Tagged: Sarah Bessey

Out Of Sorts

Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey

Out Of SortsUpon completing Out of Sorts, I have now read both of Sarah Bessey’s books, as well as several of her blogs over the past couple of years. I’m generally one to take more of a logical propositional approach to things I read (and watch, and sing, and hear). That makes reviewing Sarah’s works a bit tougher. If I tried to take it at this level, there are a lot of great propositions in Out of Sorts about a variety of theological topics: the Church, interpreting the Bible, Jesus, spiritual gifts, the problem of evil. They aren’t necessarily propositions I hadn’t heard before and we generally agree on pretty much any theological topic I’ve heard her talk about. There’s a reason I gave a quote of hers from Jesus Feminist as the last words in my chapter of A Living Alternative. She says a lot of great stuff. But more to the point, she says that great stuff in really compelling ways.

The big point I would make as I read Sarah’s words is that her love of Jesus is contagious. Sometimes in the Church we talk about how we should be so filled with the Spirit, having experienced so much of God’s love, that it just overflows into talking about it as well as loving others in practical ways.

Gender - Male and Female Gummy

Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey

Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey is a different book than a lot of what I read and how I most intuitively think. It was not a text of finely-crafted arguments to defend a position. Based on the subtitle, An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women, I somewhat expected Bessey’s work to be like that, but I’m glad it wasn’t. When it comes to issues of gender equality, many great ones of that type already exist from the likes of Rachel Held Evans and Scot McKnight.

There is clearly a place for the highly structured arguments of tough questions, but those arguments on their own cannot drive you toward healing, beauty, or relationship. They are akin to the role of apologetics where I like to employ the imagery of a hurdles track. Apologetics might be good for removing or shrinking the hurdles, but the person still has to run the track. They still have to experience for themselves, relate for themselves. Removing the intellectual hurdles is good, but if we then all stop there, nothing has really changed.

Best of the Rest (Feb 4th)

I had a lot of good posts I’ve seen over the past few weeks. However, there have been two extremely good posts that I’ve encountered since last doing a Best of the Rest, so I want to really focus on those:

Rachel Held Evans wrote about the scandal of the evangelical heart and followed it up with a discussion of the word love.

For what makes the Church any different from a cult if it demands we sacrifice our conscience in exchange for unquestioned allegiance to authority?  What sort of God would call himself love and then ask that I betray everything I know in my bones to be love in order to worship him? Did following Jesus mean becoming some shadow of myself, drained of empathy and compassion and revulsion to injustice?