Surprised by Paradox: The Promise of And in an Either-Or World

Reviewed by: G. Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.

Title: Surprised by Paradox: The Promise of And in an Either-Or World

Author: Jean Pollock Michel

Publisher: InterVarsity Press

Publication Date: May 14, 2019

Format: Paperback

Length: 192 pages


Christianity definitively provides some clear answers, but some of its fundamental doctrines are paradoxes, mysteries we can never totally unwrap. But what if that’s not a bad thing? Jen Pollock Michel considers four central paradoxes – the incarnation, the kingdom of God, God’s grace, and holy lament – to explain what readers can learn when they lean into each one.

As the topic suggests, this isn’t one of those Christian living books that provides quick answers and simple solutions. Michel takes a more literary approach, drawing unusual but ultimately very helpful connections. Along the way, she shows how sometimes embracing mystery and wonder can be a good thing, leading to new spiritual fulfillment and maturity.


Rating (1 to 5 stars)

5 stars

Intended Audience

Christians seeking to understand mysteries of faith better, Christians seeking information on why mysteries are not always bad things.

Christian Impact

This book helps readers understand how their desire to know everything sometimes falls short of God’s mysterious ways, but great things happen when people lean into those areas.

Surprised by Paradox: The Promise of "and" in an Either-Or World

About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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