The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, an english professor’s journey into the christian faith
2012, 2015 Crown & Covenant
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield
Both titles reviewed by Jack Kettler
I strongly encourage the reader of this review to get both books by Roaria Butterfield PhD. In these works, the reader will find an edifying story of God’s grace and redemption. Dr. Butterfield is a former lesbian, and also, a former radical tenured English professor at Syracuse University. Rosaria’s story reminded me of C.S. Lewis and how some are brought screaming and kicking into the Kingdom of God.
Both of these books are extremely personal. So much so, that you feel like you know her. Not only does Rosaria open her heart, but also her home. I have no doubt that her children will rise up and call her blessed (Proverbs 31:28). She has and is raising a house full of home schooled scholars. She even acquaints us with Murphy and Sally her now deceased beloved dogs.
Rosaria’s heart felt knowledge and fidelity to Reformed theology is awe-inspiring. She is well read in the theology of the Puritans. One of the blessings of both titles is the many gems from the Puritan writers she passes on to the reader. In fact, you could build a good library of theological titles she references. Her intense compassion for sinners, is clear in both works. Her exhortations to her fellow Christians are convicting in a positive way.
As a young Christian Rosaria endured trials that inspires hope in God’s grace. One Christian woman, while preparing food in the church kitchen, asked if it was safe to be alone with her. She rightly wondered if she would always be a marked woman. A former fiancée called off their wedding, within a couple of weeks of the event, an emotional shock few have experienced. He then went on to send letters to all the pastors in the Presbytery, asking them to review his reasons and decision to call off the wedding. I sympathize with her thoughts at this point that she was being scrutinized by a pack of alpha males. Through all of these, and many more trials, Rosaria’s faith did not waiver, but has continued to grow strong.
In her second book, Openness Unhindered, Rosaria takes the reader into some serious studies of sexual identity and politics. She aptly traces for what passes as current knowledge in the areas of sexual identity, comes from Sigmund Freud. Her insights on how to communicate with individuals struggling with sexual sin is noteworthy. Her humbleness and compassion for those struggling with these temptations is ennobling.
There are many important truths that the reader can learn from these two titles. I will use an endorsement from the Rosaria’s second book, since my words are inadequate to do justice to these indispensable works.
From the back cover of Openness Unhindered:
“King Jesus knows just what the church and world need, and just when we need it. When we needed a Pascal; behold, there was Pascal. When we needed Spurgeon, there he was. In his wisdom, Jesus knew that we would need the gift, right now, of Rosaria Butterfield. This book deals with some of the most difficult and incendiary questions with wit, joy, maturity, and, above all, radiating love.
If you’re struggling with sexual sin, this book will help you. If you are gripped with guilt from your past, this book will strengthen you. If you don’t know how to love or bear witness to your neighbors, this book will equip you. Like Jael of old, Rosaria Butterfield wields the tent peg of the gospel against deception and accusation. And with this book she nails it.”
Russell Moore, president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
Rosaria and her pastor husband Kent are leaders in pioneering hospitality ministries in the larger church. Every serious Christian and pastor will profit from reading and having these two books on hand for the needs of ministry. Rosaria is one of the best sources for information on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) movement. I hope that these two books are the first of many more to come from the author.
Be sure to visit Rosaria’s site at:
Mr. Kettler is the owner of http://www.Undergroundnotes.com web site where his theological, philosophical and political articles can be read.