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Publisher's Summary

In a world filled with ambiguity, many of us long for a belief system that provides straightforward answers to complex questions and clarity in the face of confusion. We want faith to act like an orderly set of truth-claims designed to solve the problems and pain that life throws at us.  

With signature candor and depth, Jen Pollock Michel helps listeners imagine a Christian faith open to mystery. While there are certainties in Christian faith, at the heart of the Christian story is also paradox. Jesus invites us to abandon the polarities of either and or in order to embrace the difficult, wondrous dissonance of and.   

The incarnation - the paradox of God made human - teaches us to look for God in the and of body and spirit, heaven and earth. In the kingdom, God often hides in plain sight and announces his triumph on the back of a donkey. In the paradox of grace, we receive life eternal by actively participating in death. And lament, with its clear-eyed appraisal of suffering alongside its commitment to finding audience with God, is a paradoxical practice of faith. Each of these themes give us certainty about God, while also leading us into greater curiosity about his nature and activity in the world.

©2019 Jen Pollock Michel (P)2019 eChristian

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What listeners say about Surprised by Paradox

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Celebrate the tension

I was going to read this with a group but missed out. I’m so glad I downloaded and listened to it anyway. I don’t like tension. I want clear answers and cut and dry explanations and I avoid talking about the parts of my faith that I can’t do that with. This book took that anxiety and renamed it “wonder” and I was praising God for being so marvelous and mysterious yet revealing Himself to us so intimately in His word and through Jesus Christ. The chapter on Lament is so, so good.

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excellent

beautiful voice reading profound words but easy to follow. so good! worth every moment listening!

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Inspiring Takeaways on Lament

I don’t know if I would recommend this book unless I knew the person well and issued a caveat for them to sift through in search of the treasures but be forewarned there are sensitive, complex issues in this book that really aren’t addressed properly, and as a result, could be hurtful. All that said, the book is divided into 4 parts and the last part discusses lament and was very insightful. I’m glad I read it for this part alone - I took notes for reference down the road. This part of the book was inspiring to me.

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A thought provoking and insightful book

First, the author/narrator does an excellent job of narration. She speaks clearly. Second, this is a fascinating work full of good insights. The author points us to a relationship with Jesus while reminding us that not all questions we have are answered. I heartily recommend this book.