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Publication Date: 2012
At age twenty-one, Andrea Palpant Dilley stripped the Christian fish decal off her car bumper in a symbolic act of departure from her religious childhood. At twenty-three, she left the church and went searching for refugein the company of men who left her lonely and friends who pushed the boundaries of what she once held sacred.
In this deeply personal memoir, Andrea navigates the doubts that plague believers and skeptics alike: Why does a good God allow suffering? Why is God so silent, distant, and uninvolved? And why does the church seem so dysfunctional?
Yet amid her skepticism, she begins to ask new questions: Could doubting be a form of faith? Might our doubts be a longing for God that leads to a faith we can ultimately live with?
Andrea Palpant Dilley grew up in Kenya as the daughter of Quaker missionaries and spent the rest of her childhood in the Pacific Northwest. Her work as a documentary producer has aired nationally on American Public Television. Her work as a writer has been published in Geez, Utne Reader and the anthology Jesus Girls: True Tales of Growing Up Female and Evangelical, as well as online with CNN, The Huffington Post, and Christianity Today. Her memoir, Faith and Other Flat Tires: Searching for God on the Rough Road of Doubt, tells the story of her faith journey. Andrea lives with her husband and their two daughters in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit www.andreapalpantdilley.com
BreeMichiganAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Great book! I wholeheartedly recommend it.August 13, 2012BreeMichiganAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I 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 who's ever struggled with spiritual doubt, Faith and Other Flat Tires presents the moving story of a former missionary kid whose "mean questions about God" 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 haven't come up with all the answers, in reading this book I'm 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.
Brenda RisnerRuckersville, VAAge: 35-44Gender: female3 Stars Out Of 5Somewhat disappointedJuly 31, 2012Brenda RisnerRuckersville, VAAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 3Value: 3Meets Expectations: 2This memoir was an easy read, despite Dilley's 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 person's story is valid and you can't truly critique someone's truth. Having said that, Dilley's assumptions about others disturbed me. On page 22, she writes, "If I follow the standard testimonial conversion narrative for Christians, what I'm supposed to say next is_" 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 "discover good living." While I agree that this is the path some take, I certainly don't find it the norm or the "standard."
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 "nothing fully satisfied my spiritual need_" (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. Dilley's 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.
AlyciaMoralesNew MexicoAge: 35-44Gender: female3 Stars Out Of 5My Pilgrimage Into the Mind of a DoubterJuly 24, 2012AlyciaMoralesNew MexicoAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 5As 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.
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5well written memoir of questioning faithJuly 22, 2012bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Andrea 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. "I 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." (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. "My 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." (202) "In the search for love, faith, and life purpose, I was failing on all fronts and driving around with three flat tires." (206)
After two years of spiritual wandering, she started going to church again. "I 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." (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, "I still had so many questions - about the doctrine of atonement, the triune God, the purpose of prayer. Behind those questions were buried other questions." (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.
AprylTennesseeAge: 35-44Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5A great memoirJuly 20, 2012AprylTennesseeAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 5Faith and Other Flat Tires: A Memoir by Andrea Palpant Dilley
In this autobiography in the form of a memoir Andrea Dilley explores her road to faith in a very honest and thought provoking way. She uses the book Pilgrim's Progress as a sort of outline for her own journey. This book follows her as she leaves the church, wrestles with her faith in God and who she is, and eventually finds her way home again.
I enjoyed reading about her life and struggles. Many of her thoughts rang true with my own experiences. I also like that she didn't sugar coat her failings and insecurities.
This isn't an intricately written work of literature, but it is a good, quick read that makes you think a little.
I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever struggled with their faith, and even to older teens who may be approaching their adulthood with a few doubts.