Reviewed by Dale Lewis
Messy Faith by A.J. Gregory
"The reader of Messy Faith will be encouraged as they are reminded of God's perfect love for imperfect people."
Close your eyes for a moment. Think back to a Godly man or woman who you looked up to and respected. Were they the “perfect” Christian? Did you want to emulate how they acted as a believer?
Well, the myth of the “perfect” Christian is shattered throughout the pages of A.J. Gregory’s newest title, Messy Faith which for many Christ-followers, including me, is excellent. “Confessions of a Non-Perfect Christian,” chapter 2, is a bittersweet slap of reality.
Sunday school lessons learned in a childhood sometimes aren’t effective when reality rears its ugly head in our faith walks. And as a result, we question the validity of our faith experience.
Gregory is not afraid to ask questions while not having all the answers. Could God ever really love me like this . . . soiled, flawed, messy and imperfect? Where is God in our mistakes, temptation, doubt, jealousy, addictions and overwhelming unforgiveness on our part?
A. J. Gregory wants to affirm and encourage you on the oft chaotic journey of faith. Personally poignant, refreshingly raw and thought-provoking, Messy Faith offers no pat answers or overkill in “Christian-ese” formulas. She gently states, “It is being sure and unsure, whole and broken, warring, losing, and winning. It is being right and being wrong and having no clue, but believing anyway. And it is trusting in God to perfect the final product of our flawed, human lives.”
I believe if the chapter titles in the table of contents are inviting and interesting, the book will hold your attention and provide moments of gleaning truth. Some of her chapter titles include “Wanted: Spiritual Masochists,” “Is God Enough?” and “The Demons of Addiction.”
One of the most eye-opening chapters was the one on prayer entitled “Conversations with God,” speaking to the dysfunctional beliefs we have on this important spiritual topic.
Here is a quote from her chapter on the “Demons of Addiction,” “Relying on God day after day, hour by hour doesn’t sound as exciting or make as good as being instantaneously delivered does, but it makes for such a spiritually amazing experience. It is a passageway into seeing the scope of God’s faithfulness mysteriously and beautifully unravel on a daily basis.”
The reader of Messy Faith will be encouraged as they are reminded of God's perfect love for imperfect people.