Book Review of Gay Girl, Good God

 

Book Review of Gay Girl, Good God

August 27, 2018

There are books that discuss the tensions between sexuality and Christianity, homosexuality and heterosexuality, or sin and salvation. But this book, Gay Girl, Good God, caught my attention because of its raw use of unashamed and unfiltered personal narrative. It’s a story of a girl whose struggle with homosexuality is not just a spiritual battle, but a battle against betrayal and abuse. A battle between the love of self and the love of God. It is the same battle we all face daily when we have to resist defining “good” on our own terms and learn to see “good” as God.Gay Girl, Good God

Jackie Hill Perry starts her story with a journey back to middle school years, where crushes and heartbreak are so new and yet so powerful. For someone struggling with homosexuality, it is not a simple decision to repress or ignore desire. In fact, it isn’t even just desire when it comes to our sexual attraction, but a part of who we are as human beings. God made us sexual. He made us innocent, but sin has made us guilty and ashamed. The story of Jackie’s life—as told by the woman herself—is intermingled with the story of God’s initial plans for creation, of a man and woman called Adam and Eve, who were also persuaded by desire.

Jackie writes at the beginning of her novel, “I defined good on my own terms. It wore whatever definition I decided it should have on for the day. God had indeed been the original one to introduce the concept of goodness into the earth but for me to live in His kind of goodness, faith was required.” This concept alone, that sin is born from our attempts to take from God what is God’s and fit it into a package convenient for ourselves, is a struggle every human being can relate with.

I admire and recommend this book because it doesn’t just tell an interesting story or give a new perspective, but it has the guts to be brutally honest about sex in a church culture that too often prefers to condemn or be silent.

“In their defense, they were not to blame for my unbelief. I just wonder if they would’ve told me about the beauty of God just as much, if not more, than they told me about the horridness of hell, if I would’ve burned my idols at a faster pace,” the book proclaims, challenging its readers focus more on God’s ability to bring joy and light than condemnation and judgement.

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