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Faith Beyond Belief: Stories of Good People Who Left Their Church Behind

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  46 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Faith Beyond Belief is the GOLD WINNER of the 2013 Nautilus Award in Religion/spirituality - Western Traditions. This prestigious award is granted to exceptional literary contributions to spiritual growth, conscious living, high-level wellness, green values, responsible leadership and positive social change. Nautilus' motto is "Better Books for a Better World"

Faith Beyond
Paperback, 360 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by Quest Books
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Margaret Johnston
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Dear Prospective Reader,

This is my own book, so I am not writing a review per se. Rather it is a letter to prospective readers. Despite the title, this is not really a book against religion. It is an invitation to consider a broader perspective.

Faith Beyond Belief: Stories of Good People Who Left Their Church Behind may not be a book for everyone. If your religion brings you needed comfort against a world filled with fear, or if the thought of questioning religious belief threatens your view of
Lisa Hagan
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What do an ex-Catholic, a former Mormon, a clandestine Muslim apostate and a handful of modern-day mystics have in common? All are good people who have made a similar move beyond the stage of unquestioned belief in organized religion. All have left behind the church in which they were raised and have done the hard, sometimes painful, work of formulating a more authentic belief system that bears the owner's individual signature.

This is the first book to actually show what was in the hearts and mi
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book as a First Reads promotion through The author included a letter suggesting among others, to take times and reflect, and that this book isn’t for people who aren’t ready. As I read, I couldn’t help but agree that some of the people I know, having started such a book wouldn’t have finished after the initial chapters. What a shame. The book is a good starting point that I hadn’t bothered to delve into but am ready to explore.

So stimulated and conflicted. At times
Barbara Christian hanks
May 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Faith Beyond Belief: Stories of Good Pople Who left Their Church Behind" by Margaret Placentra Johnston is fascinating. The first story in the book is about a Mormon leaving the LDS church, and the rest are about people leaving other religions on their spiritual journey.

Johnston analyzes the different stages of spirituality in a very interesting way. She groups the levels of growth into four levels: Lawless, Faithful, Rational, and Mystic, and does a great job describing each one. My favorite q
Kenetha Stanton
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith
I love the way this author lays out the stages of spiritual development using case studies of people who have moved through these stages. The case studies not only serve as illustrations, but they also show how "messy" these stages can be to define given that we all move through them in our own way. We may show signs of more than one stage at once at any point in our journey as we make the transition from one stage to another.

This book was a real encouragement to me to see the way my own spiritu
Phyllis Duncan)
Dec 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a scholarly yet personal work that asks all the right questions and provides a framework for determining where each person is on a spiritual scale. This is for believer and non-believer alike and can perhaps be the impetus for dialogue between such opposites.
Jan 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
I don't think it is helpful or truthful to imply that being non-religious is an immature phase on the path to mysticism. I was unimpressed by how the book simply recycles M. Scott Peck's theory without ever questioning the paradoxes it imposes. If you're a nonbeliever, don't bother with this condescending and vapid book - I recommend The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality by André Comte-Sponville instead.
Nov 19, 2016 rated it did not like it
Wanted to like it; couldn't get through it. Just didn't work for me.
Fred Howard
May 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In Mary Engelbreit’s famous quote, “If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it,” there is the tantalizing suggestion that if we change our way of thinking then things will change. Margaret Placentra Johnston’s book, Faith Beyond Belief, gives readers a clear, concise framework for the process of spiritual growth and development that can change the way we think about it. Johnston, a spiritual guide as well as a practicing optometrist, brings the lens of spiritual development theory ...more
Kevin Saldanha
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelly Smith
May 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was REALLY excited about this book. It seemed like it was just what I was looking for. But I got so tired of the apologetic attitude that I couldn't even get through it. At some point you just have to say, "This is how I feel, and I don't care if that offends you."
Sarah Gibson
Sep 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
The stories are what's best about this book. I'm not a fan of apologetics in general and there was a bit much in this book, to the point that it got repetitive. The stories were enjoyable, though.
Feb 25, 2015 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the personal stories, but the psychological analysis text was bit to slog through at times.
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Faith beyond Belief 2 9 Dec 03, 2012 09:14AM  

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Margaret is proud to announce the publication of her second book. In Overcoming Spiritual Myopia: A View Toward Peace Among the Religions the provincial nature of exclusive belief systems is characterized as a culture-wide Spiritual Myopia. Symptoms of Spiritual Myopia include Personification, Literalism, Fundamentalism, Triumphalism, simplistic Binary Logic and the Need for Certainty. New Lenses ...more

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