My Mind Made Public -

I held off as long as I could ...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Book Endorsement Process—Part 1

The next phase of the Mysterious Publishing Process that I have recently gone through is the “endorsement” portion of the book—you know, the smarter and more famous people who you go to, to validate you, your work, experiences and thoughts so that other people will know you’re “ok to listen to.”

I totally understand the premise of an endorsement … if a respected person respects your work, it lends much credibility to your words. I’ll tell you two things, give you the first hand look at the endorsements for Love is an Orientation, and then tomorrow in Part 2 I’ll give you what I learned about the process of how people say “yes” or “no” to potential endorsements.

The endorsement process for me was really nerve-wracking. Over the last year or so, yes, I have gotten to know (and even call them friends on a few occasions) with some pretty big name folks. No I’m not going to name drop! But due to the nature of my life’s work and how I both approach and live out God’s call, I think it actually scares a few of them. Throughout my experience over the last year it seems as though some of them like to know me, they like to tell others they know me (which helps me spread the message a great deal!), but then they shy away from making a public statement on my behalf. Why? Because all of a sudden my unique bridge building work surrounding a controversial topic is then thrown on their doorstep as well. And they don’t want to have to answer to anyone on this subject, regardless of how much I’ll always have their back and even answer for them.

I’ve learned that for my book, the whole “have mass amounts of people and all of my friends endorse my book” thing didn’t really pan out like it has for many others. Yet that doesn’t matter to me one ounce because I did have a few very special people who were willing to put themselves out there by articulating their thoughts on peacefully, productively and practically building bridges between the GLBT community and conservative Christians through my book.

Here is the sneak peak at those people who will be endorsing Love is an Orientation, and what they had to say:

Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University
"Homosexuality is more than a biblical debate about who's right and who's wrong. Everything converges in the pastoral and the personal context, and Andrew Marin--unlike any writer I've seen--deals with real humans in real human contexts. We desperately need this book; it has the potential to shift the evangelical movement in a more compassionate direction."

Shane Claiborne, author, activist, recovering sinner,
"One of the most important conversations happening in the church. And one of the most divisive. Andrew Marin is a fresh, gracious, innovative voice in the dialogue. For Marin, this is not about a hot-button 'issue'--it is about a face, a friend, a child of God. It is about Jesus, whose love many find hard to grasp because of what they have felt from his followers. Andrew reminds us that, whether conservative or liberal, we can have great ideas and still be mean and self-righteous. And ultimately they will know we are Christians, not by our proof-texting, but by our love."

Michelle Strombeck, Moody Broadcasting Network
"Andrew Marin speaks with a loving, clear voice about an issue that is dividing families, churches and our nation."

Mark Oestreicher, president, Youth Specialties
“The evangelical church, with a few exceptions, has been stuck with three options when it comes to our thinking and action concerning the gay community. Some remain silent because they're fearful and aren't sure what they believe. Others engage in loud and acerbic speech-making, convinced that they must first address 'conclusive' biblical truth on this special sin before any possible conversation could even begin. Still others attempt to adopt a 'love the sinner but hate the sin' perspective that sounds good on paper but seems to play out in reality as distancing from those perceived sinners. Andrew Marin, thankfully, breaks through these three options with the 'Why haven't we been doing this all along?' approach of love and dialogue. Reading this book feels like Marin just called a time-out, and asked us all to sit in a circle and talk turkey."

Brian McLaren, author, speaker and activist (
"One of my mentors once told me, 'The hard thing about being a bridge is that you get walked on from both ends.' Thank God for those big-hearted people willing to be bridges . . . willing to suffer a lot of abuse and misunderstanding in trying to bring others together. Andrew Marin is one of those bridge-people, and he has laid himself across a huge gap to bring together people who need each other."

David Roberts, Editor of the gay organization Ex-Gay Watch
“This book is unlike any other on the debate of homosexuality in the Church. Andrew establishes a new starting place for us all—a definite “must read.”


Jeff S. said...

Wow. I just exchanged messages with David Roberts on the XGW site a couple of days ago.

I think your book will be a turning point for the church and society, regardless of how many endorsements you get. I cannot wait to read it. There needs to be such a big shift in how this topic is discussed. I pray that your book is a catalyst for that change.

Andrew Marin said...

Thanks Jeff! I have to tell you that over the last year-ish that I have known, and been talking to David, he has so impressed me with a true heart to want to build a bridge as well. I know there are quite a few Christian orgs out there who attack him, but my experience has proven that none of those accusations are true. And hopefully, the book will indeed be a systemic turning point for all of us to start the conversation over and take this "culture war" in a new peaceful and productive direction.