Bishop Swilley writes a challenging word. Read these pages with a mind to receive something. Lay aside all your preconceived notions and let the Holy Spirit challenge you to reconsider some erroneous traditional beliefs that have been passed down through the centuries. Never lose sight that the Gospel is GOOD news. I am being challenged by this reading.
I had heard about Jim Swilley in the news. I usually don't read nonfiction, but a friend told me about this book. And it tells a remarkable story. The author's honesty, sense of humor and ability to get past a major life upset really impressed me. Whether you are straight (as I am) or gay (as my friend is), religious or secular, this clergyman's tale of estrangement from his community and his eventual redemption makes for powerful and inspiring reading.
I know of Jim because I live in the same city. I have met him twice and he is a very nice guy. I got his book because I was interested in the subject matter and because I know his story. It was one of the best books I have read on the subject and I highly recommend it!
His honesty and humor are displayed all throughout the book. He is a true representative of authentic Christianity in today's times. I highly recommend this book, if you are a family memeber of a gay person, and are looking to understand them from a Christian perspective. It's just simply refreshing.....
" First, The Good News: The Positive Truth About God, The Gospel and What it Really Means to be Gay " An excellent and authentically written book written by Bishop Jim Swilley. The scholarly, the personal, the positive, and the biblical aspects all are artfully woven together by Bishop Jim Swilley.
He explores what The Bible says about being Gay, since he is a Christian Bishop. He shares the experience of his life being historically and personally involved in Christianity and the authentic orientation he has, as well as the personal experiences as a human being in a secular and religious world that rewards conformity, while he, outside of his sexual orientation, did not conform and succeeded.
He did this within being a Christian Bishop of a mega church standing against the extremism in Christianity and the exclusionist aspects of the extremists that held fear, hatred, and exclusion dear. He did this while confronting his own struggle of being authentically faithful, never excluding anyone from his church, while excluding that part of himself. In his book, he writes of that, and the wonderful help his wife, Pastor Debye was.
All of his earlier books dealt with helping those abused by religion to know their authentic selves were loved by God. Those books are highly praised and commented upon by well known clergy in the non-denominational churches. You can check them out on Amazon.
In his most recent book, `First, The Good News" he helps the group most oppressed by religion today. He discusses Leviticus, Paul, and the other few references to homosexuality. What is most interesting is what Jesus said about homosexuality. For Christians, what Jesus says is really the most important of the whole Bible. Jesus spoke about issues most important to humanity. He said absolutely zero about homosexuality. This is interesting because hearing the extremist minority, one would think Jesus spoke volumes on this.
The first 16 chapters of the book weave this and other aspects very well. The final 5 chapters bring it all together in a very personal, widely connected and empathic to being human, gay or straight.
Our society is letting go of one more prejudice. One more step for authenticity. Be it yourself, friend, workmate, family member, or spouse. The most important thing is to express and be accepted for who each person is. God calls that Good News!
This is a book to read and share. America and the world continue to manifest the whole of who we are created to be.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.