From Sin to Amazing Grace

Discovering the Queer Christ

Patrick S. Cheng

Mar/2012, 192 Pages, Paperback, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9781596272385



Throughout the history of Christianity, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT” or“queer”) people have been condemned as unrepentant sinners who are in dire need of God’s saving grace. As a result of this condemnation, LGBT people have been subjected to great spiritual, emotional and physical abuse and violence. This issue takes on a particular urgency in light of the ongoing harassment and bullying of LGBT young people by their classmates.

Cheng argues that people need to be liberated from the traditional legal model of thinking about sin and grace as a violation of divine and natural laws in which grace is understood as the strength to refrain from violating such laws. Rather Cheng proposes a Christological model based upon the theologies of Irenaeus, Bonaventure and Barth, in which sin and grace are defined in terms of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ.

This book serves as a useful resource for all people who struggle to make sense of the traditional Christian doctrines of sin and grace in the context of the 21st century.

The Rev. Dr. Patrick S. Cheng is associate professor of historical and systematic theology at Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA. He holds degrees from Union Theological Seminary, Harvard Law School and Yale College. He is the author of the highly regarded books Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology and From Sin to Amazing Grace: Discovering the Queer Christ, both from Seabury Books. He lives in New York City.

"Cheng takes us through a systematic re-working of the classical doctrines of sin and grace, and lands us in a place where, surprisingly, these ideas can once again sing with life for Christian LGBTQ persons. It's a serious and splendid book."—Serene Jones, President and Roosevelt Professor of Systematic Theology, Union Theological Seminary in New York City

"This gifted theologian and teacher offers an accessible and compelling case for why LGBT persons (and others) need to take back the words 'sin' and 'grace.' Be forewarned: reading Cheng is likely to stretch your theological and moral imagination, but all for the good."—Marvin M. Ellison, Willard S. Bass Professor of Christian Ethics, Bangor Theological Seminary; author of Making Love Just and co-editor of Sexuality and the Sacred, 2nd edition

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