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unlikely converts, Rosaria Butterfield

photo: CCO public domain morgue file

Have you ever read a book that stimulated your thinking, challenged your faith, made you laugh, gave you many aha moments, helped you grapple with theological issues?  Yet you didn’t find yourself agreeing on all issues? Frankly, that is my definition of a great book. Books that contain information that I disagree with are most often provocative and ones that I enjoy the most!

This explains the fun, challenge and mind stretching I have had as I read The Secret Thoughts of An Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey into Christian Faith by Rosaria Butterfield.

Planning a series on the topics brought up in this book

I plan to work through this book in an extended book report over a month. I’d love it if you grab a copy of the book in kindle or in paper and read along so we can discuss it. Even if you can’t read it, listen to it on audio or at least interact with some of the many interviews she has given online. Having people to discuss a book who have read it, makes it much more interesting! It’s available here, here and her website here.

Below is a YouTube interview. Here is another audio interview.

The topics to be discussed will include:

  • repentance
  • the church
  • hospitality
  • community
  • means of grace
  • adoption and fostering
  • the gospel
  • children’s education

In order for it to be covered well, I would like to have people who can add to the discussion so we won’t be able to start the series until the end of April or early May. I’ll give you the date when I have it lined up.

The topics will not necessarily be done in that order. You are unlikely to agree with her on every topic. I don’t. But I do agree on the important ones…and find myself thinking about some of the less important ones and moving a bit.

Jesus' injunction that GOD is more greatly grieved by the sins of those who claim to know Him than by those who know Him not, struck a chord for me. Click To Tweet

I also found her discussions on repentance to be very helpful and her views of the Christian world view vs. her former world view are refreshing. Hearing her explanations can be helpful to parents of college kids whose secular worldview from college or other places can get interpreted for you in ways that may be helpful.

I loved what Rosaria had to say about repenting. It’s a word I hear often, but don’t understand well.

What I love most about this book is that Rosaria doesn’t act as if she has all the answers. She is humble but not pushed down. She is an encouraging example of someone who has met Christ and been changed from the inside out. Yet when she came to belief in Christ, she didn’t see her homosexuality as her chief sin, but rather her arrogance, pride and selfishness. That is helpful to me.

For those of us who don’t struggle with the sin of homosexuality, maybe we can learn from her. Maybe in our finger pointing, we have put the emphasis in the wrong place in talking to our LGBT friends and acquaintances.

The more GOD-centered our worship practice, the more mercy-centered our life. Click To Tweet

This YouTube interview from soon after her book came out will give you a taste of her in person as well as her book. There are a number of interviews available online where she shares her testimony in more detail and has more detailed Q and A’s. I liked this one because it was a bit more concise and showed her personality too.

How far are you willing to go for unlikely converts around you? Some may be in your family. I was challenged on this that I’m not doing enough, particularly in the area of hospitality.

Rosaria Butterfield quotes: The more GOD-centered our worship practice, the more mercy-centered our life. Worship is our rehearsal for how to live today and how to glorify GOD in heaven.

Sanctification–growing in Christ–is always both personal and communal.

If you indulge in the sins of pride, wealth, entertainment-lust, lack of mercy, and lack of discretion, you will find yourself deep in sin–and the type of sin may surprise you. …sin is progressive. That is while sin does not stay contained in type or trope, if ignored, excused or enjoyed, sin grows and spreads like poison ivy.

Jesus’ injunction that GOD is more greatly grieved by the sins of those who claim to know Him than by those who know Him not, struck a chord for me.