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Messy: God Likes it That Way [Book Review]

Messy: God Likes it That Way, by A.J. Swoboda, is a treatise on our messed up lives. He says, “Our faith is much more messy, more gray, than we like to put on.” Then he offers, “What if the mess is holy?…What if the mess is not something to ‘fix’?”

Swoboda discusses the messes in our churches, spiritual lives, relationships, sex, suffering and theology. And he backs it up with solid theology and humor. Swoboda shows us, through charming personal experiences, that we are often our own worst enemies. He says, “If I had a penny for everyone who left the Christian faith because they felt like they couldn’t measure up. That’s interesting to me. People leave for the very reason Christ came. To end all that stuff.”

Swoboda is not saying that God ignores our messy lives. He is saying that God gets down in the dirt with us.

“I support a lot of people who aren’t Christians. People tell me I shouldn’t do that because then I am supporting their lifestyle. I’m not sure about that. God gives me food, water and air every day, and I’m pretty sure he disagrees with me 99 percent of the time. Love and grace don’t require agreement. It requires a blanket. It requires love.”

Swoboda is a skilled communicator and his words will challenge you, encourage you, and entertain you all at the same time. I highly recommend this book.

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