"Holy Runaways is a testament to struggle, questioning, intelligence, intellectual exploration, and, finally, to the belief that faith without flourishing is a contradiction in terms. It holds a mirror up, asks what its reader sees, and offers pathways of safety, life, and freedom."
Rediscovering Faith After Being Burned by Religion
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Holy Runaways speaks to people who are feeling ignored, oppressed, or rejected by their religious community and church, offering a path forward built on speaking truth, deep listening, and acting with compassion.
In the past decade, church attendance among US adults has decreased by more than 25 percent. Americans report leaving religious communities because of the institutions' hypocrisy and resistance to change or because of trauma they have experienced in those spaces. Instead of safe havens for people of faith, many churches have become sites of harm--places people feel the need to escape at all costs.
In Holy Runaways, psychotherapist Matthias Roberts reaches out to those who, like him, want to understand the religion they've run from and erect a new faith on firmer foundations. He concludes that the best blueprint for a new spiritual home requires reimagining ourselves, God, and our very definition of faith.
Roberts blends deeply personal stories, new interpretations of familiar Christian parables, and recent scholarship about the dynamics of trauma to offer a way forward--and a warm, helpful companion--for readers on their own journeys. He calls out people who perpetuate systems of violence and oppression and suggests ways we can all contribute to a new system built on love--and a new home we can inhabit together.
Download the Holy Runaways discussion guide—perfect for small groups, book clubs, and individual reflection.