Leaving the Fold

Title: Leaving the Fold
Author: Marlene Winell
Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
Year: 1994
Available: Amazon.com

The front cover of the book reads "Leaving the Fold A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving Their Religion."

In this book, Marlene Winell aims her attack on fundamentalists. She attacks many elements and beliefs within fundamentalism. While many people within fundamentalist churches believe the things she describes, she makes the more extreme people who attend fundamentalist churches sound like the norm in fundamentalist churches. While extemists are common in some fundamentalist circles, they are not the norm. Many moderate people attend fundamentalist churches.

While Winell sees some emotional and psychological advantages to being part of a church, she gives one the impression she feels churches, especially conservative churches, are not beneficial to one's health. There appears to be an unfortunate and a strong anti-church bias in the book about the first half of the book.

Chapters 8 to 13 are valuable. They contain some principles and some practical activities that can help bring healing to those who have been so battered by a church that they chose to leave the church. The chapters about healing a worth the price of the entire book.

Those who are sensitive and feel easily threatened when they read things that attack the church will not want to read the first seven chapters of the book. The highly sensitive may not want to risk even purchasing the book and that is unfortunate, because the chapters on healing are very valuable.

While there are very good sections in the book, I am very reluctant to recommend the book to people.