Author: Justin Lee
One-sentence summary: A gay Christian recounts his story, with very important insights, observations, and steps for changing the perception of Christianity.
B.A.D. Girls Book Rating: 8
Our favorite thing about it: The book was very well written.
Our least favorite thing about it: Some of the points were driven home to the point of repetition (this is being really picky).
Main Topics of Discussion: Story, Love, Context, Ministry, Perspective, Christianity, Acceptance, Sin, Listening
Our favorite quote: “If I were truly filled with God’s perfect agape love, and if I could live that love out in every moment of my life, I wouldn’t need any other commandments written down, because I’d be automatically doing all the right things.” (p.196)
Notes: This book was really powerful to us and the first thing we all agreed on was that we wish everyone would read it. We feel that it is that important to what is going on in society and our churches today. We are so thankful that Justin shared his story in such a clear and loving way that we could be truly impacted by hearing it.
We really appreciated that the book was so well written and had such a logical progression of thought. Because of that, it was very easy to follow and read. And the emphasis on story and slipping into someone’s shoes by hearing their story really drove home the point of listening to others. And by using his personal story, Justin is able to show things to the readers that are indisputable because they are his true personal experiences and feelings. This is invaluable.
We also appreciated Justin’s careful and very thoughtful analysis on the passages of the bible that discuss homosexuality. He raised every question any of us could have thought about when going through those texts. And what’s more, he does not demand that you share his conclusions from that study. While he may have confirmed what a few of us already believed, he leaves room for others to respectfully disagree with him and still hear what other things he has to say. What he has to say about love and the greatest commands was especially insightful for us (and is reflected in our favorite quote above.)
The end of the book, where Justin lays out several very specific practical things that Christians can do to bridge the gap between churches and gays is fantastic. We all thought that the thoughtfulness of this part of the book was the perfect way to end it. Not only asking readers to do something, but specifically telling them how to do it.
There were so many other things we discussed about this book and the discussion was not brief! Ultimately, we think this book is so important because it allows anyone to hear first-hand what it is like for Justin to be a gay Christian and all that meant for him growing up and beyond. The things he talks about on his journey to where he is today sheds so much light on things that we as straight Christians simply don’t know about. And even if we have gay friends, we may have never heard about. We believe that sharing his experiences coupled with his obvious deep desire to save Christianity from turning away the gay population in future generations makes this book a must-read.
Memorable Meeting Moments: Amberly opened her birthday books and cards
What We Ate: Flank Steak, Homemade “Panera” Mac n’ Cheese, Asparagus and Cream Cheese brownies