Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith by Sarah Bessey

Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith

bySarah BesseyForeword byJen Hatmaker

Kobo ebook | November 3, 2015

Pricing and Purchase Info


Prices and offers may vary in store

Available for download

Not available in stores


From the popular blogger and provocative author of Jesus Feminist comes a riveting new study of Christianity that helps you wrestle with—and sort out—your faith.

In Out of Sorts, Sarah Bessey—award-winning blogger and author of Jesus Feminist, which was hailed as “lucid, compelling, and beautifully written” (Frank Viola, author of God’s Favorite Place on Earth)—helps us grapple with core Christian issues using a mixture of beautiful storytelling and biblical teaching, a style well described as “narrative theology.”

As she candidly shares her wrestlings with core issues—such as who Jesus is, what place the Church has in our lives, how to disagree yet remain within a community, and how to love the Bible for what it is rather than what we want it to be—she teaches us how to walk courageously through our own tough questions.

In the process of gently helping us sort things out, Bessey teaches us how to be as comfortable with uncertainty as we are with solid answers. And as we learn to hold questions in one hand and answers in the other, we discover new depths of faith that will remain secure even through the storms of life.

Title:Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving FaithFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:November 3, 2015Publisher:Howard BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1476717591

ISBN - 13:9781476717593


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Free to Question Another amazing written work by author Sarah Bessey. This book is for those who feel like outliers in their faith groups. Those who have dared to question, and to search for the intersection between their faith, church culture and our modern culture. Bessey's use of allegory interwoven with theology makes the reader feel as though they could just as easily be having a conversation over coffee while reading her book. Another classic by Bessey that I would highly recommend to men and women alike and those who have long felt they just don't "fit in" to typical church culture.
Date published: 2018-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Must Read Sarah Bessey, thank you for your gracious and bold words. As I read this, I found myself saying, "Yes, exactly! That's just what I thought." Thank you. In this book, Sarah Bessey, a Christian blogger and author, talks about her life and story and different areas of faith and what she first believed and where she is now. I loved it.
Date published: 2017-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An encouraging read for those who question This book came at the perfect time for me. Sarah helps those of us who are questioning and wandering. She weaves beautifully humor, faith and stories in a compelling way. I was able to relate with much of what she said, which helped me see I'm not alone. She also gave me new thoughts to consider. It's not your typical "Christian non-fiction", but if you know who she is, supports and what she stands for, you wont be surprised - but instead fall in love with this book. Plus, it's not only a book for girls - my husband really enjoyed it too! (If you haven't already, check out her "Jesus Feminist" book too - It was also fantastic)
Date published: 2017-06-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Permission to Wonder I'm a church girl. Born, raised, educated, youth grouped, short term missions, volunteering on Sundays, Bible schooled, dedicated and baptized. I 'gave my heart to Jesus' when I was 4 years old and from that moment on I spent my whole life trying to figure out what being a Christian really meant. I was disillusioned with the representation of The Church that I saw as a teen and young adult but I felt as though it was something wrong with me, something weak in my faith, that caused me to ask questions. For years I bit back my frustration and struggled with my understanding of Jesus. Once I became a wife and mother I pushed my Great Big Questions aside and returned to the 'safe' Bible stories of my childhood. Somewhere in those years I decided that the best way to know who Jesus really is was to just read the Bible for myself and let those words alone teach me. As I did that I began to really, really like Jesus and relate to Him in a completely personal way. I thought I was the only wanderer, the only out of sorts church girl to ever struggle like this ... Until I read Sarah Bessey's book Out of Sorts. For the first time EVER I felt like ask questions was normal and working out faith was meant to be messy and real. Bessey gave me permission to doubt and wander and wonder. She also gave me a road map back yo following Jesus with my whole heart. Bessey challenges readers to embrace their questions and be okay with no clear cut answers. She makes room for child like faith and encourages following Jezus with wild abandon. Mostly she writes with grace and love and authenticity. Whether you are a born and bred church going, a teen convert Jesus follower or a wanderer in search of a place of rest for your soul you will find comfort and permission and welcome in the pages of Out of Sorts. You will also find an introduction to Jesus, as He is, wIting to love you, as you are.
Date published: 2015-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Breath Of Fresh Air For far too long Christians have paraded around pretending (miserably) that we have it all figured out. Out of Sorts is a beautiful example of intentionally dropping the mask. It is full of personal stories that so many times made me go “me too!” and heart-felt ideas that left me contemplating for days. I once heard a reviewer say that she would read Sarah Bessey’s grocery list and I fully agree. Sarah’s writing has a poetic tone that astounds me, heart that resonates with me, and an ever so slight edge of humour that is beyond delightful. Out of Sorts is the best of Sarah Bessey so far and it is a gift to every spiritual traveller.
Date published: 2015-11-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Bring your questions! From the time I read Sarah's first blog post, I was in love with her lyrical writing. She writes like a poet and reading her book (and all her blog posts) is like reading a song from her heart. When I tried to read myself into the story, I was aggravated and didn't really enjoy it. I tried reading it as if it was written about a friend instead of myself. When I did, the words just jumped off the page at me and I actually wound up ordering an additional copy for the pastor at my church. This book is a light in the darkness of the teaching that says if you question your faith then you don't actually have faith. It's a wake up call for people who are just going along with the status quo because that's all they've ever known. It is freedom who feel like they are being used in their calling. Sarah offers healing and hope and peace. And if you read it for anything, read it for the benediction at the end. This book offers fresh insight on subjects that are hard to talk about lest you be thought of questioning too much. This book opens up doors to answer your questions from your heart and to fully engage the grace you are given.
Date published: 2015-11-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Honest, Beautiful Gift of a Book I've soaked up Sarah's beautiful words through her blog for quite a while now and was eager to read her newest book, Out of Sorts. I had no idea what a gift this book would be. Through honest depiction of her journey through life and faith, on the turns and returns she has taken thus far, Sarah gives a voice to the struggles and doubts many Christians face as they attempt to live out their faith in an imperfect world. The most moving passages are Sarah's prayers for and with her readers. I've read a lot of books in which the author attempts to tell me what to do, but until now, I'd never encountered an author who prayed for me. Somehow Sarah manages to do it without an ounce of cheesiness. I am grateful for this book, and I am confident that anyone who picks it up will be moved and uplifted.
Date published: 2015-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sarah Bessey Does it Again! “Once upon a time, you had it all beautifully sorted out. Then you didn’t.” So begins this newest work from Sarah Bessey. With great anticipation, I dove into Out of Sorts and was thoroughly captured by Bessey’s unique wit and style and the substance behind her words. Rarely does a book come along where you simultaneously feel like you’re peeking into the author’s journal while at the same time reading your own. Bessey opens up about her personal challenges with a shifting and evolving faith. She shows us how we too can bring our questions and doubts to the table and sit there for a while, feeling the tension and leaning into it, learning to be comfortable with the uncertainties that are inevitable as long as we are mortal. This is not a book filled with theological answers to our questions. This is a book that cuts to the heart of our faith and with gentle, almost poetical words, points us back to Jesus. For all who have been disillusioned with the church, Bessey brings new life to the concept of church as a community, where we are free to come and love and be loved and known. “There’s room for all of us. There’s room for all of me.” Whether you have felt “out of sorts” as you struggled to reconcile the Sunday school answers with the complexities of life, whether you have been burnt out by striving to live a textbook Christian life or whether you simply need a reminder that Jesus saves and redeems our everyday, right now lives, read and be refreshed. And whether you love the church or hope to one day love the church again, this book is for you.
Date published: 2015-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Friend in the Wilderness In Out of Sorts, Sarah Bessey builds a space that is big enough for all of us to come together with our thirst for grace and our longings for a Jesus who walks with us through the wilderness of shifting theologies, personal transformation, and plain old pain -- and we find it all to exist just as we'd hoped.
Date published: 2015-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Book For All Seasons The book starts with the analogy of a rummage sale — of laying out everything we’ve believed and inherited and carried with us, and deciding what should stay and what should go. So is what needs to happen when we reach that “out of sorts” place. And it doesn’t just happen once. Through her writing, Sarah has been a constant companion of mine for more than two years. I’ve fallen in love with what she writes and how she writes it. And most importantly, I trust her. Whether it’s a book or a service or a meme, it doesn’t take much for something Christian to put me on my guard. I am overly critical and overly sensitive and overly scarred, so it’s no surprise that I fold my arms across my chest more often than not, the words catching on something or bouncing off or just scratching the surface. Not so with Sarah’s words. Out of Sorts is, in part, her own story. It’s a tale of “happy-clappy churches” and “getting religion,” of unanswered questions and ill-fitting places, of Jesus and burnout and sorrow and hope. But woven into and over and around it are deep, thought-provoking explorations of the issues themselves that most often unravel us: the Bible, the Church, signs and wonders, and suffering, to name a few. Sarah’s book isn’t the first I’ve read to honestly (and excellently) explore the hard questions. Some spiritual memoirs throb with the very real pain of loneliness, lies, and wounds from those who meant well … and those who didn’t. Others dig deep into my skin, putting a finger on the very nerve of my own spiritual angst. Out of Sorts does both of these things, while also — one might say first and foremost — being a book of relentless hope. And then there’s the beauty. The gift of Sarah’s writing — in Out of Sorts as well as elsewhere — isn’t just in what she writes, but also in how she writes it. It is pictures and poetry and music wrapped up in prose. It is grace and peace. It is an invitation, and not just to those on the margins who are questioning everything. This book is for all who hunger and thirst, whether they be on the outside looking in, or the inside looking out, or somewhere in between.
Date published: 2015-11-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful Story, Guide for Wanderers In her usual gentle style, Sarah Bessey guides us through her own process of getting her faith back to sorts. She talks about unexpected ways she was led back to her faith, even to her childhood denomination. And, when I say "gentle," I don't mean in a weak sort of way. I mean gentle in the way someone offers their hand because they are on firmer ground. Bessey has gone through this process of doubt and discontent and she is offering her hand from the other side of that process. Bessey combines theology, storytelling, and open-ended questions to weave her own journey. And, while this book is her journey, the truths she tells are universal. She takes it beyond a simple faith memoir and into the realm of a guide for other wanderers. While I found this book profound in the place I'm at now, I could see it being especially helpful to someone who is just coming out of their own out of sorts journey and needs the reminder that everything is ok. **As part of the Out of Sorts launch team, I received an early copy of the book for review.**
Date published: 2015-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Had me saying, "Oh, me too!" on every page. Christian non-fiction can quickly deteriorate into catchy platitudes with no real substance, or quick-fix “step by step programmes” to help people sort out their questions, doubts and struggles with their faith. Out of Sorts does not fall in to any of these traps. It’s heart-felt without being sickly-sweet, it’s honest and probing, and it’s full of hard questions that the author does not always provide answers for- but it does point towards Jesus. If you’re in a place where you’re feeling like the faith you grew up with doesn’t match with the darkness, questions, and struggles of the world around you and you don’t know the way forward, this book is for you. Whether it’s why God allows suffering, how to work for social justice, why we need to make room for lament in church, how to leave the institutional church (and then return), or giving women a space to do ministry, Sarah takes us on her journey of bringing hard questions straight to the Bible and to God himself, and letting the cherished pieces of evangelical Christian sub-culture fall where they may. The resounding theme of the book is that Jesus is the most important thing, that we are not alone in our doubts and questioning, and that perhaps some of the things we thought mattered so much don’t really matter at all. This is a safe book, a space-making book. It’s a book for who ever feels out-of-sorts and out-of-the-club. This is a book that lets you breathe a sigh of relief and say, “me too!” and then wander a bit with someone who has wandered father down this journey of faith and questioning than you have. The writing is sincere and poetic, and the subject is extremely relevant to this time in Western Christianity. Read it.
Date published: 2015-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exactly the book I needed Sarah Bessey's words make room for all the doubts, all the questions, all the changes, all the reasoning and working-it-through, all the struggle, all the hard work of rebirth in the sometimes soft, often blinding light of her deep love for Jesus and his followers. She is at once immensely strong and powerfully vulnerable, telling us her story in a way that draws us closer to the One she lifts up. Nothing trite or pedantic or easy here - instead, the heard-won faith of a woman who is so beautifully aware of how she is being made new. The similarities between her story and my own make her feel like an old friend (a bosom friend, fellow lover-of-Anne that she is), and I suspect some of the truths she has uncovered and shared will resonate with anyone going through or coming out of a time of questioning, topsy-turviness in their understanding of the big questions of faith and love and life.
Date published: 2015-11-02