For me, this descent into the suffering world has become my own life story. My own personal experience of growing alienation within mainstream Christianity, my inability to measure up to the endless demands of a God perceived as celestial sovereign, and my consequent brokenness under the weight of the dominant theology places me to a certain extent among the damned in need of healing and liberation. I have discovered that many of the contradictory images of God that were communicated to me as I grew up inside a mainstream Christian subculture are close to those that keep many of today’s “outsiders” alienated from the church and unable to experience God positively. My own experience of God in the midst of suffering during and after my own personal descent within my theological framwork involved a discovery of the good news that grounds the Scripture studies with the marginalized people recounted throughout this book. My story is clearly specific to my context and represents one version of one person’s process of spiritual development. I certainly do not present it as exemplary or in any way universal. This journey is not over, but represents reflestions from one stage along the road. I recognize also that the particulars of my reading experiences differ immensely from most other reading contexts. It is my hope that something universal may still shine through my particular reading contexts in ways that will serve readers in a wide diversity of contexts.
Bob Ekblad, Reading The Bible With The Damned