• Walking the Bridgeless Canyon

  • Repairing the Breach Between the Church and the LGBT Community
  • By: Kathy Baldock
  • Narrated by: Kathy Baldock
  • Length: 13 hrs and 37 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (153 ratings)

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Walking the Bridgeless Canyon

By: Kathy Baldock
Narrated by: Kathy Baldock
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Publisher's Summary

In 2001, Kathy Baldock, a straight conservative evangelical Christian, met Netto Montoya, a lesbian Native American, on the local hiking trails near her home in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Their friendship challenged Baldocks cultural and religious beliefs about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. 

In Walking the Bridgeless Canyon: Repairing the Breach between the Church and the LGBT Community, Baldock uncovers the historical, cultural, medical, and political filters of discrimination through which the LGBT community is seen. With the foundation firmly established, she examines the most controversial filter of all: what the Bible says about same-sex behavior. 

Ten years of research, as well as relationships with thousands of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, led to answering important questions: 

  • How did history, culture, science, and politics intertwine to create social discrimination against the gay and transgender community?
  • When and why did the conservative Christian community turn their focus on the gay and transgender community?
  • Should Christian fellowship be extended to gay and transgender people? Should civil marriages, or even Christian marriages, be granted to them?
  • What is happening within the LGBT Christian movement today? 

Baldock carefully constructs a timeline as she untangles the details of various influences and influencers. Along the way, she shares fascinating stories and testimonies enriching the historical journey. Finally, for those who are wondering how they might enter into productive and respectful conversations about the intersection of faith and sexual orientation or gender identity, this book offers the resources and tools needed to make informed and wise, Christ-centered choices.

©2014 CanyonWalkerPress (P)2015 CanyonWalkerPress
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Walking the Bridgeless Canyon

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One of the best books on this topic

This is a comprehensive book that looks at the historical, scientific, sociopolitical and Biblical/church history aspects of all things LGBT. It is filled cover to cover with detailed anecdotes, personal experiences and stories.

The first third or so of the book not really church-specific, so it is quite disarming for anyone expecting to pick up a book and have arguments arrayed against them. The book also doesn't try to 'convince' the reader per se, but rather tells stories and lets the reader reach their own conclusions.

The earlier empirical chapters are very thoroughly researched; Kathy shows an impressive breadth and depth of knowledge on those topics, yet without becoming tedious. Similarly, the examination of the 'clobber passages' is thorough, but not laboured or excessively long. There are some other books out there that spend far too long on dissecting a few verses.

It is encouraging to hear from someone who is straight, who knows what they are talking about, who is active in supporting LGBT lives, who is strong in their Christian faith (which is important to me), and who is articulate in their expression. Kathy also reads very well (I would recommend 1.25x speed).

There are very few books that I would recommend to a broad church audience - but this is one of them. It is probably one of the best, if not the best, book on this topic that I have read. Well done Kathy, and thank you for your ongoing support of the LGBT community.

9 people found this helpful

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Outstanding Presentation! Compelling Life Stories!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Highly recommend this book for every person Christian or not!

What other book might you compare Walking the Bridgeless Canyon to and why?

No other book like it!

Any additional comments?

Could not have been more blessed by the book's information and the author's outstanding presentation! Kathy Baldock's voice delivers compelling real life stories, including her own personal journey across the paradigm. Kathy includes a wealth of information that Christians everywhere need to come to terms in order to truly to live out Christ's command to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.If you know an LGBT person, or struggle with your own traditional Christian beliefs about LGBT people, don't waste another minute, listen to this book. It could save the life of someone you love and maybe even your own.

4 people found this helpful

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A “must-read” among LGBTQ Christian books

I’ve read a ton about LGBTQ Christian issues from both affirming and non-affirming points of view and consider this book a must-read. Kathy Baldock does an incredible job pulling together information from history, science, psychology/medicine, theology, and personal relationship stories. This book is both readily accessible to the average reader and still remarkably profound in its depth of insight. You’ll have “aha” / “eureka” moments throughout this book.

3 people found this helpful

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Great information

Any additional comments?

The information was great, but there were a lot of errors in the editing of the narration.

3 people found this helpful

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An insightful book for open and ready ears (this book also may contain the power to open the ears of those who have not).

I’m a 21 year old college student who was raised in a reformed Baptist church. For those who aren’t familiar with “reformed” churches, especially those in the south, might I ask you to research their theology as it is too complex and tedious to explain in a simple review. For short, it can be a very brut and strict theology that believes in the whole truth of the entire Bible. Many would say that all Christians do, but they would argue that many Christians churches today shy away from the truth and only preach of what is easy on the listener. This is obviously not true. Since the age of 11 I knew that I had same-sex attractions to males. Growing up in the denomination I did, it was hard to reconcile those feels and the theology I was taught. I spent many nights crying myself to sleep because I had fantasized about one or more of my male friends that day. I prayed relentlessly throughout middle and high school. I believe that if I turned to God and asked him to take my homosexuality away he would do it. That day never came. I should also state that I was homeschooled for most of my life (I could write an entire thesis on that subject alone but I’ll save that for another day). In high school I started to branch out further away from the church and neighborhood friends that I had. I met a girl who was on the same wavelength as me and we hit it off. We first became best friends and a few months later we started dating. We were together for a years and 3 months. That entire time I prayed that my homosexual thoughts and tendencies would go away miraculously and that I would be able to make my family happy by marrying the girl I was dating (who I did love and cared deeply about). I knew that the relationship I had with this girl was not the right fit and broke it off, telling her that I needed to work on myself and my spirituality. This reason came from a place of agony; no one knew my daily self hatred routine, no one knew I was secretly looking at guys and imagining a happy and healthy life with them. Both my ex girlfriend and my parents just saw the break up as me refocusing my sights on God. While this was partly true, I was also ending the relationship because I knew deep down that no matter how perfect this girl is for me on the surface, there was something that I could never obtain, and that was a sexual attraction like I felt towards men. In that moment I knew that at some level I had accepted who I was, while not fully, I was still on my way. The years that followed that relationship were some of the best years of my life. I had a wonderful group of friends that were all extremely close; my ex girlfriend was in this group. I decided that relationships weren’t for me at that time and decided to live life to the fullest in all other areas. While I still had homosexual thoughts and tendencies, they bothered me les and less as the years went. In 2019 at the age of 19 a started coming out to my fitness one at a time. They were all accepting and extremely loving. One of my oldest and best friends is the daughter of the preacher from the church that I was raised in. She was the last friend I told. I knew what she was taught because it was the same thing I was taught. Homosexuality is an abomination. But when I told her that I was gay, she broke down in tears because she knew she was the last to know. She expressed how sorry she was that I had to come out to her thinking that I might lose her because of her religious upbringing. She told me that she loved me, always has, and always will. I started dating men in the summer of 2019 and met my current boyfriend in the fall of 2019. Later in 2020 I decided to tell my oldest brother, because I knew he was affirming of gay Christians. He told me he loved me and would always stand by my side. I’ve now been with my boyfriend a year and 4 months. About a week ago a found Kathy Baldock’s YouTube channel and watched 4 hours of her explaining the entire pallet that paints the picture of homosexuality and the church of today. After watching those videos I downloaded her book on audible and started listening. In the midst of exams and assignments I was able to finish the book in about 4 days. I did so because today is the day that I’ve been planning on coming out to my parents. I’ve already committed to coming out tonight and I’m terrified. Kathy’s videos and book have given me so much courage and I’ve felt so much joy and love while listening to her. I’m ready to come out to my parents but I don’t know if they’re ready to accept me. That is what scares me. As I step into this new chapter of my life, I’m thankful for the knowledge and resources Kathy Baldock has given me. One day I hope to meet this amazing woman and share my story with her (and hear more of her story as well)!

Thank you Kathy
-Adam

1 person found this helpful

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Great overall

I really appreciated the way this book covered LGBT and the church in such a broad way. Some details struck me as odd (lesbians feel more comfortable wearing pants?) and the audiobook had 3-4 places where it repeated or skipped, but overall it helped me to understand the topic in new and helpful ways.

1 person found this helpful

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Wow. I needed this book. The Church needs this book.


Walking the Bridgeless Canyon is a impressively thorough, well-researched exploration of how today’s conservative evangelical church has arrived at its current views, treatment of and beliefs about the LGBTQ+ community. The book is frank, sometimes uncomfortable and often convicting as the author directly addresses topics many Christians shy away from. She brings to the forefront the humanity of the LGBTQ+ community and their individual stories with compassion and respect, rather than addressing them as an “issue.“ She methodically walks the reader through the crucial cultural and historical context of key biblical verses commonly used to condemn, ostracize and marginalize LGBTQ+ people. These are verses I wanted and needed to address rather than dismiss. She presents a well-substantiated evolution of how these verses have been mistranslated and misunderstood — and challenges the reader to re-examine and question what we have been taught as “indisputable” but have possibly never taken the time to actually investigate. The author also humbly shares her own journey as she was called to reevaluate faulty theology, misconceptions and stereotypes. She leads by example, venturing outside of her comfortable bubble as a heterosexual conservative Christian and gets to know some of the LGBTQ+ Christians that have been hurt by the church. And she calls all of us as part of the body of Christ to do better. Although it is not light reading, I appreciated the comprehensiveness and could not put it down. I am so grateful to have discovered this book as I have wrestled with what I believed were “Biblical truths” and how they did not reflect the heart of the Jesus that I know. This book helped me to see where affirming LGBTQ+ people and honoring God’s Word are not mutually exclusive — but instead are congruent and bring hope and life rather than despair and isolation.

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If you’re looking for a primer this is it!

There are an increasing of books from folks in the evangelical world who have changed their minds on questions dealing with LGBT people. This book is by far one of the best. The author has assembled a history including the rise of sexual orientation categories in modern psychoanalytic theory, the beginnings of the religious right and its cooperation with conservative political movements, the origins of HIV/AIDS and the ways the disease has been interpreted in religious contexts, reparative therapy and the damage it causes, the phenomenon of mixed orientation marriages, and the history of LGBT Christian people that have held onto Christian faith even as many Christian communities have attempted to shun and push them away. Bringing all the threads together, Baldock paints a detailed picture of how we got here and offers an invitation to those who aren’t satisfied with the historic treatment of LGBT people and want a better way.

The Audible performance is good. Baldock reads her own work. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing her deliver her own words in her own speech patterns. There are a few points where the reading needed to be edited a bit to get rid of a false starts, and one place where I’m pretty sure the written pages she was reading from fell and scattered during the performance, but listeners will understand all the same. These minor quirks do not take away from the breadth of knowledge on offer or the author’s clear exposition.

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I'll Probably Listen To It Ten More Times!❤️

An insightful walk through human sexuality over the centuries and how the concepts that influenced those writing the Bible, speaking for the Church, and those lobbying in the political arena have probably gotten it all wrong.

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Moved to tears

I was moved to tears often during this very insightful and intimate look at how the LGBTQ community has come to be vilified by large segments of our culture. It is staggering to discover the degree of misinformation and mistreatment directed toward the LGBTQ community often by well-respected people who uncritically accepted untested conclusions and ideas. As a Christian pastor I was part of a group that accepted and propagated such ideas. Many of my tears are tears of sorrow and repentance for the part I played that has brought such harm to the LGBTQ community at large and to individual LGBTQ people, not the least of which include my own two gay sons. If your heart is in conflict with your head or your faith as mine was for over two decades, this is the book that will help you get them aligned, allowing love for God and love for all His people to go forward hand in hand. I highly recommend this book.

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  • Nic
  • 08-30-22

Wow world changing!

This book has changed my life I can’t thank you enough! The best book on this subject matter that I have ever come across. There’s simply not many that can equal it. Its thoroughly laid out for a reason as the story unfolds in its factual progression. Once you get through the history in the following chapters it challenges mindsets and everything is put out in-front of you. You choose! It’s Avery very well researched and also true to what happens in actual life and not an assumption. It’s real!!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-13-21

The Book I Wish I’d Had 10 Years Ago

Kathy, thank you for writing this book.

I’m a straight ally who started exploring the Bible and LGBTQ people when one of my best friends came out when we were aged 20 (over a decade ago). We grew up in conservative church together. Then another two close friends came out, and now some of my closest colleagues are LGBTQ+. All have been hurt by faith communities.

It took me a full decade to become completely affirming in my personal theology. This book is such a helpful resource in explaining why that’s a position of theological and contextual/historical integrity.

I’m passionate about making the church a more inclusive place for the marginalised, especially LGBTQ+ people so thanks for the tangible suggestions as well.

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  • John Jacobson
  • 08-29-20

Highly recommended

This is an incredibly well researched exploration of her personal journey to being affirming of LGBTQIA people, exploring the history, culture, politics and theology that created such a negative perspective about LGBTQIA people, and why we need to revisit it.

I also loved that Cathy read the book herself.