Outside his 1929-vintage house, filled with primitive typewriters, quaint candlestick telephones, and other antiques from that era, Lynn Anderson works in a cozy office above his garage. His working space has a rustic feel, with Indian and western art on the walls, wooden bookcases from floor to ceiling, and a photo of the cabin where he was born in Saskatchewan sixty-three years ago. There was no electricity on the homestead where he grew up, just one beloved battery-powered radio that kept the family connected to the outside world.
Anderson has an easy-going cowboy charm that belies his deep intellect and impressive accomplishments. He has a master's degree from the Harding Graduate School of Religion and a doctor of ministry degree from Abilene Christian University, where he has been an adjunct professor for more than two decades. Anderson was a senior pastor for thirty years at churches in Canada and the United States, leaving the pulpit in 1996 to found Hope Network Ministries, through which he coaches, mentors, and equips church leaders.
He has written a number of books, including Navigating the Winds of Change, Heaven Came Down, In Search of Wonder, The Shepherd's Song, and They Smell Like Sheep.
The book that especially grabbed my attention, however, was the provocatively titled, If I Really Believe, Why Do I Have These Doubts? It was this candid and astute book that disclosed Anderson's recurring personal battles with uncertainty.
After chatting for a while to get to know each other, Anderson and I sat down in straightback chairs at an austere wooden table underneath a ceiling fan that gently washed us with cool air. Anderson has rugged good looks, with rusty-colored hair, a ruddy complexion, and goldrimmed glasses.
He's demonstrative as he speaks, his arms reaching out at times for understanding and expression. His voice, rich with rough-hewn honesty and sincerity, would occasionally dip to a sandpapery whisper, as if he were confiding some embarrassing secret to me.
My opening questions took Anderson back to his childhood experiences in rural western Canada as I searched for the genesis of his chronic uncertainties. I suspected that many who wrestle with doubts could relate to his story.
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