Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on
Sexual Identity and Union with Christ
Terms like same-sex marriage, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gay Christian are part of daily discourse; yet enormous controversy surrounds them. They are the stuff of news headlines and vitriolic social media posts. But they also reflect stirrings of the heart in real people with real questions and concerns.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, once a leftist professor in a committed lesbian relationship and now a confessional Christian, but always the thoughtful and compassionate professor, has written a followup to The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert. This book answers many of the questions people pose when she speaks at universities and churches, questions not only about her unlikely conversion to Christ but about personal struggles that the questioners only dare to ask someone else who has traveled a long and painful journey.
Dr. Butterfield not only goes to great lengths to clarify some of today’s key controversies, she also traces their history and defines the terms that have become second nature today—even going back to God’s original design for marriage and sexuality as found in the Bible. She cuts to the heart of the problems and points the way to the solution, which includes a challenge to the church to be all that God intended it to be, and for each person to find the true freedom that is found in Christ.
"Who am I and how do my deep-seated desires fit into my identity? This is a question of utmost importance for the true follower of Christ. With truth and grace, Dr. Rosaria Butterfield delivers another outstanding book—this time addressing the issues of sexuality and identity.
The release of this book couldn’t have come at a more opportune time when the Church is awakening to the need to better minister to people navigating through issues of sexual identity. This is the book. And it is a must read for the theologically astute and gospel-centered person. Whether you agree or disagree, read it. You will be challenged and uplifted, and you will get to know in a small way a woman who loves God with all her heart, soul, mind and strength. "
Christopher Yuan, speaker, author, Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son’s Journey to God
"King Jesus knows just what the church and the world need, and just when we need it. When we needed a Pascal; behold, there was Pascal. When we needed Spurgeon, there he was. In his wisdom, Jesus knew that we would need the gift, right now, of Rosaria Butterfield. This book deals with some of the most difficult and incendiary questions with wit, joy, maturity, and, above all, radiating love.
If you are struggling with sexual sin, this book will help you. If you are gripped with guilt from your past, this book will strengthen you. If you don’t know how to love or bear witness to your neighbors, this book will equip you."
Russell Moore, president, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
"In an age where Facebook offers over fifty gender options, confusion about identity abounds as people try to discover who they really are. Thankfully, like the seasoned trail guide she is, in Openness, Unhindered Rosaria Butterfield offers knowledgeable, compassionate direction to lead people in their search for true identity. As you read this book, you will hear echoes and explanations of the ancient paradox that all true sojourners eventually learn: that to find yourself, you must first lose yourself."
Barry York, professor of pastoral theology, Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Who is Rosaria Butterfield? A wife? A mother? A former tenured English Professor? A former lesbian? Yes, all of these. But, fundamentally, and most importantly, she is a child of God, who belongs to Jesus Christ. That is her chief identity; and that identity makes all the difference in the world as she approaches the sensitive and difficult topic of sexual sin.
But—and I believe this is vital—we have a book before us that explains what it means to be a true Christian. And when we understand what it means to be a true Christian, we will quickly realize, as Rosaria Butterfield has, that God’s grace for us in Christ is sufficient for all of our various struggles and sins. Openness Unhindered is a courageous book, warmly written, theologically rich, and precisely what the church needs right now.
Mark Jones, author of Antinomianism and minister at Faith Vancouver Presbyterian Church of America
Rosaria Butterfield is a gift from God to the church. She brings together so many rare combinations: courage and compassion, provocation and wisdom, profundity and accessibility. Virtually every page of this new book overflows with insights on sexual identity, our disordered rebellion, and what it means to commune with the Triune God to whom we are united. Taken to heart, this book will change not only conversations but the very way we live before God.
Justin Taylor, co-editor for John Owen’s Overcoming Sin and Temptation