Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists

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9780879759070: Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists

Protestant fundamentalism claims many converts each year as the devout serve as "witnesses" to draw people "into the fold." This is where the media hype stops. Little is known of the thousands who leave, frustrated, anguished, confused. For them there are no trumpets of glory, no energized fanfare.
No one knows fundamentalism like a fundamentalist, and no one can express what it means to struggle with one's faith to the breaking point, like an ex-fundamentalist.
After presenting a fascinating history of "Fundamentalism's Grotesque Past," this riveting new collection offers testimonies of former fundamentalists who became so disillusioned with their church that they chose to leave. Presenting more than thirty personal journeys, this book gives a clear picture of what attracts a person to the fundamentalist faith and what can drive believers away from their religion.
Leaving the Fold includes the religious odysseys of those who left fundamentalism behind in favor of atheism or agnosticism, as well as the spiritual journeys of those who remained Christians but backed away from the powerful attraction of fundamentalism. These testimonies convey not only deep feelings and penetrating facts, but the appeal of dogmatic fundamentalism and each individual's struggle to maintain their faith.
Leaving the Fold discusses the fears and dilemmas faced by each person who chose to part ways with the church, their gradual dawning of courage to continue asking questions, and their success in giving their intellectual curiosity the freedom it craves. Christians, atheists, and those who may be questioning their own religious convictions will find Leaving the Fold engrossing. This volume also contains a collection of quotations and an annotated bibliography for those interested in tracking down further testimonies.

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About the Author:

Edward T. Babinski is currently on the staff of the J. B. Duke Library at Furman University.

From Library Journal:

Between an introduction and appendix provided by Babinski, 33 former Christian fundamentalists explain how and why they first embraced, and later abandoned, that belief system. Of these, eight have become atheists, eight (including Babinski) agnostics, one a wiccan, and one a Zen Buddhist; the remainder have remained Christian. Major contemporary religious writers such as Harvey Cox and Sam Keen are included. The agenda here is unmistakably antifundamentalist, and the occasional leak of vitriol does distract. Also, in its ambition to be comprehensive, Babinski's annotated "list of additional testimonies" neglects a distinction between trash and treasure. However, in the main the individual statements and recollections are clearly, thoughtfully, and intelligently presented, and documentation is thorough. For this reason, and because no similar collection of such breadth and depth is available, this work is reservedly recommended as a useful addition to church, academic, and larger public library collections.?Bill Piekarski, Southwestern Coll. Lib., Chula Vista, Cal.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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