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Epiphany: A Christian's Change of Heart & Mind over Same-Sex Marriage Hardcover – Apr 26 2016

3.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Signal (April 26 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771024118
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771024115
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.3 x 22.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 381 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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"Michael Coren’s Epiphany is a wonderfully revealing read – an epiphany in itself. The 'shout line' as we say in show business is right wing Catholic apologist does 180º switch over same-sex marriage and finds himself despised and excoriated by his coreligionists. It would be tempting for a degenerate atheist like me gloatingly welcome this lost sheep that now is found and to crow about scales falling from eyes. But the honesty of Coren’s soul-searching journey is much more subtle and graduated than that. He emerges as perhaps more faithful and devout a Christian at the book's close than he was when first we meet him,  a convinced, dogmatic believer in all tenets of the Church – most especially and headline-grabbingly – its rulings on gay life and love.

Impressively Coren didn't change his mind because of any gay feelings of his own, or the coming out of a beloved son or daughter, but purely through an examination of what Christianity might mean by enjoining its followers to love. Sensible people are puzzled by biblical excuses for disallowing same-sex sex partnership or marriage: we have long tired of listing instructions from that book which are much more clear and just as bewilderingly silly (except in terms of outmoded social-anthropological taboo) – diet, clothing, slavery, the necessity for the genital mutilation of male babies especially, which is something of an obsession, harped upon many many more times than the lying of one man with another. We know that it is not only the devil who can quote scripture to his advantage - the Pharisee and Zealot is just as capable – and anyone who believes in moral honesty and clear thinking wants to hear something better than a quotation from St. Paul or Deuteronomy as a reason to deny people of the same gender the right to live and love together.

Michael Coren for many years seems to have believed that obedience (as the Mother of Churches has long taught) is a moral quality and an ethical duty in and of itself. So for many years he not only obeyed, but went to bat for the Vatican on a number of issues, becoming in his native Canada the go-to man for a ready quote on anything from abortion coeducation, from homosexuality to women priests. The moment he examined one weak link, in this case the gay marriage issue, he found the whole chain of obedience seemed to fall apart. But not, crucially his love of Christ and his need to worship, pray and live a life of Christian faith. So he as it were crossed the floor of the house and sat with the Anglicans. Interesting that as I write, the primate and bishops of the Episcopalian Church in the United States have found that their acceptance of same sex marriage has caused their collective wrists to be slapped by His Grace of Canterbury as a rather unconvincing sop to the intolerant African wing of the communion.

The most memorable parts of the book show the quite shocking and vituperative response to Coren's volte face. In all my years of writing or talking about religion and churches from time to time, I have never received a tithe of the hate-filled vilification that fell on him the moment he made known his change of mind. It is entirely to his credit that Coren was not swerved from his course or moved to give back in frothing, vengeful kind.

I urge anyone interested in the conjunction of faith and free thought to read this engrossing and fascinating book." –Stephen Fry

"Fearless. Unpredictable. Funny. Never boring. There's nobody and nothing like Michael Coren in journalism anywhere." –David Frum

"By turns witty, angry, rueful and moving, Michael Coren's passionate foray into theology and contemporary society is a hugely valuable contribution to the Church's rethinking of its approach to sexual morality." –Rev. Prof. Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church in the University of Oxford. 
"A thoughtful, humane and honest book that deepens our joy that love is for everyone." –Canon Mark Oakley, Chancellor, St Paul’s Cathedral, London


About the Author

Michael Coren is the best-selling author of fifteen books, including biographies of G.K. Chesterton, H.G. Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, as well as Why Catholics Are Right, Heresy, and Hatred. He has contributed to the Dictionary of National Biography and several other anthologies, and his journalism is published in many countries and in more than a dozen languages. The author lives in Toronto.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I saw Michael Coren interviewed on TV and he talked about his "conversion". I ordered the book to find out what he's talking about and I really like the book. Being affirming evangelical parents of a gay son, I totally understand where Michael is coming from. About ten years ago, we also made the same U-turn as he did--before our son came out. We are thankful that we woke up from the same bad scene as Michael did.

Michael has been hurt deeply by people he respects and loves because his taking a stand that is opposed by his Roman Catholic and Evangelical friends and colleagues. He as ostracized and dumped. A strong point that he makes is how his previously supportive sphere of influence turned on him, not only on the gay affirming stand BUT ON EVERYTHING HE STANDS FOR! This is totally consistent with how people are treated. If one disagree with the group on one cherished topic, then they oppose you or, at best, totally ignore you.

I'm sorry that Michael takes a stand in the name of compassion and inclusion and I applaud his willingness to pay dearly for what he believes.

One flaw in this book is that Michael ventures into speculative grounds to support his stand, e.g., in speculating that Jonathan and King David were same-sex lovers. It may be true and it may not be true. The Bible does not state it explicitly. By doing that, he actually weakens his other more biblically sound theological arguments.

If Michael had stood only on bibically defensible grounds, I would have given it 5/5. As it is, 4/5. In any case, it's a courageous book and I hope more people who are gay affirming would be as courageous as he. Too many are keeping silent for sake of peace or protection of themselves.
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Format: Hardcover
Michael Coren's new book entitled "Epiphany" might easily leave the reader speechless, in the best sense of the word. The book not only chronicles Michael's own epiphany and subsequent change of heart and mind on the issue of LGBT inclusion in the church and marriage equality, it also offers potential epiphanies for the reader almost every time you turn a page. The book is beautifully laid out, thoroughly researched, the arguments well-reasoned, stated concisely and with a refreshing humility that up until recently I hadn't thought possible to find in Michael Coren. Let's face it, the Michael prior to his epiphany wasn't exactly known for his option to include rather than exclude, nor for even the slightest hint of a conciliatory tone, let alone allowing the traditions of the church be subject to questioning by human reason. Gone are the days of blind dogmatism and vitriol! - A modern day story of being on the road to Damascus!
The book starts out with a biographical chapter in which Michael chronicles the events and encounters which led to his change of heart and mind and the reaction with which that was met in church and society at large, the good, the not-so-good, and the downright ugly.
Chapter Two, in my opinion, is the heart of Michael's new book. As someone who specialized in biblical studies (Old Testament), I will admit to a certain bias. Michael presents current scholarship on biblical hermeneutics, on the so-called homoerotic passages in Scripture, as well as the so-called clobber passages in readily accessible language, clear and convincing progression of argument, and a consummate author's finesse that prevents even the seasoned biblical reader from putting the book down.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book has solidified my belief in affirming same-sex marriage. Being a born again Christian has made my journey on this matter very difficult. I would have never considered changing my mind until our son came out as gay 14 years ago. My husband & I handled it the only way we thought was the right way.....atrociously. Since then we have been able to see the error of our ways through our relationship with our son and his experiences and much prayer. I professed to be affirming but still had doubts mainly because of the stand our church and mainstream Christianity takes. However, all of my apprehension has dissipated by reading Michael's book. He's a thorough researcher and articulate writer who, in my opinion, leaves very little room for the flip side to sound valid.
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Format: Hardcover
A thoroughly delightful read! Michael's willingness to lay his soul bare and to publicly apologize for the pain that his words and actions caused is simply inspiring. His careful and considered use of biblical text to substantiate his argument is educational. His wit and self-deprecating humour are immensely entertaining. And his evident hope for eventual reconciliation in the faith community on this very thorny issue is edifying. I simply cannot recommend this book enough! Buy it. Read it. Give it as a gift. You will not be disappointed.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Chose to read Coren's book because I've respected his thoughts in the past. Am exploring the issues of how the church can best represent the mind and heart of Christ. Coren makes some valid points but I found some of his logic somewhat flimsy or hurried. Still, he writes with passion and urgency.
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