I've read a lot of books but only a few have really left me thinking, returning back to their pages for reference and recollection, long after their last pages were turned. "Confessions of a Christian Dropout", written by author and former pastor William Huffhine is one such book. It is a refreshingly honest account of one man's struggles as he grapples with taking hold and experiencing the limitless possibilities God offers us in the sometimes severely limiting world of organized religion.
His confessions begin in early childhood as he retells the account of his first baptism and the real reason behind it. He continues his tale of seeking God by taking readers through the doorways of Christianity's many denominations-from Methodist, to Baptist, to non-denominational and Pentecostal churches. He's left his soul's footprints all along the organized pathways of Christianity as he has travelled seeking truth, answers and a connection with God.
In his book, Huffhine is not afraid to ask the difficult questions. The kind few of us would dare look into the eyes of a pastor and utter yet a lot of us have had running through our wondering minds more than once. I identified with many of these questions and I know many others will find their own inner inquiries echoed within the pages of his book, providing a very refreshing read. He relates well with readers who love Christ but feel conflicted with what the Church represents and has to offer us today. Huffhine asked these questions to himself when he was both a member of various churches and a pastor of a church. It was only when he could break free and ask these questions openly that he found a greater sense of freedom in his journey to question, probe and seek.
His questions are the kind that can run us into the walls of doubt, or cynicism or even the lonely emptiness that can arise out of thinking we've been altogether abandoned by God in our journeys in seeking Him. These questions are what allowed Huffhine to break free from the entangled snare in which organized religion had bound him, constricting the muscles of his spiritual heart to flow freely on its own accord. Once untethered he was liberated to pursue God at full sprint rather than on a measured leash.
"My spiritual journey, particularly these last few years, has led me to believe that the way of the Spirit is far too grand, too expansive, too majestic, and too mysterious to be contained within the walls of a religion. There is, indeed, much more on the other side of the artificial horizon that has been created by man to keep me safely within the evangelical Christian fold. p. 91
Throughout his book, Huffhine's bold questions, candid and thoughtful reflections towards what the Scriptures offer us for answers, maintains a strong conviction towards the core doctrines of the Christian faith and a clear reverence for God's Word while at the same time explores the possibilities of perceiving a deeper sense of reality surrounding God and His ways. In all of his views, Huffhine uses Scripture to support them.
" And you may think that this has weakened my belief in the God of the Bible. You would be wrong. I write these final pages more convinced than ever that the God of the Garden, the one whom John identified as the Word made flesh, is truly the God calling out to all men to return to him. And echoes of that original truth still linger in the hearts, minds and words of men and women in every civilization, in every corner of the world, and in every belief system. Where we, and they, go wrong is when we set up camp at a destination and abort the journey, before arriving back in the presence of the One who first looked upon us and said, 'They bear my image.'.". p. 93-94
Huffhine is not done inspiring and encouraging other believers of Christ who wish for something deeper in their experiences with God and long to walk honestly through their questions to find answers. He invites all who read his book to join him on his journey and to share their own. You can do that by visiting his blog: www.christiandropout.com and sharing your story while learning more about his. I have found his articles insightful and thought provoking and his reflections have the ability to resonate well within the hearts of those who are seeking spirituality in a religion that has run dry for so many. See what they have to offer you.
I would highly recommend this book. It flows well and fluently and does what all great books do, makes one think long after the last page is turned.
Note: If you liked this review and enjoy the author's website stay tuned! I will be conducting a podcast interview with him as well as have posts which feature passages from his book!
Any thoughts? I'm sure you have some! Please leave them in the comments section! Thank you!