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Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith Paperback – November 3, 2015

4.8 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews

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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.’” (Christine Caine, founder of The A21 Campaign and Propel Women)

"Honest, sober, and encouragingly relatable." (Frank Viola, co-author of The Day I Met Jesus)

“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.” (Shauna Niequist, author of Bread & Wine)

“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.’” (Micha Boyett, author of Found)

“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.” (Peter Enns, author of The Bible Tells Me So)

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." (Glennon Doyle Melton, New York Times bestselling author of Carry On Warrior)

"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.” (Jen Hatmaker, author of For the Love, 7, and Interrupted)

“With refreshing honesty and engaging passion, Sarah Bessey reminds us that cheap certitude is a poor substitute for genuine faith." (Brian Zahnd, pastor and author of Farewell to Mars)

"[Bessey] creates a loving, inviting environment from which readers can approach their own questions, beliefs, and maturity." (CBA Retailers & Resources)

"Bessey offers a good forum for Evangelical Christians to question what they believe without getting bent out of joint." (Library Journal)

"Charming, beautifully expressive" (Publishers Weekly)

About the Author

Sarah Bessey is the author of Jesus Feminist, an award-winning blogger at SarahBessey.com, and a passionate advocate for global women’s issues. She partners with the Help One Now ministry in Haiti and lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, with her husband, Brian, and their three children.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books (November 3, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476717583
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476717586
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Adam Shields VINE VOICE on October 28, 2015
Format: Paperback
Ever since I ran across Sarah Bessey’s writing and especially when reading her first book Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women, I have been struck by her ability to be inclusive and draw people together through her writing. Traditionally discussion of women’s roles is an exclusionary task, but Bessey, while clearly advocating for more inclusion of women in leadership and teaching roles in the church, was careful to not alienate those that disagreed with her.

In her new book, Out of Sorts: Making Peace With an Evolving Faith, she is equally adept at drawing the reader in. Out of Sorts is a hard book to describe. It is memoir-ish. It is a book about church and Bessey’s difficulties with the church, but it is not a complaint book. It is about spiritual growth and formation, denominations, Women, maturity, community and a variety of other topics.

The overriding theme is that faith changes over time. The faith we have as children is not the same faith we have as teens, which is not the same faith we have in our 20s or 40s or later. Bessey’s parents came to faith when she was a child, but old enough to remember. She grew up in small town Western Canada, where there were few enough Christians that she was relatively unaware of the differences between Christian groups. As she ventured out into the world she came to new understandings as she became acquainted with other Christians.

Other than her pentecostal childhood, I think she is telling a story that is not too different from my own and many others that I know. Age and experience brought questions, but also a new ability to trust in faith.
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For many, the church (and what exactly is "the church"?) has hurt -hopefully unintentionally-their members, whether it be for what they say is the "gospel truth", or for the values they impose (ie we don't drink, dance, swear or go with those who do). Maybe as you went for advice about doubts or why God says this in the Bible, you were told something that made you feel belittled, or that you weren't the "christian" you were supposed to be.

Sarah Bessey(author of Jesus Feminist) has written another book, called "Out of Sorts: making Peace with an Evolving Faith.

This book is truly a gem. I have underlined and highlighted so much, that well, you might think I am a bit pen happy. BUT REALLY.
I have been on this faith journey for 44 years now and from the 19 year old college sophomore to the 63 year old Grammy, my faith has changed, shifted, grown and become much more compassionate, realizing much much more that I don't always know the answers, and that GOD IS THE ULTIMATE GIVER OF ANSWERS AND JUDGE.

There are so many quotes I want you to see, but also realize that might take up another book in itself.
It would be hard to pick a favorite, but one that really captured me was:

" If our theology doesn't shift and change over our lifetimes, then I have to wonder if we're paying attention. The Spirit is often breathing in the very changes or shifts that used to terrify us."

Looking back over forty plus years of walking with Christ, I realize it is really a journey. A journey that has its ups and downs. Those straight aways when you see clearly and are sailing ahead smoothly.
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Format: Kindle Edition
It is challenging to know what to make of this book. There are times it feels like peeking into a personal journal or a letter to a young lover. Sometimes it even reads like a theological essay (I hope that is a thing) or a series of personal blog posts. Out of Sorts by Sarah Beesey tries to be all things, though not deliberately, I assure you.

Out Of Sorts by Sarah Bessey is a personal account of a Christian journey that is typical of a large subset of modern believers. The author has gone through life’s trials and has been stabbed at by the faith she professes to love, yet she says she is still in love with it. “It’s about embracing a faith, which evolves,” she says, “and the stuff I used to think about God, but I don’t think anymore, and it’s about the new things I think and believe that turned out to be old. It’s about the evolution of a soul and the ways I’ve failed;”

The book chronicles the author’s path - how she became a Christian, how life events made her disillusioned with her beliefs, how her faith metamorphosised and how she found comfort with different teachings Christianity has to offer across the ages.
She offers the lessons she has learnt to fellow Christians who are dissatisfied with the Church and are unsure of what to believe anymore. To those who have been betrayed by the church institutions and thinks it no longer holds any influence in our society, she points out that:
“…every five hundred years or so, the Church has a big rummage sale… about every five years the empowered structures of institutionalized Christianity, whatever they may be at that time, become an intolerable carapace that must be shattered in order that renewal and new growth may occur.
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