Butterfield, Rosaria Champagne. The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey into Christian Faith. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Crown and Covenant Publications, 2012. 153pp. $19:98.

I am often asked to share my spiritual journey. People are interested to know what it is like to travel a long journey to Christ. I am often hesitant to oblige. How our lives bear the fruit of Christ’s spilled blood is important. The stories of our lives can serve to encourage and warn others. But telling the stories of our lives is heady business. . .

In the pages that follow, I share what happened in my private world through what Christians politely call conversion. This word — conversion — is simply too tame and too refined to capture the train wreck that I experienced in coming face-to-face with the Living God. I know of only one word to describe this time-released encounter: impact. Impact is, I believe, the space between the multiple car crash and the body count. I try, in the pages that follow, to relive the impact of God on my life (x-xi).

I really enjoy reading biographies and autobiographies but they are usually about significant individuals in history, rarely anything modern. I have hear numerous individuals recommend this book both at conferences and in conversation so I picked up a copy. It was fantastic. Sometimes it is mundane, sometimes raw with emotions and experiences of this life, but from start to finish it is an engaging eyewitness account of what it means to encounter the Living God.

I greatly appreciate her emphasis upon the local church as she mentions the various church families that she was a part of during her journey and how the people there were of particular encouragement and help during various events. I also appreciate her keen insight into church culture as she comes into the church as an outsider and there is much for the reader’s benefit there whether you grew up around church culture or became a follower of Christ later in life. Rosaria’s story is both challenging and encouraging and I highly commend this short volume to you.