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Finding Faith, Losing Faith

Stories of Conversion and Apostasy

Scot McKnight and Hauna Ondrey

Publication Year: 2008

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.

Published by: Baylor University Press

Contents

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pp. v-

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Conversion: What Really Happens?

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pp. 1-6

These three claims form the foundation for Finding Faith, Losing Faith. Briefly, the last century of research into how conversion works, beginning with William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience in 1902 and finishing off with Lewis Rambo’s exceptional Understanding Religious Conversion, has demonstrated that ...

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1 Leaving Church, Finding Freedom: Anatomy of Apostasy

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pp. 7-64

Theoretically speaking, all conversions are apostasies and all apostasies are therefore conversions. Everyone who converts leaves a former faith, even if that faith is ill-defined. Everyone who leaves the orthodox Christian faith converts to a different faith, even if that new faith is as ill-defined as a kind of agnosticism ...

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2 Leaving the Synagogue, Finding the Church: When Jews Become Messianic Jews

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pp. 65-122

We may forget that the first “converts” to Jesus were all Jewish converts, even if it is not always clear in what sense they were converts. They surely weren’t yet converting to a new religion, the way a modern Orthodox Jew who converts today to Roman Catholicism would do. The struggle the first Christians had in their conversions ...

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3 Leaving Rome, Finding Wheaton: Catholics Behaving Protestantly

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pp. 123-182

Evangelicalism is saturated with former Roman Catholics. Megachurch attendance and membership, so we have been told, varies anywhere from 30–50 percent for former Catholics. According to a leader at Willow Creek Community Church, in one year when nearly one thousand were baptized upon profession of faith, approximately ...

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4 Leaving Wheaton, Finding Rome: The Improbable Conversion of Evangelicals to Catholicism

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pp. 183-228

People convert to Roman Catholicism for a variety of reasons, none more unique than the one that led to the conversion of Alec Guinness, known to most of us as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the mega-hit Star Wars. While acting the role of a priest in Father Brown in Burgundy, France, he tells the story of a late-evening shoot ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 229-236

At the Annual Meeting for the American Academy of Religion in 2007 in San Diego, a session was dedicated to Intra-Christian conversion stories of some recent scholars to Roman Catholicism. Frank Beckwith, who leveraged his situation as the President of the Evangelical Theological Society to announce his conversion, ...

Bibliography

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pp. 237-254

Index

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pp. 255-258


E-ISBN-13: 9781602582194
E-ISBN-10: 160258219X
Print-ISBN-13: 9781602581623
Print-ISBN-10: 1602581622

Page Count: 260
Publication Year: 2008

Edition: 1