When he was ten years old, James converted to Christianity in a Southern California Baptist church After graduating from high school in , James enrolled in Texas Baptist College Seven harrowing years later, James escaped that cultlike environment with his spirituality and sanity intact This is his storya story of struggle, courage, faith, and perseverance It will make you laugh and cry, make you angry, make you cheer The Texas Baptist Crucible illustrates the ugly side of legalism, misguided zeal, and misplaced priorities But it is also a story of grace, and how God often takes us through difficult paths so that we will learn to appreciate what real grace is all about


10 thoughts on “The Texas Baptist Crucible: Tales from the Temple

  1. Jeff Short Jeff Short says:

    Fantastic read that you will not want to put down. This is the account of the author's experience at fundamentalist Texas Baptist College, a ministry of Longview Baptist Temple. At the helm of LBT and TBC was Bob Gray, the other fundamentalist Bob Gray. If you have never seen fundamentalism from the inside, you will probably think Spurgeon is exaggerating. Those who have been inside will know better. It is an eye-opening book and I recommend it.


  2. Jeri Massi Jeri Massi says:

    I read James' chronicles several times from the week he first introduced them on the old Fighting Fundamentalist Forum. The very first chapter had me in tears of laughter, and I e-mailed copies of it to many friends. What a great day to see James Spurgeon's memoirs of life at Longview Baptist Temple and Texas Baptist College in print!

    If you have suffered church abuse, this is the book that will teach you to laugh again. Without ever losing sight of what is sacred---indeed, James uses the Rabadash-like characters around him to emphasize what is truly sacred and what is false--Spurgeon brings the reader into the world of Independent Baptist Fundamentalism Gone Bad. It is a nightmare of comedies (or comedy of nightmares), as truth is turned on its head, manipulation and pressure are masqueraded as God's love, and hours of hard labor building membership of the church by suckering children into decisions is passed off as grace.

    Ridiculous Bible lessons, impossible competitions to win souls, a culture of deceit and boasting, harsh and illogical rules, and one young man's ever more ingenious ways to beat the system by playing the system against itself make this collection a mixture of PILGRIM's PROGRESS and McHALE'S NAVY. It's a delight from beginning to end.


  3. Bob Bingham Bob Bingham says:

    Excellent book, though it brought back some painful memories of the past at another fundamentalist college (the author, James Spurgeon, is recounting his experiences at Texas Baptist College). This book is very hard to find as it is out of print. However, Interlibrary Loan obtained a reading copy through the local library.


  4. Mandy Mandy says:

    This book does a good job of showing what happens to any place where the judgments and opinions of men (or one man) are held to same level as God and the Bible. I applaud the author for calling out a place that has clearly become a cult.


  5. Jay Jay says:

    Tom Sawyer goes to fundamentalist Bible college. Hijinks ensue.


  6. Tammy Millington Tammy Millington says:

    I ordered this book from Barnes&Noble yesterday and they canceled the order today. Can someone please tell me how to get this book?