Thursday, May 14, 2015

Flipped by Doug Pagitt

When a book gets blurbs from Rob Bell, Shane Claiborne, and Brian McLaren you should have a fairly good idea what direction you will find inside.

Pastor Doug Pagitt had an experience via conversation that turned his theology/Bible understanding on its head - hence the title Flipped.

This is very much a book submerged in the Emergent stream as a major premise is that many Christians view their relationship with God in an If/Then scenario; if I do this, then God will respond in this way.

Pagitt no longer holds that view. He spends eleven chapters unpacking his new understanding of God and what it means for people to be "in God".

He does very well with using metaphor and personal anecdotes to flesh out some big ideas. There's a taste of Rob Bell in his writing but he doesn't quite have the Bell-prose. Sometimes I felt a little out in left field as he dove into some of the more complicated science-y content. But then he would pull me back closer after a few paragraphs.

And while I'm on the topic of pulling me back in - for much of the book I was in agreement with him. I found myself nodding and thinking, I've preached on some of this stuff - maybe not exactly as fluently but in a similar vein.

But then he would take a step away and, at times, it felt like he was promoting a brand of "God is everything/everything is God". Only for a moment and then he would pull back and continue on a path with which I was familiar. It was very stretching. I would think, "this is good stuff." then he'd flip and I'd think, "wha-huh?!?!"

Very interesting approach to stories from the Bible and the things that Jesus said. I won't say I agree with all of his ideas but it was an enjoyable experience.

This book was provided for review, at no cost, by Convergent Books.

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