The V3 Movement is proud to introduce…
Praxis Gathering 2015 presenter Debra Hirsch. In addition to extensive experience within the church planting movement, Debra Hirsch is a speaker, counselor, and author whose combination of rigorous study and relational communication makes her an excellent person to engage with regarding missional church matters. Among her many credentials are the cofounding of the Forge Mission Training Network, serving as a Missio Alliance board member, and helping lead a church planting movement in Europe and the Americas.
In May of this year, Deb published the book Redeeming Sex: Naked Conversations about Sexuality and Spirituality, a work that “reflects her own journey and attempts to bring new conversations about sexuality into the context of the church” (Intervarsity Press). Her twenty-five years of counseling and working in this arena provide an especially grounded depth to the book and her presentations on this timely subject.
in 2010, Deb and her husband (Alan Hirsch) co-authored the book Untamed: Reactivating a Missional Form of Discipleship. Untamed has proven to be a fantastic resource in which Deb’s history in social work and community development have lent themselves to a better understanding of what missional church and relational discipleship look like in theory and in practice.
Here are a few things to help you become more acquatined with Deb before you arrive at the Praxis Gathering.
“Nothing has exposed the gap between the church and the broader society quite like the cultural argument over sexuality. Relationships, identities, orientations and even seemingly straightforward concepts such as gender have cut battle lines between the church and the world. In the fog of war and the cloud of conflict, it’s increasingly hard to see our way clearly. There is hope, however. Debra Hirsch has seen it firsthand―in meaningful lifelong relationships with LGBT friends and neighbors, in Christian fellowships and in movements that have held a concern for people created in God’s image and a high view of the Bible’s teaching on sexuality in constructive tension. When you consider the world from the perspective of God’s kingdom mission, it turns out the smoke clears and a redemptive imagination takes root. Discover a holistic, biblical vision of sex and gender that honors God and offers good news to the world” (Amazon description).
In talking of Debra Hirsch’s latest book C. Christopher Smith of Relevant Magazine says, “This book demonstrates an unwavering Christ-like love for all humanity, and carves out a space for open conversation about sexuality. It flies in the face of the escalating culture wars of our day and invites us to imagine a Church of the future that is shaped by the Gospel virtues of love and unity.”
And Dan Kimball, author of They Like Jesus but Not the Church, endorses Hirsch’s work with this words: “I can’t think of a person I’d rather listen to give us biblical, Jesus-lens insight—out of the mixture of opinions, confusion, joy, difficulties, grittiness, honesty, hurts, healing, reality, questions, wonder and beauty of this topic—than my friend Deb Hirsch. I believe this is going to totally connect with the hearts of so many needing to move beyond the usual explanations or ways this discussion normally happens as we rethink, rediscover and redeem sexuality.”
Hear Debra discuss Redeeming Sex in an interview with Nick Peters of Deeper Waters Christian Ministries.