Are you an outlaw?

"A SOLID EXHORTATION TO LIVE OUTSIDE THE SPHERE OF HACKNEYED HOLINESS...EXCELLENT EXEGESES...AUTHENTIC INSIGHTS...BUSSIE PILES ON STORIES OF HOPE TO COUNTERMAND LIES SUCH AS 'NOTHING EVER CHANGES'...BUSSIE WRITES WITH POETRY, PATHOS, AND PEPPER."

--PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (STARRED REVIEW)

 
 

JACQUELINE BUSSIE KNOWS THAT TOO MANY CHRISTIANS LIVE ACCORDING TO UNSPOKEN "LAWS" THAT GOVERN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.

#1: Never get angry at God; #2: Never doubt; #3: Never question; #4: Never tell your real story; #5: Always speak in cliches about evil and suffering; #6: Always believe hope comes easy for those who truly love God.

 

Living according to these rules is killing real Christian life: Outlaw Christian proposes a rebellious, life-giving, authentic alternative. Through captivating stories and with disarming honesty. Bussie gives concrete, practical strategies to help readers cultivate hope, seek joy, practice accompaniment, compost their pain, and rediscover the spiritual practice of lament. Tackling difficult questions without political divisiveness. Bussie speaks to both progressive and conservative Christians in ways that unite rather than divide. And in doing so, she provides a new way to handle the most difficult and troubling questions of life in a broken world that God will never abandon.


 
 

Jacqueline Bussie is Director of the Forum on Faith and Life and Professor of Religion at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. She has a BA, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Davidson College; an MA in Religion from Yale University; and a PhD in Theology, Ethics, and Culture from the University of Virginia.

 
 
 

Praise for Outlaw Christian

 

"A solid exhortation to live outside the sphere of hackneyed holiness...Excellent exegeses...authentic insights...Bussie piles on stories of hope to countermand lies such as 'nothing ever changes'...Bussie writes with poetry, pathos, and pepper."

--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)


"What impresses me most about this remarkable book is its absolute clarity. You don’t have to be a theologian to understand this book; you don’t have to be a Christian—you just have to be a thoughtful and open-minded human being who wants to have a richer, deeper, more meaningful life. Jacqueline Bussie not only tells us what we need to do, but she also illustrates what we need to do with marvelous examples from her life, her teaching, and the lives and experiences of her students. The final chapter on hope is absolutely stunning in its concreteness. If Sir Thomas More was “the man for all seasons,” then this is “the book for all seasons.” A life changing book."

—Tony Abbott, professor emeritus of English, Davidson College; author of The Angel Dialogues; and winner of the 2015 North Carolina Award in Literature


"Reading Outlaw Christian was like having a late-night conversation with a dear friend. The experience is filled with deep confessions, refreshing honesty, and new grace. I hope readers take away the same thing I did—a rekindled love for the God who finds us and frees us."

—Sarah Thebarge, author of The Invisible Girls


"While this is a Christian book, its gifts are available to anyone who has ever wrestled with the seemingly impossible task of making sense of suffering, loss, evil, inequity, and loneliness—including atheists like me. Reading Dr. Bussie’s call to reject clichés and sit with uncertainty, I found myself hoping this book makes its way into the hands of every Christian who has ever had their questions or pain shut down by a platitude or an easy answer."

—Chris Stedman, author of Faitheist and executive director of the Yale Humanist Community


"I served as a parish pastor for twenty-five years. Walking with my people in times of crisis and deep pain I came to realize that some of their deepest struggles were not about loss nor about making sense out of what had happened, but finding the space within themselves and within their faith communities to speak honestly and openly about their doubt and anger toward God. Now Jacqueline Bussie, a theologian of the church, shares her experience and gives voice to all who have been caught in the belief that doubt is faithlessness and anger toward God is blasphemy. Quite the opposite, Dr. Bussie argues, doubt and anger are real expressions of a living faith. Outlaw Christian might break the rules, but it opens up the possibility of deeper faith."

—Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


"There’s nothing fluffy about this book. It is raw, sassy, and from the heart. Bussie reminds us that God is not scared of our doubts, fears, and darkness—God even experienced them in Jesus. This is a fresh invitation to the faith for skeptics, doubters, seekers, and even folks who like that old-time- religion. Become an outlaw Christian. God likes holy rebels."

—Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistible Revolution, Jesus for President, and Executing Grace


"Dr. Jacqueline Bussie has written this book for those Christians who crave the honest Gospel, stripped of deceptive prettiness and unreal promises; one that acknowledges our pain, welcomes our doubts, legitimizes our anger and insists that only when we are able to witness to the entire truth of our lives can we truly understand what the Good News means for us and for the world. Outlaw Christian invites us to step out of bounds again and again in search of an authentic faith with the end result being that we encounter our most authentic self."

—Paul Raushenbush, Huffington Post executive editor of Global Spirituality and Religion