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After the Fiasco: Restoring Fallen Christians

One reason we and our congregations feel uneasy about the ministry of restoration is that we have not talked very much about its possibility.
Dean Merrill

By the time 22-year-old Eva Eber showed up in the pastor's office, her life story was already book length. Born into a nominal Catholic family in Los Angeles, she had begun to respond spiritually in junior high when a school friend invited her to a Baptist camp. Soon she was singing in the church's teen music group and even doing street witnessing. Her parents, however, scorned her "turning Protestant," and during her senior year, Eva moved out of the house.

By age 19 she had landed a teacher's aide job two hundred miles away, and at church there she met a young Air Force sergeant who gave her the acceptance she craved. The very first intimacy resulted in pregnancy, and only then did the news come out that her lover was already married. They lived together until six weeks after Ryan was born; by then the sergeant had tired of Eva and was ...

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