I was attracted to Jacqueline A. Bussie's new book, Outlaw Christian: Finding Authentic Faith by Breaking the "Rules" first of all due to the super cool cover. I'm always a sucker for an attractive, bold cover. Once I read the description, I knew I'd want to read it for sure:
"Jacqueline Bussie knows that too many Christians live according to unspoken “laws” that govern the Christian life: #1: Never get angry at God; #2: Never doubt; #3: Never question; #4: Never tell your real story; #5: Always speak in clichés about evil and suffering; and #6: Always believe hope comes easy for those who truly love God.
Living according to these rules is killing real Christian life; Outlaw Christian proposes a rebellious, life-giving, authentic alternative. Through captivating stories and with disarming honesty, Bussie gives concrete, practical strategies to help readers cultivate hope, seek joy, practice accompaniment, compost their pain, and rediscover the spiritual practice of lament. Tackling difficult questions without political divisiveness, Bussie speaks to both progressive and conservative Christians in ways that unite rather than divide. And in doing so, she provides a new way to handle the most difficult and troubling questions of life in a broken world that God will never abandon."
Jacqueline explores these six laws in six chapters: Tired of Dishonesty? Become an Outlaw Christian; Angry at the Almighty? Tell God the Truth; Doubting Your Faith? Learn to Lament; Sick of Hearing "God Has a Plan"? Surprise! God Is Too; Scared to Tell Your Real Story? Compost Your Pain; and Longing for Hope? Seven Ways to Find it. I think there's something for every Christian in this book - don't be scared off by the "Outlaw Christian" title. Jacqueline defines "outlaw Christian" as: a new, life-giving faith for those who ache for a more authentic relationship with God and other people by no longer having to hide their doubt, anger, grief, scars, or questions; an honest, outside-the-law faith for those seeking a hope that really speaks to the world's hurt. She writes in an extremely easy-to-read style. I felt like I was sitting down with a friend when I picked up this book. I especially enjoyed the "God has a plan" chapter and the "Scared to Tell Your Real Story" chapter. I do believe that God has a plan for every life - however, bad things happen to everyone and using tired cliches such as this really aren't helpful to Christians going through serious, life-changing trials. As for the "Scared to Tell Your Real Story", it's easy feel this way when you feel like you're surrounded by people who grew up in a Christian home, got saved and baptized when they were five years old, and never committed any "major" sins. But this book reminded me that everyone carries secrets, whether it's secrets about their past, secrets about trials they've gone through, secrets about family members, and more. This book gives us an important reminded that the most important thing in the Christian life is to be honest - with God, ourselves, and other Christians. I highly recommend this book to every Christian.
I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.