How to thoughtfully and lovingly engage the question of Christianity and homosexuality takes intentionality and understanding. In my first two posts, I listed the top five popular books on homosexuality, and the top five academic books. In this post, my goal is to list the top five narrative books on homosexuality that are based around personal stories.
- Messy Grace: How a Pastor with Gay Parents Learned to Love Others Without Sacrificing Conviction, Caleb Kaltenbach (WaterBrook, 2015). Caleb’s parents divorced when he was a young child, and he eventually learned that both of his parents were gay. He grew up with two moms, which he truly loved and cared for, and was grateful for the community that raised him. He was raised to view Christians as the enemy. So when he became a Christian in high school, his family essentially disowned him. Messy Grace is so powerful because it overturns the cultural narrative that Christian parents are uniquely intolerant of their gay kids.
- Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son’s Journey to God. A Broken Mother’s Search for Hope, Christopher Yuan (WaterBrook, 2011). This book tells the story of Chris’s journey through prison, full immersion into homosexuality, turning away from his family, and then finally experiencing redemption. Out of a Far Country is one of the few books I had my wife read when I was done…and she loved it. In my view, Chris is one of the most important voices on this subject today, and his book is a must-read.
- Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality, Wesley Hill (Zondervan, 2010). This short book is written for gay Christians who believe Jesus has called them to costly discipleship and commands them not to nurture their homosexual desires. While I do not have same-sex attraction, this book was a powerful eye-opener to the struggles many Christians with same-sex attraction experience on a daily basis.
- The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey Into Christian Faith, Rosario Butterfield (Crown & Covenant Publications, 2012). This book is honest, engaging, and insightful. Butterfield went from a lesbian, feminist professor to a home-schooling, Christian mom. The most powerful part of the story is how pastor Ken lovingly, and yet firmly, reached out to her and personally engaged her in conversation about the gospel.
- Sexual Authenticity: An Intimate Reflection on Catholicism and Homosexuality, Melinda Selmys (Our Sunday Visitor, 2009). This book records the story of her conversion from a practicing lesbian to a Catholic. What lead her to convert? According to Selmys, “Beauty had everything to do with my own conversion” (p. 230).