About the Book

The story of religion in 21st century America has been defined, in large part, by the stories of zealous pastors moving beyond their faith to embrace a life of reason. But too often and too quickly ardent believers dismiss such accounts as aberrations. Meanwhile atheists and other skeptics struggle to understand what took such individuals so long to make the exit. 

    The questions posed by one side inevitably mirror those asked by the other. What does "real" faith look like and how do you know it when you have it? And what allows anyone to be so sure their beliefs are based in reality? What would it take for believers to stop believing in God? And what would it take for nonbelievers to begin? 

    Drawing on the author's own story as a former evangelical pastor powerless to stop his turn to atheism, The Rise and Fall of Faith touches on these and other questions. While the aim of the book is to initiate a much-needed conversation between Christians and atheists, it will be up to each of us to carry the discussion forward—in the evaluation of our own inner thoughts, in the assumptions we make about the other side, and in how we work together in the pursuit of understanding and common ground as we navigate the world's quickly changing religious landscape.

About the Author


ISBN: 978-1634311106 (paperback)

SRP: $15.95

Page count: 207 pages

Trim size: 6 x 9

Pub date: July 2017

Ebook availability: Yes

Audiobook availability: Forthcoming

Drew Bekius a personal coach and the creator of A former pastor, he serves now as president of The Clergy Project, an international organization providing peer support to deconverted religious leaders in transition. Drew is the father of two daughters and lives in Uptown, Chicago.

“A deep, satisfying, and ultimately hopeful read.”

Katherine Ozment, author, Grace Without God: The Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Belonging in the Secular Age

“A gratifying and memorable read.”

Dale McGowan, founder, Foundation Beyond Belief; author, In Faith and In Doubt: How Religious Believers and Non-Believers Can Create Strong Marriages and Loving Families

“A wonderful journey of thought through a path strewn with valuable insights.”

Roy Speckhardt, executive director, American Humanist Association; author, Creating Change Through Humanism

“This is a joy to read. It's written . . . with humor, sincerity, and openness.”

Linda LaScola, coauthor, Caught in the Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind; cofounder, The Clergy Project

“This book is for anyone looking to understand the evangelical mind.”

Robyn Blumner, president and CEO, Center for Inquiry; CEO, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science

“I could not put it down.”

Darrel Ray, founder, Recovering from Religion; author, God & Sex: How Religion Distorts Sexuality

“This polarized country of ours needs more leaders like Drew Bekius.”

Bart Campolo, Humanist Chaplain, University of Southern California

“Drew’s personal story of losing his life as he lost his faith and yet surviving is a compelling read that will resonate for others doubting their faith."

Jeff T. Haley, coauthor, Sharing Reality: How to Bring Secularism and Science to an Evolving Religious World

Advance Praise

“An extraordinary offering . . . a cinematic drama . . . an alternative to rancor

and a path toward understanding.”

—Gretta Vosper, Minister, West Hill United Church of Toronto; author, With or Without God: Why the Way We Live Is More Important Than What We Believe