Ashamed No More
There are some things we just don't talk about.
Things like sex, particularly when our sexuality is a matter of personal struggle.
Things like the vulnerabilities of our pastors, who must maintain a façade not merely of respectability but of moral and psychological superiority.
We don't talk about things that make us feel insecure, that make us feel unsettled. But the nature of spiritual growth, even the story of Christian faith, is a matter of being unsettled from the comfortable compromises we've made and set on a course together toward wholeness and mutually supportive community.
Pastor T. C. Ryan takes us on an unsettling journey through his lifelong struggle with sexual addiction, one that predated and pervaded his pastoral ministry—one which for far too long he faced in secrecy and isolation, separated from the brothers and sisters in Christ who were called to bear one another's burdens.
Ashamed No More doesn't cast blame or argue for looser moral standards. It does, however, call us to the unsettling ministry that a God who is love calls us to—the unsettling grace that is the audacious gospel of Christ.
"A genuinely important book."
"Tom Ryan has written a remarkable confessional. In Ashamed No More he confesses his years-long addiction to sex, describing with truth, clarity and compassion the hopelessness he felt as an addict. But this book is also confessional in that it declares this reality: liberation is possible through Jesus Christ, and hope is a present reality for people who want a different story than enslavement to addiction. This book is a gift to the church and to the many men and women who long for a path to freedom and companionship along the way."
"Much of what [Ryan] says is helpful for all kinds of personal and ecclesiastical ailments. The genius of his work is the promise it holds forth for sexual addicts and developing addicts as well as for the rest of the mostly unnamed but broken community who also need to be 'ashamed no more.'"
"T.C. Ryan has written an important book. Let me recommend this one right away for your personal reading and your library. . . . I am encouraged by Ryan's work. It is authentic, truthful and compassionate. It points toward a new direction, a new way to offer life, to be inclusive in ministry. This time the inclusion invites the ministry leader to be ministered to, as well!"
"T. C. Ryan takes us on an unsettling journey through his lifelong struggle with sexual addiction, one that predated and pervaded his pastoral ministry—one which for far too long he faced in secrecy and isolation. Ashamed No More doesn't cast blame or argue for looser moral standards. It does, however, call us to the unsettling ministry that a God who is love calls us to—the unsettling grace that is the audacious gospel of Christ."
"I find it refreshing that Ryan does not shy away from the spiritual aspects of his struggle. . . . Overall the book is well written and easy to follow. While personal recovery books can sometimes come across as cathartic or narcissistic endeavors through which the author attempts to work out his own healing, this text did not feel self-congratulatory, nor did it minimize the author's personal experience or story of transformation."
"By integrating sexuality in its proper proportion within a holistic pursuit of God, Ryan offers us a chance to find healing. He does not make excuses for himself or any other addict, but rather calls us all to examination and authenticity."
"This sage volume calls all pastors and church leaders, parishioners too, to take off the blinders, to rouse themselves from their slumber, to peel the scales off their eyes and admit that many persons in their churches—including youths and teens—are fighting and losing the battle against internet pornography. . . . In short, Ryan's book offers help and hope for the many hurting and hiding souls that populate our churches."
"This is a story about redemption and sexual addiction that avoids salacious details while giving an honest and helpful account of what it means for the Holy Spirit to work in the life of a fallen, but loved, believer. The author makes a convincing case for the notion that there really is such a thing as sexual addiction. In addition, one gets a clear look at the arduousness and the ebb and flow of recovery work. But, two things especially struck me. First, there is an aura of grace about this book. Second, although I am not a part of the recovery movement I sensed a clarion call to doing the hard work of growing in Christ and being accountable to my brothers and sisters. The book doesn't quite read like a novel, but it comes close: the kind of 'novel' that encourages one to live better, love deeper, and bask in the love of God. It is a book I recommend for the reader and the church."
Foreward by Walter Wangerin Jr.
1. Living a Divided Life
2. Sexuality and Spirituality
3. Coming to Know the Enemy Within
4. Shame and "Morality"
5. Excavating Origins
6. Genuine Spiritual Transformation and the Recovery Movement
7. Transformation, Struggle and What I Learned
8. In the Darkness, He Is There
9. God, Brokenness and Life in the Mindful Calm
10. Brokenness and Healthy Spiritual Community
11. Biblical Ethics and Sexual Behavior
12. Broken Leaders and Spiritual Rehab