Here are all of the generous endorsements for my book, The Light is Winning: Why Religion Just Might Bring Us Back to Life.
By all accounts Zach Hoag should be a “done” who has given up on the church and a hard-bitten cynic turning his back on Christianity. But he’s not. Surviving a childhood in an apocalyptic cult and the deep disappointment of a failed church as a young adult, Zach Hoag has pressed on to find a mature, authentic, and sustainable faith. Beyond doom and gloom eschatology and overwrought revivalism, there is a place of healthy religion where the light is winning. Zach Hoag is a faithful guide to this better place and I hope many a wounded and disappointed soul will follow him there.
—Brian Zahnd, Lead Pastor of Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, Missouri and the author of several books, including Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God, Water To Wine, and A Farewell To Mars
When I survey 21st century America, I fight to avoid depression and despair. But in such a moment, Zach Hoag has swept in with a prophetic message bursting with optimism. The darkness is real, he admits, but it is also receding. Hoag refocuses our collective gaze and argues convincingly that America is entering a time of “Great Revealing.” So sit back and read slowly. The Light is Winning pulls back the cultural curtain to reveal, not a wizard, but a blinding light of hope.
—Jonathan Merritt, contributing writer for The Atlantic and author of Learning to Speak God from Scratch
The Light is Winning is almost impossible to put down! Hoag has spoken the raw truth about the brokenness of a Christianity that mixes Jesus with the violence of war and the power of empire. The Light is Winning is real, clever, and full of hope for those of us who are disillusioned by Christianity yet compelled to move closer to the person of Jesus.
—Bruxy Cavey, Teaching Pastor at The Meeting House, and author of The End of Religion and (re)union: The Good News of Jesus for Seekers, Saints, and Sinners
Turning the idea of ‘apocalypse’ upside down, Zach Hoag reminds Empire-weary christians that a great revealing and deconstruction is the exact process through which the Church will find new life. With equal parts grit, grace, humor and hope, The Light is Winning invites us to let a few things die in order that we might be fully resurrected and find our way forward. With breathtaking honesty, clarity and vision these pages beg us to remember that we are the beloved. And so is the Church. Zach has given followers of Christ a rare gift: permission to be de-constructed and re-built under the illumination of grace. This book is a must-read for anyone on the vulnerable journey of understanding their calling. These pages might just set you free.
—Jenny Simmons, author Made Well and The Road to Becoming
Only Zach Hoag could bring out the hope in an apocalypse. Leading us towards the light of authentic religion at the end of the post-modern tunnel we call being “spiritual”, The Light Is Winning is the kind of book that you will want to keep on your nightstand for months, maybe years. You will want to reach for it each time you begin to lose your way and your faith.
—Jerusalem Jackson Greer, author of At Home in this Life and Beautiful Surprises
I needed to read this book. As somebody who has long been disillusioned by religion and tempted to give up on the Church, The Light Is Winning was a much-needed dose of hope for me. I found my own perspectives being challenged not only by Hoag’s thoughts and ideas about God and culture but also by his beautiful story and the cheerful and endearing way in which he tells it.
—Matthew Paul Turner, Author of Churched and When God Made You
Zach Hoag writes with a deep love for the church and a tender pastor’s heart. He has known loss and pain, but most importantly, he has turned to the light in the midst of darkness, and the hope he writes about is what we all desperately need today.
—Ed Cyzewski, author of A Christian Survival Guide and Coffeehouse Theology
So often authors write about their successes. What I love about Zach is he’s given us a rare and precious opportunity to witness his apparent defeat, allowing us to watch as he wrestles with his upbringing in an authoritarian cult and his subsequent journey through denominations and church planting. Zach uses his stories to invite us into some deeper truths about the Church today, offering hope during a tumultuous time in American Christianity. And maybe the best part of all of this? He draws inspiration from TV shows, like Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead. When someone tells me we don’t want an undead zombie faith, I find myself nodding along.
—Melanie Dale, author of It’s Not Fair and Women Are Scary
Zach Hoag’s personal and ecclesiastical apocalypse will draw you into his story and perhaps your own moment of revealing. You will cheer when you realize, like him, that the light is indeed winning!
—Kelley Nikondeha, Co-Director, Communities of Hope and Author, Adopted: The Sacrament of Belonging in a Fractured World
Zach takes the reader on a journey, first acknowledging the presence of these religious wounds, then gently leading us through a hopeful apocalypse, to a place of transformation and healing.
—Shawn Smucker, Author of The Day the Angels Fell
In his hopeful new book, The Light Is Winning, Zach reminds us that while deconstructing our religious faith might be a necessary part of our spiritual journey, it’s not enough. Zach encourages us to rebuild a proper religious practice, one that demonstrates the power and mystery of Christianity: The Resurrection.
—Elizabeth Esther, author of Girl at The End of the World
We live in a world that often seems overcome with darkness and pessimism. Between toxic news cycles, Christian in-fighting, and what feels like a non-stop dose of negativity on all sides, people are left longing for a message of hope—I am left longing for a message of hope. I am grateful for this book, because while I don’t pretend to have answers for the darkened world around us, I do know this: the world needs to know that the Light is Winning.
—Benjamin L. Corey, author of Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith