Words of wisdom

The below will be populated with books and blogs, and anything else that takes my fancy. They are speakers, writers, leaders. A digital map of the people or the works that have resonated with me, a path that leads to who and where I am today. These are resources, whether they be new ideas or old values. A rhythmic, glowing body of lights that have helped me find my way. Expect new lights to arrive and new voices to spring forth over time. For now, a short introductory list. You’ve probably heard of these people.

On a day-to-day basis, I use and read the English Standard Version of the Bible. I don’t like everything about it, but I appreciate its balance between readability and literality. But I also find myself exploring the New Living TranslationNew International Version and, of course, The Message.

Redemption Pictures

Micah J. Murray’s blog was one of the first I ever encountered from a Christian ‘straight ally’. In particular, it was the now viral post Why I Can’t Say Love the Sinner / Hate the Sin Anymore that shook me and left me weeping alone in my bedroom late one night. I love that he doesn’t need to participate in deep academic hermeneutics to speak words of grace that are absolutely Biblical. He gets it and he wants to help fix it.

Note, Micah has since rebranded his blog to micahjmurray.com – which he explains the reasons for better than I can. You can still access it using the old Redemption Pictures link, though.

Rachel Held Evans

This warrior strikes the perfect balance between Biblical discussion and heart-based realism. She can go from a deep academic exchange to a very human conversation about how we treat each other in one short breath. She has a great blog, but so much more as well.

Registered Runaway

This blog, kept by Benjamin Moberg isn’t one I’ve explored to the same depths as the other two above. But whenever I dip in to it I leave feeling empowered, lifted, and ready to face what comes next. It is Moberg’s insistence that he won’t get in to church bashing that is behind that refrain in my first post to the church that “I refuse to start hating you.”

Sarah Bessey

Much like Ben Moberg’s, I can’t claim to have as thorough a knowledge of Sarah Bessey’s site. But having recently become addicted to RSS feeds with ReadKit and Feedly, I routinely find that hers are the first I click on to read on a daily basis, sometimes rereading posts two or three times. Her book, Jesus Feminist, is an absolute must-read. Absolute words of wisdom from this gifted leader.

A Deeper Story

Now, this site is pretty fantastic. It’s a big old mash-up of theologies, backgrounds, men, women, and all sorts else. What they have in common is that all the contributors are some of the most fantastic writers on the web (including three of the four above). A place of good words, great questions and fantastic reading. Go there for inspiration, for study or for exploration.

UPDATE: Upsettingly, Deeper Story has now announced it’s closing down. They will remain online as an archive, though, and I would really encourage any christian I know to explore its contents while they can, it’s incredible.

Banning Liebscher

Look, I don’t know what Banning Liebscher’s position on homosexuality and same-sex marriage is. I don’t know what would happen if I moved to Sacramento and started attending the new Jesus Culture church he’s just planted with Bethel. But whenever I hear him preach – and this goes for many of the Bethel team, but especially for him – his words cut me like a knife. There will always be more to this blog, to my faith and to my day-to-day than my sexuality, even if it is why I started this blog. Banning’s words are a good representation of what that looks like.

Matthew Vines and The Reformation Project

Matthew Vines’ book God & the Gay Christian has already become Christian legend. I started a journey at roughly the same time as Matthew of re-examining the theology behind the traditional Christian insistence that homosexuality and same-sex relationships were not compatible with our faith. It took a lot of pain and a lot of time, but I came out the other end with roughly the same theology as he has. His book and his talk – which went viral in 2012 – gave words and a cogency to what I’d been trying and failing to express for a few years. He’s been greeted with vitriol and abuse by much of the Church, but he remains steadfast, fighting for change. I will always recommend his work first and foremost to the gay Christian trying to find their way in the world.

That said, it’s important to note that Matthew Vines preaching and his book are just one short chapter in a rich library of resources for the gay Christian or the straight ally. They sum up some of the argument, and they add some points alongside it, but they are not the whole of the debate, and I think it’s unwise to take the words of God and the Gay Christian as the be all and end all. The best starting point anyone could hope for, but it does not leave all questions unanswered.

I will keep updating this one, so check back.

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