Thursday, December 14, 2017

Blessed are the Misfits by Brant Hansen

Blessed are the Misfits is one of those books that has two clear audiences: anyone who has ever felt like a misfit in the church and anyone who has ever known someone who has felt like a misfit in the church. 

While Brant may be known to some thanks to his radio work, Misfits  was my introduction and what an introduction. Brant brings a straightforward, dry humour to his material that is both engaging and readable. He doesn't dumb down his material but chooses to lose pretense for the sake of openness and vulnerability. While I suspect this is more an authenticity of the author rather than a crafted stance it lends gravity to a topic that is so overlooked.

Let's face it, admitting the church is full of misfits, and boy is it ever, is  generally something the church doesn't like to regularly  take a look at. So, the misfits continue on not realizing that they  aren't alone and believe me, by the time you're done this book the fact that no one is alone should be abundantly clear.

Brant explores a variety of topics and personalities from within the church: skeptics, doubters, the lonely, the  mentally ill, the wounded. Everyone's invited to this party and Brant strikes a careful  balance between exploring the issue while constantly reminding readers of the  hope  there  is in Christ and the necessity of welcoming all these parts of the church into the body. At times, the book almost feels as though it could be too heavy if not for the wise use of reinforcing personal stories, external quotes, and Brant's trademark humour.

That said, there were some things I felt the need to push back on. In the chapters regarding woundedness and mental illness, I felt that Brant may have glossed  over the need and acceptability for some people to seek psychological and medical intervention when dealing with the  ramifications of trauma and mental illness.Considering this can be  a sticking point in  the  church community I was sad to see this didn't get the same attention as some of the other chapters in the book.

Overall, this is  a book I highly recommend.
4.4 out of 5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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