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Oriented to Faith: Transforming the Conflict over Gay Relationships

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4.38  ·  Rating details ·  102 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Rather than embracing the conflict around gay relationships as an opportunity for the church to talk honestly about human sexuality, Christians continue to hurt one another with the same tired arguments that divide us along predictable political battle lines. If the world is to "know that we are Christians by our love," the church needs to discover better ways to live out ...more
Kindle Edition, 175 pages
Published July 6th 2014 by Cascade Books - An Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers
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4.38  · 
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 ·  102 ratings  ·  19 reviews


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Matt
Nov 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
A great book that can truly claim to be unique among so many others that beat this issue like a dead horse. First, let me say that my respect for Tim Otto is huge. In a nation full of Christians who love their religion so long as it doesn't require anything from them ("just say this little prayer with me and let's go to heaven!"), Tim Otto has made self-sacrifices as a gay Christian that make it impossible for anyone to question whether or not he's a "real Christian." The great strength of this ...more
Sagely
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The hot conversation around sexuality suddenly exploded in our congregation a few weeks back.

I was very grateful that C had already ordered Oriented to Faith for me when she saw our former pastor Sally Youngquist had blurbed it positively. Very grateful.

Tim Otto weaves his own story as a gay Christian in and around helpful reflections on the state of the acrimonious debate about LGBT folks and churches. He convincingly refuses to "take a side" and instead highlights the strengths and weaknesses
...more
Dana
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Good News. Third Way. Grace upon Grace. Surprising upending of tired dualities. Read it, no matter how made up you think your mind is, no matter how certain you are that you know God's will.
Lindsey
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
With humility and vulnerability, Otto convicts and comforts the church struggling to figure out how to live as a family. A necessary read if we are ever going to move beyond the arguments.
Julia Smith
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book that will likely challenge you whatever your stance ons ame- sex relationships. I highly recommend it.
Amanda
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Truly, this is one of the best books I've ever read.

It is certainly no secret that this controversial issue has been discussed and debated to the point that it is driving wedges between Christians and non-Christians alike. I think for that reason alone, this is an important read for Christians of any sexual orientation.

Mr. Otto states up front that he is not going to give the reader an answer as to whether or not it's "right" or "wrong" to be gay. Instead, he presents different views as to what
...more
Libby
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It took me awhile to get through this, but not because it wasn't great (I just always have to force myself to read nonfiction over fiction). This was a very thoughtful account, both of the author's own journey with reconciling his homosexual orientation with his Christian faith, and of the theological issues surrounding the church and homosexuality. Otto was very good at making the case (without being "preachy") that Christians on different sides of the issue need to listen to each other and fin ...more
Richard Young
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books on the topic that I have read. I love how the author doesn't just come out and give you his point of view. Instead he discusses a new way to live as a christian. I would recommend this book if you are struggling with what it means to be a member of God's family.
Chris Schutte
Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Those looking for answers to the question of whether same-sex relationships are potentially good in God's sight will be frustrated, but Tim has important counsel to both "affirming" and "non-affirming" churches, and has especially challenging exhortations on recovering the church as primary family.
Cara Meredith
Mar 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
You cannot argue with someone's story. And Tim Otto tells his story well, straddling the LGBT issue between the liberal and conservative sides of the church well. While I sometimes wished he'd just pick a 'side,' his own experience and study can't be negated.
Joshua Carney
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've read a fair number of books that address LGBTQ from the perspective of Christian faith. They tend to start to blend together. This book was a breath of fresh air. In particular, I think Otto rightly frames the conversation in term so of ecclesiological responsibility as opposed to the ethics of one's theological convictions. I also thought that Otto maintained both an extremely honest tenor as well as a humble one. I think someone could appreciate this book regardless of one's stance.

He do
...more
Brian Hui
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazing, intelligent, faith filled, loving

What if we focused less on whether conservative or liberal Christians are “right” on the issue of homosexuality—and instead ask how God might be using this conflict for good? What a provocative yet faith-filled question.

This isn’t a weasely middle ground proposal. It calls us to learn from the best of those with whom we disagree, to be critical about our own approaches, and to find a way to covenants unity and love by faith.

Tim doesn’t land on a single
...more
Sharon Nelson
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tim Otto has the humility and credibility to write this rare book.
Carl Jenkins
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
You need to read this book. I'm tempted to just leave the review there, but you need to read this book.

Tim Otto is a Christian who is also gay. This book is a book on economics, politics, unity, reading the Bible, community, but most of all it's a theological memoir about a man who desires to serve God, but also has same-sex attraction. It can be very frank at times, but that also helps to make you realize that Tim is a real person, with real feelings, and real desires for love like the rest of
...more
Jeff
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So much of the talk in Christian circles about gay relationships and marriage seems to be done in an echo chamber with people on either side of the issue interested only in staking out their own ground and seemingly no interest in listening to and loving the other. Written by a gay Christian guy, now living a celibate life and serving as a pastor in a small intentional community, this is a book I recommend particularly to those on the traditional side of the issue. I think this book might be hel ...more
Ken Garrett
Aug 25, 2014 rated it liked it
In his desire to create a conversation regarding the issue of homosexuality in this book the author shares his own struggles and resolutions regarding his own sexual orientation. He writes in an authentic, sincere, vulnerable style, recounting the losses and gains, victories and defeats, etc., of negotiating his own life of faith, particularly in his relationship with his fellow Christians, both in the church and in the religious community that he is a member of in San Francisco. His style is hi ...more
Eric Black
An important book that asks more questions (and very good ones) than it gives answers. Both the traditional and affirming sides are taken seriously and considered positively for the good each brings to the matter of same-sex relationships. Both are also critiqued for where they fall short.

Tim Otto, a gay Christian who has chosen celibacy out of faithfulness to his community, offers one of the most compelling paths forward for the American church I have yet to read. There is much to think about h
...more
David
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I appreciated Tim's story and honesty. He shared his struggle, faith, and process. What I loved about this book was seeing the church in community shine. Regardless if it's a heterosexual single or SSA person who chooses celibacy, this book challenged the churches theology of singleness and sense of family for me in a way that pure theology talk wouldn't have done.
Grateful to have interacted with Tim's story.
Linda
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Finally

At last a book that speaks to my experience of being gay and Christian. There is so much more to the issue than who someone is attracted to. A well stated and presented call to the church to be family, community, and church to all people.
Seth Williams
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Tim Otto is a pastor at The Church of the Sojourners, a live-together Christian community in San Francisco. Tim worked as a Registered Nurse on the first AIDS ward in the United States for fourteen years.
“The disciples of Jesus were not to practice politics through the use of coercive power, but through servanthood.” 0 likes
“The fact that conservative Christians often feel closer to politically conservative non-Christians than to their liberal sisters and brothers in Christ, and vice-versa, makes me think we’re all more immersed in worldly ways of reasoning than we are in the Christian story. Just as Scripture makes it clear that Jew and Gentile, male and female, slave and free are one in Christ, conservatives and liberals need to know one another as “one” in Christ.” 0 likes
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