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The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert

by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield

Publisher's Book Information - Original book edition

Publisher's Book Information - Expanded book edition

Rosaria, by the standards of many, was living a very good life. She had a tenured position at a large university in a field for which she cared deeply. She owned two homes with her partner, in which they provided hospitality to students and activists that were looking to make a difference in the world. There, her partner rehabilitated abandoned and abused dogs. In the community, Rosaria was involved in volunteer work. At the university, she was a respected advisor of students and her department's curriculum. And then, in her late 30s, Rosaria encountered something that turned her world upside down-the idea that Christianity, a religion that she had regarded as problematic and sometimes downright damaging, might be right about who God was, an idea that flew in the face of the people and causes that she most loved. What follows is a story of what she describes as a "train wreck" at the hand of the supernatural. These are her secret thoughts about those events, written as only a reflective English professor could.

Rosaria’s story was unknown until she was featured in a January 2013 Christianity Today article, which has been read by more than 1.7 million people. That same month she was interviewed by WORLD magazine’s Marvin Olasky, and the video went viral.

The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: Expanded Edition

This edition features over 50 pages of bonus material, including:

Open letters from Rosaria
Pastor Ken Smith's story of reaching out to Rosaria
Pastor Kent Butterfield's testimony of hospitality
Psalm selections to sing

Our Price: $13.00
Author: Rosaria Champagne Butterfield
Publisher: Crown & Covenant
Binding: Paper
Pages: 208

Stock Status:In Stock
Product Code: MIS86

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Kindle Version available




1. Conversion and the Gospel of Peace

2. Repentance and the Sin of Sodom

3. The Good Guys: Sanctification and Public Worship

4. The Home Front: Marriage, Ministry, and Adoption

5. Homeschooling and Middle Age

Expanded Edition Features

Reaching Rosaria

Our Shared Journeys

Letters from Rosaria

Frequently Asked Questions




Are you an evangelical?” The voice on the phone pressed on. “What do you believe about the Bible?” I had written her a letter inquiring about how such as I, a local pastor, could be sure that the university students in our city at least knew what the Bible says, regardless of whether or not they believed it. As a professor in the English department, she was responding. But I was surprised by her questions. She was—a fact I learned later—interviewing me! The questions and dialogue on the phone continued for some time. It was friendly interchange, and with the next question I posed this response: “Dr. Champagne, I think that question should be considered in front of our fireplace following one of my wife’s good dinners. How does that sound?” She enthusiastically responded, “That sounds wonderful!” And so began a friendship which my wife and I have treasured and regarded as a gift from God. It wasn’t long before Rosaria was frequenting our table, always bringing something: cheese, freshly baked bread, and always an eager mind. What great conversations we had! As an English major in college, I relished these discussions with someone so cognizant of current authors. But much of our conversation related to the topics about which we had first spoken: the Bible, theology, and worldviews. She became very dear to us. What follows is her story. From our early acquaintance, I recognized that our new friend feared no topic, spoke her mind in clear terms, and opened her heart as well as her thoughts. You will find that about her not only because that’s the way she is, but also because that is who she is. Our church in Syracuse had prayed for years for the university. Rosaria is one of God’s gracious answers!

—Kenneth G. Smith

Video Interview

Text of another interview

Catholic Review

Follow-on Book

Praise for The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert


Dr. Butterfield’s story is honest, glorious, wise, and a punch

in the gut.

—Kirk Blankenship, boat14NC.wordpress.com


I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I do not

agree with everything she says; but I did learn from everything

she wrote. It deserves the widest possible readership.

—Dr. Carl Trueman, reformation21.org


Her book shows the power of love and hospitality to soften


—Susan Olasky, World magazine


This is not the angry ranting of someone who has been

wronged by the church. This is the loving instruction of a

mother whose greatest desire is the spiritual maturity of her


—Megan Hill, SundayWomen.com


Rarely have I finished reading a book and thought, "I want

to buy a stack of these to hand out to people." But The Secret

Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, by Rosaria Champagne

Butterfield, is on that short list.

—Sarah White, awonderfulprovidence.blogspot.com


…a genuinely refreshing read by a woman who, it seems,

states and sacrificially acts on her thoughtful and deeply-

held convictions with characteristic boldness.

—Jeremy Walker, reformation21.org

Follow-on Book

Copyright ©; Rosaria Champagne Butterfield 2014, 2017

The Version of this page: 10th March 2017

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