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Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert An…
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Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert An English Professor's Journey…

by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield

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This is an amazing book on how God transforms lives. The author of this book was a radical,lesbian,tenured English professor. Today she is a Christian, has a husband, and home schools her children. The book chronicles her thoughts as she went through this transformation. In reading this book I was constantly reminded of 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."
I read this book on my Kindle. If anyone else with a Kindle would like to read this book, I can loan it to you. All I need is your email address, and I can send it to your Kindle. ( )
  galoma | Nov 20, 2017 |
This is a forthright and compelling narrative.
I could not put it down!
Highly recommended! ( )
  Theodore.Zachariades | Oct 28, 2016 |
Amazing testimony that shows the power of what can happen when the church does what the church should do. It's short. Read it! You won't be sorry. ( )
  HGButchWalker | Sep 21, 2016 |
I cannot remember where I first heard about this book. I skim about 15 blogs a day and have Twitter and Facebook friends who post cool items all the time, so it is escaping me as to where I first learned about this book. And I am pretty sad about that because I feel an overwhelming urge to thank that person. Maybe it was here, or here, or here. Nonetheless, God, through Mrs. Butterfield and through that recommendation, truly blessed me. Greatly. Immensely. Amazingly.

Here is the publisher's description of the book:
Rosaria, by the standards of many, was living a very good life. She had a tenured position at a large university in a field for which she cared deeply. She owned two homes with her partner, in which they provided hospitality to students and activists that were looking to make a difference in the world. There, her partner rehabilitated abandoned and abused dogs. In the community, Rosaria was involved in volunteer work. At the university, she was a respected advisor of students and her department's curriculum. And then, in her late 30s, Rosaria encountered something that turned her world upside down-the idea that Christianity, a religion that she had regarded as problematic and sometimes downright damaging, might be right about who God was, an idea that flew in the face of the people and causes that she most loved. What follows is a story of what she describes as a "train wreck" at the hand of the supernatural. These are her secret thoughts about those events, written as only a reflective English professor could.

This book is encouraging and moving. It is startling in its honesty and its perspective. This book is a quote machine but it does not sacrifice substance for pith. It addresses a wide range of contemporary issues, not the least of which is how God moved her from Lesbianism and, even more importantly, a post modern skepticism that had left her disillusioned with the central truth claims of Biblical Christianity. The story of her conversion is messy, sad, encouraging and exciting. It is brilliantly written and greatly God-honoring.

I did have a solitary problem with the book. I was concerned with, and put off at times with, how the Regulative Principle of worship was handled. Two issues concerned me. First, the Regulative Principle was presented as the only viable, Biblical approach to Christian worship and that it was definitely the only one that faithfully lived out Sola Scriptura.

Secondly, and much more of an issue, was the fact that I was bewildered to see such an extensive discussion on this topic in this text. I feel it does a disservice to the book and will cause many who take up reading it to put it down and not return. I, personally, love reading about topics such as this and I was still tempted to abandon it because of the time spent on the topic and the manner in which it was approached. Which is sad. The remaining pages are filled with Gospel-drenched counsel, encouraging stories and a call to reach the unloved unlike any I have ever seen. It encouraged me to continue in the path God has placed before me and my family and challenged me in how I reach out to the hurting and the unloved. I praise God that I pressed through on the Regulative Principle pages and saw the gold awaiting me at the end of this book.

Doug Wilson, on his blog, noted something special about the book.
...while the book is relatively short, it is jammed with passing observations that are priceless. She is a wise woman with a good eye. Not only does she have a good eye, she has a trained outsider's eye. She was converted out of the world, and grafted into Christ. Her description of that is glorious. But she was also converted out of one tribe, and grafted into another tribe, a reality which gave her a good perspective on which aspects of our behavior (in the conservative Reformed world) were about Jesus, and which ones were merely tribal . . . and kind of odd. Consequently, there are observational gems throughout the book, usually just a sentence or two, but which could be developed into chapters or books all on their own. Pay attention to those.
I cannot think of a better endorsement than the fact that I have already gifted a copy of this book. And, though my "To Be Read" list is immense(and ridiculously impossible, to be honest), I will read this book again. It is that good. To quote Doug Wilson, "Gosh, what a book."
And Carl Trueman's take is equally appropriate(from a GREAT review of the book),
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I do not agree with everything she says; but I did learn from everything she wrote. It deserves the widest possible readership.
Couldn't say it better myself. ( )
  joshrskinner | Jul 30, 2014 |
A story of conversion to Christ is always refreshing and encouraging, but the story of Rosaria Champagne Butterfield is more than that, it is faith-restoring. Her story reminds evangelical Christians that the saving power of the gospel really is bigger than the contemporary “threat” of homosexuality. The book addresses the homosexual question from the inside out, and illustrates what an incarnated gospel ministry and a church full of people who have the compassion of Christ can accomplish through Christ.

Rosaria Champagne was a tenured English professor and chair of feminist studies, at Syracuse University. She was also an outspoken lesbian. She was up and coming and making a name for herself. But then, she was abruptly stopped in her tracks through an encounter with a kind Reformed pastor who took the time to interact with her on a column she had written in the paper. She didn’t know how to classify his letter, it didn’t fit in the fan mail category, nor was it hate mail. Eventually she was drawn into a friendly exchange with him and slowly he began to shatter her perceptions about Christianity. Over time, she was drawn to faith in Jesus Christ, and slowly came to reject her identity as a lesbian and found new life in Christ.

Her story is told with honesty and charm in an autobiographical account titled "The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor's Journey into Christian Faith." In her book, Rosaria Butterfield recounts her conversion and her growth in understanding the Scriptures. She recounts the struggle it was to be accepted as a redeemed lesbian in conservative Reformed circles. She shares her struggles and misteps in forming healthy relationships, and shares some of her steps on the way to marriage. She recounts her husband’s ministry and her involvement as a ministry partner and home-schooling mother. She also opines about problems she sees in Evangelicalism, including our modern obsession with our rights to sex. She also defends exclusive psalmody in worship.

This “unlikely convert” speaks with a disarming grace, that educates, inspires and aims to help us all change. She attacks the hidden part of us which may loathe the homosexual, and illustrates how genuine ministry will be messy and will prize making a difference above staying safe. Her story is a call to the church to come out of her cocoon and take the saving gospel of Jesus to the world around us.

I listened to the ChristianAudio production of this book. The recording was extra special in that Rosaria read her own book. The emotion and flavor of the audio recording was certainly enhanced with the author as narrator. The book is quite short, but profound. I highly recommend it. It will challenge and inspire, encourage and perhaps unsettle. Above all, it will magnify Christ.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by christianaudio.com as part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program. The reviewer was under no obligation to offer a positive review. ( )
  bobhayton | May 6, 2014 |
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Rosaria, by the standards of many, was living a very good life. She had a tenured position at a large university in a field for which she cared deeply. She owned two homes with her partner, in which they provided hospitality to students and activists that were looking to make a difference in the world. There, her partner rehabilitated abandoned and abused dogs. In the community, Rosaria was involved in volunteer work. At the university, she was a respected advisor of students and her department's curriculum. And then, in her late 30s, Rosaria encountered something that turned her world upside down -- the idea that Christianity, a religion that she had regarded as problematic and sometimes downright damaging, might be right about who God was, an idea that flew in the face of the people and causes that she most loved. What follows is a story of what she describes as a "train wreck" at the hand of the supernatural. These are her secret thoughts about those events, written as only a reflective English professor could. - Publisher.… (more)

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