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Faith and Other Flat Tires: Searching for God on the Rough Road of Doubt [Kindle Edition]

Andrea Palpant Dilley , author of the bestselling A Grace Disguised Jerry Sittser
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)

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Book Description

At age twenty-one, Andrea Palpant Dilley stripped the Christian fish decal off her car bumper in a symbolic act of departure from her religious childhood. At twenty-three, she left the church and went searching for refugein the company of men who left her lonely and friends who pushed the boundaries of what she once held sacred.


In this deeply personal memoir, Andrea navigates the doubts that plague believers and skeptics alike: Why does a good God allow suffering? Why is God so silent, distant, and uninvolved? And why does the church seem so dysfunctional?


Yet amid her skepticism, she begins to ask new questions: Could doubting be a form of faith? Might our doubts be a longing for God that leads to a faith we can ultimately live with?



Editorial Reviews

Review

'With honesty and candor, Andrea Palpant shares her sense of displacement, as a 'third-culture kid' finding her way in America and as a once confident Christian beset with doubt and confusion in a postmodern world. I suspect many readers will find themselves in the questions that drive her away from faith. I also pray that, in her story, they will also see a pathway back. At this time in our culture, and in the church, we are in need of people like Andrea, who do not shy away from their questions and doubts, who do not fear bearing their souls, and who show us a way through to the other side of faith.' -- Dr. Steve Sherwood <br><br>

About the Author

Andrea Palpant Dilley grew up in Kenya as the daughter of Quaker missionaries and spent the rest of her childhood in the Pacific Northwest. Her work as a documentary producer has aired nationally on American Public Television. Her work as a writer has been published in Geez, Utne Reader and the anthology Jesus Girls: True Tales of Growing Up Female and Evangelical, as well as online with CNN, The Huffington Post, and Christianity Today. Her memoir, Faith and Other Flat Tires: Searching for God on the Rough Road of Doubt, tells the story of her faith journey. Andrea lives with her husband and their two daughters in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit www.andreapalpantdilley.com

Product Details

  • File Size: 2348 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 031032551X
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan (February 21, 2012)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0058CWYTA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #545,643 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Travelogue for the Melancholy Christian February 22, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
So many memoirs about faith are surprisingly materialistic. Author is raised as a believer; X happens; author looses faith and plunges into horrible life of secularism. Y happens and author regains faith and becomes fully functioning member of society. She rides off into a doubtless sunset. In those memoirs, there is no room given to the gray area between faith and secularism, no mention to how the author dealt with doubts in the mind and griefs of the heart.

If those books are external memoirs (everything is on the surface), then Faith and Other Flat Tires is an internal memoir. It is a book by a bright, introspective woman who finds problems with religion in all manner of ways. An Eric Clapton concert is as likely to raise tough theological questions as does having to bury a childhood friend. Dilley's memoirs outline how she grew up a missionary kid and then became a 'melancholy Christian' before leaving the church. She eventually found that the same questions that drove her away from God ended up driving her back to faith once again. She returns to God hesitantly, with battle wounds and hope and also - get this - without all the answers.

As a memoir, this book is funny and honest. Dilley doesn't paint herself as a victim or a saint. She's awkward at times, painfully aware of her flaws and she bravely lays her selfish moments and bad choices along with her honesty and courage. She acknowledges that her tale is not a 'my life was the worst life ever' story. Rather, it's a tale of how a person can loose faith while still maintaining a 4.0 - how even the seemingly 'good' kids can find themselves stomping out of the church and slamming the doors behind them (literally) because their questions are not being answered.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic story of the complicated journey of faith February 20, 2012
Format:Paperback
Andrea Dilley gives a rich, honest and often funny account of her personal and spiritual journey. It is not a simple story of leaving and returning to faith, and as read I wondered what would have happened if the Prodigal Son had stayed home. There never would have been broken relationship with the father or the baggage of his life of sin, but he could have stayed and ended up worse than a starving pig farmer. He could have ended up even worse than his older brother. He could have simply gone into his room and tuned out.

This is no ordinary Prodigal Son story, and apathy towards God was never an option for Andrea. She was a missionary kid who grew up in a loving home and church community, and yet from her early teens she was deeply disturbed with the brokenness of the world, the relevance of church, and the seeming absence of God in the midst of the mess. Of course, taking God and the mess seriously should ideally happen within the church community, but he often allows us to leave home without letting us get too far away from him. We discover that our answers can only be found at home, as we see our Father there from a distance, holding the robe, ring and pair of shoes.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Personal and idiosyncratic enough to be universal March 18, 2012
Format:Paperback
Faith and Other Flat Tires is exactly the kind of book Christians and ex-Christians should read. Andrea Palpant Dilley tells the personal story of overcoming the secular/sacred divide and learning to live her faith without hiding her doubts. One of the earlier reviews on this site decried this book as a "downer" and that Dilley is "stuck...just treading water." Nothing could be further from the truth! Dilley refuses to give the triumphalist ending that so many Christian books demand, yet there is a solidity to her commitment that shows her desire to honor God, follow Christ, and serve humanity. For the Christian, Dilley asks for an honesty and shows a path to belief that does not paper-over problems or resort to simple answers. For the ex-Christian, she shows a way back to faith that does not ask someone to pretend they are something they are not. This is what grace is all about, and this book shows it clearly.

One of the paradoxes about a book like this is that in telling a story that is very specific and very personal, Dilley has actually made it more inviting and universal. There were so many places where I thought "oh, I have felt that exact same thing!" even though my college and post-college experience was decades ago and miles away. Dilley has managed to write something that is both very personal yet speaks to a common experience that most Christians (at least if they are honest with themselves) have also faced. One of the things I especially appreciated is that she never put down or demeaned what she was or what other people are...the sort of "I used to think this way, but now I am so much more enlightened" that one frequently finds in this genre. Instead, Dilley tells her story as one pilgrim who has gone along a path and wants to share it with others who may cover some of the same landscape. An amazing first book...I hope there are many more to come!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Writing, Little Hope August 17, 2012
Format:Paperback
Andrea Palpant's Faith and Other Flat Tires is a personal memoir about the doubts about God she developed as a missionary child in Africa. There were a lot of things I liked about this book. For example the writing was incredible. Being a writing instructor myself, I always get a little giddy when I come across a Christian book that actually shows some knowledge of the craft. Palpant's background in Communications definitely shines in this book and makes it an enjoyable read.

Her story is also fairly typical of God's grandchildren, a.k.a. kids who grew up with true believing parents that wanted nothing more than to serve God with all their heart. These kids usually don't really get their parents or the God they serve but have a hard time finding any contentment in the world. Until they really give their lives to God and have their own relationship with them, they also can't find contentment in the church, so they end up thrown all over the place in their beliefs.

Been there, done that.

The major drawback of the book is that she structures it around John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and the journey that Christian takes, but she definitely focuses more on Christian's pratfalls, then on some of the elements of Bunyan's metaphor that exemplify God's part in our walk like Help, Goodwill, Faithful, Hopeful, The Shining Ones, the Lord of the Hill, etc.

The lack of these characters' traits shows through in Palpant's memoir as well. Even in the grand climax where she returns to church, she doesn't necessarily do it because she finds much hope there, but just because it's better than the other options. There's no relationship with Jesus, no revelation of God in her life, just a meandering fall back into church community.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.9 stars -- well-crafted narrative amidst contradictions of...
Reviewing "Faith & Other Flat Tires" in 2014, I won't try to add much more commentary on Andrea Palpont Dilley's very readable, attention-holding, spiritual journey. Read more
Published 3 months ago by albarino
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Your Time
Frankly, I rarely crack open chris-lit stuff, but glad I took a chance on this book. I'm into biographies and non-fiction, and the description of her struggle with certain issues... Read more
Published 12 months ago by A. Huntz
5.0 out of 5 stars Faith and Other Flat Tires
Excellent! Encouraging!!! I heard this author speak at Baylor Chapel and wanted to know more than the last five minutes of her testimony which gripped my heart.
Published 15 months ago by Pen Name
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Waste Your Time...
I could not wait to finish this book. Not because I found it interesting or thought-provoking or helpful or any of these types of reasons, I simply wanted to be finished with this... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Carrie R. Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This is a well written memoir by a young author and Iw ill buy additional copies to give as gifts.
Published 19 months ago by Richard L Erickson
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant Surprise!
I was recently given the opportunity to review Andrea Palpant Dilley's Faith and Other Flat Tires. The title causes the mind to wander a bit, and I suppose a prospective reader... Read more
Published on November 21, 2012 by momof2sweeties
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice spiritual autobiography
I picked up Faith and Other Flat Tires hoping to muddle my way through a book that had been sitting on my shelf for a while. Read more
Published on October 15, 2012 by Clint Walker
4.0 out of 5 stars nice, easy read!!
This was a great book! Honest and true. Nice to have some one else put words to things I have felt off and on over the years with my faith. Struggle is normal. Read more
Published on September 19, 2012 by S. S. Owens
5.0 out of 5 stars Honesty seeps through
I am hard on books...meaning if I don't resonate with one right away, I give myself permission to leave it unfinished. Read more
Published on September 9, 2012 by Mary E. DeMuth
4.0 out of 5 stars Honest Look at Doubt
I love memoirs. I love learning about the deep, intimate journeys that people often take in life. I believe that we can learn a great deal from the life journeys of other people. Read more
Published on August 25, 2012 by penngirl28
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More About the Author

Andrea Palpant Dilley grew up in Kenya as the daughter of Quaker missionaries and spent the rest of her childhood in the Pacific Northwest. Her work as a documentary producer has aired nationally on American Public Television. Her work as a writer has been published in Geez, Utne Reader and the anthology "Jesus Girls: True Tales of Growing Up Female and Evangelical," as well as online with CNN, The Huffington Post, and Christianity Today. Her memoir, "Faith and Other Flat Tires: Searching for God on the Rough Road of Doubt" (Zondervan), tells the story of her faith journey.

Andrea lives with her husband and their two daughters in Austin, Texas. For more information, go to www.faithandotherflattires.com

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