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The recent stories of Josh Harris and Marty Sampson, one the well-known author of I Kissed Dating Good-Bye and the other a Hillsong songwriter, have been scrutinized recently. Some had a bit of a databank of others to draw upon for their observations while others had some pastoral experience with folks leaving the faith. There is lots of speculation, so it seems to me, in what is being said.
Some years back I wrote a chapter in a book on this very topic: Finding Faith, Losing Faith. (One chapter in this book was written by Hauna Ondrey, now a professor at North Park Theological Seminary.) My conclusions were based on months of reading depressing stories of “de-conversion” or “apostasy.” It seems that work can be brought to be bear on what is now being said about these two recent departures from the faith. Much of what is being said of late is based on (overly, narrowly) scrutinizing only these two stories and filling in the blanks with some (too much) theoretical speculation.
Conclusion - End - Study - Person - Faith
My conclusion at the end of my study is that a person apostasizes or leaves the faith to find independence. This autonomy can be intellectual, psychological, or moral (or behavioral) or more than one or all of them. My study leads me to believe we should be looking through the statements of someone like Marty Sampson to what he wants to do, how he wants to behave, to whom he wants to answer. He’s looking for independence for something.
I’ve grabbed a few paragraphs from my chapter in what follows:
Conversions - Apostasies - Apostasies - Conversions - Everyone
Theoretically speaking, all conversions are apostasies and all apostasies are therefore conversions. Everyone who converts leaves a former faith, even if that faith is ill-defined. Everyone who leaves the orthodox Christian faith converts to a different faith, even if that new faith...
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