Faith and Other Flat Tires: Searching for God on the Rough Road of Doubt
Great book! I wholeheartedly recommend it.
I recently had the opportunity to read Faith and Other Flat Tires: Searching for God on the Rough Road of Doubt, by Andrea Palpant Dilley.
From the publisher: "A story of crisis and redemption for anyone whoÃ¢ÂÂs ever struggled with spiritual doubt, Faith and Other Flat Tires presents the moving story of a former missionary kid whose Ã¢ÂÂmean questions about GodÃ¢ÂÂ lead her to abandon her faith and search for a way to believe again."
While I love many things about this book, what I love most is funny and honest the author is. She bravely documents her bad choices, with honesty and courage. She doesn't hold back and makes the reader ask hard questions about their faith. I know this was the case with me. And, while I havenÃ¢ÂÂt come up with all the answers, in reading this book IÃ¢ÂÂm definitely headed in that direction.
I recommend Faith and Other Flat Tires: Searching for God on the Rough Road of Doubt, by Andrea Palpant Dilley, to anyone who may be questioning their faith.
Disclosure: I received a copy of the book, for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.
August 13, 2012
This memoir was an easy read, despite DilleyÃ¢ÂÂs habit of waxing philosophically. And it is an interesting story of a woman who grew up a missionary kid, became an adult without truly knowing her own beliefs, and her journey back to God.
Right off the bat, I struggled with this book. I believe that every personÃ¢ÂÂs story is valid and you canÃ¢ÂÂt truly critique someoneÃ¢ÂÂs truth. Having said that, DilleyÃ¢ÂÂs assumptions about others disturbed me. On page 22, she writes, Ã¢ÂÂIf I follow the standard testimonial conversion narrative for Christians, what IÃ¢ÂÂm supposed to say next isÃ¢ÂÂ¦Ã¢ÂÂ She goes on to talk about how people growing up in Christian homes leave the church, dabble in worldliness and sin, realize the futility of such a life, return to church, find faith, and Ã¢ÂÂdiscover good living.Ã¢ÂÂ While I agree that this is the path some take, I certainly donÃ¢ÂÂt find it the norm or the Ã¢ÂÂstandard.Ã¢ÂÂ
Also, I was a bit disappointed that her rediscovering faith seemed to have little, if anything, to do with Jesus. She talks about her dissatisfaction with her life, her search for God, and her doubts about God. But even at the end, she refers to certainty in her faith in God, but wavering Christian beliefs. She says Ã¢ÂÂnothing fully satisfied my spiritual needÃ¢ÂÂ¦Ã¢ÂÂ (p. 298). And she seems to liken her life spiritual life to a never-ending desert.
I am a firm believer that if you seek, you will find. DilleyÃ¢ÂÂs story definitely includes seeking. I just find it sad for her that she seems to not be experiencing the love, joy, certainty, and freedom that faith in Jesus Christ provides.
A complimentary review copy and the giveaway copy of this book was provided by Worthy Publishing with no expectation of a positive review.
July 31, 2012
My Pilgrimage Into the Mind of a Doubter
As someone who walked away from my faith during my teens and fell back into it as a young adult, I wondered what it's like to actually doubt God or be skeptical concerning His existence and role in our lives. Because I never really doubted. I strayed.
Which is why I agreed to review this book. After reading Andrea Palpant Dilley's memoir, Faith and Other Flat Tires, I have a much better idea of what doubting God looks like.
I confess, for the first two-thirds, maybe three-quarters, of her story, I couldn't relate. At all. I've never been a missionary kid. Although I went to church as a child, I wouldn't say I grew up in the church. I didn't have that kind of God connection or relationship within the body of Christ. Andrea is literary smart and shares faith comparisons throughout her text. It became a bit heady for me to read through at times. On occasion, I wanted to put the book down and walk away.
But I pressed on. I wanted to know what brought her back home. I wanted to know what grounded her faith in God. I wanted to know her without all her questions and doubts. Did she ever find the truth she sought? Would her pilgrimage end?
Well, not exactly. In her own words, "I wouldn't describe the experience as a conversion or an epiphany or anything else of that kind. [God had visited her in the night watches.] My doubt didn't vanish suddenly and the search didn't resolve. But I did experience that moment of peace." (p. 293)
I suppose some of us will always have questions concerning our faith. I suppose we are all on a pilgrimage, each his own, pressing on toward the goal of the high calling of our faith. Searching for final truths until the day we come face-to-face with our beloved Savior. Whom we shall know in the fullness of His glory when we leave this earth suit behind.
I love Andrea's honesty. Transparency. Her longing to know the answers. I love that she isn't satisfied and must continue asking questions. I love that she is always searching for more of the Truth. I love that she didn't give up on God, because God didn't give up on her. I love that she shares how He pursued her, called her out.
Overall, this isn't my favorite memoir. However, I would recommend it to anyone doubting their faith. A doubter would see it from a different perspective than a solid believer. And I am thankful for her perspective as a doubter.
Please note that I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, Zondervan. I am not bound to giving a good review of this material. However, I think it may bless someone who relates with her quest in seeking the Lord. It is a well-written memoir.
July 24, 2012
well written memoir of questioning faith
Andrea was a missionary kid. Her parents moved to Kenya in 1979, Quaker missionaries. They left Kenya in 1985, when Andrea was seven. They moved to Spokane, Washington.
When she was twenty one, she scraped off the fish symbol her brother had placed on the back bumper. Ã¢ÂÂI was purging myself not of faith necessarily, but of a particular kind of faith and of a Christian culture that I associated with spiritual certainty. I didn't want anything to do with it.Ã¢ÂÂ (89)
She walked away from church when she was twenty three, not knowing if she would every go back.
This book tells the story of her search for purpose, a partner, and a worldview she could believe in. It is written for people like Andrea who find themselves driven by doubt, searching for a place to call home.
She shares her experience attending Whitworth University in Spokane, being a nanny for Jerry Sittsers' children. She frequented bars and led an aimless life. She dated and was disappointed. Ã¢ÂÂMy heart was out drifting in the dark somewhere, alone and untouchable, like a kite whose kite runner had stopped watching and let the string unwind into the air.Ã¢ÂÂ (202) Ã¢ÂÂIn the search for love, faith, and life purpose, I was failing on all fronts and driving around with three flat tires.Ã¢ÂÂ (206)
After two years of spiritual wandering, she started going to church again. Ã¢ÂÂI left for a while, burned out by faith and church. Then I came back, driven by a completely different kind of fatigue. I was tired of myself. Tired of being an overwrought, introspective twentysomething trying to undertake the search alone.Ã¢ÂÂ (233)
Back at church she begins attending a Bible study. She finally found a few answers and the man she would marry.
As Andrea and her new husband drive off to Arizona, Andrea says, Ã¢ÂÂI still had so many questions Ã¢ÂÂ about the doctrine of atonement, the triune God, the purpose of prayer. Behind those questions were buried other questions.Ã¢ÂÂ (297) And so Andrea ends her story, still looking for answers to those hard questions.
Andrea is articulate, sharing her questions about God and faith. Many young people will be able to identify with her searching spirit. This is a good book for the parents of twentysomething children to read. It will help them understand the doubts that plague young people. It will also remind them that we live with doubts, developing the faith that we can live with.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Handlebar Marketing for the purpose of this review.
July 22, 2012