Flipped - Book Review

Flip – “a reconsideration of what was always assumed to be true.”

My gradual transformation, spiritually, over the last year has been full of flips.  Flips can certainly make one dizzy, but can give a shift in perspective, enabling to see things differently, perhaps even more fully.

So when I saw Doug Pagitt’s new book, Flipped: The Provocative Truth That Changes Everything We Know about God, I was intrigued, especially with an endorsement from Brian McLaren on the cover about flipping conventional understanding.  I had not heard of Doug Pagitt before this book, but he is a pastor of Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis and has authored several other books. 

Doug Pagitt states that the purpose of this book is to see that the heart of Jesus’ message is the changing of your mind while engaging new ideas and drawing new conclusions.  He challenges the reader to see beyond familiar patterns and routine ways of thinking.  I loved this concept as the book’s intent, but the book really ended up being about his own spiritual flip and trying to persuade the reader to see and embrace his flip.

Pagitt’s flip is about changing the way of thinking of seeing God in us to that of how we live and exist in God.  This changed the way he listened to God, and he insists that it was also the primary understanding of Jesus, Paul, and others.  He comes across in this book as a really likeable guy, someone I’d like to sit and chat with over a cup of coffee, especially over this flip because it really did not strike me the way it did him.

Further endorsements inside the cover include Rob Bell, Phyllis Tickle, and Shane Claiborne.  If you are a fan of their writings or of the emergent church, you may enjoy this book.  If you believe that these authors have biblically missed the mark, then you will likely feel the same about Doug Pagitt’s book.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Convergent Books in exchange for my honest review.

Searching for Sunday - Book Review

Over the last year or so, I have fallen in love with Rachel Held Evans’ writings because I find myself saying “me too!” as she tells her experiences growing up in the evangelical church.  She fell in love with Jesus, studied furiously, and was intoxicated with certainty.  Eventually, though, the questions that had easy, satisfying answers became unsatisfying.  Answers regarding faith, science, feminism, historical criticism, doctrine vs. compassion suddenly seemed trite and shallow.  Being plugged in to the church sometimes feels like being assimilated, checking your brain at the door, the force of a choice that really shouldn’t have to be made. 

In her latest book, Searching for Sunday: Loving Leaving and Finding the Church, she tells her story of growing up evangelical and the spiritual struggles that followed, including leaving the church, and then looking for a church she could belong in.  She tells her story through the sacraments: baptism, confession, holy orders, communion, confirmation, anointing of the sick, and marriage.  She draws on the good that comes from her upbringing as well as the shifts her spiritual journey has taken by weaving it through the sacraments. 

I thoroughly enjoyed her story and the weaving in of traditions and spiritual encouragement.  It seemed that the subtitle is a little misleading – she has not yet finished experiencing the ‘finding’ part.  Perhaps that is what seems most authentic, her lack of agenda to lead the reader to the same finish line, which she still has yet to locate.

Disclaimer  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson publishing in exchange for my honest review.