September 2, 2013
Review: Does Jesus Really Love Me?: A Gay Christian's Pilgrimage in Search of God in America
Does Jesus Really Love Me?: A Gay Christian's Pilgrimage in Search of God in America by Jeff Chu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is an interesting book. It poses far more questions than it answers, and exposes more than a few churches and individuals to extremely unflattering lights. But, like all the best journalism, it merely lays out the facts and the author's impressions of the people he's talking to, and lets the readers draw their own conclusions.
The writer, Jeff Chu, goes on a year-long personal and spiritual journey trying to reconcile what he views as two conflicting aspects of his personality: "gay" and "Christian." Ultimately, the journey itself is the reward, as he admits. What makes this journey different is the author is an absolutely sparkling writer. His clarity of ideas and wonderful turns of phrase hold the reader's attention throughout. Just one example, plucked randomly from p. 33: "Belief grows or dies for all different reasons; the ecosystem of personal faith is rich and difficult terrain, a spiritual jungle as dense as the Amazon."
How can you not love a writer like that?
Chu treats his complex, controversial subject remarkably well. In the end, he affirms his faith and his belief in God, but admits that both have changed, and will keep on changing. Hopefully, in ten or fifteen more years he will write a sequel to this book. I would love to read it.
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