Over the past few months I’ve come across some excellent resources that I wish would have been available when I was growing up. The quality of writing has been on the rise, matching up to the great need of helping the church to grow into it’s calling to walk alongside those who experience same-sex attraction. I am excited to see how the Lord will use these things to help followers of Christ in the days to come.
Do Ask, Do Tell, Let’s Talk: How and Why Christians Should Have Gay Friends
by Brad Hambrick
I came across a recommendation for this book recently and added it to my Kindle. I was able to read it in it’s entirety during a long car ride, highlighting passages on almost every page.
The inscription on the first page was striking:
This book is dedicated to those who have felt that their experience of same-sex attraction has left them isolated within or from the Body of Christ.
May this book help the church better embody the gospel we proclaim and be the family of God.
~ Brad Hambrick
I’ve never read a book that was so directly dedicated to me, or to people like me (outside of Scripture, of course!) It took me aback for a moment – to think that the author even noticed that experiencing this temptation can be an isolating experience, often leaving a person feeling detached from the conversations going on in a church group, or even cut off from the gospel – the good news of salvation and redemption itself. To see that the goal of this book was to help end and mend this isolation through the maturation of the church was touching.
As I then read through the recommendations, I came across a familiar name – John Freeman, President of Harvest USA:
Finally, a practical book that helps us engage people as Jesus would! Brad Hambrick captures the heart of what is means to invite into dialogue and relationship people who you might otherwise see as so unlike you that you may not know how to begin a substantive conversation. Do Ask, Do Tell, Let’s Talk teaches the lost art of how to talk with people, draw them out, get to know their story and, therefore, know their heart…all of which makes fertile soil for the gospel to take root and flourish!
That is a fine summary of what this book can help one accomplish. I’ve probably mentioned this on this blog before, but the number one question I receive from people after hearing my story is, “How can I talk to my gay / lesbian friend / family member without offending or hurting them in some way?” People really want to show that they care, and they want to love others well, which in and of itself is a world away from the mainstream of the culture I grew up in. So there is already a great need for a book like this, and Brad Hambrick does indeed do a wonderful job of giving practical help.
It is a short work – only 100 pages, divided into six chapters which build on one another, so it’s worth reading from beginning to end. The last chapter was the most awkwardly worded, which the author acknowledged as it was a compressed fictional conversation, but you could catch the application of what was shared in the previous five chapters enough to justify reading it through.
Do Ask, Do Tell, Let’s Talk: How and Why Christians Should Have Gay Friends would be an excellent follow up to Messy Grace by Caleb Kaltenbach* for a small group wanting to learn more about bridging the divide between those who experience same-sex attraction and the church at large.
*See the Resources tab for more information.