I have never written a review for a book before, which is strange because I read books all the time. This book, Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs,-Christians Debate is different. Justin Lee tells his life story in these pages, and yet he also tells the story of the Church, and the stories hundreds of thousands of Christians that have struggled in this “culture war”. He doesn't just tell his story he tells my story, and the story of my friends who left the Church because it refused to show them grace. He tells the story of parents who had to leave their churches because their children were not safe there, he speaks of families that separate because of the dogma the Church promotes, and he does it all so brilliantly from the perspective of an Evangelical Southern Baptist gay man that wants to serve the Lord.
As Lee continues to immerse the reader in his own personal story he uses others’ stories to continue not only moving his story forward but working in theological information and well as the history of the Church’s opinions and reactions to gay people. His in depth analysis of “Ex-gay ministries” as well as on “Queer Theology” is done from the position of a layman making it more understandable and relatable. He ends the book by giving practical ways the Church and individual Christians can work to bring unity instead of division on the issues that homosexuality may bring up, and he does it in an unbiased fashion.
I found myself drawn to Lee’s story and even more so to the passion he has for serving Christ and the Church. In this book I saw the future of the Church and its role in hosting healthy conversation about sexuality, and more importantly about the people these conversations effect. I strongly recommend every Christian read this book, because in it there is so much information that we as Christians need to learn in order to be faithful and gracious disciples of Christ.