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The Long Surrender

The Long Surrender

A Memoir About Losing My Religion


Brian Rush McDonald


Nonfiction, Biography / Memoir

Publish Date

May 2, 2022

Short Description

After 30 years of preaching, Brian Rush McDonald walked away from the pulpit. He had become a Jesus freak during the tumult of high school desegregation in the 70s in Mobile, Alabama, and unwittingly found himself immersed in Christian fundamentalism. Despite anxiety about unsaved souls facing eternal damnation and doubts about harsh doctrine, he attended seminary, eventually taking his family with him to Taiwah where they were misisonaries. He later became a pastor in the U.S. but was plagued by misgivings about his faith, all the while struggling with depression and anxiety. His life outlook was broadened while pursing graduate studies and eventually earning a Ph.D. from The College of William and Mary. At nearly 50 yrs of age, McDonald embarked on a new life and a different career. THE LONG SURRENDER is a riveting memoir about losing religion to find freedom.


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Brian Rush McDonald became a Jesus freak during high school in the early seventies and unwittingly found himself involved in fundamentalist Christianity. Though he was troubled by his faith’s teaching that the lost were damned to hell, he attended Bob Jones University where he was immersed in the harsh doctrine and rigid views of fundamentalism. He married his high school sweetheart, was ordained and began a life in the ministry, eventually having three children. He went with his family to Taiwan where they were missionaries for seven years, immersing themselves in the culture and learning the Mandarin Language. But he struggled with his faith’s teachings, especially the fate of non-believers. He returned to the U.S. and was a pastor for many years, all the while quietly wrestling with the harsh dogma of his chosen religion. He pursued graduate studies at The College of William & Mary, eventually earning a Ph.D, and gaining a deeper understanding of human development particularly as regards religious belief. Finally, after 30 years of preaching, McDonald walked away from the pulpit to pursue a different path. Despite the somber nature of the subject, the book will entertain the reader with heartwarming stories of the author’s youth and later adventures, as well as the homespun wit of someone who grew up in the rural south. THE LONG SURRENDER is a riveting memoir about losing religion to find freedom.

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Brian Rush McDonald

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