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Finding Faith, Losing Faith: Stories of Conversion and Apostasy
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Finding Faith, Losing Faith: Stories of Conversion and Apostasy

by ,

Baylor University Press 2008

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Finding Faith, Losing Faith examines conversion stories as told by people who have actually undergone a conversion experience, including experiences of apostasy. The stories reveal that there is not just one “conversion story.” Scot McKnight and Hauna Ondrey show that “conversion theory” helps explain why some people walk away from one religion, often to another, very different religion. The book confirms the usefulness—particularly for pastors, rabbis, and priests, and university and college teachers—of applying conversion theory to specific groups. However, the book’s sensitive detailing of the stories themselves makes conversion more than a theoretical occurrence; it makes the immediacy—and often the difficulty—of conversion both real and moving.

In the Logos edition of Finding Faith, Losing Faith, all Scripture passages link to your favorite Bible translation in your library. With the advanced search features of Logos Bible Software, you can perform powerful searches by topic or Scripture reference—finding, for example, every mention of “apostasy” or “Galatians 3:10–14.”

Key Features

  • Examines conversion stories
  • Analyzes conversion theory
  • Addresses various types of conversion (Catholic, Protestant, Jewish)


  • Conversion: What Really Happens?
  • Leaving Church, Finding Freedom: Anatomy of Apostasy
  • Leaving the Synagogue, Finding the Church: When Jews Become Messianic Jews
  • Leaving Rome, Finding Wheaton: Catholics Behaving Protestantly
  • Leaving Wheaton, Finding Rome: The Improbable Conversion of Evangelicals to Catholicism

Praise for the Print Edition

To have apostasy, Messianic Jews, and the journeys of Catholics to Protestantism, and Protestants to Catholicism is striking and provocative, stirring deep reflection on the faith journeys of courageous people who leave the faith of their families to become a part of a tradition that may be held in suspicion or even contempt by their previous communities of faith. It is also a major accomplishment for McKnight and Ondrey to include so many stories and hence resources in this rather brief book.

—Lewis Rambo, research professor of psychology and religion, San Francisco Theological Seminary

McKnight and Ondrey have produced a fascinating read. The stories they tell are both interesting and informative, exploring the conversion ‘traffic’ in several directions. In the midst of these narratives they also attempt to find some common paradigms that make sense of the diverse landscape that characterizes religious life and experience in the North American setting.

—John R. Franke, Charles and Helen Layfield Theologian in Residence, First Presbyterian Church, Allentown, PA

This book is not an abstract sociology of conversion. It tells stories of conversion with empathy, and with a richness of detail and anecdote that keeps these converts real. But McKnight and Ondrey don’t just narrate. They are at their best when they show how each type of conversion (Christian to non-Christian, Jew to Christian, Catholic to evangelical, evangelical to Catholic) has its own characteristic crises and its own distinctive sub-plots.

—Bruce Hindmarsh, James M. Houston Professor of Spiritual Theology, Regent College

Product Details

  • Title: Finding Faith, Losing Faith: Stories of Conversion and Apostasy
  • Authors: Scot McKnight and Hauna Ondrey
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 260

About the Author

Scot McKnight is Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies at North Park University, Chicago, Illinois. His many other books include The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others; A Community Called Atonement; NIV Application Commentary volumes on Galatians and 1 Peter; and (co-edited with James D. G. Dunn) The Historical Jesus in Recent Research.

Hauna Ondrey is currently an MA candidate in theology at North Park Theological Seminary.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition