Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith
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Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith

Howard Books / 2015 / Paperback

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Product Description

The follow-up to her bestselling Jesus Feminist, Sarah Bessey's Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith tells the story of how she moved from a first naiveti (when you accept everything unquestioningly) to doubt and then into a second naiveti (where you reengage with faith with new eyes and take responsibility for what you believe and do).

Chapters engage with the emotional and mental work of tossing out some things and reclaiming others within the realms of theology, reading the Bible, church, community, vocation, and more. Written by someone who understands the fear behind questioning-the fear of devaluing Scripture, questioning authority, and becoming a "wishy-washy" Christian who only read the parts of the Bible that suits them-her robust love of Jesus and warm recounting of her personal journey will encourage those seeking a robust, intellectually engaged, faith. 259 pages, softcover. Chapter discussion questions included.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Howard Books
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 5.50 X 8.38 (inches)
ISBN: 1476717583
ISBN-13: 9781476717586

Publisher's Description

From the popular blogger and provocative author of Jesus Feminist comes a riveting new study of Christianity that helps you wrestle with—and sort out—your faith.

In Out of Sorts, Sarah Bessey—award-winning blogger and author of Jesus Feminist, which was hailed as “lucid, compelling, and beautifully written” (Frank Viola, author of God’s Favorite Place on Earth)—helps us grapple with core Christian issues using a mixture of beautiful storytelling and biblical teaching, a style well described as “narrative theology.”

As she candidly shares her wrestlings with core issues—such as who Jesus is, what place the Church has in our lives, how to disagree yet remain within a community, and how to love the Bible for what it is rather than what we want it to be—she teaches us how to walk courageously through our own tough questions.

In the process of gently helping us sort things out, Bessey teaches us how to be as comfortable with uncertainty as we are with solid answers. And as we learn to hold questions in one hand and answers in the other, we discover new depths of faith that will remain secure even through the storms of life.

Editorial Reviews

“There are so many things that Ilove about this book and I know you will too. I love Sarah Bessey and true toform in Out of Sorts she is transparent, vulnerable, thought provoking,and gracious as she wrestles with things we have all wrestled with, or one daywill. Her message of hope, love, and grace is stunning and my heart resonatesdeeply with the thought that ‘we need each other, and we need to learn fromeach stream, because our stories don’t happen alone; our roots are all tangledtogether.’”
"Honest, sober, and encouragingly relatable."
"Charming, beautifully expressive"
“This is the truth: Sarah is one of my very favorite writers. The quality of her writing is so inspiring and beautiful and moving to me. And her complicated dance with church and all its tentacles is one that is familiar to so many of us. I love this book.”
“Sarah Bessey writes with the fire of a preacher and the soul of a mother, critical thought without cynicism. Her deepest wounds have come from the church and so has her deepest healing. This book is for all of us who understand, we wonderers who long for Jesus and distrust easy answers. Here Sarah is a brave and faithful guide as we all learn to ‘live the questions.’”
“Touching a raw nerve in contemporary evangelical experience, Sarah Bessey reflects on the inevitable reality of walking the path of faith without having it all worked out—and at times having none of it worked out. Thoughtful, compelling, moving, and real, Bessey models a faith many are seeking but afraid to voice, a faith released of the obligation to be certain. This is the kind of book you’ll want to read and tell friends about.”
Out of Sorts reads like a love letter to Jesus and to all those desperate to see His true face. Through her indomitable heart, brilliant mind, and vivid writing, Bessey sets an extravagant, cozy table in the middle of the spiritual desert."
"What you will find in these pages is nothing short of a gift. There are plenty of us out here reimagining, rethinking, reevaluating, restarting. You aren’t alone....Thank you, my dearest Sarah Bessey, for helping us find our way back home.”
“With refreshing honesty and engaging passion, Sarah Bessey reminds us that cheap certitude is a poor substitute for genuine faith."
"[Bessey] creates a loving, inviting environment from which readers can approach their own questions, beliefs, and maturity."
"Bessey offers a good forum for Evangelical Christians to question what they believe without getting bent out of joint."

Product Reviews

4.4 Stars Out Of 5
4.4 out of 5
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3.6 out Of 5
(3.6 out of 5)
Value:
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3.7 out Of 5
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88%
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Displaying items 1-5 of 17
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  1. barb
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    out of sorts
    April 18, 2017
    barb
    Quality: 1
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    The author is good with words and a good writer but i do not find the book biblically sound. It seems to me a lot of people now a days want to put there own spin on the bible and christianity. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever and His word does not return void. We can twist the scriptures all we want to conform to the culture and the patterns of this world and dress it up with nice theological sounding words but in the end it is only Compromise and does not being life and change to people who need it.
  2. LifeVerse
    Gender: male
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    Leans toward the "spiritual but not religious" genre
    December 6, 2015
    LifeVerse
    Gender: male
    Quality: 1
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 3
    I realize that this is a book for women, not men, so admittedly I am not the author's target audience. Someone had given it to my pastor's wife as a gift, and she passed it on to the church library. Thankfully, it's no longer there because after discussing it with the pastor, he agreed it had no business being in the library of any Christian church. Bessy is admittedly an engaging writer - the words flow easily, but there just aren't many ideas behind them. To put it bluntly, this is post-Christianity, which was also evident in her earlier book, Jesus Feminist. She represents a common type of women, younger than 40, raised in conservative churches but now turning their back on their childhood religion yet attempting (the reasons why are not clear) to hang on to the name "Christian." Most men in her situation have simply made a clean break with Christianity, but some of the women still cling to their identity as "Christian," even though their blogs and books exist for the sole purpose of telling these women that they can conform as much as they like to the secular culture, can pick and choose which parts of the Bible that they like or choose to live by. The "evolving faith" that the author claims to embrace is definitely something other than Christianity. Admittedly, she does make a few astute observations about what's wrong with churches today. I was tempted to give the book 2 stars because she does have a better writing style than the other post-Christian blogger, Rachel Evans. Both of them have created their own custom-made feel-good religion, both very much into self-congratulation because they broke away from their religious tradition, so this whole movement seems to be a delayed adolescent rebellion against their families.
  3. Sufficient in Jesus
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Expanded my vision of Eternal Living.
    November 15, 2015
    Sufficient in Jesus
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    When we find ourselves out of sorts, it's time to sort it out.

    I feel extra appreciation for authors who use words well, who seem to weigh them and taste them and then arrange them with care. Sarah Bessey is one of those authors. Whatever aspect of life she's talking about, she reveals its hidden glory, she shows us where God has touched it.

    The first chapters hooked me right in, because she dives into the metaphor of "sorting things out." We feel compelled to sort material possessions when a major change happens. We sort when somebody dies. We sort when we have to move. We sort when we want to pass along one of our treasures to somebody else.

    Sarah feels that it is much the same with faith. Sometimes a piece of our faith seems to die, and we're left sifting through the memories. Sometimes we have to move on, and we feel suddenly rootless. And all the time, we want to pass on the good of our faith, but the graces may be buried in the negatives.

    This book was born from Sarah's sorting, and as she "unpacks the boxes," you may see things that you recognize right there in her hands. As is must be with any storyteller, she speaks from her heart but the words echo in yours.

    Sarah tells us that she has always felt an ease in her communion with the Spirit. It didn't keep her from struggles, or fears, or terrible loss. But through it all, she has been known, and she knows it. This comes out in her writing. The Jesus that she is madly in love with is a living Jesus, a God-Incarnate whom she meets in the Gospel accounts and on the street and around her kitchen table.

    He's the One Eugene Peterson described, who could "say the big nouns: joy, glory, peace; and live the best verbs: love, forgive, save."

    And because of him, Sarah will not walk away from the people that he calls his body. She will not forget that he called us into a kingdom: a way of being fully human; of spending our moments well; of being present with people the in presence of Christ; a way of working towards what is good, especially when it's hard.

    If you read Out Of Sorts, you will come away with something valuable. I came away with an expanded vision of what Sarah calls "Eternal Living." When a Christian says "eternal life," the world hears "that disembodied forever existence that you think you're getting- if you're not on God's sin list."

    That cannot be what Jesus was referring to when he said that we had his life in us.

    When Sarah hears those words, she hears something more like "Eternal Living"- doing life as if God was right there in it, as if it were all caught up in Christ- finding its grounding and glory in him.

    Treat yourself to this book. It's positive without being fake. It's serious without being despairing. It's full of truth without arrogance. It sounds kinda like a conversation between her, and you, and Jesus.

    I thank Howard Books for providing me with this review copy.
  4. Mel
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Thought provoking and maybe life changing
    November 7, 2015
    Mel
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Out of Sorts - eBook.
    Reading this book has given me hope that I'm not alone in my struggles. From the first chapter to the final benediction + everything in between Sarah Bessey's words helped me to see into my own way and out the other side. 'Out of Sorts' as a memoir, covers the experiences + ponderings of the author as she parallels my own journey to continually move closer to Jesus. Always Jesus.

    Throughout the book we see her family background, her experiences in Haiti and I think the main thing I got out of this book was that Sarah Bessey is continually seeking Jesus. That's what I aim to also push on towards. In no way do I think that 'Out of Sorts' will convict people not already of the faith. But I do hope that those who are wandering or have been burnt by people who are lying when they say they do things after Jesus, definitely read this book, as it will help to let them know that not all aspects of their relationship with Jesus is as negative as their previous experience.

    For me the subtitle rings true - 'making peace with an evolving faith', as I desire to choose the best + most apt way for me to show God's love to myself, to others, to Him - and Out of Sorts has shown me that I'm definitely not going to be a cookie cutter Christian, but my own sometimes messy, mostly worthwhile + continually evolving woman, as I learn more about Jesus + the life he has lead me to live.

    * I was given an e-book advance copy in exchange for what I believe to be my honest review.
  5. VicsMediaRoom
    Irvine, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Time To Review Growth In Our Faith
    November 4, 2015
    VicsMediaRoom
    Irvine, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Sarah Bessey in her new book, Out Of Sortspublished by Howard Books gives us Making Peace with an Evolving Faith.

    From the back cover: From the popular blogger and provocative author of Jesus Feminist comes a riveting new study of Christianity that helps you wrestle withand sort outyour faith.

    In Out of Sorts, Sarah Besseyaward-winning blogger and author of Jesus Feminist, which was hailed as lucid, compelling, and beautifully written (Frank Viola, author of Gods Favorite Place on Earth)helps us grapple with core Christian issues using a mixture of beautiful storytelling and biblical teaching, a style well described as narrative theology.

    As she candidly shares her wrestlings with core issuessuch as who Jesus is, what place the Church has in our lives, how to disagree yet remain within a community, and how to love the Bible for what it is rather than what we want it to beshe teaches us how to walk courageously through our own tough questions.

    In the process of gently helping us sort things out, Bessey teaches us how to be as comfortable with uncertainty as we are with solid answers. And as we learn to hold questions in one hand and answers in the other, we discover new depths of faith that will remain secure even through the storms of life.

    Ms. Besseys definition of Out Of Sorts is: a state of being in ones heart or mind or body. Often used to describe ones sense of self at a time when you feel like everything you once knew for sure has to be figured out all over again. Another way to describe that is a wilderness experience. It is at this time that we need to sort through our belief system, figure out what is still worth keeping, and learn to let go of the things that are no longer helpful, things that are useless, and things that may even be harmful. Ms. Bessey is sharing from her life experiences and she is looking at eleven belief systems and if they are the same today as when she started her Christian walk. We are not ponds where our water stands still. Quite the contrary we are compared to a river where the water is constantly moving. This is fascinating reading and the key is the subtitle of the book: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Howard Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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