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A War of Loves: The Unexpected Story of a Gay Activist Discovering Jesus

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  329 ratings  ·  95 reviews

David Bennett came out to his parents as gay when he was fourteen and entered Sydney's active gay community a few years later. In A War of Loves, he shares his growing desire as a gay rights activist to see justice for LGBTQI people, his journey through new age religions and French existentialism, and his university years as a postmodernist--before Jesus Christ showed up in his

Kindle Edition, 249 pages
Published November 13th 2018 by Zondervan
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Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
David Bennett's powerful memoir is one of the most gripping and convicting books I've read this year. As a single Christian woman in Christian communities that seem to value romance and marriage over holiness and union with God, so much of David's encouragement and wisdom spoke deeply to my heart.
His story so clearly opened a window to help me empathize with my LGBTQI brothers and sisters. His writing style is so honest and humble—this book feels like a long, deep coffee conversation with
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book everyone should read: the Christian who has no clue about gay people and how to treat them, the out and proud gay person, the gay people in the closet, and those like me: we who struggle with this issue, know it is wrong to give into our attractions and desires, and are striving to serve God despite it.

It is a book that if you go into it with the wrong mindset, you will be distracted by what you don't agree with, and will miss out. I didn't agree 100% with David, but
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A War of Loves is a beautifully written, heartfelt memoir offering hope to all of those seeking to reconcile their faith and sexuality today. Bennett shares his story and reflects on it in light of the Bible throughout the book. I truly appreciate his thoughts from all angles of the subject. Because we have a loved one that is gay and against Christianity because of it, my husband and I want to love him as Jesus would. I think reading this book has helped me to gain better perspective and to be ...more
Todd Miles
This is probably the best book I have read on the issue of homosexuality and the church. The book is engaging, written in biographical form. We see Bennett's struggles, his conversion, and the evolution of his thought on what the Bible actually teaches. He gives a strong and thought-provoking argument for identifying as a "celibate gay Christian." His counsel on reaching out to the LGBTQI community is profound. I highly recommend this book.
Matt Walker
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christianity
I've read Wesley Hill's "Washed and Waiting," I've read "Single, Gay, Christian" by Greg Coles, and even "God and the Gay Christian" (an alternate, differing view than my own, but valuable nonetheless) by Matthew Vines, and these works have been tremendously encouraging and insightful in the topic of homosexuality and how it relates to Christianity and the Gospel. This book, however, has touched me so tremendously and communicated the love of Jesus and the Gospel and it's place in the lives of t ...more
Michael Ots
David Bennett’s moving new book will be so helpful to many. In it he not only shares his experience of his encounter with Christ but also reveals his own journey in terms of what this now meant for his sexuality and identity. If you’re gay / same sex attracted then this book will resonate with many of the questions you will have as you consider the claims of the Christian faith. If you’re not – then it will help you better understand those questions and struggles and learn how you might speak th ...more
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a personal testimony book and not an argument book. It is worth reading David's autobiography for his journey, expression of faith, and the love of Jesus that he professes. His experiences are... rare, even amongst Pentecostals.

I do affirm same-sex marriage and disagree with his theological framework [note wording]. On the other hand, I also think David's stance is an acceptable path forward for the "traditionalist" church: that of valuing LGBT labels, rejecting ex-gay/con
John Funnell
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have loved every page of this book.

It is an honest and heartfelt account, but most importantly theologically sound.

Although an academic David writes in a most accessible way that takes the reader on an emotional journey through his struggles as a gay atheist and then as a gay Christian.

Without undermining or questioning the Bibles clear teaching on the subject David challenges our (the churches) response to the LGBT+ community.

David is mindful of the variou
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to it on Hoopla with headphones, and I kept verbally declaring, "Praise the Lord!" This is a much needed book for this generation, and it leads me to deeper awe of God's grace!
Joel Wentz
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is, first and foremost, a powerful (and beautifully-written) memoir. Don't come here for a book on deep exegesis of biblical texts, or a survey of different theological perspectives on human sexuality (those exist in spades elsewhere). Rather, pick this up for a remarkably powerful, brutally honest, story of a young man's process of coming to grips with his own sexuality and faith. I love his honesty and humility, and found myself both intellectually convicted and emotionally moved.
Kathy Baldock
Twenty-nine year old David Bennett, an Australian living in the UK, has just released his first book, “A War of Loves” (Zondervan, 2018). Bennett self-identifies as a gay celibate Christian.

Bennett states, “Identifying with others in the LGBTQI world can open up doors to engage people who need to hear about Christ.” (p. 215) So, in some conservative environments, for Bennett to own his identity as gay, is a bold move.

Bennett wrote the book “to share how God's love has imp
Emily Gruver
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
David's story is absolutely incredible. As I began reading this book, I honestly could not put it down, and I finished it within just a few days. All throughout his book, you just constantly see David pointing back to Jesus, time and time again.

Please, please, please read this book. This is one of the best books I've ever read. It will honestly change your life.
David Robertson
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a brilliant book - the perfect antidote to Beeching's 'Undivided'. I've written a much fuller review on my blog here -

There is a fair bit of controversy about this book. Bennett chooses to use the LGBT language and to identify as a celibate gay Christian – terminology which gets him into trouble with the ‘progressives’ who don’t like the celibate part, and traditionalists who don’t like the ‘gay’ part. The book itself is quite extraordinary. It is well written, profoundly
Rambling Reviews
I finished this book in a day, but I have really taken my time processing everything.

This is far from a book for Christians. It's a book for everyone, and we will all get something different out of it. For me, David's story is both one that opens your eyes to a different life experience than many card-carrying Christians may have been exposed to, but also holds up the mirror to universal struggles we all have with ourselves, with our lives, and with God. And he shares these experienc
Thomas Creedy
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Committed and regular readers will know that, alongside other topics (like being human, prayer, and aging) I have read quite widely and deeply about human sexuality and the relationship between that and Christian Spirituality. So, when I heard a fragment of David’s story on Emmaus Road’s brilliant podcast back in 2017, I couldn’t wait for his book to be written. David is someone who identifies as gay, and also identifies as Christian. He’s also a charismatic, passionately believing in the presen ...more
Chris Wermeskerch
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a sucker for personal stories in book form. Especially, of course, when those personal stories come with theological reflection. This has bred a love in my heart for authors like Preston Yancey (who has written two excellent works, Tables in the Wilderness and Out of the House of Bread). Though I had never heard of David Bennett before, I was excited to read another theological reflection on someone’s life. (The other factor that drew me in? N.T. Wright wrote the foreword, of course!)
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
David was kind enough to add me to the prelaunch group for this book and I eagerly devoured it once I received my copy in the mail.

It was so great being able to read about David’s experiences, good and bad, and being able to gain a better knowledge of the struggles the struggles that both the LGBTQI community and gay individuals struggle with.

Furthermore, his recollection of his coming to Christ and the events which culminated in that decision helped me to gain insight into the diff
Try not to judge this book by its tacky cover. This is a bold and courageous book, written by a thoughtful, passionate, highly intelligent and highly educated man whose story and message bring an unsettling challenge to both the condemning and the affirming ends of the moral and political spectrum of human sexual identity. David Bennett tells his story of painful struggle and the unqualified grace that he's experienced in coming to find his place as a celibate gay man in the Christian community. ...more
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book by a celibate gay Christian (his terminology for reasons explained in the book) who tells his personal story and testimony of coming to relationship with Christ, and how the church today must be committed to both love and holiness. It includes excellent theological and exegetical work on what it means to live as a faithful disciple while coming from the LGBTQI community. Highly recommend for discussion.

"Jesus' intimate self-giving on the cross gently critiques our love of money,
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a great book. It opened my eyes to how personal God is in how he reaches each one of us.

These are a few quotes that impacted me:
"The fundamental human desire for intimacy is ultimately fulfilled in a relationship with Jesus and what He accomplished on the cross for all of us."

"I saw now that much of my reading of scripture had simply been interpreting it as saying what I wanted it to say, putting myself above the text. Besides studying the context and using
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
David Bennet identifies as a gay Christian. This is his story of discovering Jesus in the purest form and how Jesus infused his and our lives. I have so much respect for David Bennett: his honesty with himself and others, his search for the truth, and his surrender to Christ. A must read for Christians, not only for how to love, but for the beautiful story of redemption told in this book.
Jeremiah Lorrig
The author makes you think. Obviously many will read this because of the shocking and fascinating story. However, what Bennett successfully does is move beyond the narrative to deep and thoughtful analysis of cultural, religious, ethical, and philosophical issues surrounding the interaction between traditional (orthodox) Christianity and the experiences of LGBTQI persons.

I admit that some parts made me cry, some made me cringe, and most made me think.
Brian Wright
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an autobiography of his life, what he tells is his own experiences.

I don't agree with everything he said, especially the parts where he says that "God said [this]...", when it doesn't line up with something God would say in scripture.

But he seems to do a good job of explaining the LGBTQI community to Christians and explaining the Christian community to the LGBTQI community. And as a gay man, he seems to have an unbiased understanding of a biblical marriage.
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really appreciated how Bennett wove his story and convictions together. Life is nuanced and complicated. So is his story. I also appreciated how the Word of God wove through his story--encouraging, convicting, reminding and loving. My only discomfort with the book is sometimes it felt a little too explicit. But it was probably good for me.
Andy Bond
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful, honest story of a man finding satisfaction in the one who loves us completely.

As a hetero married man I found it deeply challenging and encouraging.

It challenged my own call towards Jesus.
It makes you assess where you have fallen pray to idolatry and cheap grace. It stirs you towards sharing Gods love with every person made in His image.

Thank you David for your courage in writing this amidst a church and culture war.
Slater Simek
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would highly recommend this read. David’s writing style is both readable and engaging and his story is remarkable. I think regardless of if one agrees with David’s theological conclusions, which I do, David can be appreciated for one who has seriously wrestled with the topic of sexuality. His love for, and His devotion to God are infectious. May his book be prophetic in challenging and equipping churches to reflect the love of Christ to all.
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow!! This is an excellent book that provides a well-reasoned perspective, written from a place of deep love for others. I highly recommend!
Josh Igwe
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! David's story is so compelling and challenging. Straight Christians have much to learn from out celibate gay Christian friends. I was challenged to truly love Christ above all else. To treasure friendships more deeply and to seek the will of Christ regardless of the personal and social cost.

"It is possible to live without sex. It is not possible to live without love."
Neva Davies
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
~I received an arc from the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

When I first started reading A War of Loves, I honestly just thought it was going to be a testimony about David Bennett's walk with Christ. I didn't realize how much of an impact it was going to have on my own walk. I often found myself reflecting upon the moments of grace and mercy that God has bestowed upon me through the death of His son, and why those moments of grace and mercy can seem so trivial in a world t
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I don't agree with his views, his account is moving on a fundamental level.
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