The Way of Hope: A Fresh Perspective on Sexual Identity, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Church

The Way of Hope: A Fresh Perspective on Sexual Identity, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Church


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The Way of Hope: A Fresh Perspective on Sexual Identity, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Church by Melissa Fisher

Most churches today struggle to answer the same-sex relationship debate that is quickly transforming our culture, our kids, and our churches. As a result, Christians struggle to demonstrate love and grace to those with same-sex attraction. That means that more and more people who are looking for truth and a place where they belong are deciding that the church is either indifferent to their struggle or outright hostile to "people like them."

There's a better way--the way of hope. With deep understanding born from her own painful experiences, Melissa Fisher shows that somewhere between the extremes of condemning and condoning is compassion. In this book, she aims to equip the church to make a positive difference in the lives of those hurting from relational or sexual brokenness. Perfect for pastors, parents, siblings, and friends of the ten million people in America who identify as LGBTQ, who long to love them well.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801072956
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/04/2017
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 911,677
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Melissa Fisher is on staff at Gateway Church in Austin, Texas. Having seen God's power work in her own life, she is passionate about seeing the lost, broken, de-churched, and unchurched find freedom, healing, and fulfillment in Jesus Christ. A former teacher, basketball coach, and backpacking guide, she is now a personal and spiritual development coach and consultant, a writer, and a speaker. She lives in Round Rock, Texas.

Table of Contents

Foreword John Burke 9

Introduction 13

1 The Way of Perfection 17

2 The Way of Secrets 35

3 The Way of the Monster 57

4 The Way of Medicating 69

5 The End of My Ways 87

6 The Way of Hope 101

7 The Way of Community 119

8 The Way of Work 143

9 The Way of More Work 173

10 The Way of Bravery 201

Epilogue: Views from the Other Side of the Fence 207

A Mother's Perspective 209

The Daddy/Daughter Dance 219

Reflections from Kristi 225

Acknowledgments 231

Notes 233

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The Way of Hope: A Fresh Perspective on Sexual Identity, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Church 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
seekinggraceandgratitude More than 1 year ago
I was interested in this book because of the subtitle, however, I feel that the subtitle was completely misleading. Yes, The Way of Hope was a consistent theme throughout the book but I was hoping the subtitle would go into more depth in regards to the church and same-sex marriage. However, it was all a matter of perspective from one woman’s experience and journey to and from faith into a same-sex lifestyle and back into heterosexuality and a relationship with God. Was it refreshing to learn yet another story of someone who claims “the struggle is real” and “I never wanted to feel this way”? Yes – absolutely! I was very intrigued in the beginning chapters as I learned about this woman’s life struggle, but towards the middle of the book I started wanting more. Once she “came out,” the content appeared repetitive and the flow of the book stagnant. There was an abundance of scripture, which I could connect with in my own life and personal struggle, but I guess I was hoping she would have included more perspectives from other Christ-followers with same-sex attraction. (She did, however, include a Q&A at the end of the book where she interviewed her ex-wife. More engagement and interaction with others in the LGBTQ community would have allowed me to give this book a better review.) All and all, I encourage you to seek out content referencing same-sex attraction that involves both scripture and wise, biblical counsel. Study, learn, ask questions, get to know those who are “different” than you. I had the opportunity to live directly across from a same-sex couple over the summer while vacationing in Michigan and without going into another story let me just say that showing love to others really is the “end all/be all” in this life. The biggest truth I have discovered in all of my research on same-sex attraction over the years is LOVE. All you need is love and love truly conquers all. Love doesn’t anger. Love doesn’t judge. Love doesn’t hate. Friends, please, please, please, for the love of God’s creation and our fallen world will you please invest in your heart and seek wisdom as you continue to seek Jesus. Each one of us is guilty of falling short of the glory of God and we all are in desperate need of grace. May this be our way of hope as we are reminded we are all created equal in the eyes of God.
CisnerosCafe More than 1 year ago
The Way of Hope: A Fresh Perspective on Sexual Identity, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Church written by Melissa Fisher was published by Baker Books. I chose this book for review and was given a free paperback copy for my honest review. Fisher takes us on a journey through her experiences with childhood abuse, hurts, same-sex attraction and redemption at the foot of the Cross. She draws from these experiences to deliver a fresh perspective on what it is to live hurt and seek Jesus, who gives hope and grace abundantly no matter the cost. He met Fisher right where she was. With healing comes a journey to find who our identity is in God. Melissa writes, " I wasn't trying to not be gay or straight or fix this or that. I was trying to figure out God, period, not my gender or sexuality (Fisher, 125)." I'm on the fence about how I feel about the book. I can't tell someone their story is false. I can't argue against someone's feelings and journey through coming to Christ. I can say that The Way of Hope may provide a false positive for some people. For example, Christian parents of LGBTQ kids may think that perhaps their kids are this way because of sexual abuse or a secret they are not privy to. They may mistake their children's sexual identity with needing to be healed. Fisher's journey is inspiring and took brevity, perhaps a brevity more of us could use. I'm concerned about the call to celibacy if same-sex attraction is consuming. That God would rather you not engage in gay relationship but remain alone until the desire is no longer there implies LGBTQs are not worthy of love. This was not Fisher's intention but the book qualifies this statement. The Way of Hope is an important book in bridging gay Christians with the church. I admire what Fisher says of looking for and trusting Jesus outside of sexuality. It's also important to remember that Jesus is for us despite our sexual orientation. As mentioned above, I'm on the fence about this book. I probably wouldn't recommend it to my gay friends because they may read it as me wanting to "fix them" as if something in them were broken. I think the book does it's job in serving as an invitation for the LGBTQ community to feel welcome at church. We don't want to assume that LGBTQs don't attend church because a lot of them certainly do. If you're up against a wall on this issue and want to learn to be a more welcoming Christian, please do pick up this book. I recommend this book because I feel all books are worth a shot. I recommend it to pastors, clergy, and friends looking to support their LGBTQ friends and family on their faith journey.
Kozlof More than 1 year ago
In an age where the church offers two directions of dealing with sexuality issues, Melissa Fisher offers a refreshing and vibrant view in her book The Way of Hope.  The two directions currently offered by most congregations, as Melissa speaks of, are total acceptance and celebration or absolute vilification of the individual and culture.  Her approach, born from the heart of her pastor, John Burke, is to offer the love and hope that Jesus so graciously extends to all who ask.  It is to offer the person an opportunity to seek Jesus just as they are and to find safety in the arms of his church. Melissa takes her readers through the pain she faced in life, from early age to current life situation, and the relationship struggles she had with God along the way.  The whole of this book was enjoyable and kept me wondering what the next page held as her story unfolded.  While this book will gather many varied responses, I recommend pastors and really anyone wanting to extend hope and grace read this book.  Though she deals specifically with same-sex attraction, the heart behind this book can be implemented to any issue the church is facing. To Melissa I would like to extend a thank you.  For her bravery, for vulnerability, for following a path that has been long overlooked and for inviting us to lead through hope.