Review: The Light is Winning by Zach Hoag + Giveaway

It’s not news that church attendance is in decline. There are a myriad of reasons for this – from being abused and hurt to simply being done with the business of spirituality. As an early millennial, I completely connect with the experience of growing up Evangelical, burning out, and re-finding my faith in a liturgical setting. It seems to be a common theme with Christians in my age-bracket.

_140_245_Book.2316.coverWhich is why The Light is Winning by Zach Hoag is a worthwhile read. Growing up fundamentalist and finding a faith-shift in his discovery of the teachings of John Calvin, Hoag walks the reader through his spiritual journey. From Calvin to John Wesley and more progressive Christianity to settling in the Methodist church, Hoag wrestled with the mix of reconciling the faith he’d experienced in his childhood with the faith he found as an adult.

Hoag is clearly working through his faith journey still. Toward the end of the book, he acknowledges that the very act of writing this memoir has helped him sort through a lot of his experiences – and you can tell. The emotions and hurt are still very much real and at the front of this writing.

But there is a lot of hope woven in, as well. Hoag’s experience is one that likely represents a lot of church-questioners – those who are disillusioned but not quite ready to join the ranks of the dones.

For this reason, I’d recommend The Light is Winning, especially if you’re officially connected with a church. You may not agree with every single reason Hoag struggled with the church but this is his story and his journey and it is worth paying attention to. If you’re wondering why people under 40 are leaving the church, this book would be a good place to start.

How has attending a different denomination revitalized your faith journey? Have you ever felt done with institutional religion?

GIVEAWAY! I am giving away my copy of The Light is Winning. Leave a comment about your experience finding a church home and I’ll randomly select a winner on Friday, July 14, 2017. (United States addresses only.)

I received this book free from the publisher via BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion.


Published by

Annie Rim

Welcome! I live in Colorado with my family and have taught in the classroom, at an art museum, and now in the playroom. I reflect about life, faith, and books here on my blog.

7 thoughts on “Review: The Light is Winning by Zach Hoag + Giveaway”

  1. Annie I wish fervently we could find a Church home so this unqualify’s (is that a word) for your contest … we’ve moved so many times in the last 30 years … finding a Church home has been the hardest .. when we reach out and try a new Church the Church has some kind of a crisis either money problems, Pastor burn out or Pastor breakdowns or the Church cannot keep its doors open .. we moved to a rural community 5 years ago the Pastor had a breakdown and within 6 months closed the doors .. Fear sets in and we are so scared yes scared to try reaching out again … it breaks my heart … we still read our daily Bible readings and go to Couch Church watching Andy Stanley on TV .. the Lord’s light never find but our trust in the Church Community fades every time we open our hearts

    1. Oh, Susie. Prayers for you & your family as you find a community. What a road you’ve been down…. I’m glad you’ve found a connection at your “couch church.” 😉

  2. You’ve sold me Annie. Sounds like another good read for my son-in-law, an avid reader and one who fits firmly in what you’ve described. It’s also going to make it on me “to read” list. Even as a non-millennial, I think I’ll find parts of myself in his journey. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yes! I think you’ll find some parts of it interesting. He’s definitely still “in” the process, but I think that’s what makes this book so vulnerable.

  3. Sounds like the perfect follow up to Faith Shift by Kathy Escobar. I found the The Practice last year and it was a life saver. Now, it has ended and I am adrift again.

    1. “Faith Shift” is on my to-read list…. Isn’t it funny how we tend to read books in groups – definitely reflects what I’m learning!

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