• Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gay-vs.-Christian Debate – A Review

    Lee, Justin. Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gay-vs.-Christian Debate. Nashville, TN: Jericho Books, 2012.  272 pages.

    In the United States, the issue of same-sex marriage has recently flared up again after the recent  vote in several jurisdictions and continues to be a hot-button topic all across North America . Whether in the United States or in Canada, especially among Christians, this debate does not show any signs of letting up. This “Gays vs. Christian” debate causes battles in our churches and everyone has an opinion one way or the other and is expressed with much passion and emotion. Much ink has been spilled by those who feel they have something important to contribute but have drawn the battle lines in the sand, which has often contributed to an ever-growing rift between gays and straights. To make matter worse, many of the books on this particular topic were written by straight Christians. Recently , though, there have appeared on the market  a number of books whose authors were gay Christians who have given us a particular perspective that straight Christians know very little about.

                    I like to mention one of these books in particular: Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs-Christian Debate by Justin Lee (published by Jericho Books, 2012). In it, the author, Justin Lee, courageously relates his struggles with same sex attraction. As a committed Christian, he gives us a greater insight in the battle between gays and the church and makes a valid attempt to bring viable solutions to this controversial debate. Many well-meaning Christians have out-spoken ideas and suppositions on this topic that are extrapolated from a variety of scripture verses, but , in all seriousness, have many misconceptions that have taken root in many of the churches. Lee does a fantastic job in clearing up many of these misconceptions to clear the way for a healthy and much-needed dialogue between the church and the gay community. The author has made great strides in giving the reader a perception of the struggles a committed gay Christian faces, not only with his or her fellow Christians but with faith itself.  Lee gives us many suggestions how to build bridges between the church and the gay community. While some might not agree with some of the author’s exegetical conclusions, it is imperative to take his insights to heart. Christian churches and institutions, like Prairie,  must take this issue seriously and therefore this book is a must read lest we stand unprepared when called upon to bring grace and healing to an already hurting community.