What focus group members
are saying about the draft
...a love story of ideas and of God.
John S, philosophy teacher
A compelling and timely metaphor for any two groups seeking to understand
Zack Kinchello, High
School English Chair, Chico, CA
This changes the way I think about people
in other religions. I will be reaching out to them in a whole new way.
Sometimes we Christians think we have all the answers, but we would be
better off listening more.
Rev. David Lottahall, Pastor, New Birth
Church, Manassas, VA
I strongly disagree with the bishop's doctrine.
But his compelling defense of it forced me to have more respect for those
who believe as he does. It almost made me jealous of his certainty.
BP, liberal Episcopal priest
I am truly loving the time I get to spend
with your book. It is just so different from what I read (novels, biographies,
NY Times). Your account of your abortion just devastated me -- honest
and penetrating -- like nothing I have read on the subject.
Your adventures with the ladies of Highview and their fundamental views
are both fun and peculiar--just when I am ready to hear you mock their
backward attitudes, you make me see them in new, sympathetic ways, forcing
me to examine my own prejudices.
I loved how you defined clearly what bothers
me about Christianity (something I hadn't articulated very well to myself
or fellow secularists). However, at the same time, you made me aware
of my prejudices. You forced me to examine those same complaints I have,
and you made me question how important they were. For example, over
the past five years I have watched a young colleague undergo
two amazing transformations: he has grown from a clumsy, inexperienced
teacher into an inspirational guide of both students and fellow teachers
AND he was
"saved." Your book has helped me to accept both sides of him.
English Department Chair
This renewed my zeal for the Lord, which
had been flagging. I loved the transparency, like I was eavesdropping
on your very private thoughts. This book will touch many lives.
Caroline June, orthodox
Christian, Admin assistant
Both these people show extraordinary courage in confronting
each other. And the writing is a wacky and wonderful ride. I watched my
favorite movie, "Oh Brother Where Art Thou," while reading this
book. And I began to see parallels between a bunch of prison escapees
who are themselves a mixed bag of country bumpkins, born agains, and thinkers,
wandering around a terrain populated by sexy maidens in streams, baptismal
ceremonies, cross burnings, country politicians in full tilt, and haunting
music, versus what these two are trying to do with Fundamentalism, Religious
Science, Ken Wilber, reformed prisoners, Children of Abraham, Muslims,
and a skit where Teri's husband drops his pants in church. And furthermore,
I think I might have gotten "saved" the next day. I had been
working with a mentally ill patient, and it was transforming for both
of us. I drove home along the
Parkway, looking at the lights of DC across the river, and I experienced
it the way my client had described experiences, except that for me it
was ecstatic, and for her those things are fearful. And suddenly I experienced
the idea of Jesus in a whole new way. I am not sure what it means, but
I am looking forward to more chapters as I try to sort this out.
Ed Preston, Interfaith hospital
WOW!! Your book is fantastic!!!! I couldn't
put it down - and when Mike saw me reading it, he asked "what are
you reading" - picked up the first page (I hope
you don't mind!!), sat down next to me, and the two of us sat on the couch
and read while the sunset! You can really write!! We love, and I want
to stress *LOVE,* the way you intermix such deep ideas with juicy personal
stories to keep things lively. We both enjoyed it so much - and look forward
to the next chapter!!
Nancy L., agnostic
Healthcare CEO and her husband, an atheist World Bank economist
This is really am amazing work. It is such
an eye-opening view of New Age thought and may well be the only book some
Christians have (or will) read about the subject. I am not sure many Christians
will come away with a greater acceptance of New Age thought as something
they can embrace, but they will come away with a clearer vision of how
the two belief systems both support and challenge one another. This, in
itself, is a great accomplishment and has potential to help smooth some
of the rough spots between Christians and New Agers.
Laurie Higgs, therapist and Couples
Ministry Director for McLean Bible meagchurch outside DC
I was inspired by
the grace and patience Bishop Thomas shows in trying to reach Teri. And
I guess I was also impressed by her openness in letting him try.
I am sharing the chapters with my Bible Studies group, I hope you don't
Sue Bartlett, Bible studies teacher,
What happens when a left-leaning, New-Age-friendly
critic of Christian faith engages in dialogue with a conservative, Biblical-literalist,
African-American Evangelical preacher? A shouting match? Insults and damnation?
No - something more powerful and hopeful: honest conversation, mutual
and respectful listening, and fresh insights for both parties. If you
honestly think that people don't think honestly anymore, but just react
out of tired old scripts, this book will make you think again. A hopeful
sign on many levels, and a beautiful, well-told, and fun story too - this
book will do you good, whether you identify more with Teri or the Bishop.
Brian McLaren, author/activist brianmclaren.net
I love this Bishop. He really knows the
Bible. But why are you asking all these niggling questions? "Fear
of the Lord" is just an expression. Everybody knows that. Nobody
is actually afraid of Him. I don't understand the purpose of this book.
Could you just send me some tapes of the Bishop, please.
Elodie Ling, Anglican,
retired Birtish school teacher living in the Bahamas