Chad Bird: Upside-Down Spirituality

The 9 Essential Failures of a Faithful Life

Upside-Down Spirituality
(Baker, 2019)

WHO: Chad Bird, assistant professor of Hebrew and exegetical theology at Concordia Theological Seminary.

THE BOOK: Upside-Down Spirituality: The 9 Essential Failures of a Faithful Life (Baker Publishing Group/Baker Books, 2019)

HE SAYS: “What we need is blessed failure. Failure to believe in ourselves. Failure to make a name for ourselves. Failure to be supermoms and superdads. In these ‘failures’ is the success of the Spirit in our lives. He turns our world upside down so that we rediscover in Christ a life right side up with God.”

THE BIG IDEA: In our personal lives, our relationships and in our life as a church, our hearts are easily duped by the world’s version of success. We can discover in our “failures” the God who will never fail us.

WHY CHURCH LEADERS SHOULD READ IT: Upside-Down Spirituality provides a practical, biblically based approach to communicating the countercultural message to the church. We are inundated with how-to and self-help books, all of which direct us back to ourselves. This book points us to Christ.

WHY CONGREGANTS SHOULD READ IT: If we are faithful and Christ-centered we will always be failures in the eyes of the world—and that’s a great place to be. For it means we are in Jesus, suffused with his grace.

QUOTABLE: “In Jesus our worlds are turned upside down. But we find, to our utter amazement, that upside down in him is actually right side up.”

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