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nickjones

Inklings

I'm addicted to books. According to Umberto Eco I am building an anti-library, meaning I own way more books than I have read. I love good fiction, literature, theology, Biblical studies, philosophy, children's books, and lots more.

Currently reading

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Danae Yankoski, Francis Chan
The Kingdom New Testament: A Contemporary Translation
N.T. Wright
The Theology of John Wesley: Holy Love and the Shape of Grace
Kenneth J. Collins
Progress: 244/331 pages
House of Leaves
Mark Z. Danielewski
Progress: 50/662 pages
The Hound of the Baskervilles (with Illustrations by Sidney Paget)
Sidney Paget, Arthur Conan Doyle
Progress: 35 %
The Dead Zone
Stephen King
Progress: 52/402 pages
Holiness
J.C. Ryle
Help! I'm a Small Church Youth Worker: Achieving Big-Time Success in a Non-Mega Ministry
Rich Grassel
Progress: 57/115 pages
How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels
N.T. Wright
Progress: 69 %
The Hound of the Baskervilles
Arthur Conan Doyle, Anne Perry
Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community - Andrew Marin I'm not quite sure how I feel about this book. On the one hand I agree with Marin that the evangelical Christian community has a lot to learn about how it treats homosexual people and communicates the love of Christ. Many Christians probably need to hear some of the stories he presents. It is true that God works with all believers in a process of sanctification. And it is also true that the Bible is often used by Christians in ways that it was not intended to be used or understood.
On the other hand, I found it difficult to fully understand Marin's true beliefs throughout much of the book. Towards the end I was able to surmise what his private convictions might be, but I also realized that his thesis was not about those beliefs but about coaching evangelical Christians on having meaningful dialogue with people in the GLBT community. His premise is that our job is to love and let God be the judge and work on hearts. In personal relationships this may be so, but my difficulties are with corporate worship. While Marin talks of the GLBT community in sweeping terms (ironic since he seems to be limited to working in one neighborhood in Chicago), he also paints evangelicals with sweeping stokes. I cannot remember him citing any evidence for evangelical beliefs or examples of prejudice that did not come from his own life or the stories of the people he has talked with. I say that if you are going to speak for a whole group at least cite examples. What he is saying is probably true of a lot of people, but I think he could have been more thorough.
But while he likes to speak of groups he approaches spiritual matters on an individual level. One of the problems of American Christianity is that we tend to think mainly in terms of the individual, rather than in the NT terms of a Body--the Church. And while he glosses some of the key Bible passages dealing with this issue (while I do concede some of Marin's points in this section, I found his final interpretations to be somewhat evasive and unfulfilling), he does not sufficiently convince me that his hermeneutic of love should be void of such things as church discipline for any sinful behavior. Perhaps the Church has done a poor, even inconsistent, job of this in the past, but that does not mean that it is not valid to do so.
Perhaps I am missing the point of this book or am confused about what Marin understands about the dynamic of Christians, the Church, holiness, and God. Perhaps he doesn't intend for his readers to think this far into the subject but to stay on the doorstep of dialogue. I just know that I didn't find this book to be very fulfilling or useful to me personally. 2.5 stars.