Losing My Religion

Losing My Religion

How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America--and Found Unexpected Peace

Book - 2009
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William Lobdell's journey of faith--and doubt--may be the most compelling spiritual memoir of our time. Lobdell became a born-again Christian in his late 20s when personal problems--including a failed marriage--drove him to his knees in prayer. As a newly minted evangelical, Lobdell--a veteran journalist--noticed that religion wasn't covered well in the mainstream media, and he prayed for the Lord to put him on the religion beat at a major newspaper. In 1998, his prayers were answered when the Los Angeles Times asked him to write about faith.

Yet what happened over the next eight years was a roller-coaster of inspiration, confusion, doubt, and soul-searching as his reporting and experiences slowly chipped away at his faith. While reporting on hundreds of stories, he witnessed a disturbing gap between the tenets of various religions and the behaviors of the faithful and their leaders. He investigated religious institutions that acted less ethically than corrupt Wall St. firms. He found few differences between the morals of Christians and atheists. As this evidence piled up, he started to fear that God didn't exist. He explored every doubt, every question--until, finally, his faith collapsed. After the paper agreed to reassign him, he wrote a personal essay in the summer of 2007 that became an international sensation for its honest exploration of doubt.

Losing My Religion is a book about life's deepest questions that speaks to everyone: Lobdell understands the longings and satisfactions of the faithful, as well as the unrelenting power of doubt. How he faced that power, and wrestled with it, is must reading for people of faith and nonbelievers alike.

Publisher: New York : Collins, c2009.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780061626814
Branch Call Number: 277. 3082092 LOB L
Characteristics: viii, 291 p. ; 24 cm.

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I found this book riveting and fascinating. Veteran journalist William Lobdell was in his early twenties when he became a born-again Christian. At the time, few reporters were interested in the religion beat – a topic regarded as an antiquated arena for fading journalists. Lobdell had a vision for this position however, and landing it became a powerful calling. He prayed and waited years for the opportunity. Then it happened in 1998. The Los Angeles Times hired him for the job and he felt his prayers were finally answered.

For eight years he travelled extensively, looking for inspirational stories in all walks of life, as well as interviewing some of the world’s most prominent religious leaders. However, he continually found disturbing discrepancies between the tenets of the various faiths, and the actual behaviour of the faithful and their leaders. Eventually, he let go of his faith and surprisingly, found more peace in “the truth.” This book is not a defence of atheism using hard science, instead it is a passionate, spiritual journey full of revelations – a must read for anyone grappling with all the hard questions.

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