I totally understand the premise of an endorsement … if a respected person respects your work, it lends much credibility to your words. I’ll tell you two things, give you the first hand look at the endorsements for Love is an Orientation, and then tomorrow in Part 2 I’ll give you what I learned about the process of how people say “yes” or “no” to potential endorsements.
The endorsement process for me was really nerve-wracking. Over the last year or so, yes, I have gotten to know (and even call them friends on a few occasions) with some pretty big name folks. No I’m not going to name drop! But due to the nature of my life’s work and how I both approach and live out God’s call, I think it actually scares a few of them. Throughout my experience over the last year it seems as though some of them like to know me, they like to tell others they know me (which helps me spread the message a great deal!), but then they shy away from making a public statement on my behalf. Why? Because all of a sudden my unique bridge building work surrounding a controversial topic is then thrown on their doorstep as well. And they don’t want to have to answer to anyone on this subject, regardless of how much I’ll always have their back and even answer for them.
I’ve learned that for my book, the whole “have mass amounts of people and all of my friends endorse my book” thing didn’t really pan out like it has for many others. Yet that doesn’t matter to me one ounce because I did have a few very special people who were willing to put themselves out there by articulating their thoughts on peacefully, productively and practically building bridges between the GLBT community and conservative Christians through my book.
Here is the sneak peak at those people who will be endorsing Love is an Orientation, and what they had to say:
Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University
“Homosexuality is more than a biblical debate about who’s right and who’s wrong. Everything converges in the pastoral and the personal context, and Andrew Marin–unlike any writer I’ve seen–deals with real humans in real human contexts. We desperately need this book; it has the potential to shift the evangelical movement in a more compassionate direction.”
“One of the most important conversations happening in the church. And one of the most divisive. Andrew Marin is a fresh, gracious, innovative voice in the dialogue. For Marin, this is not about a hot-button ‘issue’–it is about a face, a friend, a child of God. It is about Jesus, whose love many find hard to grasp because of what they have felt from his followers. Andrew reminds us that, whether conservative or liberal, we can have great ideas and still be mean and self-righteous. And ultimately they will know we are Christians, not by our proof-texting, but by our love.”
“Andrew Marin speaks with a loving, clear voice about an issue that is dividing families, churches and our nation.”
“One of my mentors once told me, ‘The hard thing about being a bridge is that you get walked on from both ends.’ Thank God for those big-hearted people willing to be bridges . . . willing to suffer a lot of abuse and misunderstanding in trying to bring others together. Andrew Marin is one of those bridge-people, and he has laid himself across a huge gap to bring together people who need each other.”