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International www. Contact Get Help About Blog. How It Works. Engage Faith Press. Pub Date 19 Jun This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived. Description What happens when a devout religious conservative questions his own evangelical tradition using the Socratic principle and follows where the evidence leads? Michael Camp's examination sends him on an illuminating spiritual adventure, a tenacious quest for a vibrant but reasoned faith in God. Yeah, I think I'm the one battling mom jeans. That said, she spoke recently of the enthusiasm that her faith gives her, while her husband has a quiet, more conservative faith; an old school Presbyterian faith.

He doesn't, for example, feel compelled to write a blog about Jesus. Nor does my husband. He struggles with such a strict upbringing, and it has colored his view of organized religion. And the color isn't all happy, sunshiney yellow. So it's interesting trying to find a place that works for both of us. Long story short, my husband has a deep, very centered view of Christ. There is right and wrong. And Christ isn't all soft and weepy with you.

He isn't a man or a spirit who sits by your bed and holds your hand. He is a very serious Savior who commands certain behavior and has very high expectations. And when you screw up, there is a lot of guilt to be paid. With my husband's upbringing, you can't even enjoy screwing up and being bad, even for a moment. Even when you're a kid or a teenager. Because the Jesus of his childhood was very stern and had already ascended into heaven and was with the Holy Ghost by then and they didn't talk about the kid who grew up and challenged, but still loved His parents, when He was a teenager, and a young adult.

There are things in his childhood religion that he struggles with to this day that I don't understand. He has explored more main-stream, less stringent faiths and he likes it and is in for it. But I feel bad for him. Because I think that he may not ever shake those 20 years of guilt and rules and very stringent school and those "mean" ladies Notre Dame Nuns. But to change your view of Jesus. My husband hasn't been visited by my kind Jesus by his bed in a difficult time. I think he viewed growing up with Jesus as a difficult time. I don't think that those stern ladies, or his religion, said to him, as a little boy, or a man, that he could think of Christ as a friend.

And I'm pretty sure he never got the message that he could relax in God's love. That he could just be who he is, and that Jesus would just love and care for him anyway, no matter what he did.


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I think my husband would like my Jesus. And I think that HE would like the guy I'm married to, if they met, by the bedside or in the car or out on the beach or on my deck. Because my husband knows Him as the way, just not as the friend He can be. He has his same God somewhat, which has been working great so far, as his morals and work ethic and dedication to doing the right thing are unprecedented.

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But I just want him to see this new Jesus… The new Jesus who broke the rules and is about love and a way of thinking that isn't about guilt and beating yourself up for being human. This new Jesus who does speak to you — this new, personal Jesus whom you can speak to and pray to by your bed, in your car, in your office… This Jesus who understands your short-comings and your weaknesses and who still loves you anyway.

And yeah, we sin. We sin everyday. We speak ill of people and we aren't always kind and we do things that are downright crappy and we often make horrible choices, but this Jesus that I know doesn't crowd my faith with such guilt. He tells me to realize that when I have screwed up, to ask Him for forgiveness, and to do better the next time around.

He tells me to learn from the experience and be a stronger, more forgiving, more tolerant and humble Christian. He tells me to look harder, to study more earnestly, and above all, to see that I am one among many of sinners. Many in the world, many amongst many trying to figure out how to make it, how to answer the questions, how to live a good life in this world that He has given us, and left us with. I am, in no way, "dissing" any religions. I guess I'm just saying that I see him struggle so. So much guilt for things that I know I am readily forgiven for, just by the asking — I don't have to go to church and say eight prayers that someone else tells me to say in order to be forgiven.

I can just lie in bed or drive in my car with the radio off and confess all my sins and ask Him to forgive me and love me in my weakness — and to help me do better and be better next time. My husband's religious upbringing has made him one of the most honorable people I know… He sacrifices his own wants in order to provide for his children and his wife me and his family — His parents, his extended family… He makes work decisions based on what is best for his family — instead of what might be best for him and "getting ahead" in his career.

I guess what I have realized here is that while I have an emotional, lovey-dovey, all-cry-in-my-car-country-song relationship with Christ, my husband has more of a man's relationship with Him. I'm pretty sure they talk; I know my husband prays a lot… Every night. He prays for our kids and his parents and our future and that we will stay married and that we will keep having fun and that we will keep making each other laugh everyday… And I am pretty sure he prays that he will keep being a good leader of our family.

I love my husband, and I love his religious rules that crop up and the ways we are different. I have a Jesus who speaks to me through sappy country songs and hymns and the plants that thrive on my back deck. And I get that my husband's Jesus is quieter. Remember those old variety shows they used to have show on TV? Sonny and Cher?

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Donny and Marie? Bobby Goldsboro? Hee Haw? Glen Campbell? In our house we watched them all with abandon. We liked the costumes, the silly skits, the singing and dancing, the corny songs Remember his Good Time Hour? You know — starring that good-looking, dimpled red-head who could play the hell out of a guitar and had that smooth easy-listening voice? The Rhinestone Cowboy?

Well, we saw him. Tom has always had a sort of radar for what is hip, even as a child. We liked everything. It made me grin on Saturday night that these two things overlapped for once. Goodbye, old friend! Despite it being a dark and stormy night, the show went on Anyway, the rain slowed and we checked back in at the amphitheatre for an update So in a very short time, Glen and his band — which included some of his children — launched into a stream of hits that squeezed my heart with nostalgia and filled my brain with memories Southern nights if you will sitting in front of the TV flanked by siblings and munching on popcorn.

I do feel like I have known him forever, and so, can call him Glen.

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His voice is as smooth as ever, the songs as catchy, and his guitar playing is still outstanding. Though it continued to rain and thunder, it was a delightful night I had my sweet old memories and a husband of ten years who still likes to make out with me as if we were teenagers. As I sat there and listened to this living legend play, watching the lightning streak across the sky David Byrne was talking about something else when he said "This ain't no party.

And it finally happened Out loud.


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  5. But this is the first time anyone ever said anything And, Ow! That hurt! And this person may not have intended to insult me, but that was the tone in which I took it - kind of snarky, y'know? It's fun for ME, anyway! My initial reaction was to drop out Because, after all, who am I to put myself out there? And even though I try to present my musings with humility — fear and trembling and the like, is it really something I should be doing? Does the world really need or want to hear the freaky ramblings of my addled brain? But you knew that.

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    And I used to have this fantastic friend with whom I used to engage in endless conversations and debates about life and God and all that. We had views that differed widely, and she was a great arguer I am a great avoider of confrontation, so in the early part of our friendship, I was alarmed that we always seemed to get into these intense debates And while everyone loves having friends with whom they see eye to eye on many deep things, it is also good to have friends who challenge us.

    My skin is ever so thin just now Thursday, July 19, My Courageous Confession. And yes, of this film, all of these things are true. That said, as I watched Courageous , which follows a group of men who make a formal vow to be there for their families, I found myself caring about each character, and ultimately, sobbing as they moved through the hard and good parts of their lives.

    I suppose that one does not have to be a subtle or particularly skilled filmmaker to craft a movie that tugs at heartstrings, but I remember when first I saw Forrest Gump — having my emotions tugged first one way then another. Of course, in the case of Courageous , how you see it depends on where you are. A farmer went out to sow his seed.

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    As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil.

    It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy.

    But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.

    So, how you see the movie may depend on how you are. Of course, I am not saying that every single Christian is going to like this movie. My husband, for instance, while a follower of Christ, is deeply suspicious of American evangelical subculture And honestly, sometimes this nerdy stuff hits me just right.

    Because you never really know what is going to touch you. Writer Lauren F. Winner, in her book Girl Meets God , give her conversion story — one of a North Eastern Jewish intellectual who finds herself drawn to the Jesus and to Christianity. These sweet, homey novels feature a small-town, Southern, Episcopal priest and his parishioners — ordinary people doing ordinary things. But they spoke to Winner.