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Every year, hundreds of gay men and lesbians join ex-gay ministries in an attempt to convert to non-homosexual Christian lives. In this fascinating study of the transnational ex-gay movement, Tanya Erzen focuses on the everyday lives of men and women at New Hope Ministry, a residential ex-gay program, over the course of several years. "Straight to Jesus" traces the stories of people who have renounced long-term relationships and moved from other countries out of a conviction that the conservative Christian beliefs of their upbringing and their own same-sex desires are irreconcilable. Rather than definitively changing from homosexual to heterosexual, the participants experience a conversion that is both sexual and religious as born-again evangelical Christians. At New Hope, they maintain a personal relationship with Jesus and build new forms of kinship and belonging. By becoming what they call 'new creations', these men and women testify to religious transformation rather than changes in sexual desire or behavior. "Straight to Jesus" exposes how the Christian Right attempts to repudiate gay identity and political rights by using the ex-gay movement as evidence that 'change is possible'. Instead, Erzen reveals, the realities of the lives she examines actually undermine this anti-gay strategy.
"101 Probing Questions...101 Compassionate and Scriptural Answers "
"from"" Focus on the Family's Mike Haley"
Almost daily we hear news reports that confirm the acceptance of homosexuality in our culture.? Homosexuals are adopting children, appearing as characters on television programs, taking vacations catering to an exclusively gay clientele, and? even seeking the right to "marry" their partners.? But is this acceptance healthy for society
Few topics can raise so many questions so quickly. And for many readers, those questions hit close to home as they learn of the homosexuality of a loved one or close friend.?
Here are the answers to the most often asked questions about homosexuality, fielded by an expert on the subject...and a former homosexual himself.
A must-read for Christians struggling with the present political conversation Citizen helps Christians find our place in the politics of the world. In these pages, Bishop Andy Doyle offers a Christian virtue ethic grounded in fresh anthropology. He offers a vision of the individual Christian within the reign of God and the life of the broader community. He adds to the conversation in both church and culture by offering a renewed theological underpinning to the complex nature of Christianity in a post-modern world. How did we get here? Is this the way it has to be? Are there implications for conversations about politics within the church? Doyle contends that our current debates are not about one partisan narrative winning, but communities of diversity being unified by a relationship with God's grand narrative. Crafting a deep theological conversation with a unified approach to the Old and New Testament, Citizen asks, what does it truly mean to live in community?
The passing, on January 4, 2010, of Peter Dyck, following the death of his wife, Elfrieda, in 2004, marks the end of a remarkable chapter in Mennonite life and history. Readers can re-live those incredible days following World War II when the Dycks helped Mennonite refugees escape from war-torn Europe and to find new homes in South America and Canada. In addition to the epic story, the book contains many photos. 384 Pages.
Sex and Gender: Christian Ethical Reflections contains some of the subject's most important analyses in recent decades. The collection covers a wide range of topics: same-sex marriage, sexual minorities and biblical interpretation, sex and power, sexual harassment and sexual abuse, HIV/AIDS and prevention strategy, the military and masculinities, mobile porn and sexting, human trafficking, moral discernment, and more. Contributors represent various theological traditions and draw on scriptural texts as well as such disciplines as philosophy, sociology, psychology, and the life sciences. Each essay is followed by a set of discussion questions-for the classroom or for students to use as an assignment outline-and suggestions for further reading and research. Teachers and students of Christian ethics will appreciate this multidisciplinary approach to one of the most divisive and controversial issues in contemporary culture.
With so many people around the globe migrating, how should Christians and the church respond? Leading Latino-American biblical scholar M. Daniel Carroll R. (Rodas) helps readers understand what the Bible says about immigration, offering accessible, nuanced, and sympathetic guidance for the church. After two successful editions of Christians at the Border, and having talked and written about immigration over the past decade, Carroll has sharpened his focus and refined his argument to make sure we hear clearly what the Bible says about one of the most pressing issues of our day. He has reworked the biblical material, adding insights and broadening the frame of reference beyond the US. As Carroll explores the surprising amount of material in the Old and New Testaments that deals with migration, he shows how this topic is fundamental to the message of the Bible and how it affects our understanding of God and the mission of the church.
In this book Ralph Wood calls for churches to offer a sustained and unapologetically Christian witness to a postmodern world. Wood carefully chronicles how the church is watching the complete destruction of post-Christian institutions and practices that once shaped human character toward fulfillment in goods larger than humanity's own self-interest - the chief of these being the worship and service of God. Wood contends that Christian existence can never be taken for granted, and so the church itself must seek to create a Christian culture that offers the world a drastic alternative to its own cultureless existence.
Can you be gay and Christian? Does the Bible really require celibacy outside of heterosexual marriage? Isn't it unrealistic and unfair, imposing loneliness and the loss of basic human satisfactions like sex and marriage? Is what the church teaches about homosexuality a plausible way of life? In this honest book, Ed Shaw shares his pain in dealing with same-sex attraction - and yet he is committed to what the Bible says and what the church has always taught about marriage and sex. He shows us that obedience to Jesus is ultimately the only way to experience life to the full. He also challenges missteps that the church has often made in its understanding of the Christian life and of sexuality. We have been shaped by the world around us, and urgently need to re-examine the values that drive our discipleship in the light of the Bible. Only by reclaiming the reality of gospel discipleship, can we truly appreciate that life in Christ is the best way for all of us to flourish - whoever we are attracted to.
What would you do if someone attached your grandmother, wife, daughter (or grandfather, husband, sone)? Yoder explores the pros and cons of a nonviolent response. Expanded edition, 148 pages.
Think of the little girls you know: your daughter, a niece, a friend's child. Then think about this: little girls are tossed away every day. All over the world, women and girls face troubles such as starvation, displacement, illiteracy, sexual exploitation and abuse. In fact, statistics show that the world's most oppressed people are overwhelmingly female. Moved by the plight of these neglected girls, advocates Kay Marshall Strom and Michele Rickett took a trip across continents to interview girls and to partner with ministries working to help females in some of the most difficult places in the world. These pages hold those girls' stories: stories of deep pain and suffering, inspiring courage, and incredible hope. They are the stories of girls who have discovered their value in God's eyes, in the midst of cultures that have rejected them. They are stories of rescue and redemption by God working through compassionate people--people like you. These pages might hold pieces of your story as well, as the authors invite you to pray and speak on behalf of the millions of women and girls who still need to know how much they're worth. For each of the five sections of the book--physical suffering, education, sexual protection, prison and war, and spiritual life--the authors provide specific, practical action steps and prayer points that allow you to get involved as God leads. This expanded edition includes updated statistics throughout and a discussion guide to accompany each section of the book, as well as a new preface.
At the heart of the Bible is a moral and ethical call to fight unjust superpowers, whether they are Babylon, Rome, or even America.
From the divine punishment and promise found in Genesis through the revolutionary messages of Jesus and Paul, John Dominic Crossan reveals what the Bible has to say about land and economy, violence and retribution, justice and peace, and, ultimately, redemption. In contrast to the oppressive Roman military occupation of the first century, he examines the meaning of the non-violent Kingdom of God prophesized by Jesus and the equality advocated by Paul to the early Christian churches. Crossan contrasts these messages of peace with the misinterpreted apocalyptic vision from the Book of Revelation, which has been misrepresented by modern right-wing theologians and televangelists to justify U.S. military actions in the Middle East.
In God and Empire Crossan surveys the Bible from Genesis to Apocalypse, or the Book of Revelation, and discovers a hopeful message that cannot be ignored in these turbulent times. The first-century Pax Romana, Crossan points out, was in fact a "peace" won through violent military action. Jesus preached a different kind of peace--a peace that surpasses all understanding--and a kingdom not of Caesar but of God.
The Romans executed Jesus because he preached this Kingdom of God, a kingdom based on peace and justice, over the empire of Rome, which ruled by violence and force. For Jesus and Paul, Crossan explains, peace cannot be won the Roman way, through military victory, but only through justice and fair and equal treatment of all people.
The largest group in American religious life may be the disillusioned--people who have been involved in the church, respect Jesus, but question what Christianity has become. In "If the Church Were Christian" Philip Gulley provides a profound picture of what the church could look like if it refocused on the priorities of Jesus.
Why does the pacifist movement of the first few centuries so quickly become an organization that supports emperors and finds reasons for fighting? What leads the Church to formulate just war principles only to abandon them when in pursuit of heretics and infidels? What is the relationship between Christianity and the idea of chivalry? Did just war principles ever stay the hand of Christian rulers? How could religious wars ever be fought? Why did the churches capitulate so easily to nationalist sentiment? What impact did two world wars have on Christian thinking? Why have the churches in more recent years and a more secular age apparently taken a more cautious approach to war? These are the sort of questions this book sets out to answer. Its essential argument is that the movement begun by Jesus was never committed to pacifism in any absolute sense.
What does it mean to evangelize ethically in a multicultural climate? Following his successful Evangelism after Christendom, Bryan Stone addresses reasons evangelism often fails and explains how it can become distorted as a Christian practice. Stone urges us to consider a new approach, arguing for evangelism as a work of imagination and a witness to beauty rather than a crass effort to compete for converts in pluralistic contexts. He shows that the way we lead our lives as Christians is the most meaningful tool of evangelism in today's rapidly changing world.
Tom Wright raises searching questions about three key aspects of our culture: neo-gnosticism, neo-imperialism, and postmodernity. Employing a robust Trinitarian framework, he invites the reader to reconsider key aspects of the biblical story while drawing out unexpected connections between ancient and contemporary world-views. The result is an incisive critique of common cultural assumptions and controlling narratives, past and present, and a clarion call for Christians to give fresh voice to God's truth in today's intellectual and political arenas. Essential reading for all who want to understand how the Gospel can be heard clearly in a world of doubt , scepticism and confusion.
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