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Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  2,241 ratings  ·  291 reviews
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 gra
Paperback, 259 pages
Published November 3rd 2015 by Howard Books
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4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,241 ratings  ·  291 reviews

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Leigh Kramer
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I don't have the words for how much I loved this one. I wish I'd read it in my early 20s or even college when my faith crumbled and I began the process of rebuilding it. Sarah's wisdom and insights resonate even now as I continue to explore my relationship with God and church.
Annie Rim
Sep 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 t
Stefanie Kellum
Dec 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christianity
Every now and then a book comes into your life at exactly the right time, and I think I've needed this book in my life for years. Sarah Bessey has a way of speaking the truth in love and friendship without shying away from heavy topics. Her tone invokes a coffee shop meeting, like she's chatting with you over a couple of cups of coffee (more likely, tea...she's Canadian). :) It provides a safe place to reexamine your faith while making you both laugh and cry. It's a book for those wandering in t ...more
sarah ash
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
"If you have needed to walk away, I know you're grieving. Let yourself grieve. When something ends, it's worthwhile to notice its passing, to sit in the space and look at the pieces before you head out."

Growing up, I was a church person. Blessed with that title before birth as the firstborn of two Jesus-loving church people, I spent my childhood years learning about the God of the Christian Bible, and my teenage years learning to defend him. I went to the fellowships, outreach events, lock-ins,
I absolutely loved this book. I just finished reading it and I already want to read it again and soak it in deep. Sarah's words are so encouraging and her love for Jesus is contagious. I see myself in so much of her story, though we are from different denominational backgrounds. Sarah reminds us that it is okay to have questions and doubts and experience a bit of wilderness time. And she is so gracious in her writing about how we all need each other, all the various streams of Christianity. I lo ...more
Meredith McCaskey
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read Jesus Feminist and found it beautiful and thought-provoking. I didn't even know Sarah Bessey had written other books. My kind and thoughtful husband, in Christmas shopping for me, looked her up and found Out of Sorts and when I opened it on Christmas morning he said, "I read the summary and I thought this sounded like something you'd like right now."

My lovely husband. How right you were!

From the other Goodreads reviews, it's clear I'm not the first person to feel my soul give a long,
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Those whose first memories of their lives include sitting in church may find this book quite helpful as they too, find that reality isn't quite so neatly organized into distinct categories as they might have heard. Religious education, whether it was through Sunday School, VBS, children's sermons, or whatever it may have been, was well-meaning and quite a bit of it was good. But there is often an overemphasis on certainty, on either-or thinking, of an us-vs-them categorization of the world, and ...more
I struggle with my faith. A lot. I grew up in the American South--in the Bible Belt--primarily in two Baptist Churches. The sort of worship I was used to was either being screamed at from the pulpit every week or the mild, meek voice of a calmer pastor. This calmer pastor belonged to the church I "really" grew up in. I was baptized in it. I made most of my childhood friends in it (though I don't keep in touch with any of them now). I learned most of my young theology there. But in high school an ...more
Erin *Help I’m Reading and I Can’t Get Up*
I love Sarah Bessey. I loved her first book, I love her blog, and I especially love her instagram account with tons of snaps of her gorgeous kids and knitting projects. But overall, though it absolutely pains me to say it, this book disappointed me. It disappointed me in the same way her friend Rachel Held Evans' new book Searching for Sunday disappointed me (my review here:

There just wasn't enough new content.

For a LOT of the thirty-something
Caity Gill
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
3 or 4 stars I can't totally decide. Parts of this book made me cringe, and other parts of it made me want to stomp and say "amen". I appreciate the heart of this author.
Andi M.
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sarah Bessey fills a Rachel Held Evans-shaped space in my heart. These two women are my favorite people writing about Christianity and the roominess of God’s table.
Carmen Marie
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Out of Sorts is the sort of book that acknowledges that we all struggle with our faith in myriads of ways. Bessey is bold in asserting that if we aren't wrestling with our a faith, even a little, we aren't really growing and maturing. She offers a balm for rebuilding faith in more mature terms. I loved how she finds solace in many Christian faith practices:liturgical, Quaker, non-denominational, etc. She even stepped away from church for a while to find her place in faith again. She writes eloqu ...more
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Before the armchair theologians come out of the woodwork to scream HERESY! and the too cool critics find a way to pick this apart (because this will happen--it always does in this anonymous internet universe), let me be one of the first to say: BRAVA, Sarah, on a deeply moving, meticulously thought out sacrificial offering of self. This is the kind of book that isn't just a book--it's an invitation to listen to someone else's life story. And when we listen to other people's stories--well, isn't ...more
Nov 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
I think I would enjoy being friends with Sarah Bessey; this book just wasn't what I was expecting right now. I was expecting more messy vulnerable story like Nadia Bolz-Weber's Accidental Saints or Rachel Held Evans' Searching for Sunday. Frankly, more doubt and confusion and less inspiration and clarity. For instance, losing four babies and not going to church for six years after being "in ministry": can we get more into *that* story? Cause you have lived some life.

So, 2.5 stars for me but I c
Suzanne M Seidel
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I cried my way through this book. I felt the victorious truth in my bones and in my gut. I felt set free by this book. I felt encouraged and validated and challenged and seen through this book.

"Jesus remains. He is worth it all."
Erin Henry
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It felt like she was writing my faith story. Of having it all and knowing all the answers to knowing nothing and then rebuilding. She had a beautiful faith and vision and I hope to be where she is someday.
Beth Pellnat
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
Really struggled to get through this book. Was looking for more of an intellectual discussion of faith and struggles with theology. Found it to be very evangelical. Heavy on emotion and light on critical evaluation and discussion.
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
2.75-3 stars, because there were points of clarity and light sprinkled throughout. That said, I felt annoyed that the author of this book wrote as though she had already sorted through all of her faith questions and found answers for them and seemed to expect you to agree with her conclusions. As someone who is in the middle of struggling with big questions, I couldn't quite relate to her tone. I think this book should have been formatted as a collection of essays rather than a cohesive work; th ...more
Faith Logan
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Admittedly, it took me longer to finish this book than I would have liked because I didn't want it to end! Everything addressed in these pages resonated with me and my faith-journey. I am adjusting my expectations every day...

"Instead of becoming someone who 'did' things, I simply took my place in my own life as it is now. Instead of waiting for some mythical 'there' of ministry, I could simply live as if my life were ministry. Instead of trying harder to be more loving, I learned simply to love
Careese Mukulu
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. The last few chapters were the most helpful for where I am at this moment. They gave me insight that I wouldn't have found elsewhere and I will most likely be coming back to those chapters again and again.

This book was a litte bit dense in places. Sarah Bessey showls glimpses of her inner scholar, but it's not done in a way that bores. It's done in a way that adds depth to the book. This is not just a collection of interesting stories and personal opinions. Serious s
Jan 18, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked this book and the premise it's based upon (the idea of sorting out one's faith), but I didn't resonate a ton with the author's actual experience. I think most of that is because we come from very different faith backgrounds, but I did like the way she talked about moving through her faith and the specific aspects that she had to deconstruct/reconstruct. The chapters on grief and justice were my favorites.
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
Super helpful for anyone who has had or is currently having a faith transition though it won't answer all of your questions. But it opens the door for you to keep asking more. Lovely writing, very approachable. I cried my way through much of it and underlined just about every other sentence in the whole book.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
For a time, in recent years, I got so discouraged with Christian non fiction. It felt shallow, and never seemed to hit upon anything very real. Thankfully, that season seems to have passed and this book is all I’ve hoped Christian non fiction would be. It’s honest, real, hard hitting, humble, encouraging, full of wisdom, referencing wise teachers in our past, honoring, accepting. And as a bonus, she even talks about hockey! I’ll be keeping this one to reread and enjoy again.
Christy Brown
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is was written for me. I related to every chapter in this book about evolving faith. Great read. I will be revisiting this book again.
Chin Ai
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: collectibles
so good to read as one is working through difficulties/challenges faced in church.
Kara Fitzjarrald
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really identified with the author's faith journey and current faith status. Hit home.
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
A solid 4, but after that benediction, a 4.5 for sure. What a way with authenticity and real, brave, beautiful words. Bravo, Sarah!
Heidi Strybos
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. Sarah has a way of turning things of faith upside down to look at another angle. I appreciated her making me stop and examine some long time beliefs that were deeply rooted but perhaps not Biblical.
Rachel Brand
This book. Just simply amazing.
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Sarah Bessey is the author of the bestselling book "Jesus Feminist." She is a writer and an award-winning blogger. Her new book - "Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith" (Howard Books) - is being hailed as "transparent, vulnerable, thought-provoking, and gracious" (Christine Caine, author and founder of The A21 Campaign & Propel Women) and "a love letter to Jesus and to all those d ...more
“Anyone who gets to the end of their life with the exact same beliefs and opinions as they had at the beginning is doing it wrong.” 14 likes
“I don't want to be swallowed by the darkness. Nor do I want to be blinded by the beautiful facade. No, I want to be part of a people who see the darkness, know it's real, and then, then, then, light a candle anyway. And hold that candle up against the wind and pass along our light wherever it's needed from our own homes to the halls of legislation to the church pulpit to the kitchens of the world.” 13 likes
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