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A View from the Back Pew: God, Religion & Our Personal Quest for Truth Paperback – March 1, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Linchpin Publishing (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984534415
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984534418
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,857,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Christians throughout the ages have discovered that the Kingdom of God is within. O’Donnell’s precise and unpretentious style makes his personal voyage of discovery terrifically compelling. The book is half spiritual autobiography, half demotic theologizing, and O’Donnell switches between halves remarkably comfortably. The autobiographical component limns a fairly faithful modern Catholic. Whacked by grade-school-teaching nuns, challenged by high-school-teaching priests, O’Donnell turned to theology and study in Rome before dropping out because of an epiphany he calls “the Deal.” He met his end of the Deal by making enough in business by age 40 to retire and resume theology—for whose sake he would find out. He’d never really given theology up, of course, as chapters on all the major theological questions attest. His views won’t surprise those who know of the breadth of Christian theology. Many will be dismayed by his critique of the church, though it isn’t harsh or strident, and some may think that what he has become is a Quaker on low-dose steroids. Unusually congenial and individualistic popular Christian theology. --Ray Olson


From the difference of spirituality and religion, the role of rules in faith, spiritual evolution, and more, "A View from the Back Pew" is a must for any faithful yet inquisitive mind.  --Midwest Book Review

O'Donnell's precise and unpretentious style makes his personal voyage of discovery terrifically compelling. Unusually congenial and individualistic popular Christian theology. Booklist, January 1, 2011

"Entertaining and enlightening, Tim O'Donnell's timely work presents us with a rare opportunity to delve deeply into the real issues of faith and personal spirituality. Powerful, poignant and refreshing." Patricia Spadaro, Honor Yourself: The Inner Art of Giving and Receiving

People need to connect and for many, religion isn't working. This spiritual longing is getting projected onto human relationships as people are looking for God in "other” before seeing "his" presence inside. This book is a beacon of light for those on this journey. Cindy Stanberry, Psychotherapist

More About the Author

TIM O'DONNELL owned and ran a daily newspaper publishing company and won dozens of awards for publishing excellence. He has also been an organizational consultant, university lecturer, and keynote speaker. In addition, he has led workshops and seminars on leadership as well as personal and organizational development.

O'Donnell sold his consulting practice and publishing company several years ago to pursue in-depth study of the topic which is now his passion - the effects of organized religion on modern society and the impact of religious indoctrination on the individual.

His unquenchable curiosity and continuing thirst for asking life's big questions now keep him busy writing, blogging, speaking and engaging others in meaningful dialogue.

Tim and his wife, Lynn make their home in Crozet, Virginia and have three children.

Customer Reviews

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See all 6 customer reviews
He is plain spoken and easy to relate to.
I grew up in a very similar background of teachings and parentinting ways that Tim did.
This book is a must read for anyone contemplating God..
NJ Book Lover

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In a day and age where we are evolving and waking up faster than ever before in history when it comes to our emotional and spiritual ideas, we need all the sparks we can get to continue to ignite these moments of awareness for us.

That is how I feel about this book from Tim, it is a spark to ignite a deeper sense of knowing, to ignite questioning, to wake us up and one that invites us to focus on why we believe what we believe.

The book is written in a very easy and fun to read manner, as it alternates between Tim's personal life story, and discussions on the various topics about Christianity. It specifically focuses on Tim's struggles throughout his life with his own path in the Catholic religion and finding out whether religion and spirituality are the same, and how each one serves a role in life to bring us closer to God. It is written in a smart, yet respectful manner to probe further questioning from any of us who are on a journey of self-discovery when it comes to our spiritual path.

Being a former Catholic myself, I couldn't agree more with everything Tim said and I think it is a must read for anyone tied to a religion, especially the Christian one, and even more specifically for anyone who is a Catholic. Do not be afraid to read a book that may be just the change you need or the catalyst for an amazing life transformation, which can truly connect you to God closer than you ever thought possible.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fun and comforting read for those that have questions surrounding the history and mystery of the world's largest religion. In a sincere and un-offensive manner, O'Donnell presents an informative personal journey that is a soothing salve for the intellectually dissatisfied spiritual seeker. The book is part investigative and part autobiographical in nature with the investigative portion examining the construction of the prevailing Christian theology. It is certainly thought provoking and sure to encourage discussion. The author's story of his two fold path to spiritual reconciliation and the American dream really had me asking if his purpose is indeed divinely inspired. He is plain spoken and easy to relate to. He was able to address some very controversial questions in a refreshing way that departs from the overly critical rhetoric that often comes with modern religious examinations. It is the type of book that won't ruffle the feathers of the deeply religious and will provide some much needed insight to people who are turned off by the Church. I found his responses to the spiritual questions that we have all scratched our head over pleasantly enlightening.
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Format: Paperback
Such a great book; if you're new to following God, been brought up with religion your entire life, or just beginning to ask questions about all that god-stuff.. then this book is for you!

it is part autobiography (super relatable!), and the other part is questioning religion, spirituality, etc.... part theology and part humorous, entertaining auto-biography!

as much as i appreciate literature, it definitely (being a 21 year old) gets hard to sit down, focus, and read a book from cover to cover.

with Tim's book, i never read a book so fast. it is extremely well written, with great imagery and description; beautiful, eloquent writing style with sick nostalgia. some writers write with crazy big vocabulary, which leads to a lack of story understanding. for people who aren't super smart, this book is great! definitely for all ages, for real!

it's also an extremely, super super super.. SUPER important book; i think figuring out if god is real or not is the most important, by far, decision one can make in his/her life.

if god is real, and everything about Jesus is real as well, then that changes your entire existence! so find the facts out yourself, question everything, and if you enjoy this book, read up on MORE books about spirituality, religion (i hate it!), Creationist vs Atheist Debates, etc.

definitely read this book and tell your friends, spiritual or not, about this book! :D

seriously; even if you are the adventurous type (who isn't?), read this book; it has some gnarly road trip, adventure/teen angst and rebellion stories.. at times i felt like i was reading a book by Jack Kerouac ha!
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