Rating: 4 out of 5
I kept seeing people talk about Rosaria Champagne Butterfield’s book THE SECRET THOUGHTS OF AN UNLIKELY CONVERT so much that I felt like I needed to read it for myself. Butterfield recounts her uncomfortable and life-disrupting conversion to Christian faith from a life that was so thoroughly ingrained her that it just wasn’t easy to let go. She was a lesbian, highly involved in the homosexual community, and was even a voice and safe haven for those in that community. She was also an English professor whose focus was also on homosexuality. Christianity was far off her radar something to even be considered a valid way of living, especially in light of its teachings on homosexuality.
Then she experienced what she describes as a train wreck. After befriending a Christian couple and getting involved in the church where the man pastured, Butterfield met Jesus and everything changed. Not magically or suddenly, for Christian conversion and sanctification are a process, but Jesus came in and she could no longer be okay with the life and identity she had been living. My favorite quote in the book is this, “When you die to yourself, you have nothing from your past to use as clay out of which to shape your future.” This book is the story of her conversion, and the messy story of her pursuit of holiness.
I love the authenticity of this book, the boldness to question things that don’t quote add up sometimes in the lives of Christians, and that she makes much of Jesus throughout the book’s pages. Part of her story includes adopting children with her husband and homeschooling thing, giving us further glimpses into her life as a converted follower of Jesus. The only drawback of the book is that it sometimes feels a bit like you’re reading an advertisement for the Reformed Presbyterian denomination in particular. Though I don’t agree with some of the methodologies of the RP church, I did appreciate her willingness to explain why they do some things the way they do.
THE SECRET THOUGHTS OF AN UNLIKELY CONVERT is a book that will draw you into introspection. Conversion can be a messy process because Jesus comes to disrupt a life that is in opposition to him. Butterfield’s story is a beautiful picture of what Jesus can do in the life of someone who surrenders their bankrupt existence to him.
Review copy provided by Crown and Covenant Publications
Photo Credit: Crown and Covenant Publications