Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey

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

Bessey’s first book, Jesus Feminist, was one of my most disappointing reads last year. It wasn’t the book I expected it to be, and that aggravation and disappointment made me unable to fully appreciate the book that it was.

Bessey’s new book, Out of Sorts, had no such issues for me. I expected it to be a faith memoir, and that’s precisely what it is. This time I enjoyed the personal angle she brought to the discussion of faith and religion.

If you liked Jesus Feminist, you’re almost certain to enjoy this one. And even if you didn’t care for Jesus Feminist, Out of Sorts is a stronger, more cohesive account, that takes her story, and makes more universal.

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Publisher’s Description:
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.

Book Details

Title: Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving FaithOut of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith by Sarah Bessey
Author: Sarah Bessey
Category: Nonfiction / Memoir / Faith
My Rating: 4 Stars

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for review. I was not required to post a positive review, and all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!


Previously on The Deliberate Reader

One year ago: Cooking the Book: Good Cheap Eats by Jessica Fisher

Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey

Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women by Sarah BesseyJesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of WomenJesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women by Sarah Bessey by Sarah Bessey

I liked the subtitle on this: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women.

I liked the additional teaser on the cover: Exploring God’s Radical Notion That Women Are People, Too.

I thought I’d be getting a thoughtful look at doctrine and history and scholarship (I mean, that’s what the description promised: “Through a thoughtful review of biblical teaching and church practices…” Instead, the book is heavy on Bessey’s feelings. Not just her’s, but other women’s feelings as well, about being denied opportunities in the church because of being female.

The book is much more of a memoir of Bessey and her experiences, and not really what the title and description promises. And that’s ok – I like memoirs. But I like to know I’m going to be reading a memoir, and not be expecting something else.

At times, it also reads like a series of blog posts cobbled together. I don’t read her blog much to know for sure how much of it is material she might have already published there, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a fair amount is familiar. Update and correction, thanks to a comment from Katie. This is not reworked blog material, although it is on similar themes to what she writes about on her blog. However, as a new-to-her reader, at times the material still seemed not entirely cohesive.

The cobbled-together effect, combined with the difference in focus from what I was expecting made for a disappointing read. Some sections were fantastic, but others were so trite and felt like they were written purely to wring emotion from the reader. I don’t like being emotionally manipulated by what I read, and don’t find emotional arguments compelling.

Why yes, I am an INTJ, with a heavy emphasis on the INT part. That alone might be the reason for my dislike of the book – the approach she takes is not one that connects with me, and instead leaves me feeling aggravated.

Now for a bit of a disclaimer: It’s completely shallow, but I find one aspect of her writing to be so annoying and cringe-inducing that it’s possible that’s impacting my entire perspective of the book. Doubtful it’s that extreme, so let’s say that it’s making me take this down from a 2 star book to 1.5 stars.

Update: Katie has written a great comment, giving an alternate perspective on it. Even if you don’t usually read the comments, I’d encourage you to do so to see what she has to say about the book.

Find the book: Print | Kindle | Audible

Publisher’s Description:
Gender roles have been debated for centuries, and now Sarah Bessey offers a clarion freedom call for all who want to realize their giftedness and potential in the kingdom of God. Through a thoughtful review of biblical teaching and church practices, Bessey shares how following Jesus made a feminist out of her.

Book Details

Title: Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of WomenJesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women by Sarah Bessey
Author: Sarah Bessey
Category: Nonfiction / Faith
My Rating: 1.5 Stars

Disclosure: I received this book for free from NetGalley for review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Books on Parenting, Pregnancy, and Babies

Parenting Pregnancy BabiesThe Steady Mom's Freedom GuideThe Steady Mom’s Freedom Guide: Joyful Motherhood on Your Own TermsThe Steady Mom's Freedom Guide: Joyful Motherhood on Your Own Terms by Jamie C. Martin by Jamie Martin

A surprising hit! I’ve been underwhelmed in the past with some of her material. Maybe the timing was just wrong before, because I’m really enjoying this book, and I’m glad I didn’t skip over it. Encouraging and inspiring.

On the Road to Joyful MotherhoodOn the Road to Joyful Motherhood by Jessica Fisher

I’ve already written about this one before, and I always find Fisher’s books worth reading. Like Martin’s book above, this one is also really encouraging. (Maybe I’m in a stage where I need all the encouragement I can get?)

My Practices of MotheringMy Practices of Mothering: the things I actually do to enjoy mothering tiniesMy Practices of Mothering: the things I actually do to enjoy mothering tinies by Sarah Bessey by Sarah Bessey

Mixed feelings towards this one, but the positives are so strong that I have to include it here. It’s thoughtful and gentle, and reminded me just a bit of Loving the Little Years (which is high praise indeed.)

The Baby CompanionThe Baby Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey through Baby’s First YearThe Baby Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey through Baby's First Year by Jessica Wolstenholm, Dr. Andrea Johnston, and Dr. Heather Rupe by Jessica Wolstenholm, Dr. Andrea Johnston, and Dr. Heather Rupe

I have three kids. Do I really need a book focusing on the baby’s first year? Not exactly, but I’ve been surprised by how much I’ve forgotten, and a quick refresher on when exactly I should be expecting certain things to take place is helpful. Maybe then I wouldn’t have been caught off guard by the inconsolable baby, only to have her big brother point out that “hey! She’s got teeth!” Whoops. Yeah, teething. It’s a stage.

The Pregnancy CompanionThe Pregnancy Companion: A Faith Filled Guide for Your Journey to MotherhoodThe Pregnancy Companion: A Faith Filled Guide for Your Journey to Motherhood by Jessica Wolstenholm and Dr. Heather Rupe by Jessica Wolstenholm and Dr. Heather Rupe

My pregnancy days are behind me (talk about bittersweet feelings!), but I was obsessed with reading these sorts of books with my first pregnancy, and would have devoured this one. Know anyone who might want it? I have a PDF copy I won’t be using and I’d be happy to email it to the first one who asks.

Why Does My Breast Milk Taste Bad?Why Does My Breast Milk Taste Bad? One Mom’s Journey to Overcoming Excess Lipase Activity by Rebekah Hoffer

Highlighting this one just for the FYI factor. I had *no* idea this was even a thing.


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Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you purchase a bundle using my link. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!