Upside-Down Spirituality: The 9 Essential Failures of a Faithful Life

Upside-Down Spirituality: The 9 Essential Failures of a Faithful Life❄ Upside-Down Spirituality: The 9 Essential Failures of a Faithful Life kindle Epub ❦ Author Chad Bird – Heartforum.co.uk In our age when the church can too often seem like a poor copy of the world, Chad Bird challenges us to reclaim the astounding originality of our ancient, backward faith Where the world stresses the i In our The 9 PDF/EPUB Ä age when the church can too often seem like a poor copy of the world, Chad Bird challenges us to reclaim the astounding originality of our ancient, backward faith Where the world stresses the importance of success, Bird invites readers to embrace nine specific failures in the areas of our personal lives, our relationships, and the church Why Because what human wisdom Upside-Down Spirituality: PDF/EPUB ² deems indispensable is so often an impediment to our spiritual growth, and what it deems insignificant is so often essential to itWith compelling examples from the Bible and today, Bird paints an enticing picture of the counterintuitive, countercultural life that God wants for us He helps readers delight in all of the ways that Jesus turned the world upside down, allowing us to experience true Spirituality: The 9 MOBI õ freedom, not from our weaknesses but in the midst of them.

Chad is The 9 PDF/EPUB Ä an author and speaker devoted to honest Christianity that addresses the raw realities of life with the gospel of Jesus Christ He has served as an assistant professor of OT theology, contributed hymns to the Lutheran Service Book, and cohosts the popular podcast Minutes in the OT He holds Master s degrees from Concordia Theological Seminary and Hebrew Union College In Upside-Down Spirituality: PDF/EPUB ² addition to writing two books, Christ Alone and The Infant Priest, he has contributed articles to Modern Reformation, The Federalist, Concordia Pulpit Resources, The Gospel Coalition, Mockingbird and other journals and websites His two newest books are Night Driving Notes from a Prodigal Soul Eerdmans, and Your God Is Too Glorious Baker, His next book, Upside Down Spirituality The Essential Failures of Spirituality: The 9 MOBI õ a Faithful Life Baker, , is now available for pre order He is also a regular contributor to christholdfast, legacy, and Mockingbird Chad and his wife, Stacy, have four children and two grandchildren together They enjoy life together in the Texas Hill Country.

Upside-Down Spirituality: The 9 Essential Failures of a
    Import EPUB to the Program Import EPUB an enticing picture of the counterintuitive, countercultural life that God wants for us He helps readers delight in all of the ways that Jesus turned the world upside down, allowing us to experience true Spirituality: The 9 MOBI õ freedom, not from our weaknesses but in the midst of them."/>
  • Paperback
  • 208 pages
  • Upside-Down Spirituality: The 9 Essential Failures of a Faithful Life
  • Chad Bird
  • 18 April 2018
  • 080107567X

10 thoughts on “Upside-Down Spirituality: The 9 Essential Failures of a Faithful Life

  1. Bob says:

    Summary Highlights nine areas in which Christian faith turns cultural conventions on their head, turning the world upside down When you ask most people what they think a real Christian is, the answer is often some version of people who are nicer than those around them Often, we buy that, adopting the way those around us think of a good, or even successful life, covering it with a veneer of Christian y sounding language.Years ago, I had a seminary course in New Testament Ethics, the primary t Summary Highlights nine areas in which Christian faith turns cultural conventions on their head, turning the world upside down When you ask most people what they think a real Christian is, the answer is often some version of people who are nicer than those around them Often, we buy that, adopting the way those around us think of a good, or even successful life, covering it with a veneer of Christian y sounding language.Years ago, I had a seminary course in New Testament Ethics, the primary text of which was Allen Verhey s The Great Reversal I have to admit that at the time, I still regarded Christian ethics as a nicer version of the world s, but was bothered by the title Over the years of reading and re reading the Bible, I began to suspectandthat Jesus really did inaugurate a great reversal, literally turning the world s ethics on their head, blessing the meek and the humble and making the least the greatest.Chad Bird s Upside Down Spirituality develops a similar idea Whereas we tend to celebrate good people who succeed, Bird proposes that this common sense needs to be turned on its head He proposesFailures of a faithful life that s what we ll be talking about in the chapters that follow What this world s common sense wisdom reckons as failures, anyway The failure to be extraordinary, the failure to live independent lives, the failure to go big or go home, the failure to think love sustains our marriages, even the failure to have a personal relationship with Jesus.For there are areas in all our lives personally, in our families and marriages, as well as in our churches where we ve become so habituated to the empty platitudes of our culture that we don t even realize our hearts have gone astrayp 24.Bird discusses nine failures under three categories The first category is how we think of ourselves He challenges the idea of believing in the God who believes in you Instead, he argues that God doesn t believe in us but through Jesus only we discover the God who loves us despite our failures He contends that failing to make a name for ourselves, living what may be hidden lives of faithfulness carries the great assurance that our names are written in the Lamb s book of life He calls out a culture that urges us to follow our hearts, and invites us to follow not our hearts, but Jesus.The second part considers how we think about our lives He begins by puncturing the dream of being the perfect parent He cites a Facebook post outlining a long litany of things the perfect mom does and contrasts it with the list used by former generations feed them sometimes The truth is that all of us who have been parents have done mediocre jobs, and that our real hope is that our children grow up, not in perfect houses with perfect parents, but in houses of grace where we all come to understand that our hope is being God s forgiven children Instead of questing for our ideal calling, Bird challenges us that there is no sacred secular divide, and that we may live as called persons wherever we are, and in whatever we do The chapter in this part I loved the most was where he argues against the myth of finding one s soulmate When I hear marrying couples say this, I either gag or tremble, fearing that they are headed to an early divorce if they don t wake up to the reality that no person can live up to that ideal We are both unique, and often self centered and marriage will sooner or later bring those differences and our fallenness to the surface Bird proposes that it is not love that sustains marriages, but rather marriages that sustain love as we press into Christ for his help to do what is humanly impossible.Finally he challenges some of the success myths of the church One is the myth of us versus them, that to not conform to the world, we need to cut ourselves off from the world He explores what it means to be resident aliens, building bridges into Babylon, seeking its peace and prosperity, even as we embrace our true citizenship in the kingdom He gives the lie to having a personal relationship with Jesus, that faith is a private thing Rather, we relate to Jesus as part of communities who are his body His final chapter wonders about something I ve wondered about Why do so many of us drive past fifty churches to go to the big box church across town rather than worshiping with those who live near where we live He contends that instead of buying into bigger is better, we find contentment and joy wherever the crucified and risen Christ is preached.Each chapter ends with a beatitude, all of which are summarized at the end A couple of my favorites 3 Blessed are those who don t follow their hearts, for they follow the Lamb where he goes 5 Blessed are those who fail to find their calling, for theirs is the kingdom where life and love and service find them Bird writes with candor and vulnerability He s been through a divorce and done everything from pastor to drive a big rig He punctures the success myths of contemporary Christianity as one who has failed and found grace, and a farvibrant and honest life as a humble follower of Christ He offers hope that when we fail, we may be closer than ever to the grace of God and the kingdom of Jesus, who turns the world upside down.________________________________Disclosure of Material Connection I received this book free from the publisher I was not required to write a positive review The opinions I have expressed are my own

  2. Jennie says:

    I have never heard of Chad Bird, until I read his new book Upside Down Spirituality The 9 Essential Failures of a Faithful Life However, I quickly did a little research on who he is and read this book Which I will say, is really good, a must read, one I am sure will be on my top 10 of this year He touches on some subjects that is happening in our culture and how we as Christian s should be living and responding to those I really enjoy his writing style, getting to the point with Truth, his I have never heard of Chad Bird, until I read his new book Upside Down Spirituality The 9 Essential Failures of a Faithful Life However, I quickly did a little research on who he is and read this book Which I will say, is really good, a must read, one I am sure will be on my top 10 of this year He touches on some subjects that is happening in our culture and how we as Christian s should be living and responding to those I really enjoy his writing style, getting to the point with Truth, his humbleness, and the bit of sarcasm he uses His focus in this book is Does it matter what one believes Or is anything okay, just as long as you feel good about it He makes nine points with his of what he calls the beatitudes of upside down spirituality I would think most Christians would know the answer to those two questions, but do we live them, like we should His answer The one who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life He and He alone can tell you what really matters And He ll tell you if you believe in Him, if you follow His call to be a disciple, it might not feel good sometimes it ll hurt like hell but it s the only path worth walking because you ll have as your companion the God who ll turn your life upside down in the best and craziest of ways There are three parts to this book Part 1 is Ourselves, which he writes about believing in ourselves, making a name for ourselves, and how we follow our hearts Part 2 is Our Lives, which he writes about being the perfect parent, searching our calling and for our soulmates Part 3 is Our Churches, about being separate, having a private faith, and bigger is better So if just reading through those you are struggling with what to believe and how to live those areas, then pick up this book immediately and your Bible Please note though you are not to believe those things about it being about me, that God is telling you to make a name for yourself, to follow your heart, to be perfect, to keep your faith private, that bigger is better, etc No quite the opposite in fact Instead Chad says, Come to grips with just how weird Christianity is, how uncool and unmainstream it is Because from the perspective of the world, from the view of common sense, Jesus and His followers are an embarrassing band of failures We fail to believe that life is all about us We fail to follow our hearts We fail at.But to fail the world that is to achieve the upside down spiritual life What we are called for What the world thinks is a failure, God says this is the Way Here are a few of my highlights The gospel is not some self improvement scheme devised by a God who holds back on us till He sees the improvements Above all, Jesus wants to make sure we understand that He doesn t care a fig about our precious results It doesn t even make a difference to Him if we re solid brass bastards, because while we were still sinners, Christ dies for the ungodly And so we can remember that, in God s kingdom, everything works backwards The unknown are known, the last are the first, and little children are the models of exemplary greatness The hazards with following our heart arises when the criterion becomes the deciding factor behind our decisions, when our heart trumps every other element in the decision making process, and especially when following our heart leads to a narcissistic life where all that matters is our happiness our satisfaction, our contentment, our fulfillment To follow our heart, in other words, is often shorthand for running from God to chase after pseudo gods, especially the idols of me To be a Christian parent is to be used by the Father to raise our children in Christ Instead of pointing, in Walter White fashion, to all we ve done for them, remind them of what Jesus has done for them And, while we re at it, let s remind ourselves that Jesus did those same things for us Secular is a nonexistent category, because there is no arena of life that is off limits to God s dominion, God s influence, God s kingdom Nor are there neutral zones, where the Lord may or may not be active, depending on whether we opt to insert Him into the situation by talking religion or doing religions stuff Wherever we are, whatever we re doing, with whomever we re talking, we stand on sacred ground, doing sacred things, saying sacred words When we marry, we step inside an ancient, divine structure that s bigger and older andstable than our love or feelings or commitment We ll discover this soulmate on the same day we spot the Loch Ness Monster while riding on a unicorn a few strides behind a Sasquatch They all belong to the same mythology How can we be fully present in today s Babylon How can we be the new Israel in our modern exile We can practice the art of twin failure failure to conform to this world and failure to cut ourselves off from it Romans 12 2 A privatized faith is a dying faith We survive and thrive, we grow and flourish, as part of the body of Jesus The Big is not really about size at all but rather what the size can get us, what can CBC give the Kirkpatricks What longings in their hearts do they think this church will satisfy Congregations like CBC give us options, options give us control, and control satisfies our desire for independence and self determination Which in this way are quintessentially American in ethos It s time to rethink To recalibrate our spiritual compasses It s time to rejoice not in megachurches or mini churches or middle of the road churches to close our eyes to size Instead, let s rejoice in churches that have a laser like focus on one things and one thing only determine to know nothing among us except Jesus Christ and him crucified

  3. Peter says:

    This book was chosen for a small group to discuss together on a weekly basis I found it to be a provocative and challenging book I think I liked itthan most of the others because this book had a way of ruffling feathers, and that s what I like about it Each chapter takes an assumed truth or way of doing things and considers whether this is really true or whether we have a truth wrong and what it should truly look like in a biblical gospel context I didn t particularly like some of the This book was chosen for a small group to discuss together on a weekly basis I found it to be a provocative and challenging book I think I liked itthan most of the others because this book had a way of ruffling feathers, and that s what I like about it Each chapter takes an assumed truth or way of doing things and considers whether this is really true or whether we have a truth wrong and what it should truly look like in a biblical gospel context I didn t particularly like some of the intros to the chapters, but i did enjoy the meat of the message and being challenged There is a lot you can disagree with in this book which makes for great discussion I picture this author as being a provocative person who loves to challenge assumptions and question everything I would recommend this book to stir up some thoughts of true spirituality in a Christian context If you are sensitive to being offended or challenged then don t bother with this book

  4. Jim says:

    Chad Bird, a former pastor and seminary professor, has given Christians a book of hope rooted in a counter cultural view of life with Upside Down Spirituality The 9 Essential Failures of A Faithful LifeUsing a common chapter ending of Blessed are those Bird invites us into examining the failure to have a perfect faith, a perfect marriage, a perfect church Instead he challenges us to look a failure as a door way to the kind of counter cultural faith in which failure is ultimately a blessin Chad Bird, a former pastor and seminary professor, has given Christians a book of hope rooted in a counter cultural view of life with Upside Down Spirituality The 9 Essential Failures of A Faithful LifeUsing a common chapter ending of Blessed are those Bird invites us into examining the failure to have a perfect faith, a perfect marriage, a perfect church Instead he challenges us to look a failure as a door way to the kind of counter cultural faith in which failure is ultimately a blessing and not a sentence.Divided into three sections, Ourselves, Our Lives, and Our Churches, Bird challenges head on the assumptions of perfect and successful that we seek to both measure ourselves and achieve in this life.In the first section, Ourselves, the failures of believing in ourselves, in making a name for ourselves, and following our hearts are the subject of Bird s writing The point he makes is that our self referenced life, when it is doesn t succeed, can be the soil in which God brings forth the right kind of life.In the second section, Our Lives, Bird brings up the ever present challenges of being the perfect parent, finding the perfect job, and having the perfect spouse and marriage His point in this section is that the seduction of perfectionism in our relationships creates unrealistic hopes and dreams which leads to disappointments but again, can be the soil in which God brings forth the right kind of life.The final section, Our Churches, focuses on the failures to be fully separate from the culture, the failure to be connected to the community of faith, and the obsession with what Bird calls the church of St Big Box His point is that Christians live in a hostile world, hostile to faith and that we need the community faith to help us stand in our faith, in a way that is faithful and not successful Upside Down Spirituality is a book that at first I acquainted with what Richard Rohr has called a second half of life spirituality for it is written by one, in this reviewer s opinion, who is perhaps in the second half of life and is sharing the wisdom gained from failure But it is also a book which should be read by those in the first half of life, the 30 and 40 year olds, who are pursuing the perfecteverything This book would make a great study book for church groups, seminary classes, as well as general reading This will be one of my book recommendations at the end of the yearand now I loved this book and gave it a five star rating on Goodreads Note I received a copy of this book from the Baker Books Bloggers program in exchange for a review I was not required to write a positive review

  5. Sarah Navey says:

    This was a very gripping read I enjoyed his writing style and I think he did a great job laying out the 9 biggest ways we mimick the world, and how we can instead mimick Christ.

  6. Francois Smith says:

    I am terrible at writing reviews I certainly don t have the eloquence of Chad Bird and am afraid that I will not give justice to this book which it deserves in heaps bounds It felt as if this book was written just for me and at times it had me in tears This is an incredible book and one that I cannot recommend heartily enough to all Christians out there in fact I challenge them to read this book I am terrible at writing reviews I certainly don t have the eloquence of Chad Bird and am afraid that I will not give justice to this book which it deserves in heaps bounds It felt as if this book was written just for me and at times it had me in tears This is an incredible book and one that I cannot recommend heartily enough to all Christians out there in fact I challenge them to read this book

  7. Teri Reck says:

    Another profound work by Chad Bird I found that I needed to read it just a bit at a time because there was just so much to mull over at each sitting I agreed with a great deal, disagreed with a bit, and thought about some things in a brand new way I thought quite a bit about Be not conformed to this world but be transformed and how the Church with a capital C , our individual churches with little c s and even myself individually, sometimes cave to accommodate culture instead of stayi Another profound work by Chad Bird I found that I needed to read it just a bit at a time because there was just so much to mull over at each sitting I agreed with a great deal, disagreed with a bit, and thought about some things in a brand new way I thought quite a bit about Be not conformed to this world but be transformed and how the Church with a capital C , our individual churches with little c s and even myself individually, sometimes cave to accommodate culture instead of staying true to the Gospel and the Great Commission With all of the political rift that there has been since the last presidential election in our country, I witnessed many, many, Christians on all sides of the political spectrum claiming to out Christian each other with their political beliefs instead of focusing on the Gospel and the truth that transcends all political movements, all earthly governments, through all of history I thought much about that as I pondered Chad s essential failures of a faithful life I recommend this to all, to Christians of all denominations and to non Christians as well

  8. Justin Matthews says:

    Bird is one to keep an eye out for Terrific writer and a fine, helpful book.

  9. Conrade Yap says:

    The early disciples turned the Roman civilization upside down In spite of ostracization from the Jews and persecution by the Romans, the early Christians maintained their faith and religious practices They were considered outcasts and failures by society Yet, the faith they hold on to are very much alive and kicking The use of false witnesses, smear campaigns, vicious persecutions, and other obstacles could not stop the gospel from spreading All these happens exactly according to what Jesus The early disciples turned the Roman civilization upside down In spite of ostracization from the Jews and persecution by the Romans, the early Christians maintained their faith and religious practices They were considered outcasts and failures by society Yet, the faith they hold on to are very much alive and kicking The use of false witnesses, smear campaigns, vicious persecutions, and other obstacles could not stop the gospel from spreading All these happens exactly according to what Jesus had said We save our lives by losing it we who are the least would become the greatest and the way to be first is to come from being last The counter cultural spirituality is something that author Chad Bird tries to highlight in this book of 9 essential failures of the Christian life Nobody likes to hear about failures Yet, the very nature of success is that it is the fruit of multiple failings Failures in things we accumulate about ourselves will save us from ourselves After all, a good life according to the world is to have everything going right for our selfish selves A life with Christ however would entail the same manner in which Christ was treated, we too would be treated This reminds me of the last beatitude of Jesus in Matthew 5 11 that disciples of Christ will be persecuted for his sake Briefly, the kind of good failures Bird talks about are 1 Failure to believe in ourselves like the world2 Failure to seek after our own name and fame3 Failure to let our hearts rule our lives4 Failure to perform perfectionist parenting5 Failure to restrict calling to just making a living 6 Failure to look for Ms or Mr Perfect7 Failure to build walls to separate the Church from the world8 Failure to keep our faith private and confidential9 Failure to embrace size and numbers as betterThe first three failures address the way we look at ourselves The second set of three failures deal with the way we life our lives The final three failures have to do with the way we run church The way Bird presents his case works on some kind of a reverse logic By challenging us this way, readers are forced to make sure they get their angles right On the one hand, such a method helps us to readcarefully and think out of the box On the other hand, there could be some confusion especially for anyone unable to get where Bird is going Plus, the word failure carries a negative image and might discourage some readers from even picking up this book Thankfully, the author clarifies any doubt by doing a summary chapter at the end of the book There, he presents his beatitudes of failure to ensure we don t get the wrong message Perhaps, the publisher might want to put these beatitudes in the book up front to ensure no confusion.My ThoughtsAll in all, this book challenges us in three ways First, the author urges us not to fall into the ways and expectations of the world The world may insist on Godzilla size achievements and numerical superiority Jesus instead begins with the mustard seed and highlights a quota of two Matt 18 20 for His presence The second way I find this book challenging is the way the author makes us embrace our failures Seeing the world overtaking us is not nice at all We feel left out and ostracized when we don t keep up It takes faith and courage to embrace and pursue the counter cultural ways of Christ Finally, we need to do our homework to make this set of nine failures into affirmative actions It is one thing to say no to things It is yet another to find out our yes as to what our response should be Here s my sample list on the beatitudes, revised in aaffirmative manner.1 Blessed are those who delight themselves in the LORD 2 Blessed are those who make a Name for Christ rather than themselves 3 Blessed are those who follow after the heart of God rather than theirs 4 Blessed are parents who try their best but don t kick themselves to bits when they fail to become perfect parents 5 Blessed are those who live their lives according to their primary calling to Christ 6 Blessed are those who are contented with their marital status 7 Blessed are those who conform to the ways of the Kingdom of God 8 Blessed are those who are part of an active community of Christ9 Blessed are those that the gospel and grace of God is enough.I am sure readers will be able to come up with a far better list than mine.Chad Bird has served as pastor, professor, and guest lecturer He holds graduate degrees from Concordia Theological Seminary and Hebrew Union College He cohosts the popular podcast 40 Minutes in the OT Rating 4.25 stars of 5.conradeThis book has been provided courtesy of Baker Books and NetGalley without requiring a positive review All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied

  10. Karl Dumas says:

    We go to church, pray, read our bibles and proclaim ourselves as Christians, but sometimes it seems like there is something missing We say that we follow Jesus, and that s a good thing, but sometimes the problem isn t that we re not following Him, it s that the way we act when we think we re following Him, isn t quite the way He does things, in fact, sometimes we re 180 degrees off And so, Chad Bird leads us on a quest for answers to the questions Does it matter what one believes and then We go to church, pray, read our bibles and proclaim ourselves as Christians, but sometimes it seems like there is something missing We say that we follow Jesus, and that s a good thing, but sometimes the problem isn t that we re not following Him, it s that the way we act when we think we re following Him, isn t quite the way He does things, in fact, sometimes we re 180 degrees off And so, Chad Bird leads us on a quest for answers to the questions Does it matter what one believes and then, Or is anything okay, just as long as you feel good about it For some things it probably doesn t matter what you believe some people believe that bacon is only for breakfast, while others believe that bacon is one of the basic food groups, and as such can, and should, be eaten at any time of the day But perhaps when it comes to Jesus, we should be a littleparticular in making sure that our beliefs are correct And so, we look at Upside Down Spirituality the 9 Essential Failures of a Faithful Life Baker Books, 2019 A problem with Christianity in the West today is that numbers are declining, a lot of people are just giving up on organized religion because it really doesn t seem to meet their needs We have gotten to the point where Church is so easy that it s hard to keep people engaged, they get bored and leave But Christianity and Church was never meant to be merely a spectator sport There sto it than whispering a prayer and then showing up to church once in a while, and at the end of the month if there s any money left, putting a dollar or two in the collection place Church is meant to be an action verb So, Bird leads us through a series of things that well meaning Christians do on a regular basis, which have no basis in what spirituality should look like The introduction is appropriately titled Turning Our World Upside Down I say appropriately because that s what happened in the first centuries after the resurrection somehow though we ve lost that momentum and need to regain it There are 3 sections in the book, several chapters each on areas of our lives, where many of us make mistakes When Bird talks about ourselves in section one, he highlights several things that people fail to do 1 they fail to believe in themselves, 2 they fail to make or even try to make a name for themselves, and 3 they fail to follow their hearts their passions When it comes to our lives, we make some mistakes too We beat ourselves up because we re not perfect at parenting, we don t take time to search out our calling so our careers and vocations aren t as satisfying as we might like, and lastly, when our marriages hit a rocky patch we know it s because we didn t find our soulmate, we should have tried harderAnd it s at church also where we sometimes get things backwards For example, we forget that as a body, as the bride of Christ, we have been set apart, set aside for God s purposes Instead of trying to change the world, we embrace it, hoping that eventually they will be so enad with us, that they ll change on their own to become like us but why would they We ve already changed to be like them And of course, we have our own private and personal relationship with Jesus That s okay, until it becomes so private, so personal that we refuse to tell anybody about it Remember the end of each of the Gospel accounts includes a sending, a commissioning the disciples were sent to the world to proclaim the good news And go they went it wasn t enough to just send a check and hope that someone else would carry the message And then we forget that there is a place in the world for small churches as long as they are healthy and doing kingdom work, there s a need for them, yet we often fall into the trap of bigger is better And in our search for bigger, we get caught up in all that church has to offer me, and we forget about offering of ourselves to help the church I received a copy of this book from the publisher as part of their Bloggers program I was not required to write a positive review But I did 5 5

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