Misfit Faith: Confessions of a Drunk Ex-Pastor
Misfit Faith: Confessions of a Drunk Ex-Pastor  -     By: Jason Stellman
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Convergent Books / 2017 / Hardcover
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Misfit Faith: Confessions of a Drunk Ex-Pastor

Convergent Books / 2017 / Hardcover

In Stock
Stock No: WW140622


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Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Convergent Books
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0804140626
ISBN-13: 9780804140621

Publisher's Description

"Provides a vision for a broader, more hospitable Christianity."–Publishers Weekly. The co-host of the popular podcast, Drunk Ex-Pastors, offers an earnest and irreverent look at what it means to be a Christian in an upside down world.
 
"Perhaps failing at faith is an ironic success, since disaster is where grace happens."  – Jason Stellman

Jason Stellman has always felt like a misfit. A Protestant pastor with a sharp wit, a restlessly inquisitive mind, and a love of pop culture and rock and roll, he has long sensed that something was missing when it came to his relationship with God. In time, he felt drawn to the Catholic Church, so he stepped down from his ministry and embraced Catholicism, only to still feel misplaced and homeless.
 
His feelings, thoughts, and troubles echo the disillusionment and confusion of many people who struggle relating to ancient faiths in a postmodern world.
 
In a book that mixes memoir with theological insights and taut storytelling, Stellman gives an edgy, honest, heart-on-his-sleeve account of what it means to be a mixed-up Christian outsider in the twenty-first century (and why this is a can be good thing). Misfit Faith is an invitation to all the religious vagabonds and exiles with nowhere to really call home, those wanderers who increasingly feel like mere fans of spirituality rather than committed members of the team.
 
If you’ve ever questioned your faith, felt like a spiritual malcontent, or sought solace for your existential angst at the bottom of a bottle of bourbon, then Stellman just may be the best drinking buddy you’ve never met.

Author Bio

JASON STELLMAN, cohost of the podcast Drunk Ex-Pastors, is a Southern California native and transplant to Seattle who wishes he still lived in Europe. He served as a missionary with Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa in Uganda ('91-'92) and in Hungary ('94-2000). Ordained In the Presbyterian Church in America, he was called to plant Exile Presbyterian Church in the Seattle area where he served from 2004-2012. In September 2012, he was received into the Catholic Church. He drinks and questions his faith regularly.

Editorial Reviews

"Jason Stellman's Misfit Faith is like a Johnny Cash album for the spiritual book world. He snarls, laughs, and cries as he tells us about the strange signposts along his own spiritual journey. And in doing so, he leads us to the God who tells the story of His love through the rituals of creation and the Catholic Church. In the end, he dares you to find your own strange, bizarre, and rebel faith. Count me in as one of the misfits." —Jonathan Ryan, author, blogger, and co-founder of Sick Pilgrim
 
"An ex-pastor walks into confession. . . and out comes this drunk miracle of a book. Deeply thoughtful and compulsively readable." —Peter Kispert, McSweeney's contributor
 
"Stellman's book puts to bed the myth that conversion means an end to questions, doubts, and confusion. His words are a balm to those of us who find our faith journeys resemble the art of MC Escher, with stairways to nowhere and doors that open only onto more doors. But his words are hopeful too. In the Catholic Church he seems to have found a faith wide and deep enough to humble, hold, and challenge him--all while letting him be the misfit that he is." —Jessica Mesman Griffith, coauthor of Love & Salt: A Spiritual Friendship Shared in Letters

"Misfit Faith is more than just another book about God, man, and the meaning of life. What you are holding in your hands right now is a spyglass masquerading as a book. Four hundred years ago Galileo did something radical with a small handheld nautical tool that brought what had been invisible into view: he pointed it away from the sea, toward the heavens. The result was a revolutionary understanding of the universe and our place in it. 
     Exactly in this way, Jason Stellman uses his 176-page spyglass to achieve a brilliant paradigm shift in our understanding of the ’Man Up There’ and how we fit into his scheme of things. Stellman shines the light of insight upon questions such as what makes God God? With a unique writing style that is by turns witty and poignant, Stellman wrestles with dichotomous aspects of spirituality—religion vs. secularism, divinity vs. humanity, law vs. love, and others—topping off clarity with a colloquialism (personal favorite: "is what I’m saying") that has you nodding in agreement. Alternately tapping into studied wisdom and real-life experience in reconciling these age-old debates, the gift Stellman imparts is harmony." —Maura Poston Zagrans, author of Camerado, I Give You My Hand and Miracles Every Day 

"If mindfully sipped, this book can leave you sitting in the glow of a Love you might not have known before." —Seth Taylor, author of Feels Like Redemption

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  1. Woofiejo
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Misfit
    April 29, 2017
    Woofiejo
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 2
    The introduction of this book was brilliantly written. It was engaging, funny, interesting, shocking, and insightful. I was excited to read this book about somebody who also sees some of the ridiculous things that religion has done in our society. And, I was very interested to learn about his transformation from being a Baptist minister to a reformed Catholic to somebody who is a little bit snarky in their faith.

    Throughout the book he raises some very interesting questions. For example, the most famous passage in all of Scripture is written by John 3:16 "for God so loved the world". The author questions how this could correspond with 1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Both of these verses are written by the same author, so how can we reconcile these things? I appreciated the fresh look that the author has on so many of the things we never question about the things we are taught.

    He challenges the shame that Christians can bring upon each other and the altered view of our heavenly Father that many of us hold. He says "but when my personal and professional life went to shite, the unbending and inflexible God of pier will started to seem more like Zeus or Judge Judy then a compassionate father.This notion that the higher nature of God's ways explains why he would do seemingly cruel things to his children that we earthly fathers would never do to ours also flies in the face of the idea, so central to my own misfit faith and to the Catholic Church tradition more broadly, that Grace perfects nature. As I have argued already, the relationship of grace to nature, divinity to humanity, and heaven to earth is not one of antagonism or threat but one of redemption and fulfillment."

    While I was excited to read the book based on the title and the opening, I struggled throughout the entire book to find the purpose of the story. It's seem to ramble from one thought to the next. He is a movie buff and there are many of obscure references to movies and also different songs.

    In chapter 6 he talks about how his daughter Ainsley was into Disney princesses. He then talks about how she left the Disney princess faze and then all three of his kids embraced Star Wars. Then he moved onto the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, the tooth fairy, the Song of Ice and Fire from which HBO's Game of Thrones is based and then the 10 commandments. This is all just in a few pages and then he goes on to talk about how water boils at 212F and how that is a scientific claim and the difference between that and a narrative discourse. And then back to a discussion about Harry Potter.



    I was disappointed that I never really did learn about his journey from becoming Baptist or Catholic, what happened during the drunk years (or sober years) and how the transition took place. I did learn a little bit about his current beliefs, but after reading the book I am still wondering what the purpose of it all was.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my fair and unbiased review.
  2. sheep23
    St. Charles, MO
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Misfit Faith
    April 4, 2017
    sheep23
    St. Charles, MO
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Misfit Faith: Confessions of a Drunk Ex-Pastor by Jason J. Stellman

    I usually go for a book with a good title and this one has quite an edgy and provocative title. To go along with it, the author at one time was a PCA pastor, a denomination I belong to and wanted to see what he had to say about life in ministry. This new book, Misfit Faith, is a story of someone who still wrestles with the faith and was pulled toward the Roman Catholic Church from being a church planting pastor in Seattle prior to his change. The book is a critique of those who have their theology all lined, ducks in a row, and more a conversation about how to have doubts and still believe. In the book, Jason explains the first segment of the Apostles Creed concerning believing in God the Father and how this changes the way we should think about faith.

    In the opening chapters, Jason seeks to draw the implications of God as Father in relationship to the Calvinist system that he says minimized this idea and promoted a God as Lawgiver and Judge. He writes, Since lawgiver-God pretty much abhors the real you, your only hope is to accept the Calvinist gospel, according to which we sinners can be considered righteous by trusting in Jesus and accepting his obedience as though it were our own and thereby escaping hell on judgment day. (32) I understand Jasons frustration with this system that speaks highly of sin and judgment but maybe not enough about the tender fatherly love God has for his children. Yet, I think this point of view is a gross misunderstanding of Reformed and Calvinist thought which emphasizes grace, the image of God in man, and how God constantly accommodates himself to humanity through various covenants and appearances. This quote is a rather truncated and misleading version of a fully robust Reformed understanding of salvation.

    However, I thought Jasons Divine Yes to Humanity is a very good antidote to the dualism many Christians fall prey to. He writes, The first assumption is that matter and flesh are bad, which is why such things are contrasted to spiritual, heavenly thingsThe other implicit assumption in this suspicious posture toward worldly pursuits is that heavens aim is to necessarily thwart such things, as though divinitys role is to crush or frustrate humanity. (53-54) The burning of secular music, keeping away from any movie above PG, and the removal of any art depicting the human body are examples of where Christians have demeaned many good things that God has given us. Jesus incarnation is the yes to humanity and the very good to what God has made. Not to mention we have Jesus enjoying himself at the wedding at Cana and enjoying his time with sinners and tax collectors.

    I enjoyed this book at times and at times wanted to fling it across the room. I hope that many readers will find Jasons searching and doubting as a way to look differently at the world.

    Thanks to Convergent and Blogging for Books for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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