So declares Elaine Heath in Trauma-Informed Evangelism, aiming to recover the God of love from the structures of hate that pervade Christian communities in America today. In their new guide, she and Charles Kiser work toward bringing this reformation to fruition through ministering specifically to the spiritually traumatized.
Over the course of their study, Kiser and Heath amplify the voices of those who suffered misogynistic, racist, or homophobic abuse at the hands of the church. While carefully listening to these stories, Kiser and Heath bring them into conversation with the passion and resurrection of Jesus. Engaging with womanist and liberation theology, they see in the crucifixion a God who does not valorize suffering but shares the experience of the traumatized. Ultimately, this theodicy leads them to propose a new evangelism—one based not on fear and coercion but on witnessing the unconditional love of God.
Timely, theologically informed, and eminently practical, Trauma-Informed Evangelism will serve as a formative guide for church leaders and students seeking to aid trauma survivors in their communities. Discussion questions conclude each chapter.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Less Ready Than I Realized
Part One: Disordered Imagination
1. The Pain of Our Neighbors
2. Understanding Spiritual Abuse and Trauma
3. Mediating Narratives of Supremacy
4. Healing the Wounds of Christendom
Part Two: Healing Imagination
5. Jesus, the Trauma Survivor
6. Where Was God?
7. Restorative Images of God
8. Educating Trauma-Informed Leaders
Part Three: Embodied Imagination
9. Co-Witnesses with Christ
10. Flipped Hospitality
11. Contemplative Evangelists
Epilogue: Communities of Belonging