Good Religion Gone Bad || Spiritual Sobriety by Elizabeth Esther || A Book Review

About Spiritual Sobriety

It’s easy to get high on God in America.
But is this good religion?

In a compelling follow-up to her memoir, Girl at the End of the World, Elizabeth Esther explores how religious fervor can become religious addiction.

The evidence is everywhere. In families who inexplicably choose to harm their children in order to abide by cultic church doctrine. But in ordinary believers too who use God the same way addicts use drugs or alcohol—to numb pain, alter their mood, or simply to escape the realities of this messy, unpredictable thing called life.

If you’ve ever wondered how a religion that preaches freedom and love can produce judgmental and unkind followers; if you’ve ever felt captive to the demanding God of your own childhood; if you’ve struggled to find contentment without needing another emotional hit from a “life-changing” conference or “mountain-top” experience, then Spiritual Sobriety is for you. The author, who grew up in a hyper-controlling church cult, will help you find hope and rebirth in the ruins of disillusioned faith.

Filled with stories and warm, practical advice, Spiritual Sobriety offers a gentle path out of the desperate cycles of craving-euphoria-hangover and into a freer, clean-and-sober faith practice.

My Thoughts On Spiritual Sobriety

Good faith gone bad? Twisted beliefs? Searching for God? Developing a sober thought life? The genius of moderation? Relapse? True religion? The language of shame? Righteous rhetoric? 

And one of the BIGGER questions we are asked in Spiritual Sobriety is this: "Can a person have a persistent, compulsive dependence on religion?" And the answer, of course, is a resounding "Yes".


^ It's all in the book. And I gotta say, while there are a TON of questions to consider and ponder over, well, I kinda loved thinking through them all -- and let's just say I had a lot of AHA Moments hit me throughout the reading of this book. Basically this book isn't done with me yet, and I can tell. 

Reader, if you are searching for answers, or are questioning the crazy highs-and-lows of your faith -- if you are ready to ditch bad religion and shame and fear and replace it instead with Real Spiritual Living and setting healthy faith-boundaries for yourself, then Spiritual Sobriety needs to be in your hands, or on the very top of the TBR pile on your nightstand. 

Overall? This book is a breath of fresh air after being encased by suffocating bad religion. And I'm daring you right now to ask the tough questions, to step away, and to seek to find again a renewing faith in these pages -- because it's hidden in there somewhere for you to uncover. 

Photo by Jennifer Imus


Elizabeth Esther is the author of Girl at The End of the World: my escape from fundamentalism in search of faith with a future. She lives in Southern California with her husband and their five children.

Want to read my review of Elizabeth Esther's first book 'Girl At The End of the World?' Click here

Big shout out to Blogging for Books, as I received this book from them for this review.