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Misfit Faith: Confessions of a Drunk Ex-Pastor Hardcover – March 7, 2017
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"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
About the Author
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.
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The author's style is very casual and uses numerous pop culture analogies, but tempers this with a thorough understanding of scripture and serious philosophy. The book is relatively short and the language, sarcasm and occasional self depreciation make for a quick read.
I don't think agonstics or atheists will find much enlightenment here, but they should take great comfort in reading a Christian author who represents Christians who seem to be interested in the Jesus Christ of the actual gospels; as opposed to the seemingly hateful Jesus crafted by evangelicals. The enduring theme of the book is love, humility and fellowship justified through modern scriptural understanding.
Anyone wrestling with the details and inconsistencies of religion (though that religion would probably have to be a version of Christianity) should really check out this book.
Jason's explanations on these issues are given through the lens of his own religious path, personalized and humanized both through his humility and his many analogies to pop culture (lovers of Tolkien, CS Lewis, Star Wars, U2, and more will not be disappointed!). His message is one that aligns with much of the work of Rob Bell, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Greg Boyd, Brian McLaren, and Richard Rohr.
It's ultimately a hopeful, grace-filled message, which is kind of appropriate given that he's talking about the greatest story of hope and grace of all. "Is misfit faith about love or suffering? Feasting or fasting? Divinity or humanity? Heaven or earth? The answer is yes, to all of it. And yeah, I want it all: the now and the later, the spirit and the flesh, the head, the heart, and the stations of the cross."
Do yourself a favor - read this book. :)
Also, I read this as a Shambhala Buddhist, so anyone of any faith should be able to find something in it.
Highly recommended for anyone, of any faith (or no faith) tradition, who has asked the question "Why do I believe what I believe?"