“Beyond Religious Life and Marriage”: My Epic Piece for “America” on Nonmarital Christian Kinship

in some of its many forms: Tim Otto found the Church of the Sojourners in San Francisco almost by accident. When he was a lonely little kid, one of their members, an artist, tried to teach him to paint. (“I was an utter failure,” he remembers.) When he grew up, he began to see in Sojourners, a Christian intentional community, a form of discipleship and an “art of love” that he admired and needed. more! I may as well say that I like the ending of this piece. Every time I do this stuff I try to d … [Read more...]

“If the Church Were a Haven”: Wesley Hill

at First Things: Or I think of a story I’ve heard Shane Claiborne recount, in which a frustrated young lesbian woman confided her discomfort with traditional Catholic sexual ethics to Mother Teresa. Afterwards, the young woman came to Claiborne beaming. What had Mother Teresa said to cause such joy? Claiborne wondered. It turned out, instead of rebuffing the woman’s questions or offering an easy solution to her uncertainty about whether or not to embrace celibacy, Mother Teresa had mostly lis … [Read more...]

Reading, ‘Riting and Repentance: Some Notes from the Festival of Faith and Writing

at Calvin College. This was a blast, guys. Here are some semi-cleaned-up excerpts from my notes.I don't need a literary agent. I need a literary patient. This is a great poem. "The wall comes down." Calvin vs #orthodoxerasure--there was a panel of Orthodox Christian poets, which had way too much bafflegabby "what is liturgy, what is poetry" for my taste (although I loved Scott Cairns's "Poetry focuses your attention") but also made me think there are two conflicting, equally-true ways … [Read more...]

“The Consolations of Friendship”: Intriguing Theological Exploration

by Wesley Hill: ...Perhaps this is at the heart of why Christians came to celebrate it. Friendship is a token or participation in that divine lavishness. When I travel overseas to visit a friend, spending more money than I have on plane fare and gifts that I’ve carefully selected in light of the little hobbies and secret interests of my friend that I am lucky enough to know about, I’m doing so not in order to guarantee a specific response or to meet a need. I’m doing these things, rather, becau … [Read more...]

“Who Are the Gay Evangelicals?”: Molly Worthen

in the NY Times:...Exodus’s collapse was a media spectacle. It was a huge blow to those who insist that same-sex attraction can be “cured,” and an encouragement to the growing number of evangelicals, particularly millennials, who support L.G.B.T. rights. But some young Christians resist the notion that embracing queer sexuality as an identity — not a disease — permits them to embrace homosexual relationships. These dissenters proudly call themselves gay or queer or bisexual. But they have tu … [Read more...]

“Meet the Gay Christians Who Are Swearing Off Sex”: Two Dudes You May Already Know And One You Might Not

Mic.com quotes Ron Belgau and Wesley Hill, who may already be familiar to my readers; but to me the most poignant and powerful lines were from Seth Crocker, whom I've read now and then but tbh haven't followed as closely:Seth Crocker, 28, is also a celibate gay Christian. A blogger for Building Bridges in War Zones, Crocker referred to his decision to abstain from sex as a "personal thing," which stems from his belief that being in a relationship with God means making difficult … [Read more...]

Wesley Hill: “Eve Tushnet’s Spirituality of Humiliation”

a super-neat piece that connects my new novel to some themes in my nonfiction writing: Eve Tushnet’s new self-published novel Amends (available as an e-book or a paperback) is peak Tushnet: there are more quirky one-liners than the best standup you’ve seen, more offbeat metaphors than even Michael Chabon can conjure; there are themes of friendship and sacrifice, themes of recovery and religion; there are gay characters, and there’s even a Christian one (the latter features in an extended scene n … [Read more...]