Book Review: Out of a Far Country

Did I want to read this? That’s the first thought that came to mind. What angle will it take? What’s the agenda? Out of a Far Country is the classic story of the Prodigal Son with a twist. It’s, “a gay son’s journey to God and a broken mother’s search for hope.”

It’s Christopher and his mother, Angela’s journey to God. It’s more than just a son who chose a gay lifestyle, then drugs, before finding God in prison. It’s a mother struggling in a broken marriage with a past that has impacted her future. It’s a son struggling to find acceptance and love in all the wrong places. It’s the story of a mother trusting her son to God and loving her son in spite of his sins. I was struck by this paragraph written by Angela. Leading up to this moment, Christopher had neglected his college courses so much so because of his drug dealing and drug habits that the dean of the college was going to expel him. Christopher called his mother thinking that his mother would do everything to prevent it and enable her son’s bad behavior. Instead, this is what she said to the dean. I doubt many parents could have the courage to say this:

Dr. Robinson was uncertain of what to say. There was a pause, and I continued. “I’m sure that few parents have met with you who didn’t try to influence the school’s decision. But we want to do what is right for Christopher.” I took a deep breath. “Actually, it’s not important that Christopher becomes a dentist. What’s important is that Christopher becomes a Christ follower. Leon and I have flown down to Louisville to tell you”–I looked over at Leon– “that we will support whatever decision you make. I only pray that my son will turn to God.” – Pg. 75, Angela “Let Go, Let God.”

The book’s intensity kept me riveted. I had never heard first-hand the struggles of a gay man or the peer pressures of a community trying to replace his family and to encourage this lifestyle. Christopher’s experiences left me breathless, mouth wide open, and wondering how would you reach someone so adamantly gay? What reminded me of Abby Johnson’s story was this paragraph:

Outside the civic center, a group of Christian protestors had gathered, shouting at people as they filed in (a gay party at the Pensacola Civic Center in Florida), shaking their Bibles and holding up signs that read, Turn or burn! You’re an abomination! Leviticus 18:22…. “Thank you so much for being out here and caring about our well-being,” she (Sheena) said.

This paragraph continued to speak about how Sheena mocked the protestors by asking them to pray for the DJ to keep twirling and that lots of cute guys would be on the floor. The point that this part made reminded me of Abby Johnson’s story of the abortion clinic. What reached her—protestors rightly protesting against abortions, claiming it’s murder? Or was it the silent prayer warriors standing outside the clinic of Planned Parenthood every day? In each situation, prayer wins. However, because of the agenda of the gay movement, it is important not to tolerate what’s forced on our children or on our churches. It is important to fight, but Christopher’s point is well-taken. We should also pray and love. They are just as lost as we once were among the fragments of their sins. The fact that gay’s treated HIV as a badge of honor was also horrifying to read.

The last few chapters were really fantastic. Christopher defines holy sexuality. He tears a part the gay rationalization. He finally realizes that, “The more I studied the Bible, the more I learned that loving God was not how I felt or what I thought…Knowing and loving God, both, are all about obedience.”

Thank you, Christopher and Angela for sharing your stories of sorrow and hope.

Dear Lord, please spread this story to all gay or lesbians who are lost and trapped. I pray for them that they may know you and come to understand what took some of us a long time to understand. Lord, you are holy and all-powerful. You sent your Son to die on the cross for our sins, and your grace and mercy are there for the asking. Please bless Christopher Yuan’s ministry! In Jesus Name, Amen

*Leave a comment about why you should have this book and I will mail it to the one who has the most compelling story. Winners will be decided on November 4.You can view Christopher’s website here.

Book Given by Publisher to Review
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7 thoughts on “Book Review: Out of a Far Country”

  1. The winner of this week’s book giveaway was based on the most compelling story. Julie, I would have loved to give the book to you, but you are reading your own copy. So I am choosing on best response and that winner is Glynn Young. It was tough, but he retweeted the review and commented. Glynn, please send me your snail mail at nikolehahn@thehahnhuntinglodge.com. I’ll mail it next Friday.

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  2. Nickole, This is a truthful review of Christopher and Angela’s book. I have almost finished the book myself and as a mom of a son living in the gay lifestyle I do understand how it hurts, confuses and stretches our faith. As Angela was stretched to understand her Lord and allow Him to have control, so have I been stretched. This book does a tremendous job of showing the truths of a gay lifestyle and God’s love through his parents, especially Angela.
    I have bought a book for my son and his partner. Praying that as I give it to them, that they will read it completely and really think about the way in which they are living. Sometimes words that do not come out of my mouth are very powerful and do a better job of witnessing. My job is to love my son, just as Angela loves hers. The Lord is all that all of us need!

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    1. First, thank you, Julie for sharing this story. I stopped and prayed for you and for them. Yes, we must love them. Angela’s example of never giving up on her son is so poignant.

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  3. Good review. To often people forget that we are sinners just like them. Our sin is just expressed differently. Love people like Christ would, pray for them. Let God do the changing of hearts.

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  4. It’s a fine review, Nikole. There’s too much ugliness, confrontation and condemnation that accompanies how we speak on social and cultural issues. We forget that we are sinners, too; many of us have been in those places we so heartily condemn; some of us still are in those places. Our defining characteristic is supposed to be love. It’s not that we are suposed to accept; it’s more that we choose to love and to pray. What might happen if we chose to pray for the Christophers we know, pray and not condemn?

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