“I wish I could still believe in God, but I can’t be a Christian anymore because of ______” Fill-in-the-blank with racism, misogyny, homophobia, toxic capitalism, and so on. I’ve had this conversation with different people almost word-for-word over and over. White American Christianity has so defined God that many people cannot separate God from the toxic theology they were taught.
But this isn’t the God I see in the Bible. The Bible shows us a God meeting people where they are and nudging them towards justice and total thriving for all: shalom. The Bible details arcs of justice and societal reform. If we understand how radical those arcs were in the context of the day, we can extend them forward into the future and figure out how to work for justice, total thriving, and societal reformation in our day.
I grew up in that first world view. Come along, and I’ll tell you the story of how I escaped, and I’ll show you a theology that I believe paints a more accurate picture: a faith for the common good where everyone thrives and no one is left out.
What People are Saying
Anna Howard’s Inward Apocalypse is a gift to all who long for faith with power to ground us in these shifting times. With clarity, wit and surprising insight, Howard drops gems as she leads readers through apocalypse to the common good.
—Lisa Sharon Harper is author of critically acclaimed, The Very Good Gospel and Fortune: How Race Broke My Family And The World–And How To Repair It All
Anna Elisabeth Howard’s Inward Apocalypse is smart, witty, and captivating. I could not put it down. Her thinking and writing are as solid as can be, compelling us to pilgrimage alongside her as she confronts the toxic Christian subculture and theology in which many are steeped. Howard raises thought provoking questions and challenges American Christians who seek to follow the Jesus of the gospels and not the Jesus of our national imagination. I simply cannot wait to read more from Howard.
—Marlena Graves, Author of The Way Up Is Down: Becoming Yourself by Forgetting Yourself
Inward Apocalypse is a timely invitation to readers to develop their faith for the common good. The book’s refreshing honesty—even about the growing pains of faith—allows readers to rest in the well-earned wisdom of a trusted guide and confidant. Howard writes with depth, insight, and authenticity, weaving together personal experiences, poetry, and compelling scholarship to reveal a transformational theology that is actually good news for the entire community of creation.
—Amy Kenny, author of My Body is Not a Prayer Request
“In this meditation and memoir, Anna Howard shares the complex reality of journeying from her childhood faith towards an ever-deepening understanding of Christ, justice, challenge, and hope. This brilliant book is a must-read for anyone asking the hard questions about rediscovering faith when one realizes that the suppositions, hierarchies, and -isms built into one’s story of faith cannot stand.”
—Yejide Peters, Berkeley Divinity School
Anna Howard is a trusted teacher who understands the trauma of bad theology and charts a path toward recovery. Her wisdom shines through the intersection of storytelling, cultural commentary, and bible teaching. It could be said that the church’s public witness is one of pride, division, and meanness. Inward Apocalypse offers us hope and a roadmap so that we can restore the common good together. If you’ve ever found yourself disoriented or disturbed by the scandals or misuse of power by clergy leaders, this book is for you. You will feel seen, cared for, and loved – this book is a well of healing.
—Ashley Abercrombie, author of Love is the Resistance
“Anna weaves together vivid personal experience and rich theological reflection. Her voice in Inward Apocalypse is a steady, faithful guide for any who have found themselves out of sorts or tightly bound by the story of God they were given. Through recounting her own moments of disruption, Anna invites readers to find their way through their own such moments and encounter a more expansive, beautiful, and transformative faith.”
—Megan Westra, author of Born Again and Again