It can be a scary thing for a Christian to question their faith or the teachings of their their church. The stakes are even higher when you’re a pastor. Josh Ross knows this firsthand.
In Scarred Faith, Josh writes a frank account of his personal experience with doubt and the grief that preceded it. The book’s subtitle simultaneously conveys the light and dark sides of following God: “This is a story about how Honesty, Grief, a Cursing Toddler, Risk-Taking, AIDS, Hope, Brokenness, Doubts, and Memphis ignited adventurous faith. Here, he shares his personal story of loss and why he believes pain can spur anyone, even a pastor, can follow God when it doesn’t make sense.
JM : What prompted you to write this book?
JR: When I sat down to write much of the content in Scarred Faith, I didn’t have publication in mind. Instead, writing was a commitment I made in the season of Lent in 2011 to work through some of my own pain and brokenness. A year earlier, in January 2010, we decided to sell our home in the suburbs of Memphis and relocate in an underprivileged neighborhood in the heart of the city. Within three weeks of making that decision, we were dealt a catastrophic blow with the tragic death of my older sister, Jenny. She was thirty-one, healthy, a wife, and a mother of a precious nine-year-old daughter. A strand of Strep entered into her blood stream and after eighteen days in ICU, she lost her life on February 22nd. In a weird way, her death inspired us to engage Memphis with even more purpose and intentionality.
So, I sat down to write, because I needed space to wrestle with faith questions. For me, the questions weren’t about God’s existence, but his intervention. This project began as a place for me to heal. It was about midway through the season of Lent when I began thinking that maybe I had a story to tell.
JM: Why do so many pastors fear doubt? Why shouldn’t they fear doubt and questions?