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Reluctant Journey: From homophobia to Christian love
by George S. E. Hopper (1997) Paperback 55 pages, RRP £4.00, ISBN 978-0953116805
A careful, straightforward and readable study of the much-quoted Bible texts, which exposes and challenges the uncertainties present in their translation. The author, a happily married heterosexual and Methodist lay preacher, examined for himself what the Bible said about homosexuality. After rigorous study, he came to unexpected and unsought-after conclusions that resulted in his radical change of attitude towards lesbian and gay people.
Exchanging the Truth of God for a Lie
by Jeremy Marks (2009) Paperback 126 pages, RRP £10.00, ISBN 978-1903905456
In this book Jeremy relates his own journey through 20 years of ministry with Courage (UK), a group he founded to offer support for people who experience a conflict between their faith and their sexuality. Initially Courage (UK) was an ‘ex-gay’ group but the lack of long-term fruit from this approach led to a change of direction to became a gay-affirming ministry. Jeremy relates with sincerity how he arrived at that conclusion.
The Gospel According to Everyone
by Martin Wroe (2011) Paperback 95 pages, RRP £6.00, ISBN 978-1447809739
In church we are used to readings from one of the four Gospels. But what if we were to hear from a ‘Fifth Gospel’, from the stories of the people sitting next to us? This book is twelve such stories from people of St. Luke’s Church North London, including EF’s own John Blowers.
Chasing an Elusive God: The Bible’s Quest and Ours
by Ray Vincent (2013) Paperback 160 pages, RRP £14.00, ISBN 978-1846947146
This book is a guide to reading the Bible not to find answers but to hear the urgency of the questions and to realise that those who wrote the Bible, were searching too. They searched in many different ways. Sometimes what they say seems alien to our way of thinking. Sometimes we feel they are kindred spirits. Sometimes they challenge us to think again. Often they argue with one another, and as we read their words and respond to them we become part of the ongoing conversation. This is what makes the Bible relevant and exciting.
Let the Bible be Itself: Learning to Read it Right
by Ray Vincent (2008) Paperback 160 pages, RRP £13.00, ISBN 978-1846941481
This book examines where the Bible came from, what were the purposes for which it was originally intended, and how and why it became so central to the Christian faith. It asks Has the Bible ever in fact been the supreme authority for Christians? Was it really meant to be? The author suggests that the best way we can honour the Bible is by coming to it as we are and seeing it as it is. In this way we can enter into a real dialogue with it and appreciate what a marvellous, passionate, vibrant collection of writings it is.
Acts of Faith and Love: The Evangelical Fellowship for Lesbian and Gay Christians 1979–1999
Compiled by Sigrid Rutishauser-James (2000) Paperback 104 pages, RRP £6.00, ISBN 978-0952834717
This book, which marks the 20th anniversary of the Evangelical Fellowship, contains selected articles from newsletters over the years, plus a wealth of further material about the activities of the Fellowship and its engagements with the wider world. It thus provides glimpses into the issues affecting lesbian and gay Christians in the late 20th century.
Understanding the Bible Today
by Phil Gardner (1990) Booklet 12 pages, RRP £1.50
Based on a talk given at an EF Conference, this booklet considers some important questions How do we use the Bible? How are we to understand it in the light of its original context? What is the Bible? Should we acknowledge it to be the authorative word of God? If so, in what sense?
Nehemiah: Reflections from a gay perspective
by Sigrid Rutishauser and others (1990) Booklet 26 pages, RRP £1.50
This booklet, based on a set of Bible studies written for EF’s tenth anniversary, includes drawings, meditations, prayers and articles around the themes of rebuilding a broken community and coping with opposition. Through written from a gay viewpoint, it contains much of interest to non-gay Christians.
Other recommended reading
Apart from the books sold by EF, we are happy also to recommend other books that are available from online and traditional bookshops. The books may be available at lower prices than the RRPs quoted.
Members of the Fellowship have found these books helpful and so we list them. If you have found books helpful that are not on this list, then please let us know and we will consider adding them.
The Bad Christian Manifesto
by Dave Tomlinson (2014) Hardback 256 pages, RRP £13.99, ISBN 978-1444752250
Dave thinks that a lot of our overly religious, formal ideas of God need to be reinvented – and a lot of our spirituality, too. What does it look like to live well and die happy – from an unapologetically generous Christian point of view? Join Dave as he considers virtues, vices, friendship, morality, mortality – and how to make a sacrament of anything from cigars to chocolate.
This book will change the way you think about God – and the way you live your life.
Living it Out: A Survival Guide for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Christians and Their Friends, Families and Churches
by Rachel and Sarah Hagger-Holt (2009) Paperback 144 pages, RRP £12.99, ISBN 978-1853119996
Here is a practical and affirming book for everyone facing this controversial issue whether as a gay or lesbian Christian seeking to live with integrity, their friends and families, church leaders seeking understanding and guidance. The authors draw on the experiences of a wide circle of friends and acquaintances who have been personally involved with this issue. They use stories, reflections, readings, prayers, cartoons and top tips to suggest practical ways of managing and enriching relationships with God, the church, and other people. Upbeat, brave and open, this is based on many Christians’ lived experience and includes fifty first-hand stories from men and women from all denominations.
How to be a Bad Christian … and a better Human Being
by Dave Tomlinson (2013) paperback 240 pages, RRP £8.99, ISBN 978-1444703825
In the course of his work as a vicar, Dave Tomlinson meets lots of people who describe themselves as ‘not good enough’ to be a Christian, thinking that faith involves going to church a lot, or believing in a list of strange things, or following certain rules. But being a Christian isn’t about any of that – and actually, following Jesus is a lot easier, and more fun, than most people think.
“Dave Tomlinson is superb priest who is driven by God’s love in Christ, and who understands the spiritual instincts and needs of ordinary people. But he has to work within – or against – an institutional Church which too often either cannot communicate at all, or else communicates a false God with a repellent face. If the Christian faith is ever to capture the imagination of our culture, we have to learn the lessons of this book.” (Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans)
Coming Out to God: Prayers for lesbians and gay men, their friends and families
by Chris Glaser (1991) Paperback 168 pages, RRP £12.99, ISBN 0 664 25176 5
A collection of 60 prayers. Chris Glaser studied theology at Yale Divinity School. As a gay Christian he has worked tirelessly for reconciliation between the Church and the lesbian and gay community in the USA. He is the author of several books, including The Word is Out, a page-a-day devotional book relating the teaching of the Bible with lesgay experience, and his autobiography Uncommon Calling.
In the Eye of the Storm
by Gene Robinson (2008) Paperback 172 pages, RRP £12.99, ISBN 978-1853119026
In 2003, Gene Robinson was elected as the Bishop of New Hampshire – the first openly gay man to be called to serve in such a position. Clearly beloved in his diocese and chosen from a wide selection of candidates, the election was entirely proper and the result clear cut, yet it sparked a hurricane storm of controversy that has polarised religious opinion on five continents and still rages five years on. Here, Gene Robinson reflects on his journey of faith, his life experiences, the concerns that matter most to him as a bishop and the controversy that has rocked the church he loves and to which he is committed.
The Service of My Love: The celebration and blessing of civil partnerships: a pastoral and liturgical handbook
by Jim Cotter (2009) Hardback 128 pages, RRP £10.00, ISBN 978-1870652452
We live in a society where it is legal to enter into a civil partnership (and since 2014 a marriage) between two people of the same sex, but where it is still against the rule-book of the churches to celebrate and bless such a partnership. This book is addressed to a couple, ‘Pat’ and ‘Chris’, who come to their minister seeking a blessing; it sets the scene with five perspectives – pastoral, personal, ministerial, ecclesiastical and theological, and ethical – and provides liturgical resources, hymns and prayers for such an occasion.
If The Service of My Love can be talked about by clergy and couples, in local church groups and among people who can influence policies, it may help to advance the cause of justice and even help us to relax and laugh together.
The Post Evangelical
by Dave Tomlinson (1995) Paperback 160 pages, RRP £7.99, ISBN 978-0281048144
For a growing number of Christians weaned on modern evangelicalism, the subculture and absolutism that accompany the dogma no longer fit. Dave Tomlinson, a rather ‘outside-the-box’ Anglican priest in London, caused a major stir in the UK in 1995 with the release of The Post Evangelical.
This is not about a cloaked move to liberalism, or a full-frontal dive into relativism. Instead, The Post Evangelical actually represents a step toward, rather than away from, one’s evangelical roots, exploring such issues as looking at the Bible as God’s story and getting beyond labels.
by Dave Tomlinson (2008) Paperback 160 pages, RRP £9.99, ISBN 978-1853118579
Dave Tomlinson is author of The Post Evangelical, a seminal book which acknowledged the disenchantment with simplistic approaches to faith experienced by many evangelicals. Many, locked into interpretations of Christianity that they can no longer accept, have given up on the Church altogether. But is re-enchantment possible in our post-modern, post-Christian age? Re-enchantment is not a return to credulity or an attempt to recapture lost innocence, but it is finding a realistic faith that reconciles heart and head, that offers a positive, engaging spirituality, that is unafraid of grappling honestly with difficult questions.
The Meaning in the Miracles
by Jeffrey John (2001) Paperback 256 pages, RRP £7.99, ISBN 978-1853114342
Many explanations of the miracles recorded in the Gospels fall into one of two questionable categories unthinking acceptance or debunking, which leaves only some vague moral lessons to be learned. In this text, Jeffrey John sets the miracles of Jesus in a wider biblical context and shows them to be loaded with theological and prophetic relevance. This broad perspective, which brings together theological enquiry and the needs of personal faith, should come as a revelation to many Christians searching for a proper understanding of Jesus’ miracles.
Going to Heaven: The Life and Election of Bishop Gene Robinson
by Elizabeth Adams (2006) Paperback 304 pages, RRP £10.99, ISBN 978-1933368221
Through a lively text, based on extensive interviews with Bishop Robinson, his closest associates, family, colleagues and observers, and illustrated with photographs from all phases of his life, Going to Heaven paints a portrait of Bishop Robinson not as a symbol, but a human being who is, as he puts it, ‘neither the angel nor the devil some would make me out to be.’ It illuminates his life; his struggle with – and eventual acceptance of – his homosexuality; and his calling to become a priest and later a bishop. It tells the story of the critical events of his election and consecration amid intense opposition, huge security concerns and media attention. It then follows him through the next two years as he juggles dual roles – Bishop of New Hampshire, and symbol of gay achievement and the progressive church. The book concludes with a discussion of the deep theological and historical significance of Gene Robinson’s election and personal vision for the future, and what this means both for individuals and for a Church seeking to be relevant in a post-modern world.
What’s So Amazing About Grace
by Philip Yancey (2002) Paperback 304 pages, RRP £9.99, ISBN 978-031024565
Philip says it best when he describes ‘grace’ as the one unique word that distinguishes authentic Christianity throughout the ages. It’s what I need every day; it’s likely what you desire every day. Philip’s book will prod us all to receive grace and dispense it. The results will surprise and delight us.
There is a chapter where he speaks of his friend Rev. Mel White who is gay. A very moving chapter in which his understanding of the gay issue is informed by his close friendship with White.
Disclosures: Conversations Gay and Spiritual
by Michael Ford (2004) Paperback 144 pages, RRP £10.95, ISBN 978-0232525618
This volume provides a collection of interviews in which gay and lesbian Christians speak of their struggle to remain true to themselves and true to the Church. Here, through a series of moving and surprising portraits their stories are unveiled for the first time and offer insights into their psychological and spiritual lives.
Strangers and Friends: A new exploration of homosexuality and the Bible
by Michael Vasey (1995) Paperback 276 pages, RRP £9.99, ISBN 978-0340608142
Michael Vasey was tutor in Liturgy at Cranmer Hall, Durham, before his sudden untimely death in 1998. He was also a gay man, highly respected among evangelicals and others in the Church of England for his creative contributions to new church liturgy. In this ground-breaking book he evaluates recent studies into the history and sociology of homosexuality.
Permanent, Faithful, Stable: Christian same-sex marriage
by Jeffrey John (2012) Paperback 96 pages, RRP £6.99, ISBN 978-0232529579
An updated and revised version of this book, which affirms that ‘the quality of relationships which the Church says is proper to a man and woman in marriage is also proper to two men or two women who wish to commit themselves to one another in love.’ The author is the Dean of St. Albans.