Dan Savage, sex advice expert, speaker, and founder of the “It Gets Better” Project, wrote a review in the New York Times of Jeff Chu’s new book, “Does Jesus Really Love Me?: A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in Search of God in America”.
First let me say two things about Dan Savage: (1) I really like and respect him, despite his overtly anti-Christian and anti-religion tirades; and (2) I understand why he is so angry and bitter. It is part of his story and sadly, part of his experience with church and Christianity.
Overall, Dan gives the book a positive review and thinks you should read the book. I agree.
But he is also pretty critical of Chu… and at times even hostile.
But what strikes me most about Savage’s critiques is that he doesn’t get at all what Jeff’s journey or book are about. He also characterizes the book as much more negative and hostile towards evangelical Christianity than the book is.
What I really appreciate about the book is that Jeff allows for complexity and tension and shades of grey. Savage paints with only black and white (as do many of his critics on the other side). Much of the point — the takeaway — from Jeff’s book is that this isn’t about Christians vs. Gays, as if this is two separate and distinct groups of people pitted against each other. This is about the struggle of those who are born gay and choose (or called) to be Christians. The story of non-Christian gays who have been hurt by the church is a compelling and important one… but for another book. This book is about those of us who are gay and Christian and how we — and our churches — wrestle to integrate these two realities.
Savage’s critique is actually Chu’s triumph. Savage simply doesn’t get Chu… or the book… or those of us who are both gay and take following Jesus seriously.