire to overcome this issue that divides Christians, and I think that his suggestion that we should be concerned with God's directive to love is an appropriate response that will surely take our whole lives to perfect.
Aug 03, Bruce added it. I gave this book 5 stars, not because it was entertaining it was anything but that , but because it was engaging. The author has spent the last nine years living with, building relationships, and ministering to this community sharing with them the love of Christ and yes he is a straight, evangelical christian.
The book does not give any definitive answers, but it shows how I gave this book 5 stars, not because it was entertaining it was anything but that , but because it was engaging. The book does not give any definitive answers, but it shows how to begin the journey. It was challenging, provocative, heart-tugging, scary, intelligent book that leaves you thinking about a lot and wanting more than anything to build bridges with those who believe that Christians are not "for them".
Can I recommend it? Absolutely, but don't read it if you don't want to have to think, question, challenge yourself or change. I didn't buy into everything he had to say, but he has definitely had an impact on my spiritual journey. Jul 23, Shelley Shrader rated it it was amazing. If you consider yourself a Christ-follower, be prepared to change the way you think. Have a posture of prayer and a teachable spirit when you read this book.
It's eye-opening and challenging. I read this book at a friend's recommendation, because I want to love ALL people regardless of their orientation ,the way Jesus would, without compromising my Christian beliefs. Two of the most profound statements I read are: There are 5 scriptures addressed that have been used to bash the gay community that the author believes can be used to build bridges instead. He has clearly done his research. I love that he places each scripture in context, giving the Greek translations of key words in those scriptures.
Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community by Andrew Marin
He also cross references parallel scriptures. However, there are scriptures that aren't addressed, and I'm not sure why he left them out. Perhaps, we hold different view on the institution of marriage. Marin has given me plenty to pray and ponder over. My take away is the best thing I can do is love and guide them into an intimate relationship with the Lord: Let God be God!
My job is to love! Love is an action. Jan 02, Kimi Tanaka rated it really liked it. Inconclusive in the best way possible. It doesn't try to answer the question of whether homosexuality is permissible by God or not. As Marin points out, there are over a hundred books that try to answer that question. But in a complicated controversy in which both sides have dug in their heels, Marin tries to make a way forward. So often we lose Jesus in the debates over context and the meanings of words in Greek.
The ultimate goal of the church should not be to make everyone straight and marrie Inconclusive in the best way possible. The ultimate goal of the church should not be to make everyone straight and married, but to make the appeal to everyone to be reconciled to God. The gospel, that through Christ everyone can have a restored relationship with God, is the only thing that matters, and Marin takes our myopic gaze off of the gay theology debate and onto the gospel.
How can the gay community come to know Jesus if Christians are so good at turning them away from the church? The toughest truth Marin presents is that it's not our job to convict or to change anyone. Instead, we are to surrender all of the work to God, and build bridges by simply loving people and humbly living life with them, so that we can relationally point them to the one thing they need: Oct 01, Denes House rated it really liked it. This book was recommended to me by a number of friends, some of whom heard Andrew Marin speak at a college event.
I bought it on their recommendation, then it sat on my desk and on my shelf for a couple of years, until I picked it up and read it yesterday and today. Marin's book is challenging and helpful, seeking to find a way to bridge the divide between Evangelical Christianity and the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered community, a divide that has a long and storied history, and persis This book was recommended to me by a number of friends, some of whom heard Andrew Marin speak at a college event.
Marin's book is challenging and helpful, seeking to find a way to bridge the divide between Evangelical Christianity and the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered community, a divide that has a long and storied history, and persists thanks to stereotypes and bad actions on both sides. Rightly so, Marin calls on Evangelicals to be the first to budge, asking us to listen, to repent of our bad actions and attitudes, and to actively look for ways to build connections with people who have long felt rejected by God.
Marin asks the provocative question of whether the top priority of Evangelicals relating to GLBT folks ought to be challenging their sexual orientation, or whether it ought to be introducing them to Jesus Christ, who loves them. I know that the answer many Evangelicals would give is, "both! GLBT folk come in to the conversation believing that God hates them, and that the Evangelical person hates them, and often begin talking when they will talk at all primed to bolt as soon as the "sin" word is mentioned.
Marin proposes that instead of answering closed-ended questions with the "yes" or "no" answers the questioner is looking for, Evangelicals pursue a strategy of listening to other people's stories, and broadening out the question beyond yes and no. I'll be honest, that approach both appeals to me and frightens me. The appeal comes from its intention to treat people as people - and more than that, as people loved by God, and more than that, as people who are desperately seeking a relationship with God - and that is how I believe the Bible portrays them.
But the Bible also portrays us all as people willing to keep blinders on in order to prevent God from actually taking control of our lives. Marin calls Evangelicals to respond in love, but I recognize that some times, love means being willing to say hard things.
Still, from my work as a pastor and missionary over the last twenty years, I know that the "hard things" are rarely heard and responded to well unless there is a foundation of love and respect out of which they are said. Marin addresses key questions that hover over every conversation about homosexuality and Christianity, and tackles the "Big 5" Bible passages that address homosexual activity. But in each case, he doesn't give a "yes" or "no" answer, instead opting to broaden the conversation to include deeper issues. This is both great AND problematic, as many reviewers have pointed out.
Great, in that it allows the conversation to get to some of those broader issues, but problematic in that it can also feel slippery and dishonest if done primarily to avoid conflict or to obfuscate and temporize. It's a book that's well worth reading, that raises more questions than it answers, and that challenged me, personally, on many levels.
Apr 01, Geoff Smith rated it did not like it. I am shocked and perplexed by all the positive reviews I'm reading. This book is rubbish. It is an anti-intellectual, emotions-manipulating fraud of a book that makes one clear point: Andrew Marin is a hack who lacks even the basic ability to interpret a Biblical text. I have no sympathies for the way conservative Christians have regarded homosexual men and women in the recent past.
The Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons of the previous generation were not speaking for the Apostle I am shocked and perplexed by all the positive reviews I'm reading. The Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons of the previous generation were not speaking for the Apostle Paul when they singled out homosexuals as the worst of sinners. So my objections to Marin's book and the foundation it represents are not a rear guard action that is trying to defend the status quo.
All of my objections are based on the book's dreadful theology and embarrassing treatment of the relevant Scripture relevant as decided by Marin, who completely ignores Genesis 1 and 2 and the NT use of these chapters. Indeed, the book is entirely based on Marin's supposedly God-directed pilgrimage to enlightenment to start a foundation that No wonder Marin appeals to special revelation at crucial turning points in the story when he confronts obstacles!
There is no such ministry in the Scriptures. That Marin speaks the language of Evangelical gibberish should be no surprise. He knows his audience. But that his Evangelical audience can endure his handling of the Scripture is a scandal. One of the most basic features of Evangelicalism is a belief that God's Word is inspired and inerrant. So why do those who like the book so much calmly accept Marin's ham-handed way of handling it? Why did IVP, with its good reputation, allow this to go through?
Marin represents not only the arrival of a post-modern reading of Scripture; he represents its broad acceptance. The heavily Americanized Christian Church erred badly when it created a sin taxonomy that made some sins acceptable accumulating vast amounts of wealth and others unfit for human society homosexual behavior.
This distorts the Gospel. If I give Marin the benefit of the doubt, I can say his intentions were good; he was trying to correct earlier Christian failures. But instead of bringing the matter back into Biblical perspective, he ended up making hash out of the Biblical texts. But I'm reluctant to give him the benefit of the doubt. He has added one more self-named, money-making foundation that functions outside of any church oversight.
Recently, he is having private talks with Jesus, who is coaching him on how he should deal with "persecution," which includes the efforts of honest Christian people who critique his irresponsible treatment of Scripture. Aren't Christians tired of self-anointed "leaders" who have private conversations with God and thus place themselves beyond the reach of any church authority?
Marin has rediscovered an American Evangelical axiom: There's a sucker born every minute. View all 8 comments. May 24, Aaron rated it really liked it Shelves: The foreword to this book makes a prediction about the reader's reaction and asks a favor. It predicts that some people will think the author didn't go far enough, and others will think he went too far. But that's the nature of bridge building--connecting two disconnected sides. And from that perspective, Marin does a wonderful job. This book was clea The foreword to this book makes a prediction about the reader's reaction and asks a favor.
This book was clearly written to one side of the bridge, the conservative and traditional Christian population, encouraging them to take a risk and actually love people deeply, in the way of Jesus.