on my bookshelf: torn


As with many of the good books I read, this one was recommended to me by my dad.  Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate  is written by Justin Lee, a committed Christian and executive director of the Gay Christian Network.  In this book, Lee recounts the story of his life with humor, wisdom, and humility in order to address one of the most controversial topics in the contemporary Christian church: homosexuality.

Lee grew up in a close and loving family who raised him in a Bible-centered church.  By the time he was a teenager, Lee had begun to actively pursue a personal relationship with God and had committed himself to serving God; so much so that his peers at school gave him the nickname “God Boy.”  Lee felt like he had all the right answers to questions about morality and Christian living…until he discovered that he was attracted to men instead of women.  This discovery led to a 15-year long pursuit of truth as he struggled to figure out God’s plan for his life and for other people in the LGBT community.

What I loved about this book is that it takes complete advantage of the power of literature to place readers in contexts and situations that they would have otherwise been unable to experience.  Rather than present chapters full of theology and debate, Lee simply shares his own story, allowing readers to draw their own conclusions.  In the process he touches on some of the following topics: why people are gay, how to respectfully communicate with gay people, the role of the church in responding to the “gay debate”, God’s view of same-sex relationships, and more.  As is common when reading good books, I ended the book with more questions than answers and more unsure of my beliefs than I was when I began.  Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with all of Lee’s conclusions, Torn is a powerful message that can’t help but change you in some way.

Read about more books on my bookshelf here:
Faith Unraveled
A Faith of Our Own
My Lucky Life
Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus