Archives For Joel Watts

Not So Much A Review But A Recommendation

This anthology of intelligent and poignant stories carries an incredible wallop! From Fear To Faith – Stories About Leaving Conservative Churches is a new book written and edited  by Joel L. Watts and edited by Travis Millam.
As I read page after page at lightening speed, I realized that I was seeing myself in all these stories.  The great and gentle-thinking Evangelical, John Stott, said that the difference between a Fundamentalist and an Evangelical was that a Fundamentalist saw scripture through the mind while the Evangelical saw it through the mind and through the Holy Spirit. In fact, the only way to look at Scripture, said John Stott, was through the aid of the Spirit.
I thought I was alone in the cruelty and inhumanity that I experienced through my experiences with a Fundamentalist ministry in the Midwest.  That is why I found this book so transformative! Through this exceptional book, lovingly and thoughtfully edited,  I understood for the first time that one can live a full and rich life through Jesus without being so restrained by the authority of a particular interpretation.The book liberated me. I finally am  free to love Jesus as He would have me love Him. In fact, my faith in Jesus has been affirmed and, in part, restored in reading From Fear To Faith.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with issues of Scriptural Interpretation!

A Description on Amazon

There’s a stereotype of a young, zealous Christian who feels called to the ministry as a pastor, goes to seminary, and then loses his faith as he studies the writings of all those intellectuals and theologians. The stereotype may not be accurate, but there are those who fit this description, not to mention many who leave home for college as passionate Christians and come home unbelievers. More importantly, that stereotype represents a fear the fear that too much education or contact with those whose beliefs differ from those of a particular community will cause someone to lose their faith.

But there’s another group, much larger, but not heard nearly as frequently. This group consists of people who have gone from the position of fear that creates the stereotype to a position of faith, a faith that is no longer afraid of that outer darkness that looms outside the walls of their religious community. Indeed, they may not perceive any looming darkness at all.

From Fear to Faith, edited by Travis Milam and Joel L. Watts, gives voice to that too often unheard group. It is a collection of essays from those who have lived in fear, have faced the looming dark, collided with their share of brick walls, but have come out with a new-found faith and undismayed trust.

The journeys of faith presented in this book reveal a group deeply insightful and grounded minds, rich in thriving spirituality, joy, and hope. Where there was once trepidation in asking the tough questions of human existence, of the divine relationship with creation, there is now a certain hope found when these authors have struggled to overcome canyons of fear, leaving behind a life of black and white certitude, to live in a beautiful world of gray.

They have learned that having questions and even doubts does not reflect a lack of faith. Rather, hiding in fear from the serious questions indicates a lack of faith in the one who said, “Don’t be afraid.”

Come join in this journey from fear to faith.

The Deets

You can check out more about the book or order it on Amazon. I have already heard from a friend  to whom  I recommended the book. She, too,  suffered  through  hateful circumstances under the guise of “Christian Love”. She absolutely loved it.

Also check out Joel L Watt’s Blog, Unsettled Christianity.  Unsettled Christianity has  got a cool and witty moniker – ” One blog to rule them all, One blog to find them, One blog to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.”