Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Nonfiction November: Out of Sorts

Sarah Bessey is a writer of incredible grace and kindness. There are many books about the moment when someone becomes a Christian, but there are very few that deal with the changing journey of faith. It is easy to feel confident in our beliefs - we know exactly what we believe and why...until the day when things aren't so clear anymore. We find something that doesn't make sense or realize that we just don't believe a certain thing in light of our own experiences. Through Bessey's words, we see that our beliefs can change over time and we can be gentle with ourselves as that happens.

Throughout the book, Bessey compares faith to holding a rummage sale. As we sort through the pieces of our faith, we rediscover some things we had forgotten we had, but we also find things that no longer fit into our lives. There are chapters about every person's ability to ask questions and dive into theology, how we can and should keep reading through the portions of Scripture that make us uncomfortable, and finding beauty in the new and ancient practices of the church. In all of these things, she always brings the focus back to Jesus and His love for us. 

Bessey weaves together her thoughts about an evolving faith with her own story of coming to faith as a child, growing up in the church, leaving it for six years, and then finding her way back. She is honest about the pain she experienced and the mistakes she made.

Out of Sorts is a book of loving warning for the person new to faith about the trials they may face. It is also a reassuring message of solace for the person who thought they knew what they believed, only to find themselves in a spiritual wilderness. A faith that looks exactly the same for years is a faith that isn't growing. This is a normal part of our journey, despite its uncertainty. With gentle and kind guidance from people like Sarah Bessey, we are able to walk through it together with the knowledge that all will be well.

Out of Sorts: Making Peace with An Evolving Faith
By Sarah Bessey
Howard Books November 2015
272 pages
Read via Netgalley


  1. This sounds fantastic! I hate when books present Christianity as happy and easy and if that isn't happening, the reader is doing something wrong. I love books that look at the struggles honestly.

    1. I appreciated that it didn't feel hopeless, though. It was a more of a "don't fear, this is normal!!"