Here is the dedication and preface from my new book titled: For Those Who Have Made SHIPWRECK of Their Faith.


I received a call from someone who had been part of our ministry in Marin County, California, during the early 1970s. He had joined with the Children of God, now called The Family, established by David Moses Berg, lost his family to that cult, and struggled mightily for the next several decades.

He announced himself and said, “Well, Philpott, I see you screwed up your life, too.”

This book is for my troubled brother and for all those who seemed to have made shipwreck of their faith and maybe of their lives as well.


This book is written for those of you who have stumbled and fallen along the narrow way, either by means of a physical trauma, a significant loss due to death, even a moral failure including that of a sexual nature, emotional and mental collapse, and anything else that might have caused you grief and shame to the point you wanted to give it all up — or were forced to give it all up.

Somehow or another you made shipwreck of your faith. Maybe the blame is only 10% your own, maybe it is 100%, no matter. Yes, you were sealed and sanctified in the Holy Spirit upon your new birth, your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, but you ended up crashing your boat against the rocks.

The Apostle John knew that genuine born from above Christians are yet fallen creatures. “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But ifanyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). We are indeed a contradiction; we are both perfect in Christ and sinners at the same time. And it is well known that we do not sin so that grace may abound.  Please note that the “if” in 1 John 2:1 is, in terms of Greek grammar, the third class condition which means a future probability; if in this instance means the apostle, and by virtual of the reality of Holy Spirit inspiration, the Triune God knew His sons and daughters would yet yield to sinful behavior.

The world, the flesh, and the devil — many have succumbed to this trinity of evil. Who has not fallen? Some of us either rebelled or were deceived, but it was caught on video for the entire world to see or at least those in the pews played it over and over.

Now you find out how much of a minefield a church, or really any organization, can be. People, and some of these closest to you, react in ways you never anticipated. It is not worth fixing blame either. Maybe you left people no other choice, but in any case, you fell and even thought of suicide.

Having been a pastor into my fifth decade, based on what I have learned, most of our trouble has to do with sex and/or money, sometimes in combo, and when it all blows up, and it usually always blows up, the guilt, shame, humiliation — the scandal never dies — it may be forgiven but it is never forgotten or entirely recovered from.

Is there no hope? Must you, even if you attempt to be part of a congregation, sit in the back pew, arrive late and leave early, and conclude you have no more service to offer your Lord Jesus?

There is restoration; my life has become a testimony to that fact. Any recovery from significant loss is painful and this book might just be a hard read, but if you will chance it, let us see where it can take you.

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