Review: A War of Loves

Review: A War of Loves

A War of Loves
Categories: ,
Genres: ,
Published: 2018
Page Count: 272
In A War of Loves, David Bennett describes his unexpected journey from gay activism and a distrust of religion to becoming a follower of Jesus, a journey that included pivotal relationships, supernatural encounters with God, and ultimately a new reconciliation between his faith and his sexuality.

“The Unexpected Story Of A Gay Activist Discovering Jesus”. The subtitle of this book hints at the incredible, complex, emotional, arm-wrestle of a read that is to come.

David Bennett begins his story about as far away as you could imagine from Jesus. And he tells a very personal tale of his journey towards faith in Jesus, with numerous bumps, withdrawals, second-guessing, frustrations, doubts and fears along the way. This is as rich as it is raw.

Though mostly autobiographical, there are plenty of moments Bennett stops to wrestle and ponder particular pieces of theology. It’s a wonderful ride, and we are greatly privileged that he has been willing to tell his very personal story.

David is very candid, and he doesn’t shy away from critiquing people and ideas from both the Christian world and the gay community. It’s confronting in all the right ways. It will probably (helpfully!) cause every reader to reconsider something of their own held beliefs, regardless of where they are coming from.

Who wrote it

David Bennett grew up in Sydney, and is now at Oxford University.

Why I read it

I came across this via an episode of John Dickson’s Undeceptions podcast. I was intrigued listening to David, and I expected this book to be a worthy read as I prepare a sermon series on identity and sexuality.

What I liked

I loved David’s honesty to share first-hand the many struggles and wrestles he has faced on his journey. His bravery to confront ill-formed beliefs and call out poor, oppressive or (perhaps) evil behaviour is to be admired.

What I didn’t

I can’t really fault this book for anything that it is attempting to be. Naturally, it’s always more difficult to critique something so personally written. But this is simply a very well told, personal and emotional story.

Major Takeaway

There’s lots to love about this book. I particularly appreciated David’s explanation for why he calls himself a ‘gay Christian’, rather than one of a number of other commonly used labels in this complex space. David provides a very helpful clarity to his own use of the terms, and a compelling argument for not avoiding what is perhaps the most ‘obvious’ or ‘straight-forward’ term to use. Of course, he has his own nuance to this term, but he’s very thoughtful about it. I found it clarifying for my own thinking.

Who should read it

Well worth a read broadly by both Christians and those in the LGBT+ community. It’s a fascinating personal story. For the Christian, it will confront some of our more thoughtless behaviours, speech and mannerisms. For the LGBT+, it will challenge a view of what it means to be a Christian, and how Jesus speaks words of life and hope into your world.

3.8Overall Score

A War of Loves

"The Unexpected Story Of A Gay Activist Discovering Jesus". The subtitle of this book hints at the incredible, complex, emotional, arm-wrestle of a read that is to come. David Bennett begins ...

  • Difficulty to read
    It has some complexity that comes purely from the subject matter, but Bennett writes in a very accessible manner.
  • Overall Rating
    Personable. Incredibly honest, Emotionally appealing. An excellent read.

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