Usually, when someone becomes affirming, it is because they have seen the bad fruit of non-affirming theology. They know you can judge a tree by its fruit, and the fruit of the Spirit are useful tools for discernment. They usually know someone who is queer or know of them in some circle of proximity. They want to love their neighbors, and see that God is love, and can no longer support the theology of fear, hate, exclusion, suffering, and death they have previously been told is correct. They have usually had some sort of awareness (whether through gender or abuse or promises that never panned out or science or a thousand other things) that what is “traditional” in the church is not always what is faithful, best, or loving. At some point, they have to ask, “Is this really what the Bible says about LGBTQIA+ people? Is this really what God wants for his people and his church? If this is orthodoxy, what does that say about the gospel? Can I keep my faith and love my neighbor?”
It’s generally at that point, where one finds oneself wondering if the words of Jesus are compatible with Christian teaching, that one realizes it’s time for a change. But how do you make that change, and what do you say to people who claim it’s a sin to be queer, to be an ally, or to defy the rules set out by their interpretations of scripture? Is there an affirming way to read the Bible? What contributions and revelations and corrections can queer theology offer the church? What do I say to my church or pastor or neighbors who think queer affirmation is unbiblical? And can I love Jesus, the Bible, the church, and my queer self, friends, family, or neighbors?
These resources will attempt to help you answer those questions and more. Disclaimer: These are community-curated. I have not read all of them and cannot vouch for your personal needs being met here. You may very well disagree with many of them or not resonate with their logic. They might even disagree with each other as they navigate the diverse experience of queer theology. But it doesn’t make their purpose less true. Everyone has different needs and backgrounds and ways of expressing ideas. This list attempts to cover as many of those pathways as possible to arrive at a common, though not uniform, destination. This list is not all there is, and these resources are intended to launch you on a journey of discovering many more.
One place to find more is my Goodreads shelf with books full of personal stories, hermeneutics, apologetics, theology, and more from queer Christians.
- Don’t Blame It on the Bible by Dr. Obery M. Hendricks, Jr. in HuffPost, May 2013
- Arsenokoites – What is the historical meaning of this rare Greek word? by Gay Christian101
- The XX and XY Lie by Sara C (Not theology but important to understand re: “male and female he created them”)
- The Bible does not condemn “homosexuality.” Seriously, it doesn’t. by Adam Nicholas Phillips
- What Does the Bible say about Transgender People? by Myles Markham, Austen Hartke, and Michael Vasquez for the Human Rights Campaign
- Taking God at His Word: The Bible and Homosexuality by John and Catherine Shore at The NALT Christians Project
- Has “Homosexual” always been in the Bible? interview with Ed Oxford at The Forge
- 10 Bible Passages that Teach a Christian Perspective on Homosexuality by Layton Williams at Sojourners. “10 Bible verses that emphasize the value of love over the law, the God-belovedness of all people, and the special affirmation of those who have been historically rejected as unclean or unholy.”
- How Genesis 11 supports queerness and diversity by Colby Martin
More articles on the science and theology of queer identity here, compiled by Andrea Reimer. Thanks, Andrea!
- Reformation Project – A brief biblical case in support of same-sex relationships.
- Whosoever – Blog posts, articles, commentary, etc. on LGBTQIA+ issues, news, theology, Bible study, and more.
- Q Theology – Articles, podcasts, and more organized by topic so you can find exactly what you’re looking for exactly when you need it. From asking if it’s okay to be LGBTQ to navigating sex and relationships to finding a church.
- Freed Hearts – Excellent resource here providing even more resources than I can cover on my own list. Check out this website, especially if you are a parent of an LGBTQIA+ person, but plenty here for everyone to benefit from.
- LGBTQConversations – Lots of thoughtful blog posts considering the points of conservative/non-affirming theology and how we can approach them and respond from an affirming perspective.
- Q Christian Fellowship – Umbrella organization for both Side A and Side B theologies.
- Canyon Walker Connections – Author Kathy Baldock’s website with book reviews, articles, and other resources.
- God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines
- Unclobber by Colby Martin
- Changing Our Minds by David Gushee
- The Gospel of Inclusion, by Brandan Robertson
- Queer Virtue, by Elizabeth Edman
- Queer Theology: Beyond Apologetics by Linn Marie Tonstad
- Radical Love by Patrick Cheng
- Rainbow Theology by Patrick Cheng
- Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Trans Christians by Austen Hartke
- Jesus Acted Up by Robert Goss
- Outside the Lines: How Embracing Queerness Will Transform Your Faith by Mihee Kim-Kort
- Religion is a queer thing by Elizabeth Stuart
- The Bible’s Yes to Same-Sex Marriage by Mark Achtemeier
- Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate in Same-Sex Relationships by James V. Brownson
- Scripture, Ethics, and the Possibility of Same-Sex Relationships by Karen R. Keen
- Heretic!: An LGBTQ-Affirming, Divine Violence-Denying, Christian Universalist’s Responses to Some of Evangelical Christianity’s Most Pressing Concerns by Matthew J. Distefano
- Possibility of Difference by Marcus Green
- Undivided by Vicky Beeching
- Walking the Bridgeless Canyon by Kathy Baldock
- Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology by Pamela R. Lightsey
- What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage by David Myers and Letha Dawson Scanzoni
- A Letter to My Congregation: An evangelical pastor’s path to embracing people who are gay, lesbian and transgender in the company of Jesus by Ken Wilson
- Beyond a Binary God: A Theology for Trans* Allies by Tara Soughers
- For The Bible Tells Me So: The biblical-theological necessity of LGBTQ+ inclusion in the church by Katie Hays
- Holy Love, A Biblical Theology for Human Sexuality, by Rev. Dr. Steve Harper
- Our Strangely Warmed Hearts, Coming Out Into God’s Call by Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto
- Reclaiming Church by J.J. Warren
Related: Books on racial justice by Christian authors who are also affirming
- Clobbering the Clobber Passages – Q Theology
- Freed Hearts – Susan Cottrell
- The Reformation Project
- Austen Lionheart
- Womanist Queer Theology – Pamela Lightsey, dean of the Boston University School of Theology
- Candice Czubernat
- 1946 the Movie – About how the word “homosexuality” was added to the Bible
- Reconciling Ministries Network – Resources and videos
- Faithful and Inclusive – Being both fully inclusive and true to (United Methodist) faith
- Pray Away (Netflix) – A documentary about conversion therapy and the harm it has done (trigger warnings for self-harm, suicide, religious trauma, sexual assault)
Other resource lists
Much thanks to these resources for aiding the creation of this one and for their additional links not listed here.
- QueerGrace books
- Books, articles, podcasts, and videos compiled by Twitter user KailyAnd
- Resources for Affirming Theology by Jennifer Neyhart (including links to some notable names!)
- Christianity and LGBTQ+ Google Doc by Jo Luehmann and Stephanie Linquist