I Need a Title!

I Need a Title! October 3, 2009

Please help me pick a ‘working title’ for my second book! Let me explain …

What is a ‘working title’? It’s a title that the author picks for their book until the official title is cemented. There are many times however, when the working title ends up being the official title.

What is your second book about?My second book is going to be about the research that The Marin Foundation has conducted over the last three years surrounding past, present and future religious practices of the GLBT community and if there is any correlation between those practices and sexual behavior, social acculturation and religious acculturation. It all sounds a little scientific right now, I know. But don’t worry I’m writing it to be accessible for a mainstream audience (the backdrop to the book will be the culture war while using the research as the jump-off point) so the heavy science explanations (p values, significance levels, etc) will be saved for a special website people can go to throughout the book. The research study that The Marin Foundation has been conducting these last three years has turned into the largest national scientific research study ever done in the GLBT community regarding spirituality and religion. Our results are going to blow some folks minds … 

So please tell me which title and subtitle combination you like the best! Feel free to mix and match them:

Title Options:

The Seal of Distortion

“Humiliated by God” (It’s in quotes because it was the words that a gay man told Brenda recently about the church)

Misguided Missiles

The Fall and Rise of God and Gays

Disconnected Evil

Subtitle Options:

Research Investigating the Religious Culture War with the Gay Community

Provocative Research Examining the Gay Experience with Church & Culture

Scientifically Exploring the Gay and Religious Culture War

So an example of a vote would be the following:

The Seal of Distortion: Provocative Research Examining the Gay Experience with Church & Culture

And if any of you think of something better than what is listed, feel free to put that down as a vote as well. But if you do that, also choose one of the title/subtitle listed as well.

I’m super excited to hear what you all have to say! Vote away (and tell your friends to vote as well!) …

Much love.


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  • Tyler

    God and Gays: Investigating the Culture War

  • As a conservative evangelical who is gay and in a same sex partnership first let me say "thanks!".

    Personally I struggle with the title "Seal of Distortion" – though I can understand where it comes from. As a subtitle, I really appreciate "Provocative Research Examining the Gay Experience with Church & Culture" and believe either 'Misguided Missiles' or Humiliated by God would be excellent titles.

    I understand what you are saying about the title Adam, but working with gay folks over here in the UK (those with and without an active faith), I think humiliated by God is more powerful a title than humiliated by God's people. Since yes, you are right the LGBT community is humiliated by God's People (blanket statement!) but in doing so, as God's 'representatives', it communicates that it comes from God not his people. So we FEEL humiliated by God himself, rather than the reality that its some of his people that are doing it not the Almighty Father.

  • nickole huffman

    My vote is:

    Misguided Missiles: Research Investigating the Religious Culture War with the Gay Community

  • @RuairidhD- thanks for that explanation. That makes total sense, and your perspective changes my opinion. Humiliated by God is now my vote Mr. Marin.

  • I like Humiliated by God: Provocative Research Examining the Gay Experience with Church & Culture

    Certain words attract certain people. Using the word scientific attracts left brain ( i think it's left) people. I would glance at it but not buy it. Culture wars is a phrase that pays. It's very fox news though and may seem to come from a right wing perspective. I like the word provocative because it could peek the interest of anyone.

    Just a thought.

  • Nick

    I REALLY like

    "Humiliated by God"

    Provocative Research Examining the Gay Experience with Church & Culture

    It's a very provocative title – and it made me people perk up and think about what it was saying.

    I completely agree, RuairidhD! I think Love is an Orientation really nailed it down that we, as Christians, are not the messengers of God's displeasure to the world, yet many in the church have made it their responsibility. All that does is leave a bitter taste in the mouth of the shunned, not only against the people, but against the god those people claim to be so in tune with.

    Probably my least favorite is 'Disconnected Evil'

    Can't wait to read the book!

  • Paul Henry

    As with SaraM I, too, go a bit differently from the choices given: How about something along the lines of "Upholding Bridge Building: Understanding The GLBT Community and The Church".

  • Audrey

    How rigourous is the science behind this study? Where any accredited PhDs in psychology, statistics or math involved in setting up the study?

    Who funded it, and how much did it cost to do it?

  • Audrey

    How was a scientific sample determined, considering an evangelical christian connection to this study?

  • howsabouthis, brother?

    God and Gays: A Love (and War) Story

    Scientifically Exploring the Clash between Gay and Religious Cultures

  • k1965

    I know this might sound corny, and it might conjure up images of Pat Benatar, but I think that a good title would be:

    Love is a Battlefield: Provocative Research Examining Spirituality and Religion in the GLBT Community

    It just seems to match your first book… I know that isn't essential, but it makes an author's book easy to recognize!

  • Cathy


    My favorite?

    Humiliated by God: Examining the Gay experience with Church and Culture.

    much love.


  • Laura


    My pick is Humiliated by God: Exploring the Gay and Religious Culture War.

  • Kevin

    My favorite,

    Misguided Missiles:

    Scientifically Exploring the Gay and Religious Culture War

  • how about “The Church” (open doors, but closed closets)

  • Adam McLane

    I like the first one. Maybe make it, humiliated by God’s people as I hope that’s whatthat statement meant.

    Can’t wait to hear more about it. Have you warned Starbucks that you are writing again? Will you be growing a beard? Is it strange that I’m more interested in these things than your working title?

  • Andrew, a bit off from your choices but I like

    Misguided Missiles
    The Gay and Religious Culture War: A Scientific Exploration

  • Kevin

    What about taking one of the findings from your research that you feel is going to blow individuals minds or a point that proved to have significant statistical backing or maybe a major theme that you found to be running throughout the research (basically something important that came out of the study) combined with how the culture war has influenced/effected this and possibly the ramifications it has had for the church to form the working title.

    OK, so that was a mouthful so I'll try to give an example of what that process could look like. A major finding in the study could be that a significant percentage (or at least a higher portion than generally believed as sadly assumed by some that there is a negative correlation between being GLBTQ and religious/spiritual) of individuals surveyed from the GLBTQ community currently or at one time had an interest in a relationship with God or were a part of the church. You would then look at the possible ways that the culture war has influenced/effected or in some cases even created the first point. In regards to the culture war, some have been discouraged from attending, kicked out of, or burned by the church in a way that has negativley impacted or brought to an end their relationship with God. Others while holding onto their relationship with God may seperate themselves and live out their faith disconnected from a larger body of believers. Finally, if applicable you could look at the ramifications or consequences that this has had for the church. Many in the church view being gay, bisexual, etc. and Christian or religious as polarities and develop the false construct of "others" that often results in an "us vs. them" mentality instead of recognizing that we are a part of the same body. When the culture war hurts or causes individuals from the GLBTQ community to leave or not join the church, straight conervative Christians (as they tend to make up the other side of the culture war) do not see that they are in essence hurting the body of Christ and themselves along with the potential that it has as those they are fighting against often are or have the prospect of becoming a part of the same body. As 1 Cor. 12:12 states that "the body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they from one body," the conservative church community is essentially hacking away at parts of their own body. They are missing out on the gifts that those who are a part of the GLBTQ have and are not whole as a body as a result.

    So for this (long and drawn out) example of looking at a possible finding along with how it has been affected by the culture war and the implications that have resulted, an example for a working title could be something like:

    Self-Imposed mutilation

    with a sub-title of:

    Provacative Research into and Consequences of the Culture War

    Mutilation sounded a little dark but it also seemed to make some sense for the possible scenario that I was playing with as the definition is "an injury that causes disfigurement or that deprives you of a limb or other important body part." (which is basically what we are doing to the body of Christ at times with this culture war). My intention was not so much to propose a suggestion as it was to try to get the dialogue started on ways to propose different models or frameworks from which we can be developing different titles.

    Aside from all that rambling, I liked the titles "Humiliated by God" and "Misguided Missles." I liked "Provacative Research Examining the Gay Experience with Church and Culture." I agree with Paul that the word "Scientific" might not draw a large readership within evangelical circles as it implies that the book is focusing on quantitative answers with lots of statisitics, graphs, analyzing correlations, etc. (which is not a bad thing) but many could steer away from it if they mainly read for relaxation or could even be intimidated if they think it is going to read like a journal article. I am also on the same page as Nick as "Disconnected Evil" is my least favorite subtitle.

  • Br. Michael

    Oooooooh, my favorite…
    Brother Andrew
    The Bridge

  • Frank B

    God and Gays: Investigating the Culture War

    That was definitely my favorite combination from your selection. Be blessed in your choosing!

  • Amy

    Humiliated by God: Provocative Research Examining the Gay Experience with Church & Culture

  • Caroline C.


    From your suggested list, I'd vote:

    Misguided Missiles, Provocative Research Examining the Gay Experience with Church & Culture.

    But I also REALLY liked: God and Gays: A Love (and War) Story

    Be blessed as you challenge people to love radically,


  • I completely agree with those who suggest: “Humiliated by God–
    Provocative Research Examining the Gay Experience with Church & Culture”
    godgirls’ suggestion,
    God and Gays: A Love (and War) Story
    Scientifically Exploring the Clash between Gay and Religious Cultures

  • k1965

    Just one more thought – I can see that the “Humiliated by God” title is catchy, but, in my opinion, if you use a title like that (which is not a true statement because God does not humiliate us) then you would need to qualify it with something like: “Humiliated by God: how the Church has misrepresented God to the Gay Community”… or something like that – does that make sense? We have done the humiliating, not God and I wouldn’t want anyone to misunderstand just by reading the title (not everyone will read the inside of a book to see what you are really saying – they just see the outside and pass judgement.) Love you brother and keep pressing on with God’s unique call on your life!

  • Bryan

    Or how about…

    Ignored No More: Separating Fact from Fiction in the Culture War Between the Church and the Gay Community

    To show that many people in the church have closed their ears to this kind of information, but now they can not ignore these statistics anymore. Plus, it rhymes. Everyone loves a good rhyme.

  • Shooting the Rainbow: Research Investigating the Religious Culture War with the Gay Community

  • daniel schaaff

    I like “humiliated by God.” I feel that title will generate the most interest in the book and will catch people’s attention right away.

  • Hey dude,

    I like “Humiliated by God: Research Investigating the Religious Culture War with the Gay Community,” and think it has the most most provocative elements, while also being descriptive. The subtitle could use some work, but I can’t think of any options right now cause the hubby has “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” on . . . and I’m easily distracted.

  • Gods and Gays: Scientifically Exploring the Gay & Religious Culture War.

    Although, I did like the suggestion of modeling the title off book 1. The “Love is a Battlefield” suggestion…

    Can’t wait to read it, Andy.

  • Separating Church and Hate:Why Christians Need to End the War Against the Gay Community

    “Humiliated by God”: The Gay Experience with Church & Culture
    Good luck. Look forward to seeing the book when it comes out.

  • Diedre

    Misguided Missiles: Provocative Research: the Gay Experience with Church & Culture

  • Gies

    The Ironic Rainbow: Researching the Connection between the Gay Culture and the Church

  • Ashley Jacobson

    “Humiliated By God”
    -Experience of the Church and Culture in the Gay Community

  • I like 'Humiliated by God': Provocative Research Examining the Gay Experience with Church & Culture

    I'd almost shorten it to leave out the provocative research. On the other hand, while the 'humiliated by God' appeals to me, there's a part of me that wonders if that would turn off most people in the conservative churches I've grown up in? Still, it really grabs my attention and is a powerful statement.

  • Seth

    What about re-using the title of your monthly group? I really like "Living in the Tension."

  • Abigail

    Misguided Missiles: Provocative Research Examining the Gay Experience with Church & Culture

    Or that other idea: “Love is a battlefield”

  • Joe

    This sounds very interesting. Andrew, will you also be seeking peer-review of your study through the scientific community, i.e. Through publication in journals or conferences? The feedback from reviewers might prove very helpful in defining the sample population, which statistical tools to use to interrogate the raw data, and what conclusions may be drawn.

    There was lot of criticism of the Jones and Yarhouse study of participants in one if Exodus’ ministries due to the fact that they did not go the peer-review route but went straight to a IVP book. Their book certainly made waves in the evangelical community, but it seems to have had little impact on the scientific community as they did not choose peer-review. It would be great if your study were to have an effect not only in the evangelical community but on the scientific co
    community. Is there anyone on your team who could help you prepare manuscripts for peer-review?