If there’s one thing I’ve learned through my experience in the Christian publishing world, it’s that evangelicals tend to get all kinds of suspicious when you tell them that you’ve written a book about Christianity and homosexuality. They want to know what your “angle” is, and if it’s the “right” one (i.e., the one they agree with).
They — and I think this is something that’s pretty much common to all people — are pretty wary of something, like my book, which attempts to fairly present multiple sides of a controversial topic. And I understand that. In our supercharged, polarized culture, it can absolutely bs hard to believe that presenting differing sides fairly could even be possible.
I’m certainly not immune to biases, prejudice, preconceptions and the like. Even though I’m a journalist — believe it or not — I am not magically free of any and all opinions. But with “Reoriented,” I really did try to present the different perspectives in a fair and even-handed way, because it was (and is) more important to me to help get other Christians thinking and talking about this important topic than it was to try and cajole them into agreeing with me.
Of course, the “equal time” approach can be risky, too. That is, you run the risk of everyone hating your work, because you don’t depict their side (the obvious “right” one) winning.
But the more reviews that come out about “Reoriented,” the more it seems like people get what I’m trying to do, and appreciate it. The latest is from a philosophy student at Oklahoma Baptist University named Garrett Crawford. Here’s an excerpt:
The book is much more about a community of believers in Christ than anything else. This book brings together people who have many different views on homosexuality and they show love and support for one another regardless of what their personal views are. This is so very important, because if the church cannot show the love of Christ to one another, then we cannot even begin to have a rational discussion about topics like homosexuality. What’s more important: that we treat people with the love of Christ or condemn them because of their sexual orientation? Reoriented brings out the big picture in a brilliant way. New Day members are full of people who do not necessarily support homosexuality, but they are willing to be there because of their love for the homosexual community; something many Christians can’t seem to do for some reason.
I also loved this part, which I believe to be an homage to this surprisingly profound and insightful spiritual commentary from comedian Stephen Colbert: “If we are going to follow Christ and still persecute homosexuals, then either Jesus was a terrible evangelist or we just have to admit that he was full of love and we just don’t want to live like that.”