A Faith of Many Rooms

Inhabiting a More Spacious Christianity

A Faith of Many Rooms

Inhabiting a More Spacious Christianity

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When your faith begins to feel too small, too confining, you could choose to leave it. But what if the faith we inhabit is roomier than we'd thought? What if our collapsing faith is just a closet in a much larger dwelling?

Disillusioned by narrow theologies, church dysfunction, and constricted readings of Scripture, people are leaving Christianity in droves. But Jesus describes the reign of God as a house with many rooms, writes author Debie Thomas, one of the most auspicious voices in religious writing today. In this work of sprawling spiritual and literary imagination, Thomas claims that wherever God dwells, there is expansiveness and belonging.

Thomas knows what a cramped faith feels like, what it's like to wrestle your way out of fundamentalism and toward a more capacious faith. From the diasporic church in which she grew up, which traces its lineage to the doubting disciple in India in the first century, to the disorientations of a deconstructing faith, to an ample yet orthodox Christianity that makes room for all her identities, Thomas takes readers on a deeply personal and profoundly theological odyssey. In A Faith of Many Rooms, she talks back to jaundiced versions of faith and finds evidence that the gospel insists on its own roominess.

The kind of God who decided to experience the world as a guest likely feels constrained by our pinched theologies too. What sorts of ruptures and revisions would it take to find a more spacious faith--and then to inhabit it with authenticity and joy? Readers of Christian Wiman, Cole Arthur Riley, and Barbara Brown Taylor will find in these pages an ardent, lyrical take on a  faith transfigured.


"For years, Debie Thomas has offered fans like me a winsome, enlightened approach to the word of God. This time, in this book, she opens the door to God's whole, colorful, many-winged house--a house where our cultures are gifts, our ancestors are prophets, everyone's story matters, and God is always near. Brilliant, carefully crafted, and heart-stopping in its beauty and honesty, this is Debie Thomas at her best."

Rev. Stephanie Spellers, Canon to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and author of The Church Cracked Open and Radical Welcome

"I have been feasting on Debie Thomas's words for years. I often say that she reads the Bible like a radiologist reads an MRI, seeing things I could never see. But in this book I get a glimpse of Debie herself, and I'm grateful. The story of her journey from the cramped closet of an evangelical childhood to the 'many rooms' of a more generous faith is one of her greatest gifts to the church, and one I hope she will continue to share. It inspires my own journey."

Jim Somerville, pastor of Richmond's First Baptist Church and founder of A Sermon for Every Sunday

"I found myself feeling very at home and unexpectedly exposed reading Debie Thomas's quest for a faith and a place to be at home and not an outsider. Thomas rests in Jesus's promise of a spacious, roomy Christianity that travels with us, crosses borders, and bears our sorrows. If you are curious about a faith capacious enough to embrace the entire world with reverence and humility, this story of one Malayalee woman's journey to bare her whole self to the God of the universe is a must-read. Me too, Debie--I have caught myself saying, 'Blessed Thomas (and Mary) of India, pray for us.'"

Winnie Varghese, rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Atlanta, Georgia

"The Christian faith is an invitation to rest--with each other--in God's peace. Debie Thomas draws together stories about her life and from our Scriptures to help us notice a hidden truth: the here-ness of God. This book is a testimony to the Spirit's gracious care for our lives, available in every encounter with a neighbor."

Isaac Villegas, Mennonite pastor and contributing editor at The Christian Century

"For those longing to explore a more expansive faith landscape, Debie Thomas provides the map along with much needed wisdom and encouragement. An important read for every pilgrim soul."

Sophfronia Scott, author of The Seeker and the Monk: Everyday Conversations with Thomas Merton 


"Through a Christianity rooted in unrestrained readings of scripture and open to moral and ethical paradoxes, Thomas discovered a way to retain her faith and reaffirm her identity. . . A solid defense of modern, progressive Christianity from a unique perspective."

Kirkus Reviews

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506481456
  • eBook ISBN 9781506481463
  • Dimensions 5.75 x 8.75
  • Pages 184
  • Publication Date March 19, 2024