Title: Blessed Are the Misfits: Great News for Believers who are Introverts, Spiritual Strugglers, or Just Feel Like They’re Missing Something
Author: Brant Hansen
Genre: Nonfiction – Christian
Number of Pages: 256
Radio host Brant Hansen talks about Christianity for those who don’t fit in with the church crowd. This includes introverts, people who don’t have it all together, and people who prefer logic over emotion.
This book is amazing. It’s well-written, immensely helpful, and relevant to me. I almost gave it five stars, and at certain points in my reading of it, I would have. But a few chapters brought up more questions for me than answers. Maybe that’s a good thing.
I am a misfit because, like Brant Hansen, I am an introvert and I prefer logic over emotion. This puts me at odds with popular Christianity.
But Hansen shows how throughout the Bible, God never chooses the most qualified, strongest, most charismatic people, but instead, the misfits, the weak, the unqualified. This is good news because as Hansen says, sometimes misfits can start to wonder if God really loves them. For instance, some Christians talk about “hearing God,” but that only makes others wonder, “If I don’t hear or feel God, am I missing something?”
If you’ve ever heard Hansen on his radio show on WayFM, then you’ll recognize his voice in this book. He has a great sense of humor, but still isn’t afraid to delve into difficult subjects. He’s very personal in this book and tells stories of terrible experiences in his past, and he talks about his struggles with Asperger Syndrome.
I can relate to his stories about introversion. At one point, he talks about deciding to skip a self-defense class. He says, “Apparently I want to escape from people so badly that I escaped from the class that teaches people how to escape from people.”
I learned a lot from this book, and I couldn’t stop reading it. I learned about theology, the Bible, psychology, and the culture of ancient Israel. Hansen weaves all this in to his main points.
Here are a few of the subjects discussed in the book. Repentance is not an emotion, it’s a choice. Blessed are the people who can’t pray big fancy prayers out loud. Dissatisfaction can actually be a good thing. It’s possible to be joyful even if struggling with depression and feelings of failure. Blessed are the skeptical Christians. The wounds of our past can turn to blessings. Blessed are the misfits, and it turns out, we’re all misfits.
I recommend this to:
• We all want to think we’re morally superior (It’s called “illusory superiority.” We think we’re smarter than average, more honest than average, and better at driving than most too.), but we’re kidding ourselves.
• I’ve noticed that even as we can be justifiably suspicious of human nature in general, we are often naïve about individuals.
• Jesus is exactly what I would hope God would be: a blunt-speaking, underdog-loving, field-leveling, jaw-droppingly brilliant, authority-challenging, short-story-telling, self-sacrificing, bring-the-children-to-Me…healer.
• It’s no wonder so many analytical types find themselves estranged from a Christian subculture that traffics in emotional appeals. We find ourselves wondering what’s wrong with us, perhaps even begging God to make Himself real to us in the way He clearly is to others.
• It’s easy to feign spirituality in a culture that still offers worldly rewards for it.
• I read “Look what our awesome church is doing!” accounts on church websites, but don’t read any messy follow-ups. We get the “victory” stories over sin and depravity, but no one publishes books called Whoops, I’m Totally Messed Up Again. That’s where the stories of our actual lives are. But we don’t like our stories open-ended.
• Real-world evil can even be a seemingly good thing…that crowds out the real thing.
• So here’s Hansen’s Law: It’s only when you actually get to know people that you discover how weird everyone really is. And here’s a corollary: Yep, everybody’s really weird.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Have you read Blessed Are the Misfits? What did you think?