Does Jesus Really Love Me? A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in Search of God in America, Jeff Chu (Harper, 2013) $26.99
Jeff Chu’s book, Does Jesus Really Love Me? charts a new course in the emerging conversation at the intersection of sexuality, politics and Christianity in America. It is a not exactly a memoir (“My life is not interesting enough to warrant a memoir,” he told me). Nor is it a historial or theological exploration of the topic of homosexuality. It is journalism of the best sort—where the journalist does not pretend to be writing in a vacuum, unrelated to the topic. In this book you know the author is present. You feel his pain, you sense his amusement. You are aware, from page to page, that he is personally invested in these stories. The title calls this a “pilgrimage” after all, and pilgrimages are personal. But he is also remarkably fair and generous—something I ask him about in the video below.
With remarkable clarity Chu navigates the widely divergent terrain of Christianity in American to try to understand how faithful Christians are approaching this controversial subject. To his New York Times reviewer, Dan Savage, Chu is far too generous with the Westboro Baptist Church and critical of the Metropolitan Community Church, and to Christianity Today reviewer, Jenell Paris, Chu is, in the end, too critical of the church; too testimonial when he describes the church as “our Lord’s dismembered and terribly dishonored remains.” All this, perhaps, proving the old adage that you must be doing something right when you offend everyone.
I sat down with Jeff Chu following a reading and Q & A at Fuller Theological Seminary, hosted by the student led OneTable organization. You can listen in on our conversation in the video below.