Item description for Losing God: Clinging to Faith Through Doubt and Depression by Matt Rogers...
Overview IVP Print On Demand Title Recounting his own history, Matt Rogers explores the question of how, in a world of suffering, we can call God good. This challenging question can manifest itself as a conspiracy of doubt and depression, so that our emotions and our intellect come under attack. Will God deliver us through this distressing journey?
Publishers Description It was the perfect irony. To lose God at a missions conference. What's worse, Matt Rogers will tell you, is that it all felt like fate. Years later, even after Matt's depression subsided, the feeling of being forgotten had not left him. So he knew he had to write it down. Recounting his own experience with depression, Matt Rogers explores the question of how, in a world of suffering, we can call God good. This challenging question can manifest itself as a conspiracy of doubt, so that our emotions and our intellect come under attack. Without appealing to easy answers, Rogers offers understanding and a ray of hope for those who suffer from depression, encouraging them never to give up.
Citations And Professional Reviews Losing God: Clinging to Faith Through Doubt and Depression by Matt Rogers has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
CBA Retailers - 10/01/2008 page 27
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Studio: Intervarsity Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.1" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.5" Weight: 0.45 lbs.
Release Date Feb 28, 2012
Publisher IVP Books
ISBN 0830836209 ISBN13 9780830836208
Availability 0 units.
More About Matt Rogers
Matt Rogers is a director with McKinsey & Company in San Francisco. Matt served as the senior adviser to the U.S. Secretary of Energy for Recovery Act Implementation from 2009 to 2010. He graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University and holds an MBA from Yale's School of Management.
Reviews - What do customers think about Losing God: Clinging to Faith Through Doubt and Depression?
Helpful Dec 26, 2009
For those struggling with a sense of the loss of God's presence, which then leads to theological stresses and loss of confidence in God and salvation and much of what you once held strongly...this book could be helpful. It is encouraging to read of one who went through such a season and survived. The book doesn't answer all the why questions that hit during such a season...but, then, I'm not sure any finite person could accomplish this task.
Balm for the Wounded Jun 17, 2009
I picked up Losing God to at least get started... and I finished it in one sitting. Though I am not a fan of spiritual memoir writing, it can be deeply compelling. One thing is for sure: the experiences of doubt, depression, and eternal anxiety will leave a mark that only those who have undergone them will understand.
The book's endorsements all come from Emergent writers, but there really is no reason the Reformed should be upset with the text (see Trevin Wax). The author retains conservative views, values the counsel from a Calvinist pastor, and rightly finds the eternal divine decrees incomprehensible and mysterious. It should serve as a warning, though, to those who are obsessed with Calvinism's resurgence and how affections of piety are to be counted as evidence of true conversion. My favorite line in the book is when Rogers says, he didn't want evidence, he needed proof!
Those that find comfort in the Doctrines of Grace will probably not find much in this book to appreciate. There can be a blessed assurance and confident life in Christ lived out in a Calvinistic framework. But for those tender soles that have been bullied into Calvinism and have been taught to see psychiatric problems reduced to spiritual problems will find balm for the wounds in its pages. For these I heartily recommend it.
As Advertised May 13, 2009
The book was exactly what it claimed to be--the story of one man's journey through depression--useful for anyone with a religious background who struggles with depression or loves someone who is fighting that battle.
Could not put this book down! Feb 23, 2009
Picked up this book out of curiosity at the Christian bookstore & could not put it down-- I was hooked start to finish. What love for God this writer had even when he thought he had lost it. The sheer obsessive grief he experienced over the thought that he had lost his faith touched my heart. If he did not love God he would not have put that much energy, grief or thought into it. Thank God he found the way back!
Put on the Shoes of Someone Depressed Jan 23, 2009
If you believe that depression always has a spiritual cause and can only be treated by spiritual means, then you will not like this book. But you are probably one of the people who could best benefit from this book. Matt Rogers' Losing God: Clinging to Faith Through Doubt and Depression (IVP, 2008) is a first-person testimony of a four-year journey through doubt and depression.
At the center of Matt's depression is a personal struggle to the love the sovereign God described in Romans 9. He writes:
"Fear burned in me again as I stood in the bookstore. What little confidence I had awakened to that morning drained away, and all the questions came back. Am I hardened against Christ? Has God himself hardened me that he might show his wrath in me? Does this mean there is no hope for me, that God truly does not love me?" (44)
Matt questions at times, but ultimately upholds a strong view of God's sovereignty. He maintains a healthy tension between human free will and God's sovereign choice. And he quotes Tozer, appealing to mystery over certainty as to how these two work together.
But Matt's story gives us a glimpse of what can happen when an overemphasis on God as the Just Judge leads to incessant introspection. Give a Puritan book to someone with a propensity toward depression, and you might unintentionally lead them to paralyzing introspection that robs them of joyful service. Too much self-examination can be dangerous (not to mention self-centered), and Matt's story is a testimony to the fact that introspection can sometimes heighten depressive tendencies.
Losing God is a powerful story. Do not expect an abbreviated tale of superficial suffering and quick deliverance. In fact, three-fourths of the book go by without almost any sign of hope. Yet Losing God does deliver hope - and that hope is found within the context of the body of Christ.
Matt's testimony is helpful because it shines light on both what is good and what is bad in much of evangelicalism today. Consider his portrayal of the church:
"One Sunday was particularly bitter. My mind had been seething all morning, and the music minister was bouncing up and down and grinning from ear to ear at the song in his heart as he led the church through hymn after hymn. I stood mumbling the lyrics and thinking, If this guy gets any happier, he's going to float out the back door." (104)
Matt admits that at times he could hardly stand the "cheerful songs of Christian bliss that were salt in my open wounds" (75). This statement should lead us to ask some questions about the typical, upbeat worship music in most churches today.
Is there any room for lament? For questioning? For silence? Why is that so many songs out of God's hymnbook (the Psalms) would seem out of place in our worship?
Yet despite the failings of the church, Matt ultimately finds mentoring, relationships, companionship, strength, and encouragement in the body of Christ. It is in the church that Matt finds deliverance. It is in the church that he finds the Jesus he truly loves.
Losing God never turns to medicine as the primary answer for depression. Matt came out of his four-year period of darkness without medication, yet he believes there are more than just spiritual causes of depression. A vicious cycle takes place - spiritual causes can lead to a depressive state, and a depressive mental state can accentuate spiritual problems.
In the end, Matt recognizes that there are complex issues involved in depression. Simplistic answers and solutions do not fit every case. For those of us who have never struggled with severe doubt or depression, Matt's book helps us understand those who do.
At the end of the book, Matt offers hope to those struggling with depression and doubt. He gives steps toward healing and encourages people to find community. What I love most about Losing God is that Matt's story is not about someone who finds deliverance through willpower, medicine, or black-and-white theological answers. It's the story of a man who finds grace within the family of God.