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Mandy Smith – Unfettered: Imagining a Childlike Faith beyond the baggage of Western Culture

Brazos Press

ISBN 978 1 578743 5058

212 pages

Price £13.99

This is a fascinating and unpredictable “Evangelical coming of age” memoir. It is fascinating because it is  rooted in careful biblical reflection, honest narrative and sensitive analysis of evangelical spirituality.  

It is unpredictable because it does not follow the well-worn path of post-Evangelical revisionism and angst. Instead this deeply moving memoir, prompted by observing geese flying in a V-formation, shows the author growing up within evangelicalism rather than growing out of it.

Smith suggests that true spirituality is rooted in the way we see and learn. For her it is a matter of paying more attention to Jesus than to herself. The book relates how the author learned to experience the liberation of having Jesus at the true centre of her life. For Smith this is a process of learning how to rest amid the fury of life’s competing demands by adopting a childlike faith that has grasped how to trust and follow our wise Heavenly Father.

“In rest we empty ourselves of our own agendas and our need to control; whatever comes doesn’t have to be entirely our making.”

Read this if you find it difficult to allow you heart’s agenda to be shaped by the agenda of heaven. It does make life easier when we do not think we are masters of the universe.

John Woods is a writer and Bible teacher based in West Sussex. He is also Director of Training at The School of Preachers in Riga, Latvia.

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