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Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  745 ratings  ·  116 reviews
2010 Outreach Magazine Resource of the Year Award winner: culture category 2010 Golden Canon Leadership Book Award winner Relevant Magazine Top 20 Best Overall Books of 2009 winner Englewood Review of Books: Top 20 Best Overall Books of 2009 winner Christian Manifesto 2009 Lime Award winner Andrew Marin's life changed forever when his three best friends came out to him in ...more
Paperback, 204 pages
Published March 25th 2009 by IVP Books
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Brian Murphy
I read both the advance screener copy provided me by InterVarsity Press and the finished copy. Thoroughly disappointing. The book tries to be friendly to LGBT people but the discrimination (or limitations by the publisher) shows through.

The author routinely insists that Christians (whom he defines as straight) must love "the GLBT community" without an agenda, without expectation that they will change. Though, toward the end of the book, he notes that after years and years of loving on a gay frie
...more
Kenny Johnson
Aug 16, 2009 Kenny Johnson rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
The importance of this book cannot be overstated. The Christian community has done tremendous damage to their ability to effectively communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ to the gay and lesbian community and I am no exception to that broken relationship the church has with the GLBT community. This book humbled me, making me realize that even with the good intentions I might have had, I have hurt people because I approached situations without the proper care and humility I needed. It opened my e ...more
Matthew Robbins
It’s become one of the main issues of our time. It’s a spiritual issue, a relational issue, and, in past decades, a highly politicized one. You’ll find extremely strong opinions on both sides, and these polarized opinions can lead to confrontation, heated argument, broken relationships, even violence.

The issue: homosexuality.

The complexity of the issue is sometimes hidden beneath the same old rhetoric from both sides. One side tends to boil it down to a simple injunction to stop, often in very i
...more
Jill
I am not the intended audience for this book. I am a lesbian who has always been perfectly content in my identity. I didn't appreciate the condescending and patronizing way he viewed homosexuality. It seemed like his only purpose of making any attempt to understand gay people was to convert them to his view of christianity. I think this book could actually do harm to LGBT people who struggle with their identity and their religious beliefs.
The only redeeming thing about this book is that it is b
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Carrie B
This book is amazing. It finally approaches the topic from a sensible angle. It is not an angle of compromise, and it's not an angle of the evangelical definition of "tolerance," but rather an angle of love. I love the fact that he spends time pointing out the fact that we like to answer closed-ended questions to determine which "camp" someone is in. For example, "Do you think all gay people are going to hell?" This question begs a "yes" or "no" answer, when really the conversation can be elevat ...more
Josh Crain
It's entirely possible that I shouldn't be reviewing this book on the same evening I finished it; after all, this short book took me much longer than I had anticipated to finish off based on how much thinking I did on its content in the process of reading it.

So I think I'll be brief.

If you're a pastor, minister, church leader, or follower of Jesus who cares deeply about seeing all of humanity restored and reconciled to God, please read this book. It stands heads and heels above many I have read
...more
Kurt
Like the Ragamuffin Gospel, I found I learn a lot from this book, and not just about the GLBT community and how Andrew Marin encourages us to work with him building a bridge with that community. I learn a lot about myself and how I view the world and how I think God views the world. This is a very good book, a very honest book, and a great message for my generation.

One of my favorite quotes from the book actually comes from the forward by Brian McLaren:
Whatever your opinion on same-sex orienta
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Jenny
Love is an Orientation is written by an avowed conservative Christian man who attempts to come to terms with his understanding of Scripture in light of his friends and neighbors (he lives in a highly GLBT area in Chicago) as they come out to him. Marin weaves stories of interactions among exegetical research and thought that he has done, and that he has seen demonstrated through other thinkers. Although in the end Marin does not seem to buy into the liberal Christian biblical arguments supportin ...more
Geoff Smith
I am shocked and perplexed by all the positive reviews I'm reading. This book is rubbish. It is an anti-intellectual, emotions-manipulating fraud of a book that makes one clear point: Andrew Marin is a hack who lacks even the basic ability to interpret a Biblical text.

For the record: I have no sympathies for the way conservative Christians have regarded homosexual men and women in the recent past. The Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons of the previous generation were not speaking for the Apostle
...more
Chris Godwaldt
Andrew Marin fascinates me. I have been following his blog for quite some time, and so when a very good friend of mine gave me his book, I was quite eager to get into it.

Love is an Orientation is the first non-fiction book I've ever read that doesn't start with the decision to teach/coerce/convince or otherwise. While it's true that Marin seeks to educate, his primary focus is on opening up conversation, and Orientation is rich with assistance in that area. Written to the straight, Christian cro
...more
Jared Totten
Andrew Marin has written one of the most illuminating and challenging books of the year, pressing his finger in on a sore spot in the side of Christianity with Love Is an Orientation. The church's relationship with the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender community (or lack thereof) has been a black eye for us and a favorite straw man for anyone wanting to bash the church.



I found myself agreeing more often than not with Marin's approach and reasoning, attempting to "elevate the conversation" rather
...more
Geoff
One of the most thought-provoking, challenging books I've ever read. I picked it up after hearing the author speak at my church as part of a series called "Grace, Truth and Homosexuality." While there may be a minor point or two I disagree with, I'm completely in sync with the overall theme, which is God loves those he created. This book breaks through barriers; it gives practical ways for the evangelical Christian community to relate to the GLBT community -- two groups of people (whom God loves ...more
Denes House
This book was recommended to me by a number of friends, some of whom heard Andrew Marin speak at a college event. I bought it on their recommendation, then it sat on my desk and on my shelf for a couple of years, until I picked it up and read it yesterday and today.

Marin's book is challenging and helpful, seeking to find a way to bridge the divide between Evangelical Christianity and the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered community, a divide that has a long and storied history, and persis
...more
Aaron
The foreword to this book makes a prediction about the reader's reaction and asks a favor. It predicts that some people will think the author didn't go far enough, and others will think he went too far. It asks that the reader set aside the lists and checklists to measure approval/acceptance and listen to what Andrew Marin has on his heart to share.

But that's the nature of bridge building--connecting two disconnected sides. And from that perspective, Marin does a wonderful job.

This book was clea
...more
Randall Pratt
"All God needs are willing hearts to extend his unconditional love for all of his children -- gay and straight. This is our blessing. This is our bold calling. This is our orientation." So Andrew Marin concludes his seminal book, "Love is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community."

As a "straight, white, conservative, Bible-believing, evangelical male," Marin was incredulous when, in a matter of three short months, three close friends independently confided that they were
...more
Bruce
Aug 03, 2011 Bruce added it
I gave this book 5 stars, not because it was entertaining (it was anything but that), but because it was engaging. It is a book about how Conservative Evangelical Christians can open up a dialog and build a bridge to the GLBT community. The author has spent the last nine years living with, building relationships, and ministering to this community sharing with them the love of Christ (and yes he is a straight, evangelical christian). The book does not give any definitive answers, but it shows how ...more
Joni Weidenaar
This was easily one of the most important books I read in 2011. I grew up in a very conservative Christian community. When my best friend since the 2nd grade came out in the summer of 2011, I struggled with if I was to condemn her and distance myself and wondered what was loving. Marin opened my mind and heart to a struggle and an identity I do not understand. He gave me the words to have a conversation that transcends barriers and offers love at all times. I so appreciated that he did not give ...more
Dave McNeely
I couldn't help thinking that the best that this book has to offer is about 20 years too late. Nevertheless, it's better late than never. And while I don't want to fault the author for not going where he probably intended quite intentionally not to go, I would have like to see him press a little further into the issues of Christian communities wrestling with the question of whether homosexuality is a sin or not.
Margie
Listening to this conversation has given much to think about. I learned more about the GLBT community - things I need to know - ought to know. The topic is too relevant to ignore. I'd like everyone to read this and consider what Marin is saying. I highly recommend the book, he is asking that we consider love and listening as a means of communicating with the gay community.
Josh
One of the best books I have read on the subject, Love is an Orientation is a book by a straight Christian for straight Christians, to help them learn how to handle the idea of gay Christians. Andrew Marin refuses to use any "us vs. them" rhetoric, instead elevating the conversation as he believes Christ would. In this instance, that means that a person's sexual orientation is not nearly as important as his or her faith in Christ.

Marin takes us through his own journey from a self-described "Bibl
...more
Jon Andrews
OUTSTANDING! A must read.
Mark
My best friend kept telling me this book was good, and that I should read it, and since it is an issue important to me, I finally got it and read it. And I am not sure what to think.

I agree that the church needs to reach out to gay people more. It is a sad and pathetic fact that so many people that struggle with same-sex attractions are sitting in our church pews, scared to death to tell anyone. Yes, homosexuality is a sin, but so is any sex outside of marriage, and we don't treat people like l
...more
Bill
Marin begins by narrating his story of how he ventured into the gay community (as a straight heterosexual) when three of his closest friends "came out" within a period of three months. He advocates for open dialogue with the gay community, and the avoidance of closed-ended questions (on both sides) because they tend to squash conversation.

Believing that we all can learn something when gays and straights listen to one another, Marin chastises Christians for not being willing to inhabit the gay co
...more
Nick
Jan 27, 2012 Nick rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
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 othe
...more
Anna
This book, written by a man who founded the Marin Foundation--a center that reaches out to the GLBT community in Chicago, was powerfully full of the love of Christ. Aware of Scriptural teaching regarding all kinds of sin, he works to reach others with grace and with mercy--allowing the Lord to convict and change hearts while he seeks to mirror the love Christ has shown us. Oh, that more of the church would find balance on the side of mercy that is so very freely given to us.
From a theological st
...more
Amy
I really liked this book. Andrew Marin spoke in my church, which is when I first learned about him and his foundation. I liked the fact that it was not focused so much on the theological differences between Christians believing in a literal/traditional interpretation of the Bible, Christians who more liberally interpret the Scripture (or chose to ignore certain portions of the Bible); and those who give no credence at all to what the Bible says. Although he does give an overview of "gay theology ...more
Erin Thomas
Andrew is a great guy. I was standing at the info board at the East Falls Campus of Eastern University just over a year ago for our fall residency in the Urban Studies program. Not 3 days before (still in Canada at the time), my friend handed me this book and told me I needed to read it. Never had an evangelical attempted what Andrew had done in the past 9 years. As I stared at the board, looking for my name under carpooling assignments, I saw the name "Andrew Marin".

"Wha-?"

While some of us were
...more
Danae
This is a book that the evangelical community needed. In it, Andrew Marin calls evangelical Christians to lovingly and carefully build bridges between themselves and the GLBT community for the sake of the Gospel. He presents practical tips and examples, with personal stories to illustrate his points. I found his explanation of the GLBT interpretation of the Bible particularly helpful, not because I changed my opinion necessary, but because it gave me insight into the way they justify their lifes ...more
Tim
This is an important book, written by a person whose life and ministry gives him the authority to write it. Andrew Marin has been in the trenches for years building bridges to the GLBT community, and this experience gives him depth and wisdom as he writes.

Andrew advocates a refreshing approach built on genuine love and committed friendship that “elevates the conversation” beyond the simple closed-ended questions that people on both sides of the issue use to pigeon-hole those in the other camp (I
...more
Bob Ayres
All-in-all, I appreciate Marin’s insights, but things have changed quickly and this book is somewhat outdated in even the 4-5 years since being published. He reflects insights on a relatively thin slice of the gay community; those in committed, monogamous, relationships. Public acceptance of homosexuality has dramatically shifted in even the past couple of years.

His biblical exegesis in Chapter 7 on the scripture is very poor. The chapter is confused by the overlay of his "principles" which were
...more
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While working towards a doctorate degree at Moody Graduate School, Andrew P. Marin, founded The Marin Foundation a non-profit organization that seeks to build bridges between the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (GLBT) and religious communities. He and his wife, Brenda, live in the Boystown neighborhood of Chicago.
More about Andrew Marin...
Love Is an Orientation Participant's Guide: Practical Ways to Build Bridges with the Gay Community Our Last Option Love Is an Orientation Participant's Guide with DVD: Practical Ways to Build Bridges with the Gay Community Love Is an Orientation: Practical Ways to Build Bridges with the Gay Community Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility Can Save the Public Square

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