On the Lived Theology Reading List: Outlaw Christian

Outlaw Christian: Finding Authentic Faith by Breaking the Rules, by Jacqueline BussieFinding Authentic Faith by Breaking the Rules

In Outlaw Christian, Jacqueline Bussie discusses the unspoken “laws” that govern modern Christian life: #1: Never get angry at God; #2: Never doubt; #3: Never question; #4: Never tell your real story; #5: Always speak in clichés about evil and suffering; and #6: Always believe hope comes easy for those who truly love God. Bussie knows that many Christians feel burnt out trying to follow these laws, and she believes that living according to these rules is killing real Christian life. In Outlaw Christian, Bussie proposes a rebellious, life-giving, authentic alternative.

Bussie uses captivating stories that are often brutally honest in order to give concrete, practical strategies to help readers cultivate hope, seek joy, confront grief, and more. She tackles difficult questions head on, speaking to progressive and conservative Christians alike in order to provide a new way to handle the difficult and troubling questions of life.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

“There’s nothing fluffy about this book.  It is raw, sassy, and from the heart…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 RevolutionJesus for President, and the new book Executing Grace

“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.” —The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

For more information on the publication, click here.

Dr. Jacqueline Bussie is an award-winning author, professor, and theologian. An active servant-leader in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Jacqueline teaches religion, theology and interfaith studies classes at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, where she also serves as the Director of the Forum on Faith and Life.

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