Title: Blessed Are The Misfits
Author: Brant Hansen
No. of pages: 256, E-Book
Genre: Nonfiction, Christian, Faith, Religion, Spirituality
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: November 28, 2017
Date Read: May 18, 2018
Warning: If modern church culture makes perfect sense to you, and you always fit in seamlessly, don’t read this. As for the rest of us…
While American church culture (and American culture at large) seems largely designed for the extroverted, it’s estimated that half of the American population is introverted, and they’re often left wondering how, even if, they fit in the kingdom of God. As one of them, popular radio host Brant Hansen brings news. It’s wonderful, refreshing, and never-been-said-this-way-before good news.
In his unique style, Hansen looks to answer questions that millions of people carry with them each day:
“If I don’t relate to God as emotionally as others do, is something wrong with me? How does one approach God, and approach faith, when devoid of the “good feelings” that seem to drive so much of evangelical church culture? How does God interact with those who seem spiritually numb? Is the absence of faith-based emotion a sign of that God has moved on or was never there? What if we aren’t good at talking to people about our faith, or good at talking to people at all? What if I’m told I’m too analytical, that I “think too much”? Where does a person who suffers from depression fit in the kingdom? Is depression a sure sign of a lack of faith?”
This book is good news for people who are desperately looking for it. (And for their loved ones!)
It’s also for those who want to believe in Jesus, but inwardly fear that they don’t belong, worry that don’t have the requisite emotion-based relationship with God, and are starving for good news.
Blessed Are the Misfits is going to generate discussion, and lots of it. It’s simultaneously highly provocative and humbly personal. It’s also leavened with a distinct, dry, self-effacing humor that is a hallmark of Hansen’s on-air, writing, and public speaking style. (Goodreads)
I received this e-book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Normally, it’s really hard for me to get through Christian books because I find them really cliche-y or not resounding or relating to me. I want to say “The Best Yes!” but a very good portion of the time my anxiety gets in the way and it’s more of an “An Extremely Awkward I Guess!.” I would love to be able to say that while sitting at church I feel super connected all the time, but I can’t. I would LOVE to be able to say that I can pray for hours at a time, but I can’t. The difference between all those other books, and this one, is that Hansen understands and gets it and seemingly wrote this for me.
All throughout reading it, I could relate. It was super refreshing, and honestly a relief, that there are others that feel the way I do, and can express it better than I can too.
I feel like at most times, the Church portrays the facade of keeping it together. It doesn’t want the mess of humanity. That it sometimes praises the extroverts because of their ability to be in front of others. That it brushes away those who are in grief, lonely, depressed, or unnoticed.
**NOTE: THIS ISN’T A BASH ON ANY ONE CHURCH OR THE CHURCH AS WHOLE. IT’S JUST AN OBSERVATION. I’ve grown up in church my entire life, graduated from bible college, is licensed to pastor, and currently work for a church district resource office. I LOVE the church that I attend and serve regularly within it. But, these are things that I’ve noticed because they’re happening to others, and it’s happened to myself. Does that make me any less of a Christian because I’m a mess, an introvert, and have experienced grief, loneliness, depression, or gone unnoticed? ABSOLUTELY NOT. **
But, one of my favorite quotes in this book are found at the beginning:
“If American church culture makes perfect sense to you and you fit in seamlessly, don’t read this. Seriously, return it immediately, before you spill something on this book and can’t get a full refund. Because this book is for the rest of us.
In fact, it’s full of nonstop good news for the rest of us: the misfits, the oddballs, introverts, and analytical types who throw ourselves at God’s mercy, saying, “Yes, I believe… but help me in my unbelief.”
This book challenges the way Church runs and who we focus on. And I love it.
It puts into focus many groups that are sometimes seemingly looked over. It brings into new light that even if you struggle with the spiritual things that others seem to feel all the time, it doesn’t make you any less of a Christian. That your brokenness doesn’t make you unfixable, it makes you valuable because you’re still there, and even if you can’t see it, God’s still working. But it’s like that metaphor of old broken pottery. They would see the broken pottery and put it back together with melted gold. When the gold would harden, you would still see the cracks, but it was whole once again. That’s what the Church is, or should be. It brings to God into focus who, in his wholeness, loves our broken selves and gave his son for us, so that we could be put back together again and brought into community with him; filled cracks, scrapes, scars, and all.
Honestly, I highly recommend this book to everyone. Those who this encompasses and those who think they have it all together. Those who are leaders and those who serve. Those who are want to know more about what it looks like to struggle and those who are struggling to know that they’re not alone.