Imagine a feminist lesbian english professor who has lived in a committed lesbian relationship for over ten years, hosted various LBGT regional events not to mention smaller LBGT local community gatherings, and is the current faculty adviser for LBGT students… “coming out” in a public speech as a “Christian.” Furthermore imagine that since she is an English professor that she has actually attempted to read the bible with literary integrity and she has come to realize that she must renounce everything she has known to be remade in the image of Christ. Imagine the cost. Imagine the agony. Imagine how people at church might look at her. Then imagine that she somehow is now happily married to a man who happens to be a pastor and is a home school mom to several children who happen to be adopted….Then imagine no more for this is the very real and very raw story of Rosaria Champagne Butterfield. It is the true life story that she shares in her memoir “The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert.”
Mrs. Butterfield is a fantastic writer and offers a very candid look at her thoughts and emotions as she seemingly betrayed her community to become an awkward outsider in the church. She shares about the elderly pastor and wife who offered an invitation to dinner and dialogue. She confronts the needless barriers that contemporary Christianity has placed to the gospel and shares her inner conversation as she noticed her world was changing.
The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert is very engaging and the real life tension keeps the reader glued to the page. There are parts where Mrs. Butterfield journeys away from the tension to offer data that would have been better offered as index reading such as the entirety of her “coming out” Christian speech and the full manuscript of their wedding message. These two exceptions aside the book flows freely from tension point to tension point. Near 3/4 of the way through she leans heavily on the regulative principle and offers an apologetic for how her denomination does hymns. Had this been an issue for me (either dogmatically pro or con) It would have demanded my attention more than it did. The conclusion of the book highlights her families road to adoption and offers keen insight into what it takes to be an adoptive mom.
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