If you are new to the LGBTQ+ Christian conversation and you have no idea where to go or where to turn, you are not alone in that. This page has some of my favorite books and resources to help you find community, good stories, and some good teaching when it comes to faith, sexuality, and culture. I’ll be updating it as I read more, and I hope that this helps you in your own journey. Take a peak! (Click on the images to be taken to the Amazon pages.)
Progressive and Inclusive Theology:
Gives a really REALLY good intro to talking about progressive and inclusive theology. This is the book I recommend most to people who are starting out their journey in this. It gives the basics as well as includes a good bit of personal narrative. Very accessible to the everyday Christian.
A great first read for people. It’s highly narrative driven, which for me is huge. Nothing changes hearts and minds like someone’s story. For me, it had a LOT of “me too” moments. I felt heard, known, and seen. I gave it to some of my family as well, which helped a lot with advancing the conversation. HIGHLY recommend this for individuals or family members who may not be as affirming. It’s a great first read.
Bible, Gender, Sexuality: reframing the Church’s debate on same-sex relationships by Dr. James V. Brownson
This one is DENSE. It reads like a text book, but is arguably the best exegesis on this topic. If you are someone who wants a deep understanding of scripture in relation to it’s context and how we live in that today, this is a great resource.
Walking the Bridgeless Canyon by Kathy Baldock
One of the best resources for looking at the historical, cultural, psychological, medical, social and religious contexts of the LGBTQ+ Christian conversation. Kathy is a fierce ally and gives such a compelling case for inclusion and affirmation. This one is also very dense, but has INCREDIBLE resources. There’s a study guide coming out soon too!
Unclobber: rethinking our misuse of the bible on homosexuality by Colby Martin
When Colby Martin announced shared with his church elders that he was affirming of LGBT people and in favor of same-sex marriage, he promptly lost everything. In Unclobber, he takes a look at what led him to an affirming stance using a heart-breaking narrative that lead to something better while addressing the 6 traditional verses that are typically used to oppress and marginalized queer individuals.
I’d recommend this for any straight pastor who is currently struggling with their own position on how to love their LGBT parishioners or is actually secretly affirming, OR maybe you want to give this to your pastor who isn’t affirming and needs to read a different take.
Faith and Figuring It Out:
These are the books on faith and life that are about doubt and belief and the space in between.
Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans
Ever feel like you’re at this point of loving God but hating all God’s followers? You know you love Jesus but the climate of the Church in America is nothing like the Jesus you read about in the Bible? Follow the journey of Rachel Held Evans on her journey of loving, leaving, and finding the Church again.
If a pastor has tattoos, cusses, and enjoys a good beer, I trust them nearly implicitly. Nadia is no exception. In this book, she tells the story of finding God in the people she gets annoyed by, who she can’t stand, and those she’s hesitant to serve, and how despite being an ass, God still uses her.
Losing faith is a painful thing. In this memoir-esque book, Mike (who I had on the first episode of my Podcast) tells the story of how his faith disolved into atheism when struck with personal crisis, and how a mystical experience compelled him to take another look at faith. Surprisingly, he doesn’t rediscover in traditional scriptures or Christian subculture, but through science. One of my favorite books in a long while.
For someone who has walked through my own quarter-life crisis, I wish I had this book years ago. In this book, Rob paints the picture of how to actually figure out what you want out of life and gives practical steps to moving from surviving to thriving, into your calling and purpose in this life.