With Daring Faith: A Biography of Amy Carmichael — new cover, new edition

Many years ago, 35 years ago, to be exact, my first book was published. That is, my first book EVER.

With Daring Faith: A Biography of Amy Carmichael.

Here is the book’s first cover:

And here is the cover it was given a few years later:

And THIS, my friends, is the cover it just received, because it went out of print and I recently republished it. (With everything else that’s going on, I forgot to let you know.)

If you remember this book as one that you and/or your children enjoyed, please consider leaving a review, here. (The former edition had many reviews, but the new edition is just getting started that way.)

Five years ago when With Daring Faith was celebrating its 30th anniversary, I wrote the following :

*****

These days when those who’ve been abused in a Christian context connect with me, it’s not uncommon for me to hear, “Are you the same Rebecca Davis who wrote With Daring Faith? We read that in our homeschool.”

It’s one of those moments of extreme pain and great joy that I get to experience fairly often in my life these days (living in vibrant color as I do rather than in pale pastels).

Extreme pain, to learn that much of the audience I was writing for was such a different one from what I envisioned, because when I wrote it I was completely ignorant of the great cruelty running rampant in homes that claimed to be Christian.

But great joy because I hear things like, “I read that book over and over. It was one of the few bright spots in my life.”

I can’t really take credit for that, of course. I was writing a biography, and the bright spots were the hilarious moments in the life of Amy Carmichael . . . and her determination, and her adventures, and her love for her Lord and for souls.

All I did was make it accessible for children (for the first time, though at the time I didn’t know I was writing the first U.S. biography of Amy Carmichael for children).

She rescued children, you know.

She rescued little children from lives of sexual slavery in the Hindu temples of India.

When Amy Carmichael wrote letters back to her people in England to tell them what was going on in this British colony of India, at first they didn’t want to believe her.

It seemed impossible that anyone would live so barbarically, especially in a British colony, right under the noses of British businessmen and British soldiers.

But it was true. Amy wrote Things as They Are to convince them.

For the majority of those little children, being rescued from the sex slavery of Hinduism and being taken into the loving arms of a Christian, they had no trouble distinguishing what the true God was like.

The love and care and safety shown by His people facilitated their healing.

But for the precious children in homes of great cruelty who read this biography, the distinction has been far less clear.

Those former children, the ones who read my book who have contacted me, some of them have been abused, cruelly, horribly, in homes that claim the very same Christianity as the missionary who rescued children. Sometimes they had received that book from the very parents who were beating them fifty times with a two-inch thick wooden paddle . . . or requiring superhuman work from them . . . or sexually abusing them at night. . . .

So what are they to think of that God then?

And so my heart breaks.

And yet I have hope.

I have hope that these young adults and older adults (because in fact, sometimes it has been the wives and mothers in the homeschooling families who were treated so cruelly and remember this book) . . .

will see and know that the god of their cruel, abusive past (patriarchal or even matriarchal) . . . .

. . . and the God of Amy Carmichael, who dauntlessly rescued children . . .

. . . are not the same God.

 And they will be released, fully released, to follow the true God in Spirit and in Truth, in all the joy and freedom and fullness He promises in His Word.

Jesus said in John 10:10 (His great “Good Shepherd” sermon),

“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

It is my joy, by whatever means I can, to point to Him, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Way to this new life. Those who have gone before serve as examples and encouragements to me.

Thank you, Amy Carmichael.

 

Video Interview about Untwisting Scriptures #4

Hi friends~

I spent some time recently with Julie Roys of the Roys Report discussing my most recent book, Untwisting Scriptures to Find Freedom and Joy in Jesus Christ: Book 4 Wolves, Hypocrisy, Sin Leveling, and Righteousness.

Below you’ll see me in my home office talking with Julie, with my Untwisting Scriptures books beside me.

The plaque that says “I am ALL your armor” sits on the shelf on one side (a precious gift from a friend based on one of my blog posts from years back).

My print of the shepherd dog hangs on the wall on the other side (I have another blog post about that).

In this picture I look like I’m concentrating on something important, but I don’t remember what it was. Click on it to go to watch the interview on youtube.

And as always, please feel free to write to me with any questions. It may take a while for me to respond, but I do always try to get back with everyone.

 

Untwisting Scriptures #4 is Available for Free

Beginning August 9th, 2022, and for about 3 days after that, you’ll be able to get Untwisting Scriptures to Find Freedom and Joy in Jesus Christ: Book 4 Wolves, Hypocrisy, Sin Leveling, and Righteousness as a free e-book download!

Here’s the description of Book #4 from this website’s home page:

“You’re just a stupid sheep,” “You’re the worst sinner you know,” “You always have a log in your own eye.” These words and more have been used to bind and confuse those who are being harmed. Untwisting Scriptures #4 untangles them with joy.

This book also gently addresses the important “pronoun issue” when it comes to Bible interpretation, the issue of “sin leveling,” what the New Testament really means when it talks about “repentance,” and what it really means to be free from sin.

Scriptures can be untwisted. You can walk away from the spiritual abuse of “You Should Only Look at Your Own Sin” without losing a relationship with God. In fact, you may just find a Jesus you never knew.

After all, The Real Jesus is Not. Like. That.

Grab your own copy, and then please let others know!

Here is the

TABLE OF CONTENTS

First Thoughts: About Righteousness and Wickedness

PART 1: God’s Children Are Not Vile And Disgusting But Have Full Access to Joyful Righteousness

1. Does God Need to “Look Through the Filter of Jesus” to See His Children?

2. Are You the Prodigal Son or the Older Brother?

3. Nothing Like the Sheep Sermon to Make You Feel Stupid, Disgusting, and Useless

PART 2: We Can Recognize and Reject Sin Leveling

4. What is “Sin Leveling” and What’s Wrong With It?

5. Pronoun Trouble in Romans 2 That Can Keep the Oppressed in a Place of Bondage

6. Why “I’m the Worst Sinner I Know” Is Unbiblical

7. How Teaching Christians to Embrace “I’m the Worst Sinner I Know” Harms the Body of Christ

8. To Those Who Say All Christians Are Hypocrites

9. About That “Log in Your Own Eye”

PART 3: We Can Be Wise About Wickedness, Wolves, and Hypocrisy

10. Making Sense of the Church’s Epidemic of Abuse

11. On the Proliferation of Wolves in the Churches

12. Don’t “Err on the Side of Grace”

13. Jesus vs. the Vipers

PART 4: We Can Flourish in Our Christian Lives

14. Why “Metanoia” is So Much Greater Than “Repentance”

15. Free from Sin

16. “Look to the Cross More”: A Response to the “Gospel-Centered” Movement

That’s it! I hope you enjoy this book, and I hope it helps you to find much Freedom and Joy in Jesus Christ!

Here’s the Cover and Whole Chapter Listing for My Upcoming Book

If all goes well, Untwisting Scriptures Book 4 will be available on August 8th, 2022.

The full title of the series has changed. Previously, the full title of my Untwisting Scriptures books was Untwisting Scriptures that were used to tie you up, gag you, and tangle your mind.

For this book, the title is Untwisting Scriptures to Find Freedom and Joy in Jesus Christ.

I’m doing the same work as always, but I was ready for the title to be more upbeat and hopeful, and the photo too. So here’s the cover!

I love the gold, and I love how she’s looking up and about to step out of those loose ropes.

Stephanie, the photographer and model who is also an abuse survivor, said, “Looking at this photo last night, I realized that it really does depict where I’m at spiritually now – past the pain and on to loving Scripture and delighting in Christ.”

Isn’t that great? I love that! There are some yucky teachings to untwist, but there is also great hope to be found in our Lord and Savior.

For the first time, I think I’m going to have the audiobook ready pretty close to the same time as the print book. I’ll let you know more about that when the time comes.

As before, I’m grateful to my faithful volunteer readers (from among my website subscribers) who have given me wonderfully helpful feedback and even in some cases have contributed to the book. Thank you!

As promised, here are all the chapters of this newest book in the Untwisting Scriptures series.

Untwisting Scriptures to Find Freedom and Joy in Jesus Christ

Book 4  Wolves, Hypocrisy, Sin Leveling, & Righteousness

 

Table of Contents

First Thoughts: About Righteousness and Wickedness

PART 1: God’s Children Are Not Vile and Disgusting But Have Full Access to Joyful Righteousness

1. Does God Need to “Look Through the Filter of Jesus” to See His Children?

2. Are You the Prodigal Son or the Older Brother?

3. Nothing Like the Sheep Sermon to Make You Feel Stupid, Disgusting, and Useless

PART 2: We Can Recognize and Reject Sin Leveling

4. What is “Sin Leveling” and What’s Wrong With It?

5. Pronoun Trouble in Romans 2 That Can Keep the Oppressed in a Place of Bondage

6. Why “I’m the Worst Sinner I Know” Is Unbiblical

7. How Teaching Christians to Embrace “I’m the Worst Sinner I Know” Harms the Body of Christ

8. To Those Who Say All Christians Are Hypocrites

9. About That “Log in Your Own Eye”

PART 3: We Can Be Wise About Wickedness, Wolves, and Hypocrisy

10.  Making Sense of the Church’s Epidemic of Abuse

11. On the Proliferation of Wolves in the Churches

12. Don’t “Err on the Side of Grace”

13. Jesus vs. the Vipers

PART 4: We Can Flourish in Our Christian Lives

14. Why “Metanoia” is So Much Greater Than “Repentance”

15. Free from Sin

16. “Look to the Cross More”: A Response to the “Gospel-Centered” Movement

***

My daughter asked me, “How many of these books are you going to write?” I said, “I could probably write a hundred of them, but I might stop at five.”

Well, we shall see. For now, I’m thankful that this one is almost ready to go out, and I pray that you’ll find it helpful in untangling tangled teachings and getting to better know the real Lord Jesus Christ, His great salvation, and His gladness to be with His people.

 

Abba and Ashes (guest post by my husband, Tim Davis, for Father’s Day)

Abba

Recently our one-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter, Phoebe, blessed me with an “Abba moment.” But it can’t be fully appreciated without some backstory.

She’s been a shy one—especially toward big men with beards. I’m average size, and I don’t usually have much of a beard, but I’m still a big man to her.

So once she was old enough to come over to our house for stays, she clung to Grammy (Rebecca) and mostly tried to avoid me. She leaned away when I approached, even crying when I tried to hold her. Yes, it made me sad.

She came every week, and we tried to help her get past her misunderstanding of who I was—her Grampy—and I loved her. But she was scared. Continue reading “Abba and Ashes (guest post by my husband, Tim Davis, for Father’s Day)”

Untwisting Scriptures #3 Audiobook Finally Here!

Only seven months after the book came out, the audiobook is here!

There’s no one like me for being johnny on the spot.

Ahem . . . anyway, I’m excited to have it ready for you.

Eventually it will be on Amazon, because that’s the primary platform where most of the world buys, it seems, but if you would like to avoid Amazon and encourage hard-working authors, you can buy it from my Soundwise account, here.

And did I mention it’s only 10 USD? That’s even less expensive than the paperback.

Below is a chapter for you to listen to, so you can get an idea of what the book sounds like. It’s the author reading it to you. (That’s me.) Think of us as having a cup of coffee or tea together.

This is Chapter 14, “Why Are You So Fearful?”

Here is the Table of Contents (you can also see it at this link). The only thing different in the audiobook is the Opening Credits and Closing Credits.

***

  • First Thoughts: My Words & Emotions While I Wrote This Book

PART ONE: YOUR WORDS

  1. Gossip: Part of the Problem, Part of the Solution
  2. “Keep Quiet if Someone Offends Me”
  3. Don’t Tear Down, Just Build Up with Gracious Words
  4. “Speak No Evil”: Slander and the Tongue You Don’t Hear About in Church
  5. “Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness”: Reputation vs Character
  6. Oh, Those Renegade Bloggers
  7. “Why Are You So Negative?” A Response to “Positive”People

PART TWO: YOUR EMOTIONS

  1. Does Reason Really Trump Emotions?
  2. What Causes a “Noisy Soul”?
  3. Helping a “Noisy Soul”
  4. Is it Righteous Anger or Sinful?
  5. Fear in the Bible: Helpful and Harmful
  6. Those 365 “Fear Not” Verses in the Bible
  7. “Why Are You So Fearful?”
  8. Grappling with the “Sin of Empathy”
  9. Growing Up
  • Appendix: Understanding “Moral Injury”
  • About the Author
  • A Note from the Author

I hope you enjoy the audiobook and get to know our Lord better through it. I know I did, as I studied and wrote it. He is a good and loving God.

Our Christian Deconstruction Journey (guest post by my husband, Tim Davis)

Deconstruction has certainly been a common term for a while, with its hashtags often heralding an exit from the Christian faith of the Scriptures. This article from The Gospel Coalition claims that there are 4 reasons for Deconstruction:

— “Church Hurt,” a term that I believe diminishes the significance of the atrocities that are taking place in churches.

— “Poor Teaching,” saying, “Today’s deconstruction allows bad teaching to have the last word.”

It depends, I suppose, on how the deconstruction takes place.

— “Desire to Sin,” saying, “It’s a bummer if someone’s dealing with church hurt and you hand him a stack of apologetics books to read. Those same books will be useless if, beneath the surface, he really just wants to justify his sin.”

It would be almost unbelievable to me to think that a stack of apologetics books would be useful for someone dealing with betrayal by the church if it weren’t that this is TGC. (But of course, we dare not be empathetic, lest we encourage him or her in sin, right?)

— “Street Cred,” saying, “Doubt is hip.”

But doubt about what you’ve always been taught can be and usually is a very, very important part of the faith journey.

For some, “I’m deconstructing” means, “I’m deconverting” or “I’m walking away from the Christian faith.”

But when you look at the real meaning of the word, you’ll see that it means taking something apart (in this case, teachings) brick by brick, as it were (the “construct” part of the word), even down to the very foundation if necessary, in order to see if the structure is sound. And “soundness” would have to be soundness as compared to . . . something.

So, for others, like my husband and me, it can mean, “I’m reexamining the structure I grew up in, which called itself Biblical Christianity. I’m removing the bricks, brick by brick, all the way to the foundation, and seeing how the bricks line up with the Word of God.” (We would add later, “And with the Christian life promised in the New Testament,” but that didn’t happen at first.)

If we look at it this way, then I would agree with others who have said that this is exactly what Martin Luther did with his Roman Catholic faith before leaving the Roman Catholic religion completely.

Back when Tim and I were going through this process, we didn’t think of it as “deconstruction”; in fact, the term “deconstruction” wasn’t around (just as social media wasn’t around). All we were trying to do was understand who God was and what His Word actually meant.

So it took us a while to see that what we had gone through did match with the actual meaning of this term.

My journey was slightly different from Tim’s but complementary, and as we both progressed, we discussed what we each were learning, so that we definitely were making the journey together. Here is our story, told from Tim’s perspective. Continue reading “Our Christian Deconstruction Journey (guest post by my husband, Tim Davis)”

Here’s the Joy Looks Back Over 2021 and Looks Forward

With as full as my life has become, I believe I may have reached my peak of blogging prolific-ness in 2017, with 68 posts. This year it was only 35, but that still felt like a lot to me!

With the exception of my main evergreen post (“Why Did David Lift His Eyes to the Hills,” which always outranks all my other posts by far), this year’s most popular post was one I wrote in 2019, Your Empathy Is a Sin’: A Response to Desiring God.” One of the most poignant comments on it came from an exvangelical who said she was thankful to find a Christian who was refuting this damaging teaching.

Continue reading “Here’s the Joy Looks Back Over 2021 and Looks Forward”