You're invited: "Love is an Orientation" Virtual Book Club

UPDATE, 5/20

I’m overwhelmed at the early response to the “Love is an Orientation Virtual Book Club” experiment. In 36 hours, more than 125 people have already joined! That’s a little larger than any book club I’ve ever participated in. On second thought, I’ve never actually been in a book club before, so that’s a bad comparison. Let’s just say, it’s a lot larger than I expected. Should be fun.

The first two discussion topics were posted today, and neither one requires that you have actually read the book yet. Let’s call them preliminary topics, generated solely by the invitation to join.

1) What Conversation?
2) Is “Agenda-less” even possible?

If you haven’t entered the fray yet, please do so here.
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ORIGINAL POST

Call this post an online experiment, but I can’t remember anticipating a book as much as Andrew Marin‘s debut, “Love is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community” (InterVarsity Press). So, for me at least, the book’s release is worthy of experimentation.

My anticipation mounted for at least two years after meeting Marin through Urban Youth Workers Institute and hearing first hand his passion for reaching a community most Christians dismiss as unreachable. Add to that the timeliness of the topic — gay marriage, anyone? — and the opportunity to wrestle with a fresh perspective on it, and the book’s release feels, well, fresh. The book’s cover, for its part, promises no more of the pungently stale entrenchment of cliche Christianity/ese, which by itself is worth celebrating. *Grin.*

So here’s the experiment.

Create a virtual book club wherein interested Christ-followers and non can wrestle with the topic together.

Who should join?

Anyone willing to read and discuss the book, who also cares about:

  • Advancing the Kingdom of God by loving sincerely the most marginalized among us.
  • The hyper-sexualized culture young people engage everyday, and that culture’s affect on already hormonally changing teens.
  • The confusion, pain, and challenges created by increasingly visible homosexuality and the backlash against it.
  • People, period. But especially those we struggle to love.

Who Should Stay Away

  • People with a political, religious, or other agenda besides seeking understanding.
  • Know-it-all’s who want everyone else to see how smart they are.
  • Narcissists. It’s not about you.

Where?

The Love is an Orientation Virtual Book Club will meet on a semi-neutral platform — Facebook — so YS Blog friends, UYWI blog friends, JeremyDelRio.com blog friends, UrbanMinistry.org members, CCDA associates and more can all engage easily.

Format

Again, this is an experiment. I took the liberty of initiating this particular conversation about elevating The Conversation (i.e. creating the group), but I do not own the dialogue. I reserve the right to remove hostile notes and comments (and will recruit other contributors/editors to assist), but otherwise any Group member can feel free to initiate a discussion topic or engage another topic.

Ground Rules

  • R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
  • Check hostility, if not your agenda, at the door.
  • Foul or otherwise derogatory language will be removed by an administrator.
  • Discussion comments should relate to the discussion. Personal attacks or digs will be removed.
  • Self-edit. If you think your own post might be agenda-driven, it probably is, so save it for your own blog or hit the delete button. And if you see something offensive, please notify the administrator.

Hopefully we won’t have to modify the ground rules much, but I/we reserve the right to do anything necessary to “elevate” the conversation, even in cyberspace.

Enter the Fray

I just began to read the book this morning, and will be wrestling through it along with you as I read it for the first time. Join the FB group today. Purchase the book. And enter the fray.

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