Beautiful and Terrible Things: Faith, Doubt, and Discovering a Way Back to Each Other (Hardcover)

Beautiful and Terrible Things: Faith, Doubt, and Discovering a Way Back to Each Other By Amy Butler Cover Image

Beautiful and Terrible Things: Faith, Doubt, and Discovering a Way Back to Each Other (Hardcover)


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From one of America’s most prominent ministers comes an inspiring, provocative reflection on the necessity of community, the inevitability of conflict, and the transformative power of radical love.

“I so love and admire the work and witness of Pastor Amy Butler.”—Anne Lamott

“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid,” said theologian Frederick Buechner. Pastor Amy Butler, the first woman at the helm of New York’s historic Riverside Church, knows firsthand that to navigate such a world, one must be courageous, honest, and compassionate. In Beautiful and Terrible Things, Pastor Amy draws on the most meaningful, challenging, and soul-shaking moments of her own life to offer larger lessons on theology and relationships.

Pastor Amy grew up in a conservative Evangelical family in the diverse culture of the Hawaiian Islands. As she realized she was more inclined to be a pastor than to marry one, she began an unlikely journey, breaking one stained-glass ceiling after another. Holding increasingly high-profile ministry positions in New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and New York City, Amy weathered rigidly unwelcoming congregations and enormous trials, ultimately learning that only the radical love of community could generate healing. As she describes her experiences leading a church to publicly affirm its LGBTQ community members, losing a child, and undergoing an unexpected divorce, Amy offers a thoughtful lens on all the ways life can push us to see the world from another’s perspective. In her signature compassionate, witty voice, she offers fresh, nonjudgmental perspectives on faith—which, at its most beautiful expression, allows for the possibility that there is more than one way to experience God.
Rev. Dr. Amy Butler is the founder of the philanthropic initiative Invested Faith. She previously served as the first woman senior minister of The Riverside Church in New York City, senior pastor of Calvary Baptist Church (D.C.), associate pastor at St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, and intentional interim minister at National City Christian Church (D.C.). Pastor Amy holds degrees from Baylor University, the International Baptist Theological Seminary, and Wesley Theological Seminary. A mother of three children, she currently lives in Hawaii.
Product Details ISBN: 9780399589485
ISBN-10: 0399589481
Publisher: The Dial Press
Publication Date: October 3rd, 2023
Pages: 240
Language: English
“When I survey the state of institutional religion today, I find so many reasons to despair. But as Amy Butler reminds us, the church is not God. Informed by her deeply personal experiences, Beautiful and Terrible Things casts a vision for a wide-armed faith that is capable of making sense of these fractious and chaotic times. She fearlessly navigates white-hot cultural debates—from abortion to LGBTQ inclusion—with grace and humility, eschewing extremes and forging common ground. If you feel spiritually unmoored or religiously disillusioned, you’ll find more than a mustard seed of hope in the pages of this book. Amen and amen.”—Jonathan Merritt, award-winning author and contributing writer for The Atlantic