God over Good

Saving Your Faith by Losing Your Expectations of God

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Trusting God when God doesn't live up to your expectations

God is good. Except . . . God doesn't always seem to be what we would call good. A good father wouldn't make it so difficult to get to know him, would he? And if God is all-powerful, wouldn't God ensure that we never suffer? Either our understanding of God is incorrect, or our definition of good is inadequate.

In a world that is messy and a church that is imperfect, it's easy to let our faith be lost. But that doesn't mean we have to lose God. It means we must consider that perhaps our idealized expectations are wrong.

With transparency about his own struggles with cynicism and doubt, pastor Luke Norsworthy will help you trade your confinement of God to an anemic definition of good for confidence in the God who is present in everything.


"Luke Norsworthy's inviting, accessible, and entirely enjoyable new book is an invitation to come to know God better. Or to come to know God for the first time. Highly recommended."--James Martin, SJ, author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage and The Jesuit Guide

"Luke's insight and humor come through his stories and theology in beautifully carved pieces we can savor long after the reading is over. Part memoir, part preaching, part amazing storytelling--it's all a gift offered by a man of great faith who has chosen God over everything."--Becca Stevens, author, priest, and founder of Thistle Farms

"What a generous gift! Norsworthy opens wide the door of his heart to reveal his struggle to find a path through the dark woods of spiritual doubt and uncertainty. In this book, alternately moving and humorous, he doesn't abandon us in the now-all-too-familiar landscape of religious cynicism but instead joyfully leads us into the land of hope and resurrection."--Ian Morgan Cron, author of The Road Back to You; host of the podcast Typology

"Luke transparently shares the struggle many have with a faith focused on certain answers because that type of faith ends up delivering only more questions. But Luke doesn't leave us there; he shows us a way to the other side of cynicism. God isn't what we always expect, but God is always beautiful. There is life and love on the other side of simplicity, and Luke guides us toward it."-- Fr. Richard Rohr, author of Everything Belongs and Falling Upward

"Luke does such a brave job in this book--telling the truth, asking the questions many of us aren't willing to ask (but hear in our heads), and walking us all toward honesty and freedom and the person we really want to be. God over Good will rescue you in ways you didn't know you needed rescuing."--Annie F. Downs, bestselling author of 100 Days to Brave and Looking for Lovely


Luke Norsworthy (MDiv, Abilene Christian University) is the senior minister of the 1,500-member Westover Hills Church of Christ in Austin, Texas. A frequent speaker at universities, retreats, and conferences, he is the host of the popular Newsworthy with Norsworthy podcast on which he has rubbed shoulders with some of the brightest and most prominent voices in theology, including N. T. Wright, Barbara Brown Taylor, Miroslav Volf, Walter Brueggemann, John Ortberg, and others. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and three daughters.


Endorsements

"Luke Norsworthy's inviting, accessible, and entirely enjoyable new book is an invitation to come to know God better. Or to come to know God for the first time. Highly recommended."

James Martin, SJ, author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage and The Jesuit Guide

"Luke's insight and humor come through his stories and theology in beautifully carved pieces we can savor long after the reading is over. Part memoir, part preaching, part amazing storytelling--it's all a gift offered by a man of great faith who has chosen God over everything. Luke is an exceptional podcaster, pastor, writer, and friend. Read his book."

Becca Stevens, author, priest, and founder of Thistle Farms

"What a generous gift! Norsworthy opens wide the door of his heart to reveal his struggle to find a path through the dark woods of spiritual doubt and uncertainty. In this book, alternately moving and humorous, he doesn't abandon us in the now-all-too-familiar landscape of religious cynicism but instead joyfully leads us into the land of hope and resurrection."

Ian Morgan Cron, author of The Road Back to You; host of the podcast Typology

"God over Good, by turns hilarious and heartbreaking, is the urgent, raw, and honest story of a pastor who almost lost his faith. Luke Norsworthy challenges us--the cynics and the skeptics alike--to find God beyond our expectations. Blessed, indeed, are those who leap."

Richard Beck, author of Unclean, Reviving Old Scratch, and Stranger God

"Luke does such a brave job in this book--telling the truth, asking the questions many of us aren't willing to ask (but hear in our heads), and walking us all toward honesty and freedom and the person we really want to be. God over Good will rescue you in ways you didn't know you needed rescuing. That's what it did for me too. I'm forever grateful."

Annie F. Downs, bestselling author of 100 Days to Brave and Looking for Lovely

"Despite all the chiding that they just need to have faith, that doubt needs to be doubted, and that they can abound in confidence, many believers still struggle with uncertainty. But thankfully that does not mean they don't belong among the faithful! In this debut book--less apologetics and more a collection of stories of faith--Norsworthy points such people toward those resources where fresh courage and risky faith for the long journey are formed--resources such as Scripture, the community of believers, and ultimately, the risen Christ. One of the highest compliments I can offer is true about this work: it is spiritually honest!"

Mike Cope, director of ministry outreach, Pepperdine University

"Beneath the gentle humor of this book, there is a serious wrestling with a most profound truth. Any faith worth having cannot be with a god of our wishes but only with the God who authentically meets us in Jesus, Scripture, life, and suffering. As Luke shows, this means we must give up much of what we expected, but oh, what we gain!"

Randy Harris, professor of Bible, missions, and ministry, Abilene Christian University

"This is the Luke I've come to know and love as a friend and fellow pastor--refreshingly honest, exceedingly bright, and unapologetically faithful. God over Good is an indispensable companion for anyone wrestling with a faith that doesn't fit their old categories but who hopes to discover that God is with them in their spiritual evolution."

Jason Adam Miller, founder and lead pastor of South Bend City Church

"Luke transparently shares the struggle many have with a faith focused on certain answers because that type of faith ends up delivering only more questions. But Luke doesn't leave us there; he shows us a way to the other side of cynicism. God isn't what we always expect, but God is always beautiful. There is life and love on the other side of simplicity, and Luke guides us toward it."

Fr. Richard Rohr, author of Everything Belongs and Falling Upward

"In God over Good, Luke Norsworthy writes with pastoral concern and personal candor as he insightfully and often humorously navigates the challenges to a sustained Christian faith. Norsworthy helps us understand that what may initially threaten our faith can actually become the catalyst to a far deeper and richer faith. As Norsworthy points out, 'This death, burial, and resurrection isn't just an event but a lifestyle.'"

Brian Zahnd, lead pastor of Word of Life Church, St. Joseph, Missouri; author of Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God


The Author

  1. Luke Norsworthy
    Photo by: Lisa Woods

    Luke Norsworthy

    Luke Norsworthy (MDiv, Abilene Christian University) is the senior pastor of the 1,500-member Westover Hills Church of Christ in Austin, Texas. A frequent speaker at universities, retreats, and conferences, he is the host of the popular Newsworthy with...

    Continue reading about Luke Norsworthy


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