Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate (Paperback)
In a culture war between gays and Christians, Justin Lee was caught in the middle.
Nicknamed "God Boy" by his peers, Lee knew that he was called to a life in evangelical Christian ministry. But questions about his own sexuality forced him to rethink his “love the sinner, hate the sin” approach, sending him on a journey to better understand the Bible, the science, and the history of the church’s gay debate—eventually leading him to become one of the most respected voices on the subject on both sides of the divide.
Filled with personal stories and careful research, Torn provides insightful, practical guidance for all committed Christians who wonder how to relate to gay friends or family members—or who struggle with their own sexuality.
Torn has been a trusted resource for over a decade, and this updated edition features new material to address the impact and aftermath of the “ex-gay” movement, gender identity and the broader LGBTQ+ movement, an updated and expanded look at where the overall affirming Christian movement is going, and new practical recommendations for combating the increased polarization that threatens to tear us apart.
Convinced that God’s grace is the key to loving one another without compromise, Lee charts a path for people on both sides of the debate to help mend Christianity’s shattered reputation and bring peace to our families and churches.
About the Author
Justin Lee has spent more than twenty years building bridges between conservatives and progressives on matters of faith and public policy. He is the founder of the world’s largest LGBTQ+ Christian advocacy organization and the author of Talking Across the Divide. Learn more at geekyjustin.com.
"Radiates a genuine concern and belief in progress through slow, personal evolution...Both LGBT individuals and Christians will benefit from the modeling of a kinder, more accommodating navigation of this culture war."—Publishers Weekly
"Lee's writing is approachable, and he shows compassion for those on all sides of this debate."—Kirkus Reviews
"Disarmingly vulnerable...poignant..."—Christianity Today
"The beauty of this book is that Lee wants to challenge all kinds of Christians...Perhaps it is because of so many fights hard won that Lee is now able to move into more nuanced territory in this gracious and grace-filled memoir."—The Christian Century
"Lee, one of our leading voices on the issues of being gay and Christian, gives us this powerful look at ways that members on both sides of the lines can learn from and grow with each other."—SHE Magazine
"...His book offers helpful suggestions for Christians...[and] helpful suggestions for pastoral counseling..."—World Magazine
"This book is full of three things that are not always much in evidence in our debates on sexuality--fresh air, common sense and manifest love of Christ. What makes it different is that it is not essentially about arguing a case but abut bridging the gaps of understanding and sympathy that (inside and outside the Church) have distorted or muffled the overwhelming miracle of God's gift in Christ and in Scripture. I welcome it very warmly."—Honorable Reverend Dr. Rowan Williams
"Justin didn't leave the church when he realized he was gay...he has been too determined to show them how much he loves them...This is the story of how one Christian man's faith taught him to accept himself, serve others who are in need, and bridge the gap for those who do not always understand."
—Jennifer Knapp, Singer/Songwriter, Founder of InsideOutFaith.org
"This is the most important book I've read in years, and it will be the first I recommend to anyone interested in bridging the divide between the LGBT community and the church. Justin has given us a precious gift with this story. May we receive it with the same courage and faith with which it was delivered."—Rachel Held Evans, blogger, author of Evolving in Monkey Town and A Year of Biblical Womanhood
"In Torn, Justin Lee blends simplicity, clarity, humility, honesty, and vulnerability in a gracious and eye-opening way. The book brings fresh perspectives to old and polarized debates, and it offers a wise and faithful way forward for pastors and other Christian leaders, parents and other family members, not to mention gay men and women themselves. This is the book that every Evangelical, Charismatic, and Roman Catholic Christian should read on the question of homosexuality."—Brian D. McLaren, author of Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World (brianmclaren.net)