Gaslighted by God Reconstructing a disillusioned faith

Tiffany Yecke Brooks

Book - 2022

"A book for those who have experienced the spiritual trauma of fundamentalist Christianity, in which the author shows how a more authentic faith can be raised from the ashes of disillusionment"--

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Subjects
Published
Grand Rapids, Michigan : William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company 2022.
Language
English
Physical Description
vi, 246 pages ; 23 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9780802878687
0802878687
Main Author
Tiffany Yecke Brooks (author)
  • Introduction: This is not a book about that
  • Shell-shocked faith: reconciling scripture and experience
  • Asking: the God who demands too much
  • Apathy: the God who doesn't seem to care
  • Atrophy: the God who can't seem to act
  • Anger: the God of punishment
  • Ambiguity: the God of the inscrutable
  • Abandonment: the God who no longer feels present
  • Absence: the God who never was
  • Arbitrariness: the God of shifting goalposts
  • Antagonism: the God of chaos
  • Accountability: the God who expects us to act
  • Anxiety and abuse: the God of manipulation
  • Allegory: the God who must fit our narrative
  • Authenticity: a God of infinite faces.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Writing instructor Brooks (Espionage and Enslavement in the Revolution, 2021, with Claire Bellerjean), the coauthor of more than two dozen books, takes on the disconnect between expectation and reality when hurting Christians turn to their church for comfort and instead find shame and rejection. Like shell-shocked soldiers, disillusioned believers are all too often accused of moral failure simply because they express doubt and pain when life feels unfairly overwhelming. Brooks faults Western Christianity for creating a narrow, transactional view of God that is contrary to Scripture. She thoughtfully revisits familiar characters and makes exegeses of key Bible passages, casting them in a fresh light that supports her arguments. Brooks thoroughly examines her provocative premise in literary chapters that unify a laundry list of complaints leveled by struggling believers, ending with a strong call to action for the faithful, leaders or not, to minister with compassion and grace. Complemented by discussion questions and a Scripture index, this compelling discourse is both academic and accessible, a strong entry to current discussion on the subject. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

""We have a right to encounter God where we are. We have a sacred responsibility to experience God authentically." What happens when the God we've been taught to believe in seems powerless to help us in the struggles of life? What do we do when the God we personally encounter no longer resembles the God we've been shown in narrow interpretations of the Bible? Many of those raised in the world of fundamentalist Christianity have been manipulated into accepting a false reality that runs counter to lived experience. The result is confusion, isolation, fear, shame, and trauma, often carried throughout one's entire life. This book is for the victims of this spiritual abuse-anyone looking to reclaim their faith from legalism, nationalism, sexism, anxiety, intolerance, and other mechanisms of control utilized by God's self-appointed gatekeepers. It's for anyone who has learned that the real God is infinitely complex, that authentic faith is perfectly compatible with doubt, and that our suffering is not something we've earned. Gaslighted by God is not a book of easy answers-it's a companion for those mourning the loss of a belief system who need their pain recognized and legitimized. Tiffany Yecke Brooks shows-through stories from her own life, conversations with Christians from a variety of backgrounds, historical anecdotes, and messy episodes from Scripture-that there can be faith after disillusionment. But it will be a different faith-bruised, battered, nuanced, and real, rather than one wrapped in tissue-thin platitudes and three-point sermons. It will be a faith empowered to see beyond who God "should" be to who God is"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"A book for those who have experienced the spiritual trauma of fundamentalist Christianity, in which the author shows how a more authentic faith can be raised from the ashes of disillusionment"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

“We have a right to encounter God where we are. We have a sacred responsibility to experience God authentically." What happens when the God we’ve been taught to believe in seems powerless to help us in the struggles of life? What do we do when the God we personally encounter no longer resembles the God we’ve been shown in narrow interpretations of the Bible? Many of those raised in the world of fundamentalist Christianity have been manipulated into accepting a false reality that runs counter to lived experience. The result is confusion, isolation, fear, shame, and trauma, often carried throughout one’s entire life. This book is for the victims of this spiritual abuse—anyone looking to reclaim their faith from legalism, nationalism, sexism, anxiety, intolerance, and other mechanisms of control utilized by God’s self-appointed gatekeepers. It’s for anyone who has learned that the real God is infinitely complex, that authentic faith is perfectly compatible with doubt, and that our suffering is not something we’ve earned. Gaslighted by God is not a book of easy answers—it’s a companion for those mourning the loss of a belief system who need their pain recognized and legitimized. Tiffany Yecke Brooks shows—through stories from her own life, conversations with Christians from a variety of backgrounds, historical anecdotes, and messy episodes from Scripture—that there can be faith after disillusionment. But it will be a different faith—bruised, battered, nuanced, and real, rather than one wrapped in tissue-thin platitudes and three-point sermons. It will be a faith empowered to see beyond who God “should” be to who God is.