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

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  1,005 Ratings  ·  133 Reviews
When three of Andrew Marin's friends came out to him in the span of three months, he was confronted head-on with the question of how to reconcile his friends with his faith. Love Is an Orientation is the result of years of wrestling with this issue. In the book, Marin speaks out with compassion and conviction, elevating the conversation between Christianity and the GLBT co ...more
Paperback, 204 pages
Published March 25th 2009 by IVP Books
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Brian Murphy
Jul 29, 2011 Brian Murphy rated it did not like it
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
Kenny Johnson
Aug 03, 2009 Kenny Johnson rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 05, 2012 Jill rated it did not like it
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
Jan 27, 2011 Matthew rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Carrie B
Feb 18, 2010 Carrie B rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 24, 2010 Kurt rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 09, 2009 Jenny rated it liked it
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
Josh Crain
May 02, 2010 Josh Crain rated it it was amazing
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
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
Kimi Tanaka
Jan 02, 2017 Kimi Tanaka rated it really liked it
Inconclusive in the best way possible. It doesn't try to answer the question of whether homosexuality is permissible by God or not. As Marin points out, there are over a hundred books that try to answer that question. But in a complicated controversy in which both sides have dug in their heels, Marin tries to make a way forward. So often we lose Jesus in the debates over context and the meanings of words in Greek. The ultimate goal of the church should not be to make everyone straight and marrie ...more
Denes House
Oct 01, 2013 Denes House rated it really liked it
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
Geoff Smith
Apr 01, 2014 Geoff Smith rated it did not like it
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
Jared Totten
Aug 11, 2011 Jared Totten rated it liked it
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
May 24, 2009 Aaron rated it really liked it
Shelves: spiritual
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
Randall Pratt
Aug 10, 2011 Randall Pratt rated it it was amazing
"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
Jun 18, 2012 Geoff rated it it was amazing
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
Chris Godwaldt
Jan 20, 2011 Chris Godwaldt rated it really liked it
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
Joni Weidenaar
Apr 07, 2013 Joni Weidenaar rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 02, 2010 Dave McNeely rated it liked it
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.
Mar 15, 2013 Margie rated it really liked it
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.
Jon Andrews
Mar 01, 2013 Jon Andrews rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-book
OUTSTANDING! A must read.
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
Aug 21, 2011 Giedra rated it really liked it
Very interesting book. Author was a homophobic conservative Christian when, in college, 3 of his best friends came out to him in the space of 3 months. He decided that he needed to understand them better and learn what being gay really meant to them (what it was all about) and immersed himself in gay culture in Chicago's Boystown. This book summarizes what he has learned over a decade, during which he has come to approach the gay community with love and grace.

The subtitle of the book "elevating
Phil Whittall
Dec 06, 2014 Phil Whittall rated it liked it
Over the past year I've read a number of books on the issue of Christianity and homosexuality. Some have been about helping those who want to leave the gay lifestyle behind them, some have been about the differing views of Christians on the issue, some have been about defending Christianity against homosexuality and still others about the way forward on a theoretical level.

Love is an Orientation by Andrew Marin does none of those things, instead it's the way forward on a practical, personal leve
Anthony Venn-Brown
Sep 05, 2009 Anthony Venn-Brown rated it it was amazing
"Love is an Orientation" could have been written by many of us. My last 18 years as out gay man, being involved in the many diversities of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community and 22 years living totally within a Christian context certainly have given me the insights to pen this work. What makes this book so remarkable is that it is written by a straight, evangelical young man.

Author Andrew Marin's begins his journey when three of his close Christian friends secretly confide
May 27, 2011 Nick rated it it was ok
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
Erin Thomas
Oct 29, 2012 Erin Thomas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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".


While some of us were
This is a well-written and thought provoking book. Marin tackles an extremely difficult topic with a freshness. He grew up making fun of gays and lesbians until three friends of his came out in three consecutive months in college. This caused him to reevaluate his actions, words and his life. Since then Marin has ministered in Boystown in Chicago and manages to straddle the evangelical Christian and GLBT subcultures.

His basic argument is that Christians need to take a stance of love towards gay
May 21, 2015 Sagely rated it really liked it
It's hard to say just one thing about Andrew Marin's Love Is an Orientation. It's the kind of book I want to shout Amen over at points and I want to shout down at other points. It's a book that's beautiful in its stories and cringe-worthy in some of its editing. What to say? What to say?

LIaO holds a strong Evangelical starting point as it wades into the tide of the LGBT-Christian conversation. But it's what I tend to think of as a "mission-field" Evangelicalism (in the best sense). Marin does mo
Aug 25, 2009 Tim rated it really liked it
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
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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...

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“It’s time to pay more attention to living out what we believe instead of always trying to say it.” 1 likes
“Christians are to be characterized by loving all comers, not just those who love us.” 1 likes
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