In our age when the church can too often seem like a poor copy of the world, Chad Bird challenges us to reclaim the astounding originality of our ancient, backward faith. Where the world stresses the importance of success, Bird invites readers to embrace nine specific failures in the areas of our personal lives, our relationships, and the church. Why? Because what human wisdom deems indispensable is so often an impediment to our spiritual growth, and what it deems insignificant is so often essential to it.

With compelling examples from the Bible and today, Bird paints an enticing picture of the counterintuitive, countercultural life that God wants for us. He helps readers delight in all of the ways that Jesus turned the world upside-down, allowing us to experience true freedom, not from our weaknesses but in the midst of them.


Paul F.M. Zahl

“Chad Bird hasn’t just set the value of success on its head, he has restored to success its true meaning. Using vivid and vividly written examples, Chad demonstrates that success before God—success for Christians, in other words—operates through the collapse of worldly success. One wants to say, ‘Say it isn’t so, Chad!’ But it is. And Chad proves it—delightfully, biblically, touchingly. Upside-Down Spirituality is really right-side-up.”

— Paul F.M. Zahl, retired minister and theologian




“Chad Bird has written a soul-stirring guide to grace in everyday life, brimming with heart, insight, and poetry. Along the way, he inverts the expectations that creep into our heads, pointing to the comfort and freedom of the Gospel. I am so grateful for his voice and ministry.” 

— David Zahl, author, Seculosity: How Career, Parenting, Technology, Food, Politics, and Romance Became Our New Religion and What to Do about It