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Official Review: Transforming Faith by Fred Howard

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.

Official Review: Transforming Faith by Fred Howard

Post Number:#1 by ReadingRebecca
» 09 Nov 2017, 19:05

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Transforming Faith" by Fred Howard.]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by ReadingRebecca
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Transforming Faith: Stories of Change from a Lifelong Spiritual Seeker by Fred Howard encapsulates the author's journey from accepting a faith he was taught to building his own faith from observations of people, life and situations. He begins by telling how he entered a group of born-again Christians in college while seeking friendship and acceptance. After some time, he began asking questions about their faith, questions that often had pat answers or no answer except for blind belief in what they had taught him. Howard did not back down and instead pushed conversations past the parroted answers, driving ever deeper to get at the truth. He found the Golden Rule particularly intriguing. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If he didn’t like people trying to convert him to their beliefs, then would it not be wrong to do the same to others? Howard tells how he kept pushing the boundaries of accepted questioning until he started to find the answers he sought.

Howard gained new perspective by studying various peoples and groups. He writes about his new insights in five sections in his book: imagination, faith, compassion, God and Christianity. My favorite section was the one on faith. Howard explores so many interesting lines of thought; it would be impossible to cover them all. So, I’m going to focus on my favorite one.

In Part II: Faith, Howard talks about three stages of faith: adopted faith, individuating faith and holistic faith. Adopted faith often comes through what we were taught to believe as children. As we grow up, some of us reach a point of questioning this faith and reaching out for something that suits us more specifically. This is individuating faith. This is where some people proclaim themselves as agnostics, atheists, etc. Then there are some who move past the need to express themselves through a unique faith, and they see the value in some of the things they had first believed in their adopted faith. They look at previous doctrines and beliefs in a more objective manner and choose to accept those things that have value to them. They do not judge the beliefs by the people who imparted them but rather see the good where there is good. These are the people who have come to a holistic faith, a faith that can see everyone as having value and can apply understanding and compassion to all people, no matter if they share the same beliefs or are at polar opposites.

This section on faith spoke to me deeply. Like the author, I was in a group of born-again Christians and taught a view of God that really didn’t make sense to me after I became an adult. Six years ago I completely relocated in an effort to search for something that made more sense. I’ve spent the past years learning, unlearning, seeking, meeting with disappointment. Then I read Fred Howard’s book. Even though he ends up in a denomination that I don’t know I wholly agree with, I felt that he understood me. His journey made sense out of so many questions I have had over the last decade. I am so grateful I came across his book.

I found his book well-written and easy to read. Howard begins each chapter with a story that helps the reader connect to a specific insight he learned. This technique makes for a smooth flow and keeps the reader’s interest. I found no mistakes in the book. The writing was clear and professionally edited in my opinion. As is often the case with non-fiction, the book contained front matter and back matter. Even the formatting of the intro, preface, contents and bibliography was professional. I was quite impressed with the book overall.

Due to this excellence and the overwhelmingly positive experience I had with the book, I give it 4 out of 4 stars. There was nothing at all that I disliked about the book. Those who do not care for non-fiction or “religious-type” books may not enjoy it as well as I did. I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever questioned traditional faith or traditional views of God. Since I was reading this book for review, I had to complete it within a time limit. I would recommend taking your time reading it and enjoy one chapter at a time. Let it soak in until you are ready for the next one. Even with having to read the book faster than I may have preferred, it was still an amazing and life-changing experience for me.

Even if you are not looking for a life-changing experience, you may come away from reading this book with a feeling that at least one other person understands your doubts and questions. And perhaps, because you now feel that someone cares, you’ll come away changed after all.

******
Transforming Faith
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Re: Official Review: Transforming Faith by Fred Howard

Post Number:#2 by juliusotinyo
» 10 Nov 2017, 05:47

I enjoyed your review. The way you personalized the experience is most appealing. I too had similar challenges and asked similar questions. Although I can't say am there yet, I do believe am in the right course for myself. I love these types of topics, great review.
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Re: Official Review: Transforming Faith by Fred Howard

Post Number:#3 by kandscreeley
» 10 Nov 2017, 09:59

It's always encouraging to read the life stories of others and their faith. Sounds like this is a good one. Thanks for the review.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway
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Re: Official Review: Transforming Faith by Fred Howard

Post Number:#4 by Ajiks
» 10 Nov 2017, 11:20

The review is quite fascinating. I have a personal experience on the subject of faith based on a book titled "Exploits of Faith" authored by Dr/Bishop David O.Oyedepo. As I put to practice his ideas based on the Christian Faith, I received my healing.

At first I was as sceptical as the reviewer on the subject matter. But today, I have a different perspective on it. Its a great review indeed.
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Re: Official Review: Transforming Faith by Fred Howard

Post Number:#5 by ReadingRebecca
» 10 Nov 2017, 12:38

juliusotinyo wrote:I enjoyed your review. The way you personalized the experience is most appealing. I too had similar challenges and asked similar questions. Although I can't say am there yet, I do believe am in the right course for myself. I love these types of topics, great review.

Thank you, Julius. Yes, I completely agree. I think that's what I liked about this book--teaching that faith is a continuing growth process. That made me feel so much better about my own journey.

-- November 10th, 2017, 12:39 pm --

kandscreeley wrote:It's always encouraging to read the life stories of others and their faith. Sounds like this is a good one. Thanks for the review.

Thanks, kandscreeley. I appreciate your comment.

-- November 10th, 2017, 12:43 pm --

Ajiks wrote:The review is quite fascinating. I have a personal experience on the subject of faith based on a book titled "Exploits of Faith" authored by Dr/Bishop David O.Oyedepo. As I put to practice his ideas based on the Christian Faith, I received my healing.

At first I was as sceptical as the reviewer on the subject matter. But today, I have a different perspective on it. Its a great review indeed.

Wow, that's an awesome story, Ajiks. That's the most important message in my opinion, that there is healing in this area. Thanks so much for sharing your experience and some further reading material. Hopefully this page will be an encouragement for anyone who is suffering from the pain that religion has caused for so many. Thank you for your comment.
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Re: Official Review: Transforming Faith by Fred Howard

Post Number:#6 by Miriam Molina
» 10 Nov 2017, 13:02

I believe in the freedom of choice. We should respect each other's choices. The golden rule is common ground.

I read the author's Children of Covenant which I rated 4 stars. It's also an inspiring and enlightening book.

Thanks for the testimony, Reading Rebecca!
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Re: Official Review: Transforming Faith by Fred Howard

Post Number:#7 by ReadingRebecca
» 10 Nov 2017, 13:12

Miriam Molina wrote:I believe in the freedom of choice. We should respect each other's choices. The golden rule is common ground.

I read the author's Children of Covenant which I rated 4 stars. It's also an inspiring and enlightening book.

Thanks for the testimony, Reading Rebecca!

Yes, well said, Miriam. Focusing on our differences does not help us to take steps towards being more understanding with each other.

I like this author's work and the compassion he has towards others. I might check that one out. Thanks for mentioning it.
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Re: Official Review: Transforming Faith by Fred Howard

Post Number:#8 by Mercy Bolo
» 11 Nov 2017, 04:21

It is unfortunate that those who follow religion blindly are often the most vocal. I like that Howard went on a learning expedition to deepen his knowledge. This story provides much needed insight to those who seek it.
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Re: Official Review: Transforming Faith by Fred Howard

Post Number:#9 by ReadingRebecca
» 11 Nov 2017, 14:19

Mercy Bolo wrote:It is unfortunate that those who follow religion blindly are often the most vocal. I like that Howard went on a learning expedition to deepen his knowledge. This story provides much needed insight to those who seek it.

You said it very well, Mercy. I came from the type of people that give religion a bad name. I am extremely thankful to have found Fred Howard's book. He definitely gave me the insight I needed to proceed with growing my faith. Thank you for your comment.
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Re: Official Review: Transforming Faith by Fred Howard

Post Number:#10 by Abodunrin
» 14 Nov 2017, 13:22

I particulate loved your review , it showed you really got into the book and one could tell it imparted you positively because of this I would have to read the book.
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Re: Official Review: Transforming Faith by Fred Howard

Post Number:#11 by ReadingRebecca
» 14 Nov 2017, 19:58

Thank you, Abodunrin. Yes, I was really influenced by it. I hope you enjoy it too.
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