Christianity is messy. Unanswered prayers. Painful choices. Unresolved regrets. We're called to have faith, and yet we doubt. We try to be perfect, but we fall short. This is the chaos. It's all around us. There's no limit to it. And there's no quick fix for it. Both annoyingly honest and refreshingly humorous, Messy reassures Christians that God can reveal Himself in their clutter. Author, writer, and pastor A.J. Swoboda offers biblical insight and vivid, personal stories to redefine faith from something that must be perfect to something that is imperfect, but can still give beauty, meaning, and purpose to a messy life. As entertaining as it is challenging, this book teaches Christians what it means to trust in each other, in grace, in hope, and in a Savior who defied the rules of death. Here's to finding hope in your chaos.
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A.J. Swoboda (PhD, University of Birmingham) is a church planter and pastor of Theophilus Church in Portland, Oregon. An adjunct professor at George Fox Evangelical Seminary, L.I.F.E. Pacific University, Canby Bible College, Concordia University, and Eternity Bible College, Swoboda is a frequent speaker at church conferences and seminars. He is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the Evangelical Theological Society, and has written several articles and book reviews in magazines and journals.Review:
"Swoboda reveals a Bible...filled with God's presence but fraught with blunder, betrayal, and frustration...but in the midst of all this messiness, which the author details with humor and charm, Swoboda shows how a Divine Messenger breaks through with messages of hope, massages of beauty, and safe passages of peace." --Leonard Sweet
"A.J. Swoboda made me laugh so hard I forgot we were talking about the Bible. I want to say this book is a 'breath of fresh air' but it's more than that: this book is a reminder to breathe. Every chapter is another glorious gulp of pure oxygen."
--Matt Mikalatos, author of My Imaginary Jesus and Night of the Living Dead Christian
"Swoboda describes what we rarely discuss--that the journey of becoming a Christlike community, a church, is not a pretty line from A to Z but a dizzying mess of contradictions and struggles....This book is a must-read for any Christian who wonders about the church today."
--MaryKate Morse, author of Making Room for Leadership
"We desperately need a major revision of how we see ourselves from God's perspective. Swoboda brilliantly portrays the picture of God wading deep into the mess of our reality, eager to embrace us fully. Messy is...inspiring, compelling, authentic, and funny."
--Mike Tatlock, Lead Pastor of Grace Chapel and author of Faith in Real Life
"At a time when young people are leaving the church in droves, Messy comes as a glimmer of hope on the horizon. It's a must-read for anybody who wants to recapture the beauty of Jesus and his messy church."
--John Mark Comer, pastor of Solid Rock Church
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