“My relationship with God was never casual. When it began to unravel, I was going through the ordination process to become an Episcopal priest. I was a youth minister at a church in a suburb of Boston and a doctoral student in theology at Harvard. You might say God and I was engaged and the wedding was planned – church reserved, menu chosen, flowers arranged. Calling it off would be awkward.”
But call it off Sarah Sentilles’ did and she writes about her break up with God, mostly the before and during, with a little after, she walked away from the church, the ministry, and God.
As I read through this book with the decision to write a review of it, I discerned that this review would take one of two tracks – to deal with the theological issues, a key theme in the book, raised by Sarah and respond to some of them. Or, I could respond to Sarah’s journey that her crisis of faith includes and is caused by.
To respond to the theological issues is, to me at least, more suited to face to face discussion and dialogue because I think that when we use the pen (or much more today, the pixel) it can degenerate into an unproductive point and counter-point dialogue. And I will admit that I disagree with Sarah theologically at several points.
But, it is her journey, her anguish, her frustrations, and her anger that has been the bigger draw to me in this book.
To me her story is the story of many young adults of this day, women and men, who are disappointed with, discouraged by, and angry with the “institutional” church. (And it makes me want to ask, with respect and courtesy, which institutional church they mean – Catholic? Lutheran? Methodist? Non-denominational? Evangelical? Fundamentalist?)
Clearly and passionately written Breaking Up With God is both the story of one women’s struggle with faith as well a generation’s struggle as well. A generation that is disappointed with the lack of respect for human dignity
If you read this book from a more conservative theological perspective, listen to Sarah’s story because it is a common story among many younger adults today. They are uncertain, disappointed, and angry. Platitudes and short answers do not and will not satisfy them. A series of long conversations need to be had with them. A conversation, I suggest, that could begin with a reading of this book.
I give this book a “great” read rating.
Note: I bought and purchased an iBook copy of this book for my own personal use and reading.