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About Tim Sledge
Sledge is a former Southern Baptist pastor and author. After devoting his career as an evangelical preacher to leading and growing ministries in Illinois, Tennessee, New Jersey, and Arizona, he moved to a suburb of Houston, Texas, where, as senior pastor, he led his church to experience dramatic growth and wrote two books that launched a ground-breaking support group ministry. "Making Peace with Your Past" and "Moving Beyond Your Past" have now been in print for more than 20 years, and have been used as interactive guides for 20,000 support groups across the U.S.
At the peak of his ministerial career, a 10-year series of events led to a growing awareness that faith was no longer working for him. His journey into and out of faith is described in his book, "Goodbye Jesus." He explores, articulates, and shares a new kind of "spiritual" secular life in his book, "A Meta-Spiritual Handbook." His newest book is "Four Disturbing Questions with One Simple Answer: Breaking the Spell of Christian Belief."
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Goodbye Jesus is the step-by-step account of a former minister’s journey into and out of faith—the story of a long pendulum swing from the deep commitment of a devout believer to the firm conviction that no personal God exists and that all religions are man-made.
Tim Sledge was a Southern Baptist preacher and writer for 35 years. His pioneering work in faith-based recovery ministries in the 80s and 90s ultimately guided participants in 20,000 Christian support groups across the U.S.
The driving force behind Sledge’s ultimate rejection of Christianity was his long-term, up-close observations of church life. “After living and leading in the church for decades, I saw no consistent evidence of an ongoing supernatural presence—and I wanted to see that evidence with all that was in me.”
Part memoir, part exposé, part polemic, Goodbye Jesus is an honest, highly personal, and frequently provocative spiritual autobiography that concludes with an insider’s takedown of religious faith.
This is a relatable and thoughtful read for those seeking to better understand the evangelical mindset, for Christians who are questioning their faith, for ministers trying to decide whether to stay or go, and for those who have left their faith and are dealing with its loss.
I’ve shared the details of my spiritual journey in Goodbye Jesus: An Evangelical Preacher’s Journey Beyond Faith. My aim in this book is raise four challenging questions that need to be addressed by every Christian believer and then to offer one incredibly simple answer—an answer that challenges the veracity of the Christian faith but can also be the gateway to a rewarding new life that is based on truth and does not require the suspension of common sense.
Objectively examining your closely held belief system is not a walk in the park. And facing up to the idea that you might be under a spell that makes it hard for you to think objectively is daunting, especially when you rely on the spell’s results to make you feel that everything is okay and when you’ve been warned that tampering with the spell is the worst thing you could ever do.
Choose courage. If what you believe is true, it can stand the test of any question that I or anyone else might raise. I encourage you to open your mind, face the facts, and decide that you will follow the truth wherever it leads.
I spent most of my life in a search for truth about faith, God, and religion. Maybe I can save you some time as you make your own decisions.
After my life of faith collapsed, I picked up the broken pieces and tried to envision a new way of living. Faced with a multitude of choices about what the new version of me might look like, I began to think for myself about how to build a meaningful life.
I decided that if I could describe a religion-not-required way of finding meaning in life by focusing on things that really matter, it would be something worth sharing—especially if it could make sense and work for anyone, regardless of religious beliefs, political stance, personality type, lifestyle, or generational label.
And that’s how this book came to be. Regardless of whether you’re a free-thinking skeptic or a person of faith, my hope is that in these pages you can discover new pathways toward values, purpose, and meaning as you consider what matters most in your life.
Looking beyond traditional Christian views of spirituality, he found no “spiritual but not religious” model that worked for him.
Eventually, Sledge decided to redefine spirituality for himself, and to use the term “meta-spirituality” to identify his personal approach as beyond any conventional concept of spirituality. His vision of meta-spirituality touches that part of us that seeks inspiration, yearns for the highest and best in life, and longs for a connection to something noble and wondrous.
At the same time, Sledge emphasizes that the evidenced-based model of science is our guide for finding truth and recognizing reality. This is spirituality without God or magic, without religion or faith, and with no need of an invisible spirit world.
Meta-spirituality is presented as a call to kindness, listening, vulnerability, compassion, and gratitude; a quest for a growing sensitivity to the world of emotions; and, a challenge to let mistakes lead to growth instead of shame.
The book’s 26 chapters are organized around five topics:
How to Be Spiritual Without God
How to See Reality
How to Live With Meaning
How to Keep Moving Forward
How to Practice Meta-Spirituality
A Meta-Spiritual Handbook is a simple guide to seeing spirituality in a new way and a challenge to find your best self without reference to religion, faith, or God.