Item description for Stumbling Toward Faith by Renee N. Altson, Ivy Beckwith & Spencer Burke...
Overview Renee Altson's powerful, personal narrative details the evil done to her throughout her life---almost exclusively at the hands of the church---and how she struggles and stumbles toward faith despite her ordeal.
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More About Renee N. Altson, Ivy Beckwith & Spencer Burke
Renee Altson's nonfiction and poetry have been published in journals and anthologies nationwide. Her weblog (www.ianua.org/weblog.php) has received wide acclaim and is viewed by the Christian and secular communities as an extraordinary narrative. She is the author of Stumbling Toward Faith, on staff at Infuze magazine, and the managing editor of The Journal of Student Ministries. Renee and her family live in La Mesa, California.
Reviews - What do customers think about Stumbling Toward Faith?
Courageous and Warm Nov 15, 2005
I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning about the depths of abuse that some children suffer, and the courage and strength of those who survive.
I intended to read this book slowly, because of the intense material. I kept thinking, "Okay, it's time to stop," and getting pulled in one more page and three more pages. I really like the poetry - it's surprising and concrete and deeply true all at once. I like the lines that stand out in larger type. I like that it starts out with a clear statement of abuse - no veiled hints, no way to pretend it wasn't happening.
I felt very engaged, the whole time I was reading. I didn't really expect that, since I'm not Christian and never have been. I've had that same struggle, though, believing I'm bad and worthless and wondering why "God" didn't save me. I had a solid sense of the narrator in the book, and felt like I was in conversation, and kept wanting to say, "What about...?" and "Here's how I..." and "Yeah! Me too!"
An Excellent and Transparent Biopic Mar 10, 2005
Renee Altson's book is marvelous! Pastors, youth workers, lay leaders, and counselors NEED to read this book to understand the trauma of sexual abuse, the pitfalls of fundamentalism, and how God can use all things for His glory. The book has an artistic format, which also features Renee's wonderful poems, as well as glimpses of her life. It is poignant, painful, and well worth your time, thoughts, and contemplation.
Warning: this book will mess you up. Mar 9, 2005
Renee Alston has poured out her soul to the world in this provocative life story. She takes the reader on a journey through hidden closets and heavy breathing. All the while searching for justice and shalom, she has learned to wrestle with God in the midnight hour. Although the light of day has come, she is left walking with a limp.
I recommend this book to anyone who dares to read it! I pray it will help to unleash a new sensitivity within the church, and promote honest confessions of doubt and faith.
right under their noses Sep 4, 2004
i have avoided writing this review because i would hate to say anything that would keep someone from reading this important book.
the level of abuse and trauma that renee endured at the hands of her father and the church is sickening, and yet she writes with beauty and depth. there are times you wish she'd stop, you can't fathom anyone enduring the horror she did, but you feel a bit braver for having heard her story, shared her journey.
never have i read anyone with the courage and stamina to endure what she has endured. yet her pain is laced with glimpses of hope, beautiful prose and inspiring tender moments of care. it's unlike anything you have ever read.
if you work with children/teens, or in a church or know someone who has been abused this is a MUST READ. never again should this be allowed to happen. renee's abuse had the church's stamp of approval, it must stop, we must hear the child, we must punish the abuser and allow the hurt to grieve at their own pace.
amazingly this is a story of hope, a story of grace and a story of courage. you won't be the same after you read it.
Inspirational and thought provoking Aug 24, 2004
This book is a `must read' for all, but particularly for teachers and youth leaders. It is the story of a young girl who endured horrific abuse from those in whom God entrusted her care. Yet it is so much more than that for it is a story of hope and life and love arising out of the chaotic ruins of a childhood gone terribly wrong. It is a hauntingly beautiful narrative told in bits and pieces of both prose and poetry that invites more questions than answers. While she will never be able to recover completely, Renee Altson has allowed herself to be loved, to claim a new life, and to open her heart to search for the God she desperately wants to know. She has found her voice and she delivers a powerful message that cannot be ignored. This is an inspiring and thought provoking book that will leave the reader hungering for more from this exceptionally gifted writer.