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Introducing: Orphaned Believers, the Cover Reveal!
Searching for a new way to participate in the story of God.
Friends, hi!—I’m thrilled to share the cover for my first book, Orphaned Believers: How a Generation of Christian Exiles Can Find the Way Home.
Maybe like you, I grew up spending Saturday at the mall and Sunday at the service. I was formed as much by culture wars and consumerism as I was by the faith I was given. It’s no wonder that, in our present moment, so many of us are weary and wandering as we try to move toward Jesus in a very big cultural storm.
I began to wonder what happened in the 1980s and 1990s that left many young evangelicals like me untethered, disillusioned, and—ultimately—orphaned as we grappled with the legalistic, politically co-opted churches of our youth and embarked on a search for a more loving, more biblical expression of the faith and discipleship taught by Jesus.
I'm one of those orphans. And maybe like me, you’re looking around the American church and wondering where Jesus is. I wrote Orphaned Believers to surface what happened in the 80s and 90s that contributed to the current state of the American Church, from end times culture, to single-issue voting, to the food court at the mall.
Part spiritual memoir of an apocalyptic childhood, part commentary of growing up as an evangelical kid in the culture wars, part story of a dying dad clinging to rapture hope, Orphaned Believers follows the journey of a generation of Christian exiles as we reckon with the tradition that raised us and search for a new way to participate in the story of God.
I woke up with the idea for Orphaned Believers in spring of 2020 and spread a bunch of index cards across the floor. I drew narrative arcs, sketched outlines, and typed up spreadsheets. In some ways, it’s been a quick process. In other ways, in truer ones, this is the story of my life, and it’s been something I’ve been carrying for much longer.
There are a few ways you can help support Orphaned Believers and my work.
First, pre-order a copy today. You’ll find a brand new website at the ready with ordering options, from Amazon to Powell’s. Preordering tells booksellers loud and clear that there is a demand for this kind of book—and as a first-time author, pre-orders are a signal to my publisher that there is an appetite for this content. Pre-orders all count toward the first week of sales numbers in January, and release week is the best chance of more folks finding the book. I truly rely on your support, and I’m grateful for each pre-ordered copy. It really makes a difference to order early if you’re able.
Second, if there is someone in your life who would resonate with the message of Orphaned Believers, please share this newsletter or the book’s website.
Third, if you have a favorite bookstore in your town or frequent a library, ask them to pre-order Orphaned Believers. Sometimes, books catch fire because of a huge marketing budget or a celebrity author. But this kind of book will grow by being shared at the local level, friend to friend, and there is no better place for discovery than brick-and-mortar bookstores and libraries.
I wrote the kind of book I wanted to read: part journalism, part narrative, with a twist of nostalgia, and the good folks at The Bindery and Baker Books took a chance on this project. It’s clearer, refined, and much better because the process has been collaborative, with help from many talented people. I worked with the Baker team to drum up a cover that looks back to look ahead—what’s more 80s/90s than mixtapes and polaroids?
I’d like to do this work for a good long time. The reality of publishing is that selling books is the way to write more books. Your support in pre-ordering Orphaned Believers is a thumbs up. A literary Ebenezer. A little marker that you believe in this idea. It’s a tangible gift.