UM books to inform the LGBTQ conversation

Educating ourselves with a variety of viewpoints and seeking to create a space for understanding is key to loving one another. A collection of books written by United Methodist leaders and laypersons seeks to inform the LGBTQ conversation. Photo by Clay Banks by Unsplash
Educating ourselves with a variety of viewpoints and seeking to create a space for understanding is key to loving one another. A collection of books written by United Methodist leaders and laypersons seeks to inform the LGBTQ conversation. Photo by Clay Banks by Unsplash

Caring for and loving one another as we live into our diversity as a denomination are pillars of The United Methodist Church. The long-running conversation about sexuality often has created dissension and pain, so how we show Christ’s love to each other in the midst of the conversation is significant. For those interested in educating themselves with a variety of viewpoints and seeking to create a space for understanding, we offer this collection of books written by United Methodist leaders and laypersons.

Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and The United Methodist Church

Published by Abingdon Press from the Faultlines collection, , this book examines the deep disagreement about what The United Methodist Church should teach about homosexuality, same gender marriage, and the ordination of LGBTQ persons.

In this revised edition updated following the 2019 Special Session, the book is designed to help readers understand the debate and what it means for the present and the future. The book, which includes a leader guide, can be used as a four-part small group study.

“Into the Light: Healing Sexuality in Today’s Church”

In this book, Dr. Mark Ongley, United Methodist minister and author, seeks to begin a biblically grounded and theologically informed discussion of the gift of sexuality, addressing sexual brokenness in many forms and the path to true healing.

Proverbs 18:15. Canva design by Crystal Caviness 
“Homosexuality and the Church”

Howard A. Snyder, seminar professor, pastor and author, addresses a variety of questions about homosexuality in the context of scripture. The book also addresses how Christians and the church should respond to the topic of homosexuality.

“God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships”

United Methodist Matthew Vines shares his story as a young gay man navigating relationships with his family, his hometown church, and the Christian church at large as he expresses what it means to be a faithful gay Christian. In addition to sharing his experiences, the book is the result of years of intensive research into what the Bible says about homosexuality.

“Holy Love: A Biblical Theology for Human Sexuality”

Steve Harper, United Methodist pastor, seminary professor and author, examines the teaching of the Bible and Wesleyan tradition on human sexuality, making a constructive case that biblical, Christian teaching is compatible with faithful, covenantal love and intimacy amid all sexual orientations.

“Science, Scripture and Same-Sex Love”

Author Michael B. Regele challenges the premise of some church leaders who assert that same-sex practices are incompatible with Christian teaching. Regele explores current scientific findings in biological brain research, psychology, and sociology, which he compares with scriptural teaching from the Bible, to show that a faithful reading of the Scriptures is consistent with Christian teaching that affirms same-sex love leading to same-sex marriage and full participation of LGBT people in church leadership. 

“Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology”

Pamela R. Lightsey, United Methodist clergy and author, explores the impact of multiple oppressions experienced by Black Queer women. The book explores liberation theologies to reflect on LGBTQIA+ issues in the Church such as marriage and ordination rights.

“For the Body”

Timothy Tennett, president of Asbury Theological Seminary and author, looks at what it means to be created in the image of God and how our bodies serve as icons that illuminate God’s purposes. Tennent examines topics like marriage, family, singleness, and friendship, and he looks at how the human body has been objectified in art and media today. He also offers a framework for discipling people today in a Christian theology of the body.

“Our Strangely Warmed Hearts: Coming Out Into God’s Call”

As John Wesley discovered his true spiritual identify, he experienced a strangely warmed heart. Karen P. Oliveto, United Methodist bishop and author, shares poignant stories and well-reasoned principles to disclose why and how spiritual renewal and a personal call to ministry emerge in the strangely warmed hearts of lesbian and gay Christians. 

“Reclaiming Church: A Call to Action for Religious Rejects”

United Methodist J.J. Warren, a seminary student, continues his call to reaffirm that the Church be welcoming to all, including young queer people. The book focuses on practical and positive steps for joining voices, being heard, building bridges, and working together for young people to reclaim Church in their lives.

“When Christians Get It Wrong”

Adam Hamilton, United Methodist pastor and author, examines why young adults increasingly are opting out of Christianity and the church. Christians are the reason, Hamilton writes. When young adults talk about the problems they have with Christianity and the church, they often name certain attitudes and behaviors they believe are practiced too often by Christians: judging others, condemning people of other faiths, rejecting science, injecting politics into faith, and being anti-homosexual. Hamilton addresses the issues and how and why Christians can get it right when it comes to being Christ in the world.

The books were compiled by United Methodist Communications staff. Media contact is Joe Iovino.
This content was published June 7, 2021.