On Unchristian

i’m back. i’ve been busy sleeping, watching friends on youtube, on facebook, napping, watching tv, going to borders, going to barnes & noble, adding flair to my facebook, thinking about next year, avoiding phone calls, making phone calls, watching movies, thinking about journaling, buying music, making lists of things to buy, making lists of music to get, making lists of books to read, trying to figure out my life, trying figure out why i feel the way i feel… that i haven’t had time to blog… that and my computer shuts down all the time… and i had to finish reading “Unchristian” before i could write a review… so here goes…

i said in a previous blog that i think this will be the new buzz book of this year. It has a snazzy cover, a cool-looking font, and it bashes Christians- something all Christians seem to love.
But there is some good stuff in there. Unfortunately, i feel like the people who need to read it won’t, and the people who will read it will think it applies to other people, and not them.

As for me, i liked the parts i agreed with. i thought a lot of it didn’t give very good solutions, and mostly, i felt like the writer was naive.
Maybe some of the readers will be too- and to them it will be helpful… to a degree.

The writer focuses on what the new generation of people think of Christians and Christianity. As if this is new that people have a hard time with Christians.

The problem is, i believe people will always have a hard time with Christians.
And though i do agree we need to work on showing love, developing humility, and relating to the outside world, we will always have some issues.

He doesn’t like using the term lost, or the term non-christian. Those terms are offensive to … wait, what do i say… he calls them outsiders.
He lost me there, as i find that much more offensive than non-christian. i don’t know, i don;t get it. If someone said i wasn’t a Jew, or a non-muslim i wouldn’t get offended.

He commented that we need to be more like Jesus- very much agree. Yet, do we not think Jesus was offensive or divisive?  He calls Himself divisive! He tells the woman to go and sin no more. He forgives. He exhorts too.

Here are the big six:
1. Hypocritical
2. Get Saved
3. Antihomosexual
4. Sheltered
5. Too Politcal
6. Judgmental

My comments:
The Get-Saved one is my big soapbox
 – Too often it seems as if we Christians only care about someone if we can get them saved. i’ve certainly been guilty of this.
It’s like we won’t do any good deed for someone unless there is an opportunity to share Christ along with it. We won’t just give money to the poor. We won’t just leave a good tip. We won’t just help out our neighbor or friend. It seems we have an agenda.
It often felt like students were treating people like projects instead of like people.

i do make friendships for the purpose of winning them to Christ. But i make friends with people, not just do friendly acts. i want to really be their friend, and them mine

This leads to the sheltered thing.
Though my take is different than the author.
i have no problem with the fact that Christians are appalled by sin. We should be. Sin is horrible. The fact i am desensitized to sin on tv shows and movies is not a good thing.
However, we can’t & shouldn’t expect people who don’t follow Christ to feel the same way.
i feel Christians are sheltered because they choose to isolate themselves with other Christians. It is easier, but that’s not the path Christ has called us to take.

Judgmental we all know.
The real thing we followers of Christ have to think about- if people think we’re judgmental what are we conveying?
Reality is, some will find us judgmental. Still, let’s aim to love

Here is where a problem comes- hypocritical.
i think in all our attempts to be relative and loving we instead have become hypocritical.
i have found most people don’t care if i stick to my beliefs, as long as i am authentic.
i can say homosexuality is wrong. i can talk about sin. i can preach the Gospel. And people will disagree with me- but they respect me when i’m honest.

Too many well-meaning Christians have exchanged being loving with being nice. It’s not the same thing. And in attempts to relate, we condone sin and don’t follow Christ.

i don’t understand the whole politics world. It didn’t seem like Jesus had much to do with politics. And homosexuality is difficult for Christians.
i think our best way would be to admit it.
To say i want to show love the homosexual community, but i know it is difficult for you to feel that. i apologize.

Really, the last two beg the question: Why do people see us this way?
What are we talking about?

The real problem is not these 6 problems.
The root problem is we don’t focus on the Gospel enough. We are not preaching the Gospel, we are not living the Gospel.

What do people think about when they think of Christians? Doing the right thing or being good.

But isn’t that the opposite of the Christian message?

Look at our churches, look at the books in the Christians stores. We preach good works. We preach morals.
We need to preach the Gospel. We need to preach it to ourselves. We need to preach it to Christians. We need to abide in it and live in it.

Then the world will see the hope that is within us, then they will see the love we have for one another, then they will see Christ.

He is the Gospel. He came to give us life, and life abundantly.


6 thoughts on “On Unchristian

  1. Thanks for the review…Tim Keller’s book, The Reason for God will challenge (I think) for Mookie’s book award for 2008. It is the best apologetics book I’ve read since Mere Christianity. It is brilliant, relevant, and does a great job of conveying the gospel to believers and unbelievers. A must read. A note on politics….Jesus didn’t mess with politics because He’s the King and Kings don’t do that sort of stuff. Christians can have a great influence through politics but the religious right has got it all wrong and plays politics by the world’s rules. We need to develop a Christian ethic on politics.

  2. i’ve heard nothing but good things about Keller’s book. And after hearing his talk about the Gospel… i so want to get it.By the way i’m not saying this (“UnChristian”) is a favorite book of mine- in fact, a lot of it i didn’t like- i just think it will be a buzz book that everyone reads…

  3. I wouldn’t say that the religious right has it all wrong – things like abortion, the family and homosexuality need to be part of the discussion in american politics. And Christians should be taking about the poor and the enviroment too. Those who think the religious right “have it all wrong” often want to force their own agenda and make the same mistakes.

  4. Excellent, excellent, excellent. I love the write up, Mook. And I think you are dead-on with our root problem. Isn’t that always the answer, the gospel? Jesus? I may never read this book, but maybe you should write one about the real problem with us as Christians. I’ll read it. Or any other book you write, which you have talked about for awhile now. Do it! Make it part of your PDP!Also, I firmly endorse Reason for God, as well. It is also gospel focused, which I was extremely edified by whilst reading. I hope more people read that book.

  5. A note to kool-aid man(woman?), [btw, is it proper etiquette to talk to fellow responders and not the points on the blog itself? I’m not sure about this blog rule.] When I said the religious right has it all wrong, I was referring to the means they use to accomplish their ends, not necessarily the stance they take on various positions. I’m not trying to force my view on anyone. I would just put out for public dialogue that using the world’s tactics to gain votes/political pressure/majority viewpoint is not helpful and can actually be counterproductive to kingdom work. When I said “political ethic”, I meant the way we as Christians go about political change in a godly manner, not necessarily the viewpoints on certain ethical questions.

  6. Nice post. You are dead on about Christians venting about ourselves and how hypocritical we are, as I do it all the time, often as an excuse to seem Christian without doing any of the real work involved. Going off about how Dobson and Robertson don’t get it has become so popular it’s almost cliche.My own theory with these kinds of books whihc I just came up with in the past 5 minutes is how it demands a post-modern point of view from Christians. The view where everything is relative, there is truth in everything, and no such thing as an absolute. And it is pretty impossible to take any sort of stand on anything and still be post modern. Taking a stand on homosexuality, for instance, means making a judgement call about the action. We´re caught in this awkward position of not judging others yet still have to make judgement calls on what is right and wrong. Can a Christian do both?And totally agreed with the ‘get saved’ fix some have. A sort of ‘wham, bam, thank you ma’am’ type of evangelism, if you will. My biggest criticism (haha, see? there I go again on Christians!) of CCC is the lack of sincere follow up done. I spent too much time on my summer projects trying to save so and so, and then after the deed was done I never saw them again. I wonder what happened to those people…

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