Weekly Self-Published Book Review: Prisoner of Belief

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review by Midwest Book Review:

prisoner of belief

Prisoner of Belief

John Van Dixhorn

Publisher: Outskirts Press


Synopsis: “Prisoner of Belief: One Man’s Odyssey to Reclaim His Soul – From Evangelical Minister to Searching Psychologist” is the personal story of John Van Dixhorn, a man who fights for his soul against the crushing power of religious orthodoxy and evangelical zealotry to become a modern man in the modern world. Raised by rigid Calvinists, Van Dixhorn became an evangelical minister, a successful pastor with prosperous churches. But intellectual honesty and emotional longing led him to challenge his faith, his church, his family, his friends and his vocation…and to eventually leave the ministry and become a secular psychologist. To live this life and write this book takes courage. “Prisoner of Belief” is a memoir of a courageous man. Through the numerous sharp and painful (and sometimes very funny) anecdotes, we begin to realize what it means to confront all the significant figures and forces in one’s life, from self, to mom, to brother, church, faith, ideology, Jesus, and finally to God…and the world-view that holds all this together in one neat theological package. Van Dixhorn provides enough historical background so that otherwise obscure theology may be understood. As a psychologist, Van Dixhorn takes us deeper to see how doctrine affects emotional life, how belief affects our psyche, our sexuality, and our sense of self. As Van Dixhorn leads us through his life, we learn so much from this honest and courageous story.

Critique: Told with extraordinary candor and unusual insight, “Prisoner of Belief: One Man’s Odyssey to Reclaim His Soul – From Evangelical Minister to Searching Psychologist” is exceptionally well written and organized. A fascinating reveal of the power of the human spirit to emancipate itself from the strictures of custom, tradition, orthodoxy, and repression, “Prisoner of Belief” is an informed and informative read, making it highly recommended and an enduringly valuable addition to community and academic library American Biography collections. It should be noted that “Prisoner of Belief” is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:

A courageous story of the meaning of religion, personal events, and trying to find one’s true vocal. I had long ago abandoned Christianity, so I had no personal ax to grind as I read Dr. Van Dixhorn’s memoirs. Though, it was unsettling to learn of the elitist attitude of fundamentalist religious groups and their views of the secular, non-christian population.
Dr. Van Dixhorn capture genuine personal struggles through out his life as a child, in seminary school, and as minister trying to live Evangelist life.
As one seeking life’s simple truths, the book satisfies my needs. For those wanting a crash course of seminary teaching and the duality of the bible, you will find plenty of food for thought. And for those struggling with your religious briefs, this is a great place to start your journey.

– Amazon Reviewer

2 thoughts on “Weekly Self-Published Book Review: Prisoner of Belief

  1. Way to go, John Van Dixhorn! What you have done takes a great deal of courage! I did it the other way around: I got a degree in psychology first, then realized that psychology did not have all the answers! I KNEW that religion didn’t either, so I turned to a form of pure spirituality that has never let me down. My e-book, “Bringing Spirituality Down to Earth” is available at Amazon, you could email me at michaelbrucemanning@yahoo.ca or visit me at https://michaelbrucemanning.wordpress.com/ Thanks again for your courage in bringing these issues to light! Michael Manning

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