Home Page

Dr Pravin Thevathasan's Reviews page  

Dr Pravin Thevathasan's home page

Review by Dr Pravin Thevathasan

The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert

An English Professor's Journey into Christian Faith
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield
Crown&Covenant Publications

Order from Amazon.com

Order from Amazon.co.uk

Also available in Kindle format

This is the story of Rosaria Butterfield's conversion from a postmodern English professor who was in a long-term lesbian relationship to becoming the wife of a Reformed Presbyterian Church pastor and homeschooling Christian mother. Although she was raised in a Catholic family, it is apparent that she was not given a proper formation in the Catholic Faith. Also, the Catholic clergy she encountered were far from exemplary.

Given that she was a zealous gay rights campaigner at university and a specialist in Queer Theory, her conversion is all the more remarkable. She rightly criticizes those Christians who have nothing but condemnation to offer homosexuals, those who feel threatened by homosexuals and who see them as beyond the pale as far as conversion is concerned. But she is equally critical of those Christians who have watered down their faith in order to accommodate the surrounding secular culture.

How did her conversion come about? Humanly speaking, she encountered a Christian pastor who listened to her and took her views seriously. There was no immediate Biblical quotations and no belittling of homosexuals. The pastor, his wife and regular Bible study were the human means of conversion.

As a result of her conversion, she lost her tenure, her partner and many LGBT friends. Perhaps they might have been able to understand had she embraced the various liberal Christianities on offer, but to become a Bible believing Christian was something else.

Interestingly, she does not identify herself as ex-gay. To define oneself by one's orientation is ultimately reductionist.Nor does she harbour any bitterness towards members of the gay community. In fact, she notes the many virtues found among them. What really matters is an encounter with the Lord. It is the Lord alone who frees us not merely from sexual sin but all sin. In fact, she notes that her biggest sin prior to conversion was not being a lesbian but being an unbeliever.

And, unlike certain Protestants, she does not believe that all that matters is accepting Jesus. Acceptance and on-going repentance go together. Conversion must lead to an examination of all aspects of our lives, including how we treat our neighbour. She and her husband have adopted four African American children.

Conversion means repentance and belief, living the life of grace and modelling our lives on the person of Jesus Christ. I am not sure if the author knows this but this is pretty close to Catholic teaching, orthodox Catholic teaching, that is.

Copyright ©; Dr Pravin Thevathasan 2017

Version: 23rd February 2017

Home Page

Dr Pravin Thevathasan's Reviews page  

Dr Pravin Thevathasan's home page