Curiously Fluid Data on Sexual Fluidity
After I criticized a study claiming that Reintegrative Therapy facilitates sexual orientation change, some of the data I cited in my critique were mysteriously altered in the online PDF of the study. I come bearing receipts.
Q&A with Tom Kang at NewStory Church
"If we want to go around applying the term 'sinner' to someone in our lives, the most useful person to apply that term to is ourselves. And if we want to go around hating sin, the most useful sin to begin with is the sin we find ourselves most eagerly drawn to."
Costliness of Obedience at NewStory Church
In which I share my story with the good people of NewStory Church in Los Angeles, along with some reflections on the nature of sexual orientation, the biblical vision for marriage, and the true meaning of family.
The Whole Church Podcast
"Does Jesus have the right to call us to things that feel counterintuitive and weird and bad, or have we created Jesus in the image of ourselves? Are we just looking for a Jesus who affirms everything that we already wanted to do in our lives?"
Is Reintegrative Therapy Making People Straight?, Part 2
"The purportedly longitudinal nature of the Pela and Sutton study applies to only 22 of the 105 participants originally recruited. But those 22 participants definitely became straighter, right?" (Short answer: no.)
Is Reintegrative Therapy Making People Straight?, Part 1
"The Pela and Sutton study was published in The Journal of Human Sexuality not because (or, at least, not simply because) it was objectively good scientific work, but also because it matched the organization’s preexisting ideological commitments."
Red Skies Podcast
"Where there is messy humanity, God's amazing grace can step in." I have never not enjoyed a conversation with Deb Hirsch, and this one was no exception!
PreMature Adults Podcast
In which I chat with Arthur Mensah about writing, celibacy, and navigating young adulthood.
Healing Our Image of God Podcast
"Sabbath is hard because it cuts against my human impulse to determine my value according to the things I can produce for God." I so enjoyed chatting with Susan Carson about the spiritual practices that have formed (or deformed) (or reformed) my image of God!
Exiles in Babylon Conference
I had the privilege of speaking at this conference alongside so many other fabulous talks about what it means to live as exiles. You can watch a snippet of my comments free, or buy the whole thing to hear the even cooler people!
Why I Stay Podcast
"It's possible to run from an unhealthy and abusive community that claims the name of Jesus, and to yet remain somebody who finds the person of Jesus compelling and wants to follow him."
The Monday Christian Podcast
In addition to an extensive discussion of sexual identity language, tune in to hear me reveal my true feelings about Canadians.
Pros and Cons of Coming Out
A blog post in which I lay out two incomplete lists of pros and cons involved in my own coming out. Come for the practical thoughts, stay for the snarky commentary.
Theology in the Raw: Valentine's Day
I chat with Preston Sprinkle about moving to Boise, finding belonging, and being single on Valentine's Day.
I was delighted to co-write a chapter with Debra Hirsch for this new book about the future of the Church.
The Faith of Coming Out Colton
Colton’s words are reminiscent of the words of so many other flesh-and-blood LGBTQ people in the 21st century: "I feel like… I was asked to leave part of myself behind to stay close to God."
Meditations on My Spam Folder
"Every week or so, I skim through the emails that have accrued in my Gmail spam folder, just in case some legitimate email wound up in there by accident. And when I perform this ritual, I’m almost invariably reminded that heterosexuality is not a biblical ideal."
The Stability of Scandalous Adoration
The audio from my talk at Revoice 2021 is now available on the Theology in the Raw podcast!
Top Shelf Book Cover Award
Every once in a while, it's a great idea to judge a book by its cover. What a delight to see No Longer Strangers win a 2021 Top Shelf Book Cover Award!
You Will Never Be Ready
"If you’re not ready to start a conversation about faith and sexuality in a way that honors LGBTQ people, I’m starting to think you have only two choices: do it before you feel ready, or never do it at all."
The Before-and-After Testimony Problem
"I long for us to stop perpetuating a world in which a gay teenager might ever say, as I recall once having said to myself, 'If only I’d gone out and had a ton of sex before I met Jesus, so that I could have a testimony worth telling.'"
The Heterosexuality of Tim Keller
"Tim Keller seems to be okay using sexual identity language about himself and recognizing that same-sex orientation and opposite-sex orientation are both equal in their relationship to sinfulness and their capacity for holiness. I wish that more Christians of Keller’s ilk believed the truth of Keller’s words in this video—including Keller himself."
On Scandalous Housing Arrangements (UK Edition)
I'm delighted to see my thoughts on scandalous housing arrangements make their way across the pond to the folks at Living Out, and to have an editor anglicize my spelling! (Does this mean I'm one step closer to becoming C.S. Lewis?)
Should We Avoid Every Appearance of Evil?
"When we claim that our Christian obedience calls us to avoid the mere appearance of evil, we hold ourselves to a higher standard of holiness than the only perfectly holy human being who ever lived."
#AskingForAFriend: The Rewarding Parts of Celibacy
In which I share a few thoughts with the LOVEboldly crew about how I find delight in celibacy!
On Scandalous Housing Arrangements
"I am an unmarried man. I live with an unmarried woman. It’s just the two of us in the house, alone and unchaperoned. Yet somehow—though this may shock you to hear—we aren’t having any sex."
Relationship Prescriptions Podcast with Dr. Carol Tanksley
"That sense of homelessness, that sense of longing for something better, is a reminder that I'm designed for perfect intimacy with Jesus... that's where I'm headed one day."
Life on Side B Podcast: Season 3
A delightful conversation with (some of) the Life on Side B folks about grief, Twitter habits, and my car's six-CD player. (If you watch on YouTube, those with a keen eye can spot my new Boise office in the background!)
Heart of Dating Podcast
I talk with Kait Warman about sexuality, terminology, the reasons I was bad at dating, and (against all odds) my dating advice for others!
Upon This Rock Podcast
A glorious potpourri of a podcast with my Middle-East-dwelling friend Max Thomas, in which we discuss Harry Potter, Christian nationalism, the culture wars, and Matthean depictions of the eschaton.
Among Worlds Magazine Interview
I was honored to share a few thoughts on culture and code-switching in this spotlight interview! My favorite snippet: "The Indonesian part of my cultural identity helps me embrace the value of thinking communally... as a way of honoring those around me."
#AskingForAFriend: What's the Deal with "Queer"?
When did the word "queer" go from being an insult to a preferred identity term? In this short video, I give a crash course in how this word was reclaimed by (some) LGBTQ people.
A delightful conversation about writing, C.S. Lewis, church-hunting tactics, and more with Mike Delgado!
Church Leaders Podcast
Though (ironically) I make one or two linguistically sloppy statements along the way, I nevertheless had a lovely time joining this series with Jason Daye to talk about LGBTQ experiences and the importance of language.
A Culture Story Podcast
In which Megan Norton and I talk Poohsticks, third culture identity, and my transition from the privileged white minority in Indonesia to the privileged white majority in the United States.
Christian Sexuality - Full Interview
The good folks who put together the Christian Sexuality video curriculum for youth compiled all my comments into one video. Check it out for incontrovertible evidence of how much I talk with my hands.
Hole in My Heart: The Social Garden
"It matters so little what I can do, or what I can recognize, or what I can wrap my head around, or what I can cling to—because all the most important clinging is the clinging that Jesus is doing, clinging to me."
The Tale of the Presumptive Lesbian
"It’s remarkable how different the world becomes when you’re already understood (or misunderstood) before you speak a single word."
No Longer Strangers Audiobook
I had the joy of narrating my own audiobook for No Longer Strangers! You'll get to hear me speak bits of Greek, Latin, French, German, Spanish, and (of course) Indonesian, but I'm pleased to report that the majority is still in English.
Family Planning for Eunuchs
Every follower of Jesus is called to leave a legacy, to partake in the family of God, to participate in the lives of those younger than us, regardless of whether we ever become parents in a biological or legal sense.
The She-atitudes Podcast
In which I chat with the delightful Kelsi and Karli Nelson about eating haggis, feeling out of place, and seeing the image of God in one another.
The Common Good Podcast
In which I chat with radio host Brian From about how the posturing of social media inhibits our human quest for belonging.
The Gospel of Uniformity
The gospel of uniformity isn’t actually good news. Or rather, it’s only good news for the people who already fit the bill, the people who can be fully honest while also remaining in the majority by every meaningful measure.
Your Other Brothers Podcast
The good gentlemen of Your Other Brothers speculate about my Enneagram number and reflect on their favorite moments from No Longer Strangers.
New Book Release
My new book has hit shelves! I daresay it's worth a read, though I am admittedly biased.
Revoice Deep Dive
Alongside Revoice's inimitable Bekah Mason, I propose that belonging is all about the gifts we discover as we practice the fine art of losing everything.
The Gay Church-Hunter's Paradox
How am I supposed to go church-hunting as an openly gay person living by a historic biblical sexual ethic?
Sex + Christian Parents Podcast
Though I've mostly sworn off giving parenting advice, I make a rare exception in this conversation with Jason and Thomas of Project Six19.
Undivided Devotion Podcast, Part II
Lane and I dig into the weeds of sexuality, terminology, and finding common ground amid nuanced differences.
Undivided Devotion Podcast, Part I
In which I talk with my childhood friend Lane Burkholder about what celibacy is and isn't, and why this is remarkably good news.
Third Culture Kids Virtual Online Forum
I talk with my fellow third culture kid Elizabeth Norvell about Indonesia, sexuality, and following Jesus.
#AskingForAFriend: Avoiding Unnecessary Offense
In which I share with the LOVEboldly folks about how to avoid unnecessary offense when discussing sexual ethics.
In Which I Stop Saving Myself for Marriage
We’re not meant to “save ourselves” for the moment we finally belong to someone, so that our bodies can finally matter. Our bodies already matter; we already belong to someone.
Life on Side B Podcast: Season 2
Anthony Esser and I join Josh Proctor to talk about how our prayer lives have been challenged (and enriched) by our experiences of sexuality.
Christian Sexuality Video Series
I'm honored to be part of this video series on Christian sexuality alongside dear friends like Preston Sprinkle, Laurie Krieg, John Wilson, and Kat LaPrairie (as well as my high school hero Francis Chan).
Interaction International Webinar
In which I chat with the third culture kid (TCK) expert at Interaction International about sexuality, gender identity, and growing up overseas as a person of faith.
Keeping The Faith
I was delighted to contribute an essay called "Scenes of Political Blasphemy" to this collection on Christian faith and American politics.
What Does "Gay Christian" Actually Mean?
Preston Sprinkle and I continue our discussion in his basement, addressing heavy-hitting topics like the relationship between the phrases "gay Christian" and "toe cheese."
Gay, Christian, and Coming Out
In which Preston Sprinkle and I chat in his basement about why I wrote Single, Gay, Christian and how I came out to my parents via phone call.
Ask a Christian Counselor
In which I sit down (via podcast) with Tres Adames of "Ask a Christian Counselor" to discuss the challenges Christian sexual minorities face in making sense of their sexual identity and faith identity.
Is the Reward of Obedience Worth the Cost?
In which I share my heart with the good people of Grace Place in Berthoud, Colorado: "There are no second class citizens in the Kingdom of Heaven."
Why We Stayed
"Regardless of your experience of sexuality, regardless of how your sexual attraction is working, all of us are invited into the wild journey of following Jesus, and there's nobody who's disqualified." Hear me talk with Mike Thomas of the "Why We Stayed" podcast about why I'm still a Christian!
Can Followers of Christ Have Sexual Identities?
In which I weigh in on recent debates about biblical anthropology, writing for the World Evangelical Alliance in their journal Evangelical Review of Theology: "For Paul, it seems, obedience to Jesus must at times be negotiated precisely through the lens of a believer's various other identities, in order to reckon well with how those identities ought rightly to inform and be informed by the believer's overarching identity in Christ."
Cages (Original Song)
I had the pleasure of sharing my song "Cages" with Element Church in Cheyenne, WY. Some lyrics:
"How many lies you’ve believed / Trying to buy what was given freely / Empty-handed, all securities gone / If you follow, love will lead you home"
“Gay” Vs. “Same Sex Attraction”: A Dialogue
A seven-part blog series dialogue between me and Cru's Rachel Gilson about sexual identity and terminology. An excerpt from our final co-written post: "In the end, our hope is that this debate will become less important. Certainly, neither of us denies that language matters; but we are also convinced that other things matter far more. As Paul cautioned Timothy against 'quarreling about words' (2 Tim. 2:14), so we caution our brothers and sisters against elevating a terminological dispute above Jesus’ command for his followers to be unified."
Four Truths I Wish I’d Known as a Gay Teen
"If you’re worried as you wrestle with your faith and sexuality that you might get some things wrong, that you might not be good enough for God to love you, then I have great news. You will get some things wrong. You won’t be good enough. And God will keep loving you."
Seven Days to Pray the Single Away
"Normally, I’m reluctant to give specific examples of Christians idolizing marriage... But every once in a while, an example comes along that is so blatantly awful that I’m quite pleased to make fun of it. This is one of those examples."
Unsolicited Marriage Advice: Gay Celibate Edition
Since people are practically lining up to get more marriage advice from the gay celibate crowd: "Loving your spouse is not, in itself, a sufficient gospel calling. In fact, marriages that turn inward and make marital happiness their primary concern, though they may advertise under the banner of Christian selflessness, are fundamentally selfish institutions."
Christmas with the Celibates
In which I point out the stark difference between the Ideal American Christmas Narrative and the Original Hebraic Christmas Narrative, and reveal how many times Mariah Carey has wanted me for Christmas.
Your Arguments about Sexual Ethics Matter Less than You Think
"We human beings are rarely argued into submission about the things that matter most. People tend to determine on an instinctive and emotional level what they are going to believe about morality."
What Does God Think About Gay People?
"Perhaps it’s easier to say with confidence what God thinks about gay people once we’ve expanded the question a bit: What does God think about people who are products of the Fall, people whose sexuality is rendered imperfect by our Adamic genetics? In short, what does God think about humanity?"
In which I chat with some delightful Canadian brothers about faith, sexuality, and conversation across theological and experiential difference. They did tease me for using the word "monologic," but I have no regrets. An excerpt: "Regardless of how much arrogance we have in our view, regardless of how absolutely 100% sure we are that the other person is just a doofus with no legitimate insight at all... we can at least do people the honor of speaking to them in a way that fosters two-way communication, not just in a way that's monologic and ultimately unproductive."
The Mind Renewed Podcast
In this podcast with the brilliant Julian Charles of The Mind Renewed, I reflect on why my feelings about the phrase "gay Christian" are similar to my feelings about the phrase "American Christian": "I think there are Christians who take their national identity and use that national identity as a way of flavoring what their faith is and means... There's a point at which the way we conceive of national identity becomes an impediment to the truth of the gospel. But I don't think that acknowledging our national identity is inherently getting in the way of our identity in Christ."
What Pronouns Should Christians Use For Transgender People?
"This paper considers the common reasons given by Christian conservatives for rejecting the idea of pronoun hospitality, then challenges two assumptions about the nature of language that such arguments make and lays out an affirmative case for pronoun hospitality."
The Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) denomination is assembling a suite of human sexuality discipleship resources called Embrace. I was honored to participate in a webinar as part of that series. In addition to hearing my "10 Provocations" for churches, you can also hear me accidentally broadcast myself singing under my breath during some brief technical difficulties.
Podcast with Doug Leslie
In which I talk with Doug Leslie of the Association of Christian Nonprofits about being charitable to people who disagree with us on Christian sexual ethics: "There needs to be a way that we can be people of deep conviction on the one hand, and on the other hand recognize that our job is not to determine whether or not others are allowed to disagree with us. Our job is to ask, in the midst of disagreement, what does it mean to embody Jesus to these people I disagree with?"
Church is Supposed to Be Messy
Excerpt: "A church can’t be mess-free and still function as the body of Christ. After all, if a group of messy people gets together to do church, to be the church, without ever acknowledging our messes, the only possible explanation is that we’re meeting with masks on. We hide away our struggles like Pharisees, trying to pretend we’re good enough for God instead of celebrating God’s undeserved grace to us."
Podcast with Anita Lustrea
I was thrilled to chat with the illustrious Anita Lustrea on her podcast Faith Conversations. Hear my tentative thoughts on eschatology, and a bunch of other stuff.
Podcast With Brian Joyner
A wonderful conversation with novelist Brian Joyner on his podcast Be the Bridge: Connecting the LGBTQIA+ Community and People of Faith.
Your Gay Neighbor is Closer than You Think
Excerpt: "I wish that people who shared pews with me in church talked about gay people the way they talked about diplomats and florists and concierges, as if we were just people. I wish they didn’t see us as the enemy camp of a protracted culture war. I wish we spent more time talking about the gospel and less time talking about what the gospel would mean for certain people’s sex lives."
You Don't Need to Pray that God Makes Me Straight
Excerpt: "There is a form of sexual holiness that comes easy to me in ways it doesn’t come easy for my straight brothers in Christ. And by the same token, their journeys toward holiness will be easy in ways mine may never be. Being gay doesn’t make me uniquely broken, as if I’m some slip of the divine chisel. It makes me just plain broken, like everybody else. I’m exactly unremarkable enough to be a recipient of grace."
Andy Mineo Endorsement Video
I love Andy Mineo's heart for God and people. Also, the man has some serious musical skills. I'm honored (and maybe still a little bit starstruck) by his endorsement of my book in this video.
Dear Church: I'm Gay
I was delighted to be part of a short documentary project about sexual minorities in churches with a traditional sexual ethic. If you watch it, you'll get to see what I look like without glasses. (Answer: still pretty nerdy.)
Gay Celibacy is Weird, and That's a Good Thing
Excerpt: "As I continue to grow in Christ, I want to become weird in even more ways. More remarkably loving. More bizarrely joyful. More extravagantly generous. Short of growing tentacles, I want to become as alien as I can possibly be on this foreign planet Earth."
The Pursuit of Banality
Excerpt: "If I had my way, I would think about gay celibacy the same way I think about my career options, or what I should have for dinner, or whether I want a pet ferret. I would think about it the way I imagine that straight people think about being straight, as if it’s simply part of life. It wouldn’t need to be a stentorian shout or an embarrassed whisper in the chambers of my mind. It would just be."
Single, Gay, Christian Book Trailer
Check out the book trailer for Single, Gay, Christian on YouTube. Alternative description: I sit in someone else's living room and say things about Jesus, while also providing video evidence that I have attractive friends.
I Need to Be Known
"When I allow myself to be known—when I tell the most baffling parts of my story to trusted friends and encounter their unconditional love in return—I begin to understand the love of God. A love that knows me fully. A love that, when I feel too weak to hold onto it, is strong enough to hold me instead."
What Does Evangelism Look Like in a Digital, Social Media Age?
Excerpt: "If we’re not careful, we can wind up communicating a 'gospel' that’s different from the gospel of the Bible. We can speak the name of Jesus in a way that drives people away from Him instead of towards Him."
Interview with Foreword Reviews
In which I talk about costly obedience, how we read the Bible, and the word "evangelical" with Michelle Schingler of Foreword Reviews.
A Conversation with Preston Sprinkle
I had the chance to chat with New York Times bestselling author Preston Sprinkle about faith, sexuality, and the importance of language. Check out our conversation on Preston's podcast, Theology in the Raw.
A Good Friday Prayer
Excerpt: "Don’t let me rush to Easter Sunday too quickly. Give me grace to linger here, in the place where sorrow meets redemption. Make Your death as real to me as Your resurrection."
A Valentine's Day Prayer to Find True Love
Excerpt: "Give me eyes to see the red and pink, the flowers and chocolates, the blossoming romances, as tiny windows into Your limitless love. Let me see You in the construction paper hearts awkwardly delivered on the playground, in the crayon scrawl of 'Be My Valentine.' In our imperfect love, let me glimpse Your perfect love."
Why You Need to Stop Making God Your First Priority
Excerpt: "God wants more than just the top line of your priority list. He wants the whole list. He doesn’t want to be sequestered to a single part of your life. He wants to be the substance of every part, the logic behind every choice you make."
A Prayer for Peace in Our Country and World
Excerpt: "I pray to you not as someone distant and aloof, but as someone near to me, near to us, even in the midst of chaos. I don’t have to shout to get your attention. You are close enough to hear my broken whispers. No matter how strong or weak I feel, no matter how much or how little faith I can muster, I’ll start by whispering this: Give us peace."