Item description for Walking Away from Faith: Unraveling the Mystery of Belief and Unbelief by Ruth Tucker...
Why do some people lose their faith?Why do some choose to abandon religious beliefs that were once meaningful to them?And what happens when they do?In this no-holds-barred book, Ruth Tucker tackles the tough questions about losing faith. Providing historical perspective, she looks at the stories of prominent Christians, like Chuck Templeton and Billy Graham, who have struggled with faith. She grapples with difficult philosophical and theological issues, exploring the intractable questions that bring people to the point of losing faith--suffering, science, answer to prayer, hypocrisy in the church, and more. Throughout the book, she explores the testimonies of some who have made the choice to walk away--and some who have returned.Tucker writes not just as a detached observer but as one who has also struggled with doubt and disappointment. In Walking Away from Faith, she shares her from her experience and tells you why she continues to choose faith. Reading her story and her interviews of others, you will find help for working through your own questions and doubts. You will also find insight for ministering to your friends, family, coworkers and neighbors who stumble between belief and unbelief.
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Ruth A. Tucker (PhD, Northern Illinois University) has for more than three decades taught at colleges and seminaries, including Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Calvin Theological Seminary. She is the author of many books, including From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya, Walking Away from Faith, and Parade of Faith: A Biographical History of the Christian Church. Tucker lives with her husband, John Worst, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Reviews - What do customers think about Walking Away from Faith: Unraveling the Mystery of Belief and Unbelief?
Good topic, mediocre delivery... Feb 1, 2006
While reading book this I couldn't help but sense a sort of vague uneasiness conveyed by the author. It is hard to articulate, but she seems to be overemphasizing the doubt and almost over-defends those who no longer believe and most times chastises believers. She quotes from some well-known Christian apologists and writers, then criticizes some of those quotes, which are in some cases out of context, and makes gross generalizations of current believers' attitudes based on her own experiences. As one who is fairly secure in my faith (I have doubts, but so do atheists...) and have faced several critques on the existence of God, the historicity of the Bible, the identity of Jesus, etc. etc. I simply wasn't swayed by the non-believers testimonies who were often appealing to emotion. The author goes way out of her way to be sensitive to the non-believers to the point where she almost sounds dishonest. In the end I do agree another post, which stated that the book ends with a sense of hopelessness. If you're struggling with doubt and uncertainty like most people, just know that reasonable, intelligent answers are indeed out there. Unfortunately this book seems to communicate that the answers are not.
Bridged The Gap With My Family Dec 2, 2004
I came across this book at just the right time in my life. For years, I have anguished over my faith (or lack thereof), which put incredible stress on my relationship with my family. They could not conceive how it was possible for me to doubt my faith since I grew up in a committed, Bible-believing family. The relationship grew so hostile and strained that I thought we were finished. Ruth Tucker's book helped bridge the gap. It expressed my struggles with faith in just the right tone and manner. After not speaking to my family for several months, I sent my mother a copy of the book. I think the title scared her at first, but she eventually she picked it up. Ruth Tucker explains the struggle of faith in a way that I couldn't.
I highly recommend this book to Christian families trying to understand the sincere struggles of their black sheep family members.
Doubt your doubts, but in the meantime read this! Oct 24, 2004
Ruth Tucker was teaching an adult Sunday School class on this topic of doubt shortly after writing this book. She was well received, but after the class one older man came to her and asked, "I really appreciated all that you taught. But one thing you never addressed: how did you finally overcome all your doubts?" Tuckers was floored. He missed her whole point: she has never completely overcome all her doubts. Nor will she ever this side of glory. She teaches theology at a solidly orthodox seminary. She is involved ijn proclaiming and defending the faith. But she is not free of all doubt.
Calvin said that just as sin is always mixed in with holines sin the Christain life, so is doubt always mixed in with faith. We are not fully rid of it until we are glorified.
Liberal churches tend to wrongly make a virtue of doubting -- you are not being honest and sophisticated unless you remain skeptically detached to every belief. But conservative churches (like Tucker's audience) can be guilty of teh other extreme: 'since doubting is bad, then doubters are not welcome here.' So when you have doubts (as all believers do) you can not voice them and seek others to help you answer them. We need to be honest about our doubts to the appropriate people (peers and those with headship over us). We know that doubts are generally more to do with heart problems than head problems.
Tucker does not say doubt is good. But she does show it is inevitable and we shouldn't panic and think we are losing faith when it bubbles up (any more than we should when we fall into sin).
Very nice packaging by the publisher also.
The antidote to doubt is faith in Christ, through his Word, administered in community (Church). Christ tunrs our skepticism back onto our skepticism -- doubt your doubts! Tucker's book is good medicine.
Useful Contemplation of Apostasy May 28, 2004
This book grew on me, likely at the first from one or two stars to four. The reason: as one gets to know the author and her intent with the writing, one senses a person truly one would enjoy sitting and conversing with. And this is exactly what Tucker has done with those who have walked away from the faith. More with stories and not with Scripture, but meaningful and useful nonetheless.
She is honest and skilled in holding the reader's attention. Whether one agrees with all of her assesment or not, there is easily much to be gained from reading this familiarization with those who struggle to believe. That is salient point of this work: they truly do struggle to believe. Sometimes with differing results, but struggle they do. Tucker also provides helps on what the church can do to assist.
Kudos (mostly) Jan 12, 2004
I bought this book because I am a former minister who is struggling mightily with issues of faith and doubt. I found it to be refreshing and--in some ways--astounding. Too often, anyone who harbors intellectual doubts or leaves the faith is said to be putting up a "smoke screen" to cover some kind of moral failure or rebelliousness. Tucker, however, is exceedingly sympathetic to the doubter and refuses such easy dismissals. Her idea of "doubting your doubts" as well as your faith was thought-provoking. However, I would add that I was dismayed by her repeated assertions that she could never leave the faith herself. How could anyone write this book and make such a claim? If there is no possible evidence that would cause one to change their mind, then an honest search seems to be hamstrung at the get-go.