Text: “Beloved, let us love one another because love is of God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. — I John 4:7
Excerpt: “Ah! The love of God is a queer thing! God, the genesis of all that is, gave rise to same-gender affection and fidelity as acts of divine, Christ-like love, right alongside all other expressions of genuine human commitment. Though I did not yet know the words “sensual” and “erotic”, I began to understand that the practice of love, truly divine love, took place in the exchange of affection all people had with one another—LGBTQ people, too.”
Stephen V. Sprinkle is Professor of Practical Theology at Brite Divinity School, located on the campus of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, and has held the office of Director of Field Education and Supervised Ministry since 1994. He is the first openly gay scholar in Brite’s history. A native of North Carolina, he holds a Bachelor of Arts from Barton College, a Master of Divinity from Yale University Divinity School, and a PhD in Systematic Theology from Duke University. He is an ordained minister of the Alliance of Baptists. Sprinkle was named 2010–2011 Hero of Hope by the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas for his advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ community and served as Theologian in Residence for the Cathedral for six years. In 2016, he received the Pillar of Freedom Award for his passion, activism, and dedication to the advancement of justice and human rights. He has authored three books and many scholarly articles and holds professional memberships in the Academy of Religious Leadership and the Association of Theological Field Educators. Sprinkle is a human rights advocate, a widely sought after speaker and pulpiteer, and an internationally recognized authority on anti-LGBTQ hate crimes.