So many Americans today love their faith but have found their church doesn’t love them back. They then leave, seeking community elsewhere. Of all those personal stories, few have ever been told by someone so far inside the powerful places of white evangelical Christianity. In this provocative tell-all, David Gushee opens the door to the frictions and schisms of evangelicalism, tells his own story of leaving, and shows that you, too, can find a Christianity that is worth following.
Gushee’s experiences begin with becoming a born-again Southern Baptist in 1978 and end with being kicked out of evangelicalism in 2014 for his principled stance on full LGBTQ inclusion. But his religious pilgrimage proves even broader than that, as he leads his doctoral studies at Union Seminary in New York, his dismay when the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary expelled female professors and fellow colleagues, to his days as every evangelical’s least-favorite liberal, and more.
In telling his story, Gushee speaks to those who have been disillusioned by American Christianity. As he describes his own struggles to find the right path at different stages of his journey, he highlights the turning points and decisions that we all face. When do we compromise, and when do we stand our ground? Is holding to moral conviction worth sacrificing friendship, jobs, and security? As he takes us through his sometimes-amusing, sometimes-heartbreaking, and always-stirring journey, Gushee shows us that we can retain our faith in Christ even when Christians disappoint us.
“Anyone who wants to know what a Christian ethicist is and does can begin here, with the compelling account of how one man makes life-bending decisions about things that matter, without ever losing faith in the tender Jesus who has hold of his soul.”
—Barbara Brown Taylor, author of Leaving Church and Learning to Walk in the Dark