Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome
A Memoir of Humor and Healing
by Reba Riley
"Hilarious, courageous, provocative, profound ... Reba Riley brings the light for seekers of all paths." ~Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat, Pray, Love"
Written with humor and personality, this memoir tackles the universal struggle to heal what life has broken.
"My twenty-ninth year was not a good time for taking anything but a nap. I didn't even want to go to my own birthday party, for Pete's sake, let alone work through my spiritual issues."
"Reba Riley is a natural-born storyteller and writer who I expect to be reading for many years to come." ~Brian D. McLaren, author/speaker at brianmclaren.net
"Whatever is bringing you light, and life, and joy, move toward that. That’s God. And whatever’s getting in the way of your search for that love, let it go." Reba gets real in our exclusive video Q&A!
No. 1: "What were the messages you received about God in your childhood? Were your parents religious like Reba's (complete with Jesus-themed paper products), or more relaxed?"
"I can tell you there are thousands, maybe even millions of us. I can tell you that I recovered, that healing is available, that God will meet you wherever you are or aren't."
Kick back, relax, and unload your "church baggage" as you explore the "Godiverse" with Reba and fellow readers.
Learn more about this survivor of chronic illness, an advocate for the undiagnosed patient, and a champion for the power of spiritual healing.
Reba’s book is a healing, touching, and amazing must read for anyone who has lived through the life of Christianity’s nutty movements. I had moments of hysterical laughter, sad commiserating and even fought back tears of my own post traumatic church syndrome.
Not many authors have both a) a powerful, meaningful story to tell AND b) an engaging, nuanced voice with which to tell it. Enter –Reba Riley. I’ve read a lot of books, y’all. And this one is going to be a game-changer.
Christine Hoff Kraemer
I’m not like Reba in that particular way; I left Christianity gently with no hard feelings. But I relate to this: she finds her fear and runs straight for it. And I relate to this: for Reba, spiritual growth isn’t a luxury, but a matter of life and death.
Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome is a delightful book that is a must-read for anyone dealing with religious trauma syndrome. It lets us know that we’re not alone on this journey of healing, that others have walked this path and emerged victorious at the end.
Benjamin L. Corey
In a gentle and nonthreatening way, Reba's book has invited me to re-engage my own journey of dealing with past church trauma… trauma that continues to plague my brain during sleepless New England nights, and causes heart palpitations when visiting a new church or hearing something that feels church-y.
I urge every pastor to read Reba’s memoir. For there, one finds a story of hope and life even through the brokenness of the dissonance of faith. It’s a counter-narrative to the emerging bleakness of our post-Christian and rising “secular” age; a counter-narrative which shows that vital faith, deep theology, and soul-bearing theology is still very much possible–and even alive and well.
I read PTCS a week ago but after finishing the last page, I started right back at the beginning. On the rare occasion that an exceptionally great book comes my way, I like to re-read it, savoring each line, and then order extra copies for my standby gift box. Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome is such a book.
Riley’s book reminds us that our unique callings don’t always come clearly or easily. We may in fact run from them, forget them, or identify them with all that is toxic in our youthful faith. Yet, still we are called; we are lured to horizons of mission and care from a force within yet beyond ourselves.
We need to quit letting fundagelicals define us and our journeys. I mean, why should they? They sure don’t know any more than any of the rest of us do.
Riley has made concrete and accessible some critical concepts for millions, including: The cult of American Churchianity, replete with “Christianese,” specious theology and strict indoctrination is deeply wounding A LOT of people.