“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
Tiffany Yecke Brooks is the lead or contributing writer on more than two dozen books, including multiple New York Times bestsellers. She is the coauthor of Fear Is a Choice: Tackling Life's Challenges with Dignity, Faith, and Determination (with NFL running back James Conner), Limitless: The Power of Hope and Resilience to Overcome Circumstance (with Paralympic gold-medalist Mallory Weggemann), and the narrative nonfiction historical thriller Espionage and Enslavement in the Revolution: The True Story of Robert Townsend and Elizabeth (with historian Claire Bellerjeau). She holds a PhD from Florida State University, where her dissertation covered, in part, cultural adaptations of stories from the book of Genesis. A popular speaker for student groups, faith conferences, and academic lectureships, Brooks has taught literature and writing at Abilene Christian University, McMurry University, and the University of South Carolina Beaufort.
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