Retired Senior Minister of First Christian Church (DOC) of Rome Writes New Book for Those Who Have Left the Faith

J. LeBron McBride, formerly senior minister of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in downtown Rome for 12 years has recently had his fifth book published. He is the author of over one hundred published items and continues to reside in Rome, Georgia.  A licensed family therapist and ordained minister, he has listened for thousands of hours to persons in pastoral care and in counseling situations. This has given him insights into the hurts and pains of sincere persons who are struggling with life and in some cases even with their faith. Dr. McBride’s new book is titled:  “Coming Back to Faith with the sub title: The Journey from Crisis of Belief toward Healthy Engagement Signposts from the Christian Year”.   Find the book on AMAZON.COM.

What let you to write this book?

Dr. McBride:  There are millions of persons who have left Christian churches who have been called the “Church Alumni Association”, to use a term that I believe was first used by the retired Episcopal Bishop, John Shelby Spong.  Many have been wounded or disillusioned in some manner in the church, some have left over a change in theological positions, some have left very unhealthy or even cult-like churches, some have become bored or burned out, and some have simply gradually slipped away.  Some of these dear persons continue to struggle with their faith and have some desire to hang on to or come back to at least parts of their faith history.  I am attempting to assist them in this process.

How do you do that?

Dr. McBride:  This book is not about heavy or minute theology, rather it seeks to hang on to the broad principles, beliefs, and values of Christianity. It is grace and gospel centered rather than performance based.

It is an attempt to not “throw the baby out with the bathwater” so to speak.  In other words, by approaching Christian beliefs in this broad and pastoral manner it may make it easier from some to come back to faith. Maybe in a new manner or with a different orientation, however one that fits for them at this place in their journey.

How do you tie the Christian Year or Christian Calendar into this?

Dr. McBride:   I have training as a credential pastoral counselor and a licensed family therapist so I incorporate practical meditations for living along with the themes that come to us from the Christian Year.  For examples, the Season of Lent that we are currently traveling through provides themes on the call to order our priorities rightly and face our vulnerabilities, the Advent Season provides themes on the virtues brought to us by Christ, and World Communion Sunday provides themes on the importance of diversity and acceptance of each other.

What else would you like for our readers to know about the book?

Dr. McBride:  I believe this book provides an avenue to begin a journey back toward faith or even toward a deeper faith by looking at the grand themes of Christianity maybe without some of the baggage that some of us have been hurt by and disappointed in during our prior faith experiences.  I am hopeful that this book will encourage and enhance the daily lives of those who read it. I think many can come back to faith (with some adjustments--and these are what may make it possible to honestly and authentically come back) and find meaning in the Christian faith again.

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