The Way of Hope: A Fresh Perspective on Sexual Identity, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Church written by Melissa Fisher was published by Baker Books. I chose this book for review and was given a free paperback copy for my honest review.
Fisher takes us on a journey through her experiences with childhood abuse, hurts, same-sex attraction and redemption at the foot of the Cross. She draws from these experiences to deliver a fresh perspective on what it is to live hurt and seek Jesus, who gives hope and grace abundantly no matter the cost. He met Fisher right where she was.
With healing comes a journey to find who our identity is in God. Melissa writes, ” I wasn’t trying to not be gay or straight or fix this or that. I was trying to figure out God, period, not my gender or sexuality (Fisher, 125).”
I’m on the fence about how I feel about the book. I can’t tell someone their story is false. I can’t argue against someone’s feelings and journey through coming to Christ. I can say that The Way of Hope may provide a false positive for some people. For example, Christian parents of LGBTQ kids may think that perhaps their kids are this way because of sexual abuse or a secret they are not privy to. They may mistake their children’s sexual identity with needing to be healed.
Fisher’s journey is inspiring and took brevity, perhaps a brevity more of us could use. I’m concerned about the call to celibacy if same-sex attraction is consuming. That God would rather you not engage in gay relationship but remain alone until the desire is no longer there implies LGBTQs are not worthy of love. This was not Fisher’s intention but the book qualifies this statement.
The Way of Hope is an important book in bridging gay Christians with the church. I admire what Fisher says of looking for and trusting Jesus outside of sexuality. It’s also important to remember that Jesus is for us despite our sexual orientation. As mentioned above, I’m on the fence about this book. I probably wouldn’t recommend it to my gay friends because they may read it as me wanting to “fix them” as if something in them were broken.
I think the book does it’s job in serving as an invitation for the LGBTQ community to feel welcome at church. We don’t want to assume that LGBTQs don’t attend church because a lot of them certainly do. If you’re up against a wall on this issue and want to learn to be a more welcoming Christian, please do pick up this book.
I recommend this book because I feel all books are worth a shot. I recommend it to pastors, clergy, and friends looking to support their LGBTQ friends and family on their faith journey.
Purchase your copy here (affiliate link)!
From the Baker Books website:
Melissa Fisher is on staff at Gateway Church in Austin, Texas. Having seen God’s power work in her own life, she is passionate about seeing the lost, broken, de-churched, and unchurched find freedom, healing, and fulfillment in Jesus Christ. A former teacher,…
Continue reading about Melissa Fisher
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Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksbloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.
Book cover photo: Baker Books Publishing