This year has been a year of book launch teams for yours truly. I think this marks #4 officially and I still have a couple pending that haven’t quite launched yet. As a result, I’ve read more non-fiction than I usually do, which has been a good thing.
I signed up for Sarah Bessey’s launch team, not knowing what to expect. I’ve had Jesus Feminist sitting on my nightstand for the better part of a year, but it gets moved to the bottom of the pile as other books get added to my never-ending TBR pile.
I expected to find the book fine. I expected to find the book worth reading. I expected Out of Sorts to be another book I would be glad I’d read and then move on from, happy to have helped another book launch into the world.
Out of Sorts was all of that. It was all of that and more.
I wish I could just show you all the highlighted sections, but that would be ridiculous. I would have to just give you my PDF. I’ve attempted to write this review several times, but I couldn’t figure out how to narrow down my thoughts. Then, in a moment of clarity, I realized what I wanted to say.
Why are we so scared of change? Why are we so scared of our theology changing? Why are we so sure that questioning things will break our fragile faith into something different? Why do we not trust our own faith enough to know that God can take our questioning?
I used to think God was something I had to be careful about so I didn’t rock the boat. Now I know God doesn’t just accept our questions, he wants our questions. He wants us to question, to search, to find our theology and our faith in Him.
I have long been interested in the idea of childlike faith. I used to think I knew what that meant, but Bessey changed everything when she wrote this,
“The asking isn’t wrong. The wondering isn’t wrong. the doubt isn’t wrong. It’s humbling to admit you don’t know; it takes guts to ask and wrestle. The childlike quality isn’t unthinking acquiescence: it’s curiosity. But here is the key of a child, the true wonder of childlike faith: They truly want to know. They’re not asking to be cool or to push back on the establishment or to prove anyone wrong or to grind an ax or make a point without making a change. Tinies ask because they want an answer.”
It’s not about unthinking trust without questioning. Faith is asking the questions and finding the answers in the person of Jesus. It’s about loving yourself enough to admit that the questions themselves are okay and the answers may change everything, but that’s okay. Changing faith is real faith.
Changing theology is about the Jesus we thought we knew becoming the Jesus he has always been.
Sarah Bessey writes with a style that is all her own; unfinished thoughts and simple sentences written alongside deep questions and painful realizations that there are things that can change and that her journey matters. From a faith to not believing to back to finding Jesus as He has always been – steadfast, patient and present. Bessey’s personal narrative is passionate and unflinching as she talks about how she wanted to believe but found her faith struggling. She is an honest, open writer who doesn’t apologize but instead embraces her story. And then, at the end, the benediction and prayer will change your world.
Out of Sorts is worth the read, worth being challenge and worth trusting. Be brave. Find your faith again.