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UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question

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Shore is one of America's leading Christian writers on the subject of gay people and Christianity. His essays are widely credited with being central to the sea change in Christian thinking that has occurred on this issue in recent years. UNFAIR offers the best of Shore's writings on homosexuality and Christians/Christianity, along with heart-wrenching but ultimately inspir Shore is one of America's leading Christian writers on the subject of gay people and Christianity. His essays are widely credited with being central to the sea change in Christian thinking that has occurred on this issue in recent years. UNFAIR offers the best of Shore's writings on homosexuality and Christians/Christianity, along with heart-wrenching but ultimately inspiring letters from gay people telling what it's like to grow up, and live today, both gay and Christian. The book's opening essay, "Taking God at His Word: The Bible and Homosexuality," is a must-read for anyone seeking clarity on the relationship between the Bible, Christianity, and LGBT people. If you read only one book on this subject, make it this one. (This is the revised and updated edition of Shore's book, "UNFAIR: Why the 'Christian' View of Gays Doesn't Work.") Dan Savage writes: "The touching, brave, and frequently heartbreaking letters in UNFAIR should be required reading for any Christian who claims that gay people can't also be Christians--and for LGBT people who feel there's some conflict between their sexual orientations or gender identities and their faith. John Shore is sharp, he's funny, and he's right. To find out why I've called him America's preeminent non-douchey Christian, buy and read this book. And I challenge anyone who believes that the Bible justifies the persecution of their gay and lesbian neighbors--particularly those on the religious right who've made lucrative careers for themselves out of bearing false witness against their gay and lesbian neighbors--to read this book's concluding essay, 'Taking God at His Word: The Bible and Homosexuality.' Read John with an open mind and he'll change yours." A few things others have said about Mr. Shore: "John Shore is awesome. The minute I started reading his stuff, I knew he was a brother from another mother."-- Rob Bell, author of "Love Wins," "Sex God," and "Velvet Elvis." "John Shore is a gadfly, calling the Christian Church everywhere to act the way it says it believes about love and justice, which of course makes him an uncomfortable presence in those churches that do not like to be forced to face reality. So were the prophets of old. So was Jesus of Nazareth."-- John Shelby Spong "John Shore is funny as hell and smart as hell."--Tony Jones, "Theoblogy"; author of "The New Christians," and "The Sacred Way." "Shore is a humorist whose work is more comedic than Donald Miller, and his appeal to Christians is more direct." -- Michael Spencer, a.k.a. The Internet Monk, and author of the bestseller "Mere Churchianity." "John Shore's unique, honest, and passionate writings draw us to dig a little deeper, to listen with the intention of truly hearing and understanding each other. He gives voice to those without a platform; he puts into words our latent questions/observations about today's topics that are begging to be addressed from the viewpoint of an informed Christian" -- Spencer Burke, founder of TheOOZE.com "John Shore is a remarkably gifted writer who knows exactly what he is doing."-- Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of "The Deep End of the Ocean" (an Oprah's Book Club selection), "Twelve Times Blessed," and "The Breakdown Lane." "John Shore is one of those rare writers who can make people laugh and think at the same time. He's one of the most talented, funny, and deeply thoughtful writers I know." -- Richard Louv, author of international bestsellers "Last Child in the Woods," and "The Nature Principle."


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Shore is one of America's leading Christian writers on the subject of gay people and Christianity. His essays are widely credited with being central to the sea change in Christian thinking that has occurred on this issue in recent years. UNFAIR offers the best of Shore's writings on homosexuality and Christians/Christianity, along with heart-wrenching but ultimately inspir Shore is one of America's leading Christian writers on the subject of gay people and Christianity. His essays are widely credited with being central to the sea change in Christian thinking that has occurred on this issue in recent years. UNFAIR offers the best of Shore's writings on homosexuality and Christians/Christianity, along with heart-wrenching but ultimately inspiring letters from gay people telling what it's like to grow up, and live today, both gay and Christian. The book's opening essay, "Taking God at His Word: The Bible and Homosexuality," is a must-read for anyone seeking clarity on the relationship between the Bible, Christianity, and LGBT people. If you read only one book on this subject, make it this one. (This is the revised and updated edition of Shore's book, "UNFAIR: Why the 'Christian' View of Gays Doesn't Work.") Dan Savage writes: "The touching, brave, and frequently heartbreaking letters in UNFAIR should be required reading for any Christian who claims that gay people can't also be Christians--and for LGBT people who feel there's some conflict between their sexual orientations or gender identities and their faith. John Shore is sharp, he's funny, and he's right. To find out why I've called him America's preeminent non-douchey Christian, buy and read this book. And I challenge anyone who believes that the Bible justifies the persecution of their gay and lesbian neighbors--particularly those on the religious right who've made lucrative careers for themselves out of bearing false witness against their gay and lesbian neighbors--to read this book's concluding essay, 'Taking God at His Word: The Bible and Homosexuality.' Read John with an open mind and he'll change yours." A few things others have said about Mr. Shore: "John Shore is awesome. The minute I started reading his stuff, I knew he was a brother from another mother."-- Rob Bell, author of "Love Wins," "Sex God," and "Velvet Elvis." "John Shore is a gadfly, calling the Christian Church everywhere to act the way it says it believes about love and justice, which of course makes him an uncomfortable presence in those churches that do not like to be forced to face reality. So were the prophets of old. So was Jesus of Nazareth."-- John Shelby Spong "John Shore is funny as hell and smart as hell."--Tony Jones, "Theoblogy"; author of "The New Christians," and "The Sacred Way." "Shore is a humorist whose work is more comedic than Donald Miller, and his appeal to Christians is more direct." -- Michael Spencer, a.k.a. The Internet Monk, and author of the bestseller "Mere Churchianity." "John Shore's unique, honest, and passionate writings draw us to dig a little deeper, to listen with the intention of truly hearing and understanding each other. He gives voice to those without a platform; he puts into words our latent questions/observations about today's topics that are begging to be addressed from the viewpoint of an informed Christian" -- Spencer Burke, founder of TheOOZE.com "John Shore is a remarkably gifted writer who knows exactly what he is doing."-- Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of "The Deep End of the Ocean" (an Oprah's Book Club selection), "Twelve Times Blessed," and "The Breakdown Lane." "John Shore is one of those rare writers who can make people laugh and think at the same time. He's one of the most talented, funny, and deeply thoughtful writers I know." -- Richard Louv, author of international bestsellers "Last Child in the Woods," and "The Nature Principle."

30 review for UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    (Note: "This is the revised and updated edition of Shore’s book, UNFAIR: Why the ‘Christian’ View of Gays Doesn’t Work." x) In reference to this review, this is definitely a book I want to give to my parents. (Or my mother, rather.) Though I also bought this for myself because I've enjoyed what I've read of John Shore's blog. I like that this book touches briefly on theology and is mostly focused on a more personal aspect. Most of the book was letters from LGBT Christians. (Actually trans people (Note: "This is the revised and updated edition of Shore’s book, UNFAIR: Why the ‘Christian’ View of Gays Doesn’t Work." x) In reference to this review, this is definitely a book I want to give to my parents. (Or my mother, rather.) Though I also bought this for myself because I've enjoyed what I've read of John Shore's blog. I like that this book touches briefly on theology and is mostly focused on a more personal aspect. Most of the book was letters from LGBT Christians. (Actually trans people weren't represented? Boo!) The letters were both heartening and heartbreaking, and I identified with quite a few of them. (One I especially remember identifying with was one titled "On Sundays I'm Alone".) After the letters, there was a collection of some of Shore's essays, which were thought-provoking and several times made me shout, "HA! YES. EXACTLY." I probably would've underlined some quotes, except I still can't bring myself to write in shiny new books.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lynne Holly

    This book not only saved my faith but it helped me to become more comfortable in my skin. I was a conservative Christian and coming out of the closet was one of the hardest things I ever did. I will always be thankful for this book. I highly recommend it for straight Christians, pastors, etc as it gives not only a logical argument for the support of LGBT in our community but the book also has printed numerous heart-felt letters from LGBT brothers and sisters. I've read this book twice now and wa This book not only saved my faith but it helped me to become more comfortable in my skin. I was a conservative Christian and coming out of the closet was one of the hardest things I ever did. I will always be thankful for this book. I highly recommend it for straight Christians, pastors, etc as it gives not only a logical argument for the support of LGBT in our community but the book also has printed numerous heart-felt letters from LGBT brothers and sisters. I've read this book twice now and want to read it again soon.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Henderson

    Thank you, John! I grew up with the conventional thinking about homosexuality, but there were several elements about this way of thinking that always troubled me. Recently, I questioned this way of thinking a lot more and I became convinced that this conventional thinking is wrong. I’m glad I read this book. It reminded me that Christians are supposed to exhibit God’s love, not His wrath.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gracen Klinefelter

    This was a difficult read. These letters broke my heart open again and again, but the overall message was one of hope and closure and above all else, faith. Shore presents his refreshingly logical interpretation of those (endlessly cited) biblical verses dealing with homosexuality in such a rational, readable, and often humorous way that I can't help but be thrilled he's on our side. This was a difficult read. These letters broke my heart open again and again, but the overall message was one of hope and closure and above all else, faith. Shore presents his refreshingly logical interpretation of those (endlessly cited) biblical verses dealing with homosexuality in such a rational, readable, and often humorous way that I can't help but be thrilled he's on our side.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kyle McKee

    This book brings to life the stories of actual people and their relationship with the Divine. Hearing the stories of people in the LGBT community helped me begin to reshape the way I understood the issue.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    I read this when I first started questioning my sexuality, and let me tell you, this helped. I've grown up Christian and still am to this day. I was taught that being gay was a sin and that loving someone of the same sex was wrong, but, after reading this, I realized something. There is almost no evidence for that claim, and the little that is there has much historical context. This book reassured me that I wasn't going to hell. I read this when I first started questioning my sexuality, and let me tell you, this helped. I've grown up Christian and still am to this day. I was taught that being gay was a sin and that loving someone of the same sex was wrong, but, after reading this, I realized something. There is almost no evidence for that claim, and the little that is there has much historical context. This book reassured me that I wasn't going to hell.

  7. 5 out of 5

    David Thompson

    Very good book. If you have already made up you mind on the LGBTQ issues you will not like this book. if you are open to great information on the subject you will love it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    E. Ozols

    I was really looking forward to reading this book, liking it, and giving it a big pretty glowing 5 star review. Last I checked there weren't many reviews, and I was hoping that my 5-stars would help persuade people to read it, since it covers such an important topic, and I like what I've read of John Shore's stuff when friends post it on Facebook. Unfortunately, it falls a bit flat, at least for me. I was hoping for a pretty detailed analysis of what the Clobber Passages were and why they're bun I was really looking forward to reading this book, liking it, and giving it a big pretty glowing 5 star review. Last I checked there weren't many reviews, and I was hoping that my 5-stars would help persuade people to read it, since it covers such an important topic, and I like what I've read of John Shore's stuff when friends post it on Facebook. Unfortunately, it falls a bit flat, at least for me. I was hoping for a pretty detailed analysis of what the Clobber Passages were and why they're bunk. I was hoping for serious and intellectual fodder to use if ever trying to persuade Christians to stop being dicks to gay people. Basically, I was hoping for the book version of the movie "For the Bible Tells Me So" (which you ABSOLUTELY MUST WATCH). This book lightly flirted with this stuff, but always stopped short. In essence, this book was more an appeal to emotion and the heart than an appeal to logic and the brain. It seems to be directed more at gay Christians (or potential Christians) and making them feel welcome than directed at straight Christians and/or other allies. This is definitely a noble goal, so in that respect the book serves a very real purpose. I just wish I'd realized ahead of time that that's what I was about to read. If this book made just one gay Christian feel better, then mission accomplished, job well done, etc. To people like me, however, the book felt unfocused and ill-organized. Half the book is a collection of letters Shore collected from gay Christians describing their experiences. At first this section was great. It was great to hear from real people, with real experiences, expressing their real emotions. But then there were more letters. And I was like, "Okay, I see what he's doing here. He wants to emphasize that you are truly not alone, and that these experiences are universal, that there are sooo many people going through these struggles, etc." But then the letters kept going, and going, and going, and going, for what seemed like forever. This may have been alright if the book had been titled "A Collection of Letters From Gay Christians, as Compiled by John Shore." But it wasn't. It was titled "UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Questions" (though I don't recall the T being discussed at any point) WRITTEN BY John Shore. But even as a compilation it is not very good, mostly because the majority of the stories are pretty much exactly the same. It got very tiring to read, which means it got boring, which is counterproductive. I do not mean to suggest that each individual story isn't moving or compelling or useful on its own, but mashing them all together like that sucked away half of the underlying meaning. To his credit, Shore explains the layout of the book right at the beginning, so if the compilations got boring or tedious you could just skip them and go straight to Shore's essays at the end of the book. But I, naively, assumed that if Shore included them all as a selection in his published book, it was because he had an actual plan wherein the reader was actually supposed to gain something from each individual letter, and then combine it with his essays at the end. Nope, not so much. In fact, even the essays at the end didn't really seem to flow in any logical progression. In the end I was disappointed, because I had waited so long to get to the essays at the end, and those were just kinda meh. SO... DEFINITELY READ THIS BOOK if you are a gay Christian and are feeling alone, conflicted, unloved, etc. Buy this book and keep it handy so that at any point you can flip it open and read the words of someone who is/was in the exact same position as you. Read it to help realize that there ARE loving, non-crazy Christians out there reaching out their arms to accept you. DEFINITELY READ THIS BOOK if you are a Christian who is at heart a really nice person but just can't figure out what to think about gays. You will learn how loving and normal they can be, and how harmful your actions (or inactions) can be. DO NOT READ THIS BOOK if you're expecting facts, arguments, etc. You will not find them here. This is not a comprehensive examination of the issues, just a relevant collection of thoughts and stories. Whether or not you read the book, definitely check out John Shore's stuff online. I'm not sure why this particular book kinda missed the mark, but his overall body of work is pretty great. And then definitely supplement all of this with the documentary For The Bible Tells Me So for an effective, reasoned look at the Clobber Passages (yes ,I'm plugging it twice, because it is good).

  9. 5 out of 5

    January

    This was a great read. I don't know how anyone could read this and still persecute someone for being gay. I would hope that Christians who are "so sure" that the bible condemns gays directly to hell would read this. Most of them probably won't. But even for Christians that are questioning or who just want another look, this book is wonderful. Highly recommended. This was a great read. I don't know how anyone could read this and still persecute someone for being gay. I would hope that Christians who are "so sure" that the bible condemns gays directly to hell would read this. Most of them probably won't. But even for Christians that are questioning or who just want another look, this book is wonderful. Highly recommended.

  10. 5 out of 5

    David

    Whatever you believe about God, religion and the Bible, a person's story can move you. Shore asked for stories from gay people on his blog and this book is the result. It begins with a brief defense of same-sex relationships before being filled with a couple dozen stories of gay people and their experiences in the church. Sadly, these are stories filled with rejection, anger, hatred and fear. At the same time, these stories are moving as despite such awful experiences, these people still cling t Whatever you believe about God, religion and the Bible, a person's story can move you. Shore asked for stories from gay people on his blog and this book is the result. It begins with a brief defense of same-sex relationships before being filled with a couple dozen stories of gay people and their experiences in the church. Sadly, these are stories filled with rejection, anger, hatred and fear. At the same time, these stories are moving as despite such awful experiences, these people still cling to the hope and love a relationship with God offers. I was deeply moved through these stories and appreciate Shore putting them together.

  11. 4 out of 5

    willowdog

    It reads like seeing a train wreck. One is moved by these letters of gay Christians who suffer rejection and despair as they seek and hope for the fellowship within their churches. I'm the least likely person to have read this--not moved to religion at all--but found the essays by John Shore, who seeks to counter the religious right's arguments against homosexuals, to be well directed and think they may be helpful to those who are questioning and seeking their place as Christians. It reads like seeing a train wreck. One is moved by these letters of gay Christians who suffer rejection and despair as they seek and hope for the fellowship within their churches. I'm the least likely person to have read this--not moved to religion at all--but found the essays by John Shore, who seeks to counter the religious right's arguments against homosexuals, to be well directed and think they may be helpful to those who are questioning and seeking their place as Christians.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    This was hard to rate. Probably more of a 3.5. The authors content was just okay. The letters from gay Christians were the best part of the book (about half). Many were just heartbreaking. It was worth the read just for those.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kim Steinke

  14. 4 out of 5

    Grant Swanson

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sergio S. Martinez

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten Smith

  17. 4 out of 5

    John-Nathan

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brett David

  19. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Romero

  20. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Phillips

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alex Lange

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mark Lee

  23. 4 out of 5

    Scott Watters

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine McIntosh

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  26. 4 out of 5

    Anshel Bomberger

  27. 4 out of 5

    Scott Vawser

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

  30. 5 out of 5

    Matt Steadman

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