Vicky Beeching began writing songs for the church in her teens. By the time she reached her early thirties, Vicky was a household name in churches on both sides of the Atlantic. Faced with a major health crisis, at the age of thirty-five she decided to tell the world that she was gay. As a result, she lost her music career and livelihood, faced threats and vitriol from traditionalists, developed further health issues from the immense stress, and had to rebuild her life almost from scratch. But despite losing so much she gained far more: she was finally able to live from a place of wholeness, vulnerability, and authenticity.
‘Here is a wonderfully told story of a brave young man who has struggled to hold onto his faith while still affirming himself as gay. This is a must-read.’ Tony Campolo
‘My [gay] friend Michael recently confessed to me that he sometimes catches himself wanting to avoid ‘the sort of people who like going to church’ even though he also likes going to church. Michael is a deeply devout Christian, but he’s heard so many anti-gay remarks from other Christians that he finds himself dreading conversations with Christians even though he’s one of them! … Rather than loving the sinner and hating the sin, we can love everyone and hate our own sin.’ Justin Lee
Alex Clare-Young, the first out transgender minister in the United Reformed Church, says: Transgender Christian Human is the story of my life as a transgender child and adult. Trans is an imperfect label but labels are, to some extent, necessary – especially when we choose them for ourselves. For me, being trans means moving towards a gender that varies from my sex assigned at birth. It also means moving between genders and critiquing the rigidity of gendered systems. Parts of this book are incredibly sad. Others are full of joy. Some are even pretty funny. I hope that the result is an honest and authentic reflection of being transgender, Christian and human. I have included resources and activities at the end of each chapter to encourage individuals and groups to explore the subject.
Ken Wilson is founding pastor of Vineyard Church, Ann Arbor. He is known across the USA for his work in evangelical environmental initiatives and fostering contemplative prayer.
‘This is a breakthrough work coming from the heart of evangelical Christianity and offered into the heart of evangelical Christianity. It is unlike other books that demand revision of traditional Christian sexual ethics but do so primarily by rejecting the authority of the Bible. That is not how evangelicals think, and it is not what Ken Wilson does here. Instead Wilson shows how God has led him on a journey toward a rethinking of what the fully authoritative and inspired Bible ought to be taken to mean in the life of the church today.’ David P. Gushee
Over half of young people between 18-24 in the UK currently identify as “not exclusively heterosexual.” Yet a sizable majority of Christian churches in the UK, US and Australia still refuse to acknowledge the immutability of most LGBT identities or to engage with the lived realities of LGBT people. This apathy – and sometimes downright hostility – creates a toxic environment for some of our most vulnerable young people, leading to isolation, despair and sometimes, tragically, suicide. This poses the question, does the Church have blood on its hands? “Blood on its hands?” should serve as a wake-up call to take LGBT identities and LGBT mental health seriously, to avoid some of the tragedies highlighted in this book. It is intended to be used as an aid to discussion in worship communities. Dr Carol A Shepherd is a leading global expert in bisexual Christian identities and an author. Anthony Venn-Brown is the founder and CEO of Ambassadors & Bridge-Builders International (Australia) and a much loved and globally renowned LGBT ambassador and speaker.
The stories of LGBT+ Christians are not untold, but have often been unheard by faith leaders and faith communities. While so much of the conversation about LGBT+ inclusion has focused on theology and ideology, few have actually interacted with the raw, real stories and experiences of LGBT+ Christians. In this volume, LGBT+ Christian activist and theologian Brandan Robertson has brought together stories of LGBT+ Christians from around the world, combined with his theological insights to create a powerful book that will challenge, convict, and inspire readers from all theological backgrounds to examine their posture and message toward the LGBT+ community and embrace the revival that the Holy Spirit is igniting among queer Christians around the world.
Courage (UK) began as an ex-gay pastoral organisation, founded in 1988 by Jeremy Marks. This is the story of why Courage left the ex-gay movement in 2001 to become a fully affirming ministry for LGBT+ Christians. When Courage ‘retired’ in 2012, some of its ministry was continued by the organisation Two:23
‘I write to encourage my fellow nomads who, like me, so often feel alone in their wanderings yet are a part of a much larger caravan of fellow wanderers seeking to discover for ourselves the meaning and mysteries of life.’
Brandan Robertson was a fiery argumentative evangelical teenager, living in trailer park America in fear of his alcoholic father. This book documents his journey as he gradually re-examines his church’s views, not only on his sexuality, but on almost everything else that he was taught in church and seminary. Brandan now works with political leaders and activists around the world to end conversion therapy and promote the human rights of sexual and gender minorities.
After divorce removed her from the centre of her own church family, Kathy Baldock found fresh perspectives out on the margins. This book describes how she was changed by personal encounter and by years of research. Kathy Baldock uncovers the historical, cultural, medical, religious, and political filters of discrimination through which the LGBTQ community is seen, with particular reference to the overlap between political conservatism and the religious right in the USA. She offers hopeful suggestions for repairing the breach between the church and the LGBTQ community.
This book re-centres the conversation back to what Rolf Nolasco believe anchors our identity and inspires our ways of being, living, and loving. That is, we all are beloved children of the Triune God whose image and likeness we bear – primed to flourish in more ways than we can ever dare to imagine for ourselves. Nolasco has drawn from a wide range of disciplines – pastoral theology, spirituality, counselling psychology, affective neuroscience, anthropology – to offer a more nuanced description of what it means, as queer folks, to be sacred icons of God like everyone else, offering multifarious windows into the spacious, gratuitous, and transforming love of God. The book also explores the inner psychological and spiritual terrain of our queer lives, along with spiritual practices that will help support our flourishing.
Rolf Nolasco is Professor of Pastoral Theology at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, Illinois.
As a young Christian man, Matthew Vines harboured the same basic hopes of many young people: to someday share his life with someone, to build a family of his own, to give and receive love. But when he realised he was gay, those hopes were called into question. The Bible, he’d been taught, condemned gay relationships. Feeling the tension between his understanding of the Bible and the reality of his same-sex orientation, Vines devoted years of intensive research into what the Bible says about homosexuality. This book is the result of that research: the Biblical case in support of same-sex relationships.
‘This book is a game changer… Every page is brought to life by the author’s clear love for Scripture and deep, persistent faith.’ Rachel Held Evans
Matthew Vines is the founder of The Reformation Project where you can download a free discussion guide to accompany the book. There is also a 20-part video course exploring these issues
In what he describes as the most important book of his career as a Christian teacher, David Gushee offers a powerful, inspiring message of hope for a more inclusive church.
From his own careful Bible study, research, and prayer, Gushee gives us this conversational theological journey through how he changed his mind. In one book, he marks out every single component of historic Christian sexual morality. He covers all of the relevant biblical passages and all the theological positions, including the key argument of creation. With a careful study of context and biblical language, he walks us through a principled discussion that is respectful of traditionalists while calling for inclusion and the end of contempt. This definitive third edition also includes Gushee’s response to critics and a study guide for small group discussion.
For 30 years, Mel White served the evangelical Christian community as a pastor, seminary professor, best-selling author, prize-winning filmmaker, communication consultant and ghost writer to its most famous and powerful leaders, including Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson. After more than three decades of counselling and “anti-gay” therapy, he was able to reconcile his Christian theology and his sexual orientation, and in 1994 he came out publicly. “I am gay. I am proud. And God loves me without reservation.”
In this short and accessible booklet Mel White re-examines Bible passages that are often used to condemn LGBT+ people. It is freely available online:
Professor James Brownson has taught New Testament Theology at Western Theological Seminary, Michigan, for over 30 years. When his 19 year old son came out as gay, Brownson challenged himself to revisit the Scriptures believing that his own child was both gay and a Christian. This book is the culmination of his decades of Biblical scholarship, relationship and an openness to God’s leading. Brownson methodically does an excellent job of examining difficult verses that have been so carelessly exercised to condemn same-sex relationships, and gay and lesbian people.
Revd Dr Andrew Davison (Starbridge Associate Professor in Theology & Natural Sciences, Cambridge University) has created a short and very accessible book, written from the heart and engaging the mind. He invites us to listen to science, church tradition, scripture, and experience, bringing together the wisdom and insight of leading Christian theologians.
This book stands alone, but it can also be read alongside the study guide (LINK) produced by OneBodyOneFaith which is available for members of One Body One Faith. See here for more info.
UnClobber reexamines what the Bible says (and does not say) about homosexuality by looking at the six ‘Clobber Passages’ that are frequently used by conservative Christianity to stand against full LGBTQ inclusion. UnClobber examines each of these passages of Scripture, alternating with author Colby Martin’s own story of being fired from an evangelical megachurch when they discovered his stance on sexuality. The latest edition equips study groups and congregations with questions for discussion and a sermon series guide.
How different are men and women? When does it matter to us – or to God? Are male and female the only two options? This book explores these questions in light of the Bible, theology, and science. Many Christians are either ignorant of the existence of intersex persons or avoid the inherent challenge they bring to the assumption that everybody is born after the pattern of either Adam or Eve. DeFranza argues that all people are made in the image of God – male, female, and intersex – and that we must listen to and learn from the voices of the intersexed among us.
Ideal for individual or group use, this unique resource presents short pieces from some of the nation’s [USA] most pre-eminent church leaders – women and men, Protestant and Catholic, mainline and evangelical – who address fundamental moral imperatives about homosexuality. Through personal testimony, factual clarification, and moral suasion, they invite the reader to open his or her heart to the Spirit, to Gospel values, and to full acceptance of gay and lesbian persons in the “family of God”.
A Bigger Table invites listeners to envision a church that is big enough for everyone, by holding up a mirror to the modern church and speaking clearly on issues at the heart of the Christian community: LGBT inclusion, gender equality, racial tensions, global concerns, and theological shifts. John Pavlovitz shares moving personal stories, his careful observations as a pastor, and his understanding of the ancient stories of Jesus to set the table for a new, positive, more loving conversation on these and other important matters of faith. Though there are many who would remove chairs and whittle down the guest list, we can build the bigger table Jesus imagined, practicing radical hospitality, total authenticity, messy diversity, and agenda-free community.
Five hundred years ago the Protestant Reformation claimed the Bible as the authoritative guide for Christian living (‘Sola Scriptura’ – only Scripture). In this groundbreaking work, Emily Swan and Ken Wilson claim the authority of the church is shifting back to where it should be: in Jesus (‘Solus Jesus’). As co-founders of Blue Ocean Faith, Swan and Wilson are pioneering what it means to be post-evangelical—post-Protestant even—in a time when such re-imagining is desperately needed. For Christians looking for guidance on how to address distressing issues of injustice; for help understanding how they can faithfully follow Jesus and love their neighbours as themselves; and for practices for how to experience the living Jesus and his Spirit of love – this is the book for you.
For years, Christians have argued, debated, and fought one another while “speaking the truth in love”, yet we are no closer to the grace-filled life Jesus modelled. Biblical scholar and popular podcast host of The Bible for Normal People, Jared Byas casts a new vision for the Christian life that’s built not on certainty but on the risk of love. A biblically based Christian life is not grounded in having all the answers but in a living relationship. This ultimately shifts our focus from collecting the “right” answers to loving others deeply and authentically. With stories and insights drawn from his years as a pastor, professor, and podcast host, Jared Byas calls us back to the heart of the Bible: that truth is only true when it’s lived out in love. For anyone who has ever felt forced to choose between truth and love, acceptance and rightness, this book offers a path forward beyond truth wars and legalistic religion to a love that matters more.
‘This book is a generous gift to lesbian, gay and bisexual Christians, their friends, families and the church, one I have long hoped someone would write, sharing personal experience, weaving stories into a practical and deeply spiritual guide. It is full of wisdom, a resource not only for survival in a confused church but an inspiration to those longing to be true to themselves and to God who calls us unconditionally to love and transformation.’ Colin Howard, Changing Attitude
Pride and Joy is a positive and practical guide for LGBT+ parents. It’s full of stories, advice and real-life experience from LGBT+ parents and their children. Sometimes funny, sometimes moving, sometimes surprising, every story sheds new light on what it’s like for LGBT+ people raising children in the UK and Ireland.
When the Revd David Coles, life partner of Richard Coles, died unexpectedly shortly before Christmas 2019, much about death took Richard by surprise: the volume of ‘sadmin’ you have to do when someone dies, how much harder it is travelling for work alone, even the simple pain of typing a text message to your partner – then remembering they are gone.
Thirty-one days of prayers and Bible readings that capture the essence of Corrymeela’s practice of prayer. These prayers ‘are deep: as soon as you have used them for a month, you will want to begin again because each reading invites you deeper.’ Brian McLaren
Pádraig Ó Tuama is an Irish poet, theologian and conflict mediator.
Simple, direct and strikingly beautiful. These are inclusive liturgies for morning, midday, evening and night prayer, bringing together the seasons of the Christian year and of nature. The year is divided in eight, offering a new set of liturgies for each season. Steven Shakespeare is an Anglican priest and Lecturer in Philosophy at Liverpool Hope University.
Inclusive prayers for each Sunday (‘collects’) and most major festivals in the Christian calendar with additional material for each season. This book follows the 3-year cycle of the Anglican tradition. Steven Shakespeare is an Anglican priest and Lecturer in Philosophy at Liverpool Hope University.
This is the uplifting story of Ireland’s 2015 referendum on marriage equality, written by people who were at the heart of the Yes campaign. The book explains how the real heroes were the thousands of people who were mobilised nationwide to canvass for a Yes vote and how a new round of powerful personal stories moved hearts and changed minds.