Salty: The Deconstruction of a Good Christian
By Hollylu Jostes
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON — Hollylu Jostes was a good Christian. From the outside, she was everything Proverbs 31 required. But inside her foundation was fundamentally flawed. She wanted God but not at the cost of everything. Today an author and speaker, she admits there was a time when she wanted to be “in the fold” and saved from damnation without it affecting her decisions on any given day.
“In the club but not a Gold Star member. This is the problem with lukewarm faith—it kills you before you feel it killing you,” she states.
“Growing up, I wanted to desire God. But I never desired him like I desired popularity, pizza, or People magazine. . .. It was infinitely easier to play the part of the good Christian than to actually live like one,” she adds.
And she’s not alone.
Seventy percent of Americans claim Christianity, yet only half of Americans believe the Bible to be the Word of God.* And though the majority of Americans identify as Christians, only 25 percent call themselves practicing Christians.**
“Even though the majority of Americans say they’re Christians, does that make us a Christian nation?” asked Sam Rohrer, president of the American Pastors Network. “Or does the evidence suggest that we are deceived and are Christians in name only?”**
Jostes questioned the same of her own Christianity. Raised in a Christian home, she grew up in the church, and as an adult she participated in Bible studies, volunteered, and embraced behaving as she believed Christians should. However, as Jostes grew, she noted an ever-widening gap between what the Bible promised and what she experienced in daily life.
“I knew I had missed the mark somewhere,” Jostes says. “The problem with lukewarm is that no one believes they are actually lukewarm. I reached a crossroads where I thought I either needed to reject my faith or just embrace feeling fake all the time. Surprisingly, God had other plans.”
Weary of claiming a faith that promised supernatural and transformational power, yet living with fear, anxiety, and doubt, Hollylu was at the ultimate fork in the road: reject her faith or stop thinking so deeply about it. The third option wasn’t even on her radar: total commitment to God.
“I know there are a lot of people out there who share my background, so I pray my messy story and pursuit of transformation—full of plenty of flame outs and failures—will connect with readers and convince them that lukewarm faith is unacceptable.”
In demand as a Bible teacher and women’s speaker for retreats and church events especially in the Seattle-Tacoma area, Jostes now shares her journey in her new book, Salty: The Deconstruction of a Good Christian. Through her refreshingly candid story—irreverent, humorous, and heartfelt—Jostes examines her faith through the lens of everyday life. Sharing of her failures and feisty exchanges with God, she hopes to inspire readers to examine their own faith and fully surrender to Jesus.
Noting that Jesus calls his followers “salt of the earth,” and recognizing salt as an unstoppable agent of change, Jostes’s book—primarily targeted to women—encourages readers to live as salt of the earth and an agent of change, fully surrendered and transformed by Jesus.
Her website provides a wealth of detail on the speaking topics she offers, and a glimpse into her personality and honesty. [Hollyluspeaks.com]
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Hollylu Jostes is an author, speaker, teacher, speech pathologist, wife, mother, reforming control freak, and coffee junkie. She has a Master of Science and has worked in the medical field for three decades. With a minor in biblical studies, she has written and taught women’s Bible studies for twenty years. Hollylu lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Michael, who is her rock. They have two grown-ish children, Annalee and Teddy, who live in different zip codes but are still on the Netflix account. Hollylu is solidly behind her crew—mostly because she loves them, but also for the coffee and tech support.
Suggested Interview Questions:
- You say that you shifted your thinking, initially not able to see active grace until learning to un-see passive grace. Explain the difference in active and passive grace.
- Your book says that lukewarm faith allows us to profess a certain belief, while functionally acting on another belief. Can you expand a bit and give us an example from your own life?
- You are passionate that lukewarm faith is unacceptable. Do you think lukewarm faith is common and what is the antidote?
- Your book is candid, irreverent, and funny. How do you think women will connect with your story, and what do you hope they will take away?
- Can you tell us about the inspiration for writing this book? What prompted you to write it and tell us a little about the process.
- Can you explain what you mean by “the deconstruction of the good Christian” and do you describe yourself as a “good Christian?”
- I love your analogy to salt and Jesus’s reference to his followers being “salt of the earth.” Explain this analogy and speak about why you entitled your book Salty.