OuterSpace Resource List
Outerspace contributors have told us that the resources listed here have been helpful to them. Their comments are in quotation marks. The resources are wide ranging and include authors from liberal and conservative Christian backgrounds. Most are currently in print, but we have also included some that are out of print but easily available second hand via online bookstores.
Gene Robinson. In the Eye of the Storm. £2. ISBN 978-1853119026. USA. Bishop Gene (the openly gay Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of New Hampshire, USA) writes movingly about his life and ministry
Voices of Witness Africa. DVD. Will be available soon as an import from the USA via www.voicesofwitness.org. African LGBT Christians tell their stories. “A brave tribute to a God of love” – Desmond Tutu.
Leroy Aarons. Prayers for Bobby. £4. ISBN 978-0062511232. Also a DVD. USA. A fundamentalist Christian mother comes to terms with the suicide of her gay son. “It’s moving and covers some familiar arguments well.”
Jeremy Marks. Exchanging the Truth of God for a Lie. £4. ISBN 978-1903905456. UK. Tells the extraordinary story of the group Courage moving from being an “ex-gay” organisation to affirming LGBT Christians. “A wonderful book, full of wisdom and compassion, humility and humour.”
Michael Ford. Disclosures: Conversations Gay and Spiritual. £4. ISBN 978-0232525618. A series of moving portraits of LGB Christians from the UK, US and Africa.
Through My Eyes. DVD. £12. US import via www.throughmyeyesdvd.com LGB evangelical teenagers in the USA describe their experiences of coming out in conservative churches.
Theology, The Bible, Faith
Deryn Guest, Robert Goss, Mona West, Thomas Bohache (Eds). The Queer Bible Commentary. ISBN 978-0334040217 £30. UK and USA. A series of scholarly reflections on each book of the Bible with a focus on how LGBT people relate to scripture today. A good introduction to queer theology.
Patrick Chapman. Thou Shalt not Love. £7. ISBN 978-0971468627. USA Provides a thorough rebuttal to the arguments used against LGBT Christians.
Brian McLaren. A New Kind of Christian. £1. ISBN 978-0470248409. USA. “Not LGBT-focused, but one that helped me see new ways of relating to the Bible that were more inclusive of LGBT people (and many others).”
For the Bible Tells Me So. DVD – Dan Karslake, 2009. £4. USA. “An amazing film that challenges negative perceptions of LGBT Christians head on.” “I learnt a lot from this DVD.” Shown at Greenbelt 2009 by Outerspace.
Andrew Marin. Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community. In Print £5. ISBN 978-0830836260. USA. An attempt to bring conservative and LGB Christians together. One group contributor said “this book could be a lifeline for confused evangelicals who are looking for a way to approach homosexuality differently”. It contains more of a conservative perspective than other books listed here.
Diarmaid MacCulloch. A History of Christianity. DVD. £11. UK. Includes a short section on the current sexuality debate in the church. “What he says about the Bible and homosexuality is perfect!”
L. William Countryman. Dirt, Greed and Sex. In Print. £12. ISBN 978-0334028574. “An incredibly helpful (if somewhat academic) book looking at the whole area of sexual ethics in the old and new testaments.” Looks at homosexuality within the context in how the entire Bible addresses sex, marriage and love.
Fish Out of Water. DVD. £10. USA. “A great look at Biblical passages supposedly condemning gay people, illustrated with cartoons.”
Robin Scroggs. The New Testament and Homosexuality. 1983 but still available new for £6. ISBN 978-0800618544. USA. A thorough analysis of the New Testament in relation to homosexuality. Despite its age it continues to be widely recommended. Scholarly in tone, but short (150 pages) and readable.
Marilyn Alexander, James Preston. We Were Baptized Too: Claiming God’s Grace for Lesbians and Gays. 1996, but still available new: £8. ISBN 978-0664256289. USA. The case for full inclusion of lesbian and gay Christians in the church argued through the theology of baptism.
Darren Main. Hearts and Minds: Talking to Christians About Homosexuality. £8. USA. ISBN 978-1844091454. An attempt to bring conservative Christians and LGB people closer together. Uses the Bible and Jesus’ teaching to argue for inclusion. It contains more of a conservative perspective than other books listed here.
Ray Vincent. Let the Bible be Itself: Learning to Read it Right. In Print £11. ISBN 978-1846941481. UK. Not LGBT specific, but a useful guide on how to read the Bible, with relevance to the Bible passages traditionally used to talk about homosexuality.
Michael Vasey. Strangers and Friends: New Exploration of Homosexuality and the Bible. 1996 – out of print but widely available second hand from £2. ISBN 978-0340608142. UK. An exploration of a Christian approach to homosexuality within and beyond the Bible. Academic in tone.
Daniel Helminiak. What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality. £12. ISBN 978-1886360099. USA. A straightforward, easy-to-read guide refuting a homophobic reading of the Bible.
Candace Chellew-Hodge. Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians. £6. ISBN 978-0470279281. USA. Goes beyond the Biblical arguments to help gay and lesbian Christians in their journey of faith. “Life changing.”
Timothy Keller. The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith. £2. ISBN 978-0340979983. USA. “An amazing little book. Uses the story of The Prodigal Son to speak about joy and reminds us that Jesus ‘constantly depicts the salvation he brings as a feast.’” Not specifically LGBT.
Third Order of The Society of St Francis. Exploring Diversity. Available as a free download from: http://tinyurl.com/3ladwyt A religious community with a number of LGBT members makes “an attempt to take a lead in promoting tolerance and compassion in the face of the polarised views being taken by many in the church today.”
George Hopper. Reluctant Journey. Available free online from: www.reluctantjourney.co.uk or £16 as a second hand hard copy (out of print). ISBN 978-0953116805. UK. An evangelical explains why he has moved from homophobia to inclusion. Particularly helpful on the Bible. Quite old now (1997) but still widely recommended.
Jo Ind. Memories of Bliss: God, Sex, and Us. £8. UK. ISBN 978-0334028857. Although quite old (2003) it is still widely recommended. It considers human sexuality from a Christian perspective. “A great book considering human sexuality in all its richness.”
John Shelby Spong, a retired American bishop, has campaigned for LGBT inclusion for years. This is touched on in many of his books, including The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible’s Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love (£4 ISBN 978-0060778408).
Debra Kolodny (Ed). Blessed Bi Spirit: Bisexual People of Faith. ISBN 978-0826412317. 2000, but still widely available: £19 new £8 second hand. USA. One of the few books to approach faith (including Christianity) from a specifically bisexual standpoint.
Transgender. Gender Identity
Virginia Woolf. Orlando (Novel). £2. ISBN 978-1853262395. UK. A novel exploring gender identity through different periods of history.
Pat Conover. Transgender Good News. 2002: £6 second hand. ISBN 978-0971825635. USA. “Pat’s book is good news to all of us, not just those of us who are transgender.”
Christina Beardsley. The Transsexual Person is My Neighbour. UK 2007. Available as a free download from http://tiny.cc/uvb51 Pastoral guidelines for Christian clergy, pastors and congregations. Includes an appendix on people who are intersex.
David Horton. Changing Channels? A Christian Response to the Transvestite and Transsexual. ISBN 978-1851742585.UK. Out of print but available as an E-book from http://tiny.cc/qhntu for £4. A few copies are available second hand.
Civil Partnerships, Marriage
Jim Cotter. The Service of My Love. £10. ISBN 978 1 870652 45. UK. Available from http://www.cottercairns.co.uk/CP_cat.asp It sets the scene for the blessing of a same-gender relationship and provides liturgical resources, hymns and prayers for such an occasion. “Unique.”
Jeffrey Heskins. Unheard Voices. 2001. £8. ISBN 978-0232524277. UK. The story of how an inner-city parish deals with the minister’s decision to offer services of blessing for gay and lesbian couples.
Chris Glaser. As My Own Soul: The Blessings of Same-Sex Marriage. £9. USA. ISBN 978-1596271180. Argues that same-gender marriage nourishes and enhances the institution of marriage.
www.integrityusa.org/samesexblessings Includes several services of blessing for same-gender relationships.
Church Leadership. Ordination
Jeffrey Heskins. Face to Face. Gay and Lesbian Clergy on Holiness and Life Together. £13. ISBN 9780334040033. UK. Tells the moving stories of LGB clergy.
Jan Fortune-Wood. Stale Bread and Miracles. £8. ISBN 978-1905614981. UK. The story of one of the first Anglican women priests. “Good for gay Christians exploring ministry.”
Parents, Families, Coming Out
Joy Dickens. Family Outing. 1996 but widely available from £1. ISBN 978-0720609615. UK. Parents write of their experiences of discovering that their children are LGB.
Mary Borhek. Coming Out to Parents: A Two-Way Survival Guide for Lesbians and Gay Men and Their Parents. 1993, but widely available from £5 ISBN 978-0829809572. USA. A guide to coming out that also aims to help families. Includes a section on religious beliefs.
Sarah and Rachel Hagger-Holt. Living It Out: a survival guide for lesbian, gay and bisexual Christians and their friends, families and churches. £6. ISBN 978-1853119996. UK. “Well written without being academic, God-centred without being pious, and good-humoured without getting silly.” “No other book combines honest experience, advice, Biblical study and prayer in the same way.”
Jim Cotter is well known for his books on spirituality and sexuality. Titles include Quiverful (1999 ISBN 978-1903019184) Pleasure Pain and Passion (1998 ISBN 978-1870652025) and Good Fruits (1988 ISBN 978-1870652032). Despite their age they are well worth seeking out either second hand or via http://www.chbookshop.co.uk/
William Storey. A Book of Prayer for Gay and Lesbian Christians. £17. ISBN 978-0824519377. USA. A highly original prayer book for gay and lesbian Christians. Includes “A Coming-out Party Ritual”, and “Prayers for Dealing with Discrimination.”
Chris Glaser. Coming Out to God: Prayers for Lesbians and Gay Men, Their Families and Friends. 1991 but widely available from £9. ISBN 978-0664251765. USA. Prayers and reflections for LGB people. “Deeply spiritual.”
Alex Sanchez. The God Box. £3. ISBN 978-1416909002. USA. A novel exploring coming out as a teenager in the ‘Bible Belt’. “A good novel for Christians in the process of coming out.”
James Hannaham. God Says No. £5. ISBN 978-0802144966. USA. The story of a gay black Christian exploring his sexuality in the American South. Very well received in the USA.
Drew Pautz. Love the Sinner. £4. ISBN 978-1848420892. UK. A novel which highlights the hypocrisy and inhumanity of the Anglican Church. “Thought provoking.”
Joan Roughgarden. Evolution’s Rainbow. 2004, but widely available from £9. ISBN 978-0520260122. USA. An exploration of the diversity of gender and sexuality in nature.
Glen Wilson, Qazi Rahman. Born Gay?: The Psychobiology of Sex Orientation. £5. ISBN 978-0720613094. UK. A psychological and biological study of sexual orientation.
John Boswell. Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the 14th Century. 1980, but widely available from £11. ISBN 978-0226067117. USA. A challenging study of homosexuality in the early church. Academic in tone.
Timothy Bradshaw. The Way Forward? Christian Voices on Homosexuality and the Church. 2003, second hand from £1. ISBN 978-0340693933. UK. Summarises the debate in the Church of England. Includes LGBT Christians, conservatives, and those who are yet to decide their position.
Stephen Bates. A Church at War: Anglicans and Homosexuality, Updated Edition. £5. ISBN 9780340908556. UK. A very well written account of the conflict over sexuality in the Anglican Communion.
And It Can Be. LGBT Methodists moving towards an inclusive church. £7. UK. Order from www.outcomeonline.org.uk. A collection of reflections and experiences by UK LGBT Methodists.
James Alison is a brilliant modern theologian writing from his perspective as a gay Catholic priest. Most of his books speak of the experience of LGBT Christians, especially Catholics. His most recent book is Broken Hearts and New Creations: Intimations of a Great Reversal (ISBN 978-0232527964). It is also worth looking out for his older books such as On Being Liked (ISBN 978-0232525175) and Faith Beyond Resentment: Fragments Catholic and Gay (ISBN 978-0232524116). His website contains numerous free articles: www.jamesalison.co.uk
John McNeill is a former Jesuit who was forced to leave the order due to his ministry to LGBT people. His best known book is The Church and the Homosexual, which is now quite old (£18 ISBN 9780807079317). More recently he has written Sex as God Intended (£8 ISBN 978-1590210420) and Freedom Glorious Freedom (£11 ISBN 978-1590211489).