Out Into the Desert: Thriving Outside Organized Religion

As of the date of this review, 01.07.2023, there are 30 reviews, a whopping 94% with five-star reviews. The remaining reviews (6%) carry no reviews with them. This high percentage causes me to wonder if those who didn’t like “Out Into the Desert: Thriving Outside Organized Religion” after reading it declines writing anything to keep supporters at bay.
I will admit this book’s “reviews” caused me to buy it. Now that I’ve read it (twice, actually), I realize I wasted money and time, which is more valuable to me.

Two things I learned from this book:


Karl apparently failed as a pastor three times which was likely because he was not a Christian. Yet, he attempted to lead and pastor three Christian churches of different denominations—pastoring Christian churches without first being a Christian is like an auto mechanic performing dental health procedures.


Laura hates God because He reminds her of her earthly father. A quote from pages 204 to 205:

“The vision of the God of my past was one of retribution. He was distant. He was performance-based. He was a “he.” He was just like my earthly father; He wasn’t around and wouldn’t talk to me, and it was somehow my responsibility that he is this way.”

I assume from her failed relationship with her father that she referred to elsewhere in the book.

How did I arrive at these revelations? Quotes from the book:

On page 39, Laura claims to be a “seeker of the Divine” because, on page 40, she declares, “The God I have served all my life is not real,”

On page 44, Karl drags politics into church on page 44 when he asks: “What if half of the budget were spent on social justice issues?”

Page 120 brought something that both Karl and Laura seem to believe: “there is still a God out there that’s an { expletive removed},”        along with page 125’s declaration: “but I find no evidence to suggest that it {the Bible} is infallible”

Laura mentions the following on page 129:

“Today, as of this writing, I still have not picked up the Bible to read it. I have no emotion toward this book, and I refuse to beat myself up over it. I can still hear the Divine speak truth through many ways other than an ancient book.”

On page 177, Karl makes an off-topic rant about his co-workers who own guns: “it’s an obsession!”

Last but not least is this off-the-wall study about the 2020 election. On page 221, there are 154 words about Donald  J. Trump and the election. As if that has anything to do with their now former ministry or the title of this book.

The churlish comments, anti-Bible and anti-God comments prove that non-Christians attempting to enter into pastoral positions in churches will likely have very high rates of failure. I disliked the book so much that I returned it through Amazon!

Out Into the Desert: Thriving Outside Organized Religion

My rating for this book [zero stars]:loser-star review