"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: February 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012


"Later, in my adulthood, I will . . . understand that I wasn't equipped, as a child, to make room for arguments that would undermine every single choice made for me, that would shatter the foundations of my very existence. I would see that I had to believe everything I was taught, if only to survive. For a long time, I wouldn't be ready to accept that my worldview could be wrong, but I do not look back with shame on my ignorance. It was that innocence that (grandfather) tried to distill in me, the sweet, childlike naivete of my ancestors that is supposed to to last on into adulthood and even old age, and that I would eventually shed almost all of, except the very basic root of it at the heart of my nature. years later, even when I gazed at the world with eyes wide open, I would still be innocent in my heart." This is a quote from "Unorthodox, The Scandalous Rejection of my Orthodox Roots," by Deborah Feldman, which I've recently downloaded to my Kindle, where it joins "Leaving the Saints," by Martha Beck. (Is there a term for this genre? Heretic narrative?)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Monday, February 06, 2012

New Book on Laestadianism: An Examination of the Pearl

A reader recently brought this e-book to my attention. I haven't read it yet, but it looks like a very interesting and in-depth look at all the main branches of Laestadianism as well as a critique not only from a theological standpoint but also discussing sexual abuse within the church and other important issues.

The book is available for free from the author's web site, as well as for a nominal fee from Amazon and other e-book retailers.

While there have been a few English language books about Laestadianism in recent years (most notably A Godly Heritage and Hepokoski's research immediately come to mind) Suominen's work looks to be uniquely focused on critique as well as research.

For more information about An Examination of the Pearl, by Edwin A Suominen, see http://examinationofthepearl.org/

An Examination of the Pearl is a study of the doctrine and history of Conservative Laestadianism, a small, exclusivist Christian group that is organized in Finland and North America as the SRK and the LLC, respectively. The book also looks at the teachings of Martin Luther, early Christianity, Christian fundamentalism and sectarianism, and the Bible. ... This book is an honest and unflinching examination of the pearl that Conservative Laestadianism puts on offer as the Kingdom of God. It is a study not just of that obscure revival movement from 19th century Lapland, but also of Martin Luther, fundamentalist and sectarian Christianity, and the Bible itself. ... There are many such unexamined and fearful faiths competing in the marketplace of religion, some of them also claiming to be the truth outside of which no one will be saved. And without critical reflection like that found in this book, each one is a self-sustaining doctrinal bubble that quivers unsteadily in the air, vulnerable to being poked by the slightest intrusion of fact.