Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Misfit Christians -- Do you Doubt? Review for O ME OF LITTLE FAITH

Dear Misfit Christians,
I've been trying to find the right subject for my first post on my Misfit Christians blog, and lucky for me, it dropped right into my lap. My friend, Jason Boyett (www.jasonboyett.com) kindly allowed me to read an advanced copy of his book, O ME OF LITTLE FAITH, and write a review. As a Misfit Christian I can tell you that many of us struggle with doubts, fears, and have more than a few questions at times about the faith we say we love. Jason Boyett's book takes us on a journey through his own life as a kind of Misfit Christian, one who challenges the status quo and asks the questions that most Christians are afraid to ask. Here's the review, and if you're a TRUE Misfit like me, you'll pre-order O ME OF LITTLE FAITH as soon as possible!


By Tess Mallory

I found out about Jason Boyett's website when I first got on Twitter. Someone posted a blurb basically saying "here's a funny guy talking about Jesus" and I followed it and found something--or rather someone--very interesting. Here was a guy who wasn't afraid to say "I'm a Christian, but I have some questions." Here was a guy who didn't subscribe to the party line and who invited people--Christian and non-Christian--to say what they really thought. And he wrote with a dry humor that made me laugh, daily. I was impressed. For the first time in a very long time, here was a place where I could go and express things long held inside. And here was a place where people like me could come and realize -- "Hey, I am not alone."

So when I heard Jason had a new book coming out, O ME OF LITTLE FAITH, a memoirs of his journey through Christianity and his struggle with doubt, I begged him to let me review it. So here I am, but as I write this, I find suddenly that words fail me. How do you comment on another person's barefaced honesty? How do you explain to someone else how amazing it is to read what another Christian, being open and real, has to say about his innermost thoughts and fears and doubts? I'm not sure, but I'll give it a try.

First, I have to say that almost every sentence in Jason's book makes me stop and think. The word "thought-provoking" seems very lame in trying to convey the real impact this book had on me. His experiences in church, in revivals, in daily life, mirror the very real spiritual awakenings--or lack of--and questions that arise in a Christian's life. There is no pious preaching in these pages, and no "Christianspeak" meant to evoke an emotional response in the reader. There is just straight out "Here's what I think, what I've questioned, what I wonder about" coupled with some good old Jason Boyett humor, historical and Biblical references, and honest reflections.

There are specific doubts addressed in the book, but no real conclusions reached. If you're expecting a book that features some kind of heart-shattering realization by its author as he reaches a Heaven-sent level of understanding, this might not be the book for you. This is a book of frank self-appraisal by a Christian who has walked out of the box of the intellectual constrictions often placed upon us by the church, our pastors, our teachers, and ourselves. This is a book that asks some hard questions that can't really be answered. Yet in this same book there is a call to faith that cannot be ignored, along with an admonition to keep believing, that is both reassuring and real.

As someone who eventually learned in her evangelical life that she was never quite in step with the rest of her Christian friends, finding Jason's website, (www.jasonboyett.com), and reading his book, has meant a lot to me. O ME OF LITTLE FAITH not only sends a breath of fresh air careening through the often stuffy realm of Christian publications, but contains a message borne on the winds of honesty, courage, and compassion.

Next time -- What the Misfit Christian blog is all about.