Justin Lee has written a brave book. Unconditional isn’t just from the heart, but from the head too. It’s a well-considered, thoroughly-researched and persuasive call for understanding and dialogue between both sides on what has come to be seen as the ‘gays vs Christians debate’ in the culture wars. Which side of the great and bloody divide does Lee sit? Well – he’s a gay Christian from a conservative Southern Baptist background.
He’s one of a small minority both sides perhaps prefer to disown – an openly gay man who hasn’t relinquished his faith in the face of overwhelming hostility. Unconditional is Justin’s personal story of how he reconciled his sexuality with his religion after years of struggling with the apparent dichotomy.
The book is told from the first-person point of view: this is Lee’s story, and he uses his own circumstances to discuss wider societal implications. His honest and often moving account of how he went from growing up with a negative attitude to gay people to founding and running the Gay Christian Network (GCN) is, above all, a remarkable story that deserves to be heard.