Thursday, April 21, 2011

Book #10: Permission to Speak Freely

Permission to Speak Freely by Anne Jackson

I heard Anne Jackson speak about this book at the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta last year, and I was intrigued by the title and thought behind it.

This book began with one question that Jackson asked on her blog:

"What's the one thing you feel like you can't say at church?"

The response was overwhelming. Confessions started pouring in - affairs, disbelief, addictions, jealousy, resentment, bitterness, depression, anger, and a myriad of other struggles that church members felt they couldn't address in their places of worship without judgment.

Jackson is unbelievably candid in this book. She speaks frankly about her past addiction to pornography and struggles with disillusionment because of past events.

While I couldn't identify with all her confessions, I so related to her feelings of bitterness at church congregations for their treatment of her family. Just like Jackson, my father is a minister, and my family has been on the receiving end of a lot of unfair treatment due to my dad's job. Preacher's children are supposed to just turn the other cheek while some people feel comfortable saying whatever they want about their dad, mom, family, etc. It's tough. It's so, so tempting to want to just walk away from church altogether at times.

I admire Jackon's tenacity and honesty. It's refereshing, and something we could use way more of in Christian circles.


Jon Fakuff said...

This sounds like a very honest and interesting book. Thanks for the review!