Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Communityby Andrew Marin, Brian McLaren (Foreword by)
When three of Andrew Marin's friends came out to him in the span of three months, he was confronted head-on with the question of how to reconcile his friends with his faith. Love Is an Orientation is the result of years of wrestling with this issue. In the book, Marin speaks out with compassion and conviction, elevating the conversation between Christianity and the GLBT community so that the focus is moved from genetics to gospel, where it really belongs.
Marin's book is a reflection of the work of his Marin Foundation, which seeks to build a bridge between the GLBT community and communities of faith. Himself heterosexual, Marin urges these communities to approach each other without an insistence that either "side" yield up cherished beliefs-for him, the distinctive mark of the Christian is love, not judgment. Many readers will find his simple insights transformative.
Sweeney (assoc. publisher, Paraclete; Light in the Dark Ages: The Friendhip of Francis and Clare of Assisi) has written what is far from the first and will be far from the last work in a popular subgenre in contemporary spiritual writing: the touristic glimpse into cloister life. Here he details talks with Cistercian and Benedictine monks at monasteries nationwide. Slight but charming, his contribution should find readers among those who enjoy Thomas Merton's writings or Philip GrA¶ning's documentary film Into Great Silence.
- InterVarsity Press
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Meet the Author
Andrew Marin is the president and founder of The Marin Foundation, an organization that systemically builds bridges between the broader lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) and conservative Christian communities through scientific research and biblical and social education. He is the author of Love Is an Orientation and the ebook Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility Can Save the Public Square.
A self-described homophobic, straight, Bible-believing, conservative Christian alpha-male, Marin's life changed radically in 2000 when, during three consecutive months, his three best friends all came out to him. Determined to find some answers to his crisis, he became what he calls "the gayest straight dude in America," and followed God's call to move to the LGBTQ Boystown neighborhood of Chicago to immerse himself in the gay and lesbian community. While living there for twelve years with his family, he began The Marin Foundation, focused on training and teaching churches around the country how to build bridges with their local gay and lesbian community in order to make a significant impact for the kingdom. He also oversees the foundation's national research study, which is the largest study of its kind ever done in the LGBTQ community regarding spirituality and religion.
Marin has a BA in Applied Psychology from the University of Illinois-Chicago, an MA in Urban Studies and Social Change from Eastern University and is currently earning his PhD from St. Mary's College at the University of St. Andrews in Constructive Theology and Ethics. He regularly lectures and facilitates trainings around the world and his speech Homophobia and Bridging from within the Evangelical Church, given on Capitol Hill the night before the inauguration of President Barack Obama, is archived in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC. Since 2010 he has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement and theological aspects of reconciliation.
Brian McLaren is founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in the Baltimore-Washington region. He is the author of numerous books including A New Kind of Christian, A Generous Orthodoxy and Finding Our Way Again.
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Many people often wonder why the homosexual community and Christians just can't get along. Well, Andrew Marin provides a deep insight from his own experiences both as an avid homophobic Christian and immersing himself in the gay community. This man's done whatever he could to try and understand his three best friends who came out to him in three consecutive months. He visited gay bars, scared out of his mind and unsure of what they might do. He describes his growth in his faith in parallel with the friendliness offered to him by the gay community. Andrew Marin knows what he's talking about, and provides enough examples to show how the Lord works through him and reaches out to individuals who need Him the most. Andrew Marin shows that it's not what each side believes differently, but what each side believes in together: The love of God reaches out to all. Leave the judging to Him. It's our job to display an unconditional love.
You may disagree with parts of this book but you will be challenged to love. Isnt that how we are to be known?
The pastor of my church mentioned that the elders were reading this title to better understand the gay community, and I immediately ordered a copy to see what they were up to. Wow! Andrew Marin is an inspiration -- an evangelical who really loves people, regardless of what they do with that love. He refuses to demand that they change, but leaves the results to God and is willing to wait as long as it takes to see the results. After reading his story, I couldn't help wanting to be more like him.