Protestant fundamentalism claims many converts each year as the devout serve as "witnesses" to draw people "into the fold". This is where the media hype stops. Little is known of the thousands who leave, frustrated, anguished, confused. For them there are no trumpets of glory, no energized fanfare. No one knows fundamentalism like a fundamentalist, and no one can express what it means to struggle with one's faith to the breaking point, like an ex-fundamentalist. After presenting a fascinating history of "Fundamentalism's Grotesque Past", this riveting new collection offers testimonies of former fundamentalists who became so disillusioned with their church that they chose to leave. Presenting more than thirty personal journeys, this book gives a clear picture of what attracts a person to the fundamentalist faith and what can drive believers away from their religion. Leaving the Fold includes the religious odysseys of those who left fundamentalism behind in favor of atheism or agnosticism, as well as the spiritual journeys of those who remained Christians but backed away from the powerful attraction of fundamentalism. These testimonies convey not only deep feelings and penetrating facts, but the appeal of dogmatic fundamentalism and each individual's struggle to maintain their faith. Leaving the Fold discusses the fears and dilemmas faced by each person who chose to part ways with the church, their gradual dawning of courage to continue asking questions, and their success in giving their intellectual curiosity the freedom it craves. Christians, atheists, and those who may be questioning their own religious convictions will find Leaving the Fold engrossing. This volume also contains acollection of quotations and an annotated bibliography for those interested in tracking down further testimonies.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
My friend Ed Babinski has compiled a list on Amazon of 40 books dealing with the Testimones of Ex-Christians and Non-believers. There is some excellent reading here. The first book on the list, which I have read and recommend, is Ed's own volume entitled: Leaving The Fold: Testimonies Of Former Fundamentalists . Here is a preview of it: