Venn Magazine’s Stephanie Gates was gracious enough to do a Q and A with me this week discussing my debut novel, REORIENTED. I’ll include the first part here, but you’ll have to click over to the main site to read the rest.

Tyler Francke’s debut novel invites readers into an honest discussion of the collision of the gay/Christian debate. Recently I had the chance to ask Francke a few questions about his book.

1. What inspired you to write about homosexuality within the American church?

I think the conflict between the church and the LGBT community is the most visible, divisive and pressing concern facing Christianity today. It is the issue. There’s little doubt that the gay community’s struggle for equal rights will be one of the defining issues of our time and our generation. And it’s hugely significant for anyone who believes the gospel is an important message, because right now, Bible-believing Christians are kind of the “bad guys” in the minds of the general public. We’re seen as the enemies of progress.

Whether that is the lasting narrative — whether we “go down in history” as the villains (and, ultimately, the losers) in this fight — will largely be decided by what we Christians say and do in the next few years.

That’s the big-picture answer to your question. But on a micro-scale, I picked the topic because it confused and bothered and affected me personally. I wanted to dig into the question of what the Bible really says about homosexuality, and how much of what it says applies to a modern-day gay or transgendered person. And I didn’t feel like the “us vs. them” rhetoric was bringing me any closer to answers.

Flannery O’Connor once said, “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” I wrote Reoriented because it helped me understand what I think. Some people have called it a didactic novel — a teaching novel — and that’s flattering, but I’ll probably always think of it more as a learning novel.

Read more.

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