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Justin Lee is the founder and executive director of The Gay Christian Network (GCN), a nonprofit, interdenominational organization working to increase dialogue between gays and Christians and support people on both sides wrestling with related issues. A passionate Christian from a conservative evangelical background, Justin thought he knew everything there was to know about the Christian approach to homosexuality-until unexpected events turned his world upside down and forced him to reconsider everything he believed. Today, his organization works with individuals, families, and churches to stop the debate from tearing people apart. Justin's work has garnered national attention and praise from gays and Christians from across the theological spectrum. He has been featured in numerous print, radio, and television venues including Dr. Phil, Anderson Cooper 360, the Associated Press, and a front page article in The New York Times. He is the director of the 2009 documentary Through My Eyes about the debate's impact on young Christians, and the co-host of popular long-running podcast GCN Radio. Justin lives in Raleigh, NC.
"With gracious spirit, intelligent sense of proportion and, above all, prayerful and rigorous honesty in pursuing a deeply biblical perspective, Justin Lee engages the churches' latest sad assault against folks they still have failed to hear. What he's lived and learned and written needs to be received with gratitude and given prayerful reflection - not to agree or disagree with this or that, but to listen with the love that fulfills the law and the prophets."--Dr. Ralph Blair, Psychotherapist and Founder of Evangelicals Concerned, Inc. "Dr. Ralph Blair, Psychotherapist and Founder of Evangelicals Concerned, Inc. " "Disarmingly vulnerable...poignant..." Christianity Today" ."..His book offers helpful suggestions for Christians...[and] helpful suggestions for pastoral counseling..." World Magazine" "In TORN, Justin Lee blends simplicity, clarity, humility, honesty, and vulnerability in a gracious and eye-opening way. The book brings fresh perspectives to old and polarized debates, and it offers a wise and faithful way forward for pastors and other Christian leaders, parents and other family members, not to mention gay men and women themselves. This is the book that every Evangelical, Charismatic, and Roman Catholic Christian should read on the question of homosexuality." --Brian D. McLaren, author of Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World (brianmclaren.net) "This is the most important book I've read in years, and it will be the first I recommend to anyone interested in bridging the divide between the LGBT community and the church. Justin has given us a precious gift with this story. May we receive it with the same courage and faith with which it was delivered."--Rachel Held Evans, blogger, author of Evolving in Monkey Town and A Year of Biblical Womanhood "Justin didn't leave the church when he realized he was gay...he has been too determined to show them how much he loves them...This is the story of how one Christian man's faith taught him to accept himself, serve others who are in need, and bridge the gap for those who do not always understand."--Jennifer Knapp, Singer/Songwriter, Founder of InsideOutFaith.org "This book is full of three things that are not always much in evidence in our debates on sexuality--fresh air, common sense and manifest love of Christ. What makes it different is that it is not essentially about arguing a case but abut bridging the gaps of understanding and sympathy that (inside and outside the Church) have distorted or muffled the overwhelming miracle of Gods gift in Christ and in Scripture. I welcome it very warmly."--Honorable Reverend Dr. Rowan Williams ..".His book offers helpful suggestions for Christians...[and] helpful suggestions for pastoral counseling..."--World Magazine "Lee, one of our leading voices on the issues of being gay and Christian, gives us this powerful look at ways that members on both sides of the lines can learn from and grow with each other."--SHE Magazine "The beauty of this book is that Lee wants to challenge all kinds of Christians...Perhaps it is because of so many fights hard won that Lee is now able to move into more nuanced territory in this gracious and grace-filled memoir."--The Christian Century "Disarmingly vulnerable...poignant..."--Christianity Today "Lee's writing is approachable, and he shows compassion for those on all sides of this debate."--Kirkus Reviews "Radiates a genuine concern and belief in progress through slow, personal evolution...Both LGBT individuals and Christians will benefit from the modeling of a kinder, more accommodating navigation of this culture war."--Publishers Weekly,
Lee, founder of Gay Christian Network, attempts to call a truce in the gays-versus-Christians cultural war with this autobiographical account. His experiences inside Christian communities, including ex-gay ministries, have convinced Lee that the church is hampering its own best intentions. The nondoctrinaire approach he offers, through examples and concrete suggestions, requires both sides to allow greater space for differing viewpoints and more open listening. He argues that gays need to be more welcoming to the religious, including gay celibates. On the other side, Christians need to change an approach that casts sexual minorities as sinners by definition and fixates on changing or healing. His tactics might seem too gentle for more radical aspirations, but his tone radiates a genuine concern and belief in progress through slow, personal evolution. The lens of one gay Christian's life helps bring home the political message, and Lee's willingness to admit that both sides have good intentions provides a much needed break from the rancor of the debate. Both LGBT individuals and Christians will benefit from the modeling of a kinder, more accommodating navigation of this culture war. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.