By: Andrea P. Dilley
Not long ago, my husband and I read Ken Ham’s book, Already Gone: Why Your Kids Will Quit Church and What You Can Do To Stop It. In it, Ken Ham talks about the primary reason many young adults (and perhaps even teens) just give up on sitting in pews. It’s not the music. It’s not the lack of “cool factor” or entertainment on the sanctuary stage. Usually, it’s because they’re fed up with pat answers that never truly address their deep faith questions.
Andrea Dilley’s memoir of faith discovery could be a personal testimony for Ken Ham’s argument. She grew up in the church, even as a child of Quaker medical missionaries in Africa, and did everything good church girls are supposed to do. Baptized? Check. Church camps? Check. Sing with the youth band? Check.
But she had questions about God, evil, faith and the Bible. Fortunately, she had a dad and some professors who didn’t shun her for searching. They shared their own faith journeys, patiently answered her questions and aided her as she sought the answers for herself. They gave her room to discover God without giving up on her in shock and horror during her “wayward years.”
This is a great challenge to those of us with kids or who teach children in our churches. It’s not enough when a student asks, “How could all those animals fit on the ark?” to just say, “Well, I don’t know, but that’s just what the Bible says.” Instead, let’s do the research. Let’s be prepared to meet good questions with good answers.
For those who dislike the memoir genre, this book won’t change your mind. She’s not sharing high-flying adventures here or keeping you on the edge of your seat with her risk-taking life-style. This is a book patterned after Pilgrim’s Progress, a journey of faith, complete with conversations, journaling, friendships, college classes, and family dinners. I enjoyed the opportunity to hear her honest thoughts about why she left the church and what made her return.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”