“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.
Introduction: This Is Not a Book about That
1. Shell-Shocked Faith: Reconciling Scripture and Experience
2. Asking: The God Who Demands Too Much
3. Apathy: The God Who Doesn’t Seem to Care
4. Atrophy: The God Who Can’t Seem to Act
5. Anger: The God of Punishment
6. Ambiguity: The God of the Inscrutable
7. Abandonment: The God Who No Longer Feels Present
8. Absence: The God Who Never Was
9. Arbitrariness: The God of Shifting Goalposts
10. Antagonism: The God of Chaos
11. Accountability: The God Who Expects Us to Act
12. Anxiety and Abuse: The God of Manipulation
13. Allegory: The God Who Must Fit Our Narrative
14. Authenticity: A God of Infinite Faces