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Finding Faith, Losing Faith: Stories of Conversion and Apostasy [Paperback]

Scot McKnight , Hauna Ondrey
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 14, 2008 1602581622 978-1602581623 illustrated edition
This book examines conversion stories as told by people who have actually undergone a conversion experience, including experiences of apostasy. The stories reveal that there is not just one "conversion story." Scot McKnight and Hauna Ondrey show that "conversion theory" helps explain why some people walk away from one religion, often to another, very different religion. The book confirms the usefulness-particularly for pastors, rabbis, and priests, and university and college teachers-of applying conversion theory to specific groups. However, the book's sensitive detailing of the stories themselves makes conversion more than a theoretical occurrence; it makes the immediacy, and often the difficulty, of conversion both real and moving.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This book stirs deep reflection on the faith journeys of courageous people.

-Lewis Rambo, San Francisco Theological Seminary

From the Inside Flap

McKnight and Ondrey have produced a fascinating read. -John R. Franke

Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press; illustrated edition edition (July 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602581622
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602581623
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,579,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
(6)
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
In this book the authors have written four detailed chapter length studies of people who have converted: 1) away from the church to agnosticism/atheism; 2) away from the synagogue to the church, 3) away from the Catholic church to evangelicalism; and 4) away from evangelicalism to Catholicism.

McKnight argues that all conversions go through the same process, and even if none of them are identical, they fall into similar patterns. (p.1). His goal is to describe the conversion process with hopes that the patterns that emerge can be used to explain them, with the further goal that scholars and pastors "will work out the implications of conversion theory in the pastoral context." (pp. 231-236). He writes: "If mapping conversion theory shows anything...it shows the need for grace, humility, and openness to one another as we listen to and learn from one another's stories. The sincerity of each convert's (often opposite) experience underscores the need to learn from one's another's experience rather than denounce the other's experience." (p. 236)

While many people describe leaving a faith as a "deconversion," (which is the usual nomenclature) McKnight argues instead that deconversion stories are about "leaving from," instead of "coming to," but a deconversion follows the same process as a conversion. He writes: "All conversions are apostasies and all apostasies are therefore conversions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A solid choice for religious collections November 14, 2008
Format:Paperback
For some, faith is not life long. "Finding Faith, Losing Faith: Stories of Conversion and Apostasy" is a scholarly look at conversion, evangelism, and those who change their faith and those who encourage them. Saying that most conversion is the result of a crisis and people responding to it, it is an explanation of the whole process, which will enlighten readers about their faith and those who convert and try to convert others. "Finding Faith, Losing Faith" is educational reading, a solid choice for religious collections.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking book August 19, 2008
By S T M
Format:Paperback
I was interested in this book by the title alone. Coming from an academic approach the patterns found by the authors research regarding faith experiences are thought provoking and raised some good discussion for me to work through and is good fodder for me to dialog with friends.
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More About the Author

Born in Southern Illinois, came of age in Freeport, Illinois, attended college in Grand Rapids, MI, seminary at Trinity in Deerfield, IL.

Now a professor at North Park University.

Two children.

Kris, my wife, is a psychologist and the greatest woman on earth.

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